We followed a route from Circular Walks in the Peak Park by William and Vera Parker – Walk 27 Pilsley – but did a detour to Bramley Plantation, just before the main route gets to Hassop. The plantation was lovely but the main road back to the route was dangerous and unpleasant.
Distance; 3.5 miles ( 5 miles including the detour – 2 hrs and 40 mins)
Route; From Pilsley (just opposite the Devonshire Arms) downhill to turn left on the path towards Bubnell, then left to Hassop. To take the detour, turn right to the path through Bramley Plantation. At the other side of the plantation we turned left and walked back down the Bakewell Road but it would have been far more pleasant to retrace our steps back through the plantation. Then to Hassop, down the Bakewell Road and past 17th Century Hassop Hall and through Birchall Bank Wood back to Pilsley.
Facilities; The Devonshire Arms in Pilsley and what looked like a nice pub in Hassop.
As we left home, the mild, but definitely grey and wintry sky looked heavy. Speeding down the dual carriageway, we peaked through lacy trees to the patchwork hills behind. But when we got to Pilsley, there was a definite spring in the air. The sun almost broke through for a while and the temperature was more than bearable.
There is a price to pay for that spring feeling though; and we are reminded of one of the important components of new life as we trudge downwards through very wet, muddy ground. It’s hard going and I struggle to keep up with spouse, who is more sure footed. The ground underfoot does get much better for the rest of the walk and the views improve as we reach the road to Hassop.
We turn off to walk through Bramley Plantation and here, if you don’t raise your head to the leafless trees, it could be autumn. The leaf mulch underfoot is still crisp and russet coloured. We meet a couple walking in the opposite direction who could easily be ourselves in ten, fifteen or twenty years time. Wouldn’t that be lovely to still be walking here…
It would certainly be no hardship for us to turn and walk back their way. The detour we followed down the Bakewell Road was dangerous, unpleasant and stressful. Still, the route then took us through Birchill Bank Wood. At this point in the walk my legs were starting to go and I found the ascent hard but, when I managed to look around me, this was my favourite part of the walk.