Tideswell via Monk’s Dale
Time Taken: 2 hours
To celebrate Humphrey’s fourth weekend living in The Peak District, I decided to make the most of a lovely November day to walk locally around Tideswell and out into the countryside beyond. As always he was hyper, as even being walked twice a day does not make up yet, for what I believe was a lack of walking in a previous life. As a rescue dog, I know very little of his life prior to being taken in by Rain Rescue in Rotherham apart from what they had experinced with him. I know that he was taken by them from a dog pound, where presumably he had been interred after being found wandering, and they helped feed him to an acceptable weight and offer him security before being offered for rehoming to me.
One thing I do know is that he loves being out of doors, loves exploring is happy to pull you, at speed, wherever he wants to go. Exercise, has proven essential in building trust between us and in instilling evolving calm as he sees more of the sights and sounds of this beautiful area.Our commemorative walk was to celebrate his advances, as well as a brief respite from a week of heavy mists, and we headed off from Market Square, via Manchester Road up towards Wheston. When walking up the initial incline, Humphrey came into his own as was happy to pull my weight upward until we turned off right onto a gravel road. The road follows sheep and cow fields either side and offers extensive view back towards Bretton and forward to Peak Forest and Sparrowpit and, if your dog is to be trusted, is excellent for off lead wandering. At the end of this path as it reaches a T-junction, we turned left and followed the path to the road which lead to Peak Forest to the right and Wheston to the left. We proceeded to Wheston absorbing the unmistakable smells of the farming countryside as we proceeded.
On reaching Wheston Hall we turned right and followed the road down into Smalldale, a small Hamlet that gives access to the Limestone Way. Once at the base of the hill, we turn left through cow fields with breath taking Limestone walls to the left. Humphrey had to be steered neatly away from the cows, so as not to upset them and we followed the wall on the left along through fields and mud thick meadows until Limestone rose up on both sides taking us through Monks Dale Nature reserve - if had had the change to survey I would have taken in the beauty of this beautiful valley floor, but had to excused my normal musings as Humphrey pulled me through muddy bogs in pursuit of a springer spaniel chasing a pheasant!
Having had wet weather for the last two weeks I could not complain about the mud, though when it almost claimed my wellington boot with its suction and when I came near to “face planting” in it after slipping on a rock, my sense of humour did subside slightly, especially as my left side was caked in mud for the walk home – Humphrey was oblivious to all and just wanted to sniff and pull and move forward without delay!We eventually arrived at a road, which if crossed led further on the Limestone Way. We turned left up the road – a bit of a hike – back towards Tideswell. The road in crossed by the Pennine Way – another great walk for the future, and offering great views towards Millers Dale, before bringing you back into Tideswell.
It was a lovely day and a stunning walk but I must admit I was ready to get home as my arms and hands were aching from Humphrey’s pulling. However, I was delighted also as in his way it was still a vast improvement on previous walks. We had both enjoyed the experience and were both pleasantly weary after it. I think he knows that he is a lucky boy to be part of this marvellous and varied landscape of the Peak District and I know that I am so lucky to have him and will have the chance to venture further with him to enjoy his journey – though hopefully more to heel and with less mud!