Sub-zero temperatures have arrived again here in the High Peak! I find this a lovely time to go walking on the hills and moorlands surrounding us here in Derbyshire. A couple of weeks ago I walked along the towpath from Whaley Bridge canal basin to New Mills. Along the way I passed many narrowboats decorated with traditional paintings and laden with logs to keep the occupants warm this winter. Wisps of woodsmoke drifted through the bare trees that line the canal towpath.
When we reached New Mills I crossed the main road heading for Torr Vale Mill and the Millenium walkway, only to discover that the bridge was closed. A quick diversion down Wirksworth Road and I accessed the Torrs from the opposite side. Walking at a good pace I made my way to Birch Vale along the Sett Valley Trail accompanied by robins and blackbirds foraging for berries or other tasty morsels. Leaving the trail there I crossed over and started the long uphill stretch up to Chinley Churn via Morland Road (yes, I wonder why it is spelt like that?).
Onwards and upwards along the bridleway, following ancient paths trodden for many generations by people and packhorses. The freezing conditions meant that the ground was frozen, making conditions underfoot more manageable than they have been of late due to the excessive amount of water, previously rendering walking over fields and moors very difficult. Looking out across the moors, I was delighted to get clear views of Kinder and South Head. Overhead a raven called as it soared in the clear blue sky.