Mable sees that Hope springs eternal as she ventures to Castleton.
Time taken 1. 5 - 2 Hours
This is a walk of two halves for me, one half on the outward section, shows the full glory of nature and the splendours of the some of the finest scenery in the Peak District. The second inward stretch shows some fine scenery but also shows how man can, out of human necessity, create a complete blot on a landscape – building, as Prince Charles once said, a “monstrous carbuncle”, this time in the form of Hope Cement Works. Whilst it brings essential industry to this very rural area, it has got to be one of the most ugly and unsympathetic buildings in the country - I have seen similar in Westgate, in Weardale, which I believe is now closed, but always wondered how the strict planning authorities of a National Park could be persuaded to allow such frightening features to blatantly blot any landscape, let alone one as stunning as the Peak District or the wilds of the upper Pennines!
Anyway, stepping down from my soap box, this is still a good walk and one, due to it following a stream , that is close to Mable’s huge heart - The walk starts in Hope, (as most adventures do, I suspect) - a medieval trading centre with records of it found in the Domesday Book, by crossing Peakshole Water at a bridge found along Pindale Road. You continue along past the junction with Eccles Road and after 5 minutes or so turn right over a signed stile leading you down a well trodden path, just above the stream.
Remember, as I often have to remind myself, to try and keep your head up – or at least stop and look around you, as you will get great views of Win Hill and Lose Hill at this point - I am a demon for watching my feet when walking as I am naturally clumsy, I forget to look up quite often, and I spend more time watching for small pot holes or checking what my hound is up to, but every now and again I remember to rein myself in and stop and take in the beauty that is the Peak District National Park - remembering how so very lucky we both are to inhabit it.
Keep walking until you cross over the rail tracks and continue through the meadows beyond, bearing right to follow keep with the stream. Pass a small waterworks building and then followa rough lane which leads passed farm buildings. You then reach a walled lane leading back onto a main road. At this stage Mable is normally placed on a lead, for safety and we take a turn left and take the footpath leading into Castleton, where you have a choice of taking a mid walk break to enjoy the villages offerings or deciding to take Back Lane and Mill Bridge, over the stream, to get you back out of the village via the parish burial ground, for your return to Hope.
Keep right as the lane forks and pass by a children’s play area. You then need to turn right after a cattle grid keeping again to the right of the field until you get back to the stream with stepping stones across. At this stage, switch to the left of the next meadow until you get to the lane ended by a small gate which you should pass through.
At Field Farm, bear right and take in the glories of Win Hill ahead, turning toward it with a signpost a little ahead detailing the direction to Lose Hill and Castleton. Continue straight on and after this it’s a succession of fields and gates as you keep right and travel a narrow path down to Hope through lanes, gates stiles and meadows. If the fields are sheep free Mable is allowed her freedom to make the most of the abundant sniffs and smells that she and her four legged friends enjoy so much!
After these fields you should eventually come out near your starting point, in Hope, so you can easily pick up the car for the journey home. I would suggect though, if you did not make that stop in Castlton, that it is a good idea to take of a libation in one of the local Hope hostelries, always a good move, before going home!