Friday, 22 October 2010

Hokey-Cokey for raincoats!

You put your raincoat coat on,
your rain coat off.
On, off, on off,................and so on - ALL day!
The forecast was for a few clouds, and clearing later.
Why DO we take any notice? If you ask me, 18 million pounds should get a better return than that! Rant over, Sue & I decided on an annual 'pilgrimage' to Beresford dale, as the autumnal colours there can be incredible, if all the conditions are right.
This seems to say all you have to do is go at the right time, but EVERYTHING has to be right. Sunshine, angles, wind, leaves, river level. I've been to this place almost every year since 1988, and only ever seen the right conditions ONCE!
I keep returning though, just in case they repeat themselves.

We parked the car (easily, due to it tipping down with rain - everyone else decided to stay at home) in the centre of Hartington. We waited for it to abate, and it did, so off we set.
This is Hartington church from the start of the path to Beresford dale.

Ten minutes later, the coats came out, as this little lot approached us rather quickly.
This is what the trip was all about really.
These trees produce the most superb colour displays I know of in the area. I had judged our visit by local leaf standards, and they were JUST coming into the 'really brown' phase. Here, life was, for some reason, accelerated. Unfortunately, as you can see, most of the leaves had already fallen. Still a nice 'copper carpet' effect though :-)
What can delay a posh persons train journey?
Leaves on the lane (no pun intended).
The end of the lane - and the ford across the river.
We wanted dry feet - so chose to cross the bridge.
Oh good, the skies are clearing a bit, time to take off the coat.
No, it CAN'T be the same day - can it?????
Yes, it IS - that's why we were fooled into taking our rain gear off.
This is the Tissington trail, which we joined and followed for a short distance.
Ten minutes later - the rain came again with a vengeance!
We suited up, and pressed on down a really LOVELY dale, which, sadly, has no name.
We christened it 'Coldeaton dale', as it leads down to the bridge.
Sue had not been down this one before, so it was a treat. Even though I have, it's still lovely to come here again. It's so steep-sided, that it feels a lot mightier than it actually is.
Eventually, we reached Coldeaton bridge, with the prospect of the stiff climb up Gypsy Bank ahead of us.
Well, the skies had cleared again and the sun was out, so time to take off the coat.
The summit party leads on.........
At the top, we had a lovely view back to our Coldeaton dale..........JUST as the rain began to fall....AGAIN!
Of course, every cloud has a silver lining, but in this case, it was multi-coloured.
I asked Sue to go and look for the pot of gold under that bush after taking this shot.
Of course, all this rain brought out the fungi. A couple of shaggy ink caps (which, at this stage of development, are edible, but DO NOT take alcohol with them if you eat them.

(NB - the advice given in this blog is intended as a guide only - no responsibility can be taken for any deaths/sickness/wrong identification etc etc - also, may contain nuts)
These open out into a really big umbrella (not edible)
After the climb and a short lane walk, we reached the village of Alstonefield. There was a new farm shop, which we visited and patronised. We left the wood and walked NNW along the road to a stile into the fields.

This beautifully coloured wood was over to our left.
The fields around Alstonefield, with an autumn sun painting it.
......oh dear....looks like MORE rain!
The sun shines on Gratton hill, a very special place for us.
This old barn stood starkly on the skyline, with a stormy sky behind.
The threatened rain never did come, but it turned MUCH colder and,
just after this photo was taken, we donned gloves and hats.
That's narrowdale hill behind me.
Where do old Land Rovers go when they die?
I think we found out!
We re-joined Beresford dale, and retraced our morning steps to Hartington.
Some nice brackets on a fallen tree.
Accompanied by a lovely setting sun, we watched as the limestone walls were turned into red threads by the evening light.

I ONLY JUST got this shot, as the effect lasted all of a minute - then it was gone!
We had another treat, this sunset.
Then it was home, just as the moon was rising to take its turn in the sky.


  1. I'm probably going to get a smack for this, but my favourite is the landrover photograph. Followed very closely by the rainbows x

  2. No, quite wrong, me little Darzat rose, I too like the 'landy' pic (and the rainbow). XX

  3. (must say though, the best 'live' pic was the crimson walls) - I reckon I needed to be 10 seconds earlier, but wasn't quick enough!. To see it live was amazing, the walls were just incredibly red - looked surreal.

  4. It's always nice for me to read about a part of the Peak District that I haven't visited yet.