Apedale Country Park was our destination for December’s walk, and yes it was sunny this time.
Why it’s called Apedale? I do not know and although it’s beautifully peaceful now, it’s actually a post industrial landscape. It was a centre for iron smelting for centuries, and then coal mining from the 1790s onwards. There were pit works, railways, tramways, a canal, massive brick chimneys, and even, in the 1980s, a huge hole in the ground for opencast mining. That’s long gone now…
Fourteen of us braved the elements with a variety of experiences including blood, mud and tomato sauce, but more later.
We left the visitor car park and immediately climbed through woodland to meet a wide gravelled path, continuing to climb until we met the sign indicating the woodland and wetland track. This path follows a fence line protecting the walker from the steep valley. Halfway along we had a coffee stop next to an area that is maintained as a bird feeding station by a local resident,the birds didn’t seem to bother and continued to visit whilst we were there; eventually we came to a lake and as Len said he had previously walked the route around the lake before I decided we should follow him.
This excursion will now be known a Len’s obstacle course and quickly became an accident black spot.
The first casualty was Steve who decided to see if barbwire was sharp, it was, several plasters later we continued, Steve having borrowed Peter’s walking pole. The path was quite awkward in places and descending a muddy stretch Peter slipped very gracefully onto the mud, more washing for Jenny, who was herself recovering after walking into a tree.
Eventually we found the main path again and arrived at the *watermill chimney where more plasters were employed.Very soon we were back at the visitor centre where nine of us had our lunch and not to be outdone by the attention seekers Joan dipped her sleeve in the tomato sauce of her baked beans.
It was also observed that Chris and Peter had some sort of strange ritual involving swopping food.
Q.how many chips equals a piece of Bakewell tart (including a cherry).
A. I think it was two.
Surnames have been omitted to protect the afflicted.
*Much discussion went on about the Water Mill Chimney, I can confirm that it was a ventilation chimney from one of the mines.
There will be no walk in January, next walk is in February and will be from Bathpool to Westport Lake more information at the January meeting
Graham (walk leader)