LATHKILL & BRADFORD DALE – 12 miles – Tuesday 20th October 2009
It was the second day of my 88 mile White Peak Way trip having walked from Bakewell the day before. Lathkill Dale had been on my wish list for some time ever since a holiday in the Peak District ten years earlier so I set aside this day to walk an additional 12 miles. Departing the youth hostel at 8:55 I looked in the churchyard of All Saint’s for clues to a sad tale from Youlgreave’s past, more of that later. From the church Bradford Road took me down to a river of the same name where a clapper bridge led me onto the northern bank. The weather looked much the same as it had done the previous morning, cloudy with a hint of promise but it sure was cold. Bradford Dale was a splendid way to start what promised to be a tremendous 12 miles. This stretch in particular must have been popular with the locals as an easy path followed the wide valley with the river trundling in the opposite direction over weirs and drops. The first half of the day would take me as far as Monyash along the Limestone Way, a 46 mile trail over Derbyshire’s White Peak. I followed this lovely stretch of the river to the bend of Holywell Lane where a clapper bridge took me to the other side wherefrom the river became significantly more enclosed with tree shrouded slopes closing in more and more.