Calver to Calver – via Froggat,
Time taken 1 1/2 Hours
This is a walk that really starts in a simple cow field, after the caravan site, but with a massive WOW factor. This walk has the majestic back drop of Froggatt and Curbar edge’s, something that when I remember to look up always leaves fills me with amazement and awe!
The walk actually starts at Calver Mill, walking through the camp site into the fields, with the river to the right. You walk across the field, to the river and follow the path from there. It is simple and gentle, but presents lovely vistas and plenty of dogilicious fun, for the white hairy thing.
Just before the wooded section of the walk, there is a small bridge across the water. This is Mable’s favourite spot (except for another x50 river spots!) It’s mainly shallow and does not run too fast. It also has a soft silt base, making it perfect for making a white dog VERY grey. (Many a sunny afternoon has been spent by me sitting on the bank watching my beloved mutt get grotesquely filthy, whilst diving for stones and dredging for sticks)
Walking past the picturesque bridge takes you into a wooded glade, which in spring smells heavily of the wild garlic that grows along the bank. The path can get muddy underfoot in wet weather, but so long as you are not in your Sunday best, you should be fine-welly boots are a good footwear choice for this walk if it has been wet.
In the glade at the gate, before proceeding through, do check out the little dog gate to the right (at least I think it’s a dog gate) I am not sure how it came about, but it always helped prior to the new gate being built, when there was quite a high, difficult wall in place – Mable, and other dogs always struggled to get over it and the “dog gate” was a god send.
Continue along the path and through the trees and you will see the recently renovated weir – quite stunning if there has been a lot of rain! On reaching the road, do check for traffic carefully as being on a bend it is not the best crossing place, but head straight forward through the stile on the opposite side.
On entering this section of the walk you will notice from the signage that you are entering a nature reserve, one which has been set up to nurture water voles and newts in the watery environs that surround you. At this stage it is worth taking a look back to the right to view the bridge, as, depending on the time of day and year, there are times when the bridge is perfectly mirrored in the water below. - A beautiful site at any time, but absolutely magical in a morning mist.
With bull rushes to the left and a Pooh Sticks Bridge a little further forward, this section is my favourite spot on this walk - Mable prefers just a little further along where the cows have created muddy recesses that allow her access to the water - it was here that we did actually see one of the endangered water voles in the water, much to my deep joy, last summer.
Walking through the wet land section you emerge into grassland which is home to both cows and sheep. The river water here appears slow moving and often glass-like, rippling only when the ducks and moor hens come passed. Up to the right you will see the hills leading up to Eyam and to the right the spacious gardens of Froggatt residents.
After the grassy banks, you reach another wooded area, which leads to Froggat Bridge, a lovely cool place in summer where, towards the bridge, you can take time out to watch the water birds on the small sand banks, or just enjoy the general sense of well-being in amongst the conifers (Not something I generally get the chance to do as Mable always wants to be in the water with the ducks, much to the consternation of local conservationists – I do try my best, however!)
Walk up from here onto the bridge and enjoy the view, mid section, before descending and turning back to the right. About 100yards along the road you will find a section of wall that allows you to climb back over onto the riverside, with the use of a couple of steps. It is worth climbing over if you can, as, even though you are only on the opposite side of the river you have just come down, the view and the walk does take on a different perspective, in reverse.
To walk past the gardens and then through trees by the river is such a treat, winter or summer and the views are always fresh. My faithful hound is too much of a coward to launch into the water in this section, though she is always trying to get her toes wet and looks on enviously at those dogs brave enough to launch themselves from the side.
This side of the river takes you to the same Bridge, at Calver, though after climbing a few steps you come out a little further along the road from your initial crossing – again please be traffic aware when crossing. Also, cross straight and you will access the river again on the opposite side to the one you came down, giving lovely views of the newly restored weir and the house on the other side, but the water.
This side presents you with some very gentle undulations, with old stone steps and some narrow walk ways.
It is charming and so very English, with its stunning greens mixed with bank side flora; tall trees alongside hedges and shrubs, with sheep grazing on the middle section – nature in all its glory and plenty of smells an aromas, cracks and crevices to keep a nosy dog interested
On reaching the gate at the end of the meadows, turn right onto a short section of road, which takes you passed the other side of Calver Mill and brings you out at The Bridge Pub in Curbar, a find hostelry, which in turn is merely a stones throw from the cafe at The Derbyshire Craft Centre – tea for two? Or would you prefer a swift half, Mable?