Well, one cheat and lightweight; me.
Distance; supposedly 6.5 miles 3 hours but, for me, much less than that.
Route; From the Pavilion Gardens, through Serpentine walks to cross the main road out of Buxton and through the golf course to Watford Hill farm. Then the path goes up steps (sorry Karen, I know you like steps but forgot to photograph them) through woodland and up to the tops. unfortunately, at this point I lost all of my energy and left spouse to continue the rest of the walk while I returned to Buxton along the road to Burbage and, again, through the Serpentine Walks.
Facilities; Free toilets in Buxton Pavilion near the Car Park. Take no notice of the map at the Pavilion grounds entrance which seems to indicate toilets are in the leisure centre. The assistant in the Leisure Centre was perfectly polite but answered a little mechanically, as if she had already been asked at least once that day where the toilets were…
Don’t know what is wrong with me this week. Was it the stress of walking through the golf course (at any minute I could have been struck on the head by a stray golf ball!!) or crossing the field clearly marked ‘CATTLE AND BULL IN FIELDs’ (sic) or if it was just the relentless uphill struggle to get above Buxton. Whatever, I couldn’t keep up. So, there you go, spouse, off on your way round the rest of the walk while I retrace my steps.
Make that ‘attempt to retrace my steps’ as within two minutes I’ve gone wrong and missed the steps down to the road.
Still I end up in the same place after slithering down this muddy half path;
Back to the Serpentine Walks and through them to the Pavilion Gardens where the brass band and lengthy ice cream queues create an atmosphere of pleasure experienced through gritted teeth. So I go back to the quieter Serpentine Walks to eat my sandwiches.
Even here, it’s not without incident. As I sit on a bench, watching the stream bubble by and surrounded by greenery, a very large over-muscled man with a small dog on a long lead and a tiny boy on a tricycle leading the way, waddles by. He’s on the phone and the conversation isn’t easy. ‘I’m not drunk. I had two or three pints last night that’s all……your mother told me to go and get a drink.’ The little boy cycled serenely off into the distance and the dog followed obediently.
The Serpentine Walks are circular and they are soon back again, meeting a young woman with a pushchair and two small girls coming the other way. The little woolly dog takes a fancy to the smaller of the two girls and makes straight for her, wagging his tail and running circles around her. This would make a charming picture, if it were not for the long lead which was becomes entangled around the pushchair and both girls. Trying to disentangle herself the small girl flips head over heels landing on her back. Her big sister, only inches taller herself, puts both arms round little sis protectively, lifting her up and setting her back on her feet. It does no good. The resultant sobbing is loud enough to be heard in Bakewell. Muscly man is distraught and repeats over and over again ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry’ to the disapproving stares of the silent mother and older girl.
Muscly man only stops apologising when he belatedly discovers boy on a trike is nowhere in sight. I didn’t know a man his size could move so fast along the Serpentine Walks; the little woolly dog’s legs like pistons. Happily, all must have ended well. I hear these words floating, disembodied, from the other side of the stream; the universal mantra of panicky parents; ‘Don’t you ever do that again.’