Monday, 5 March 2012

A spring weekend in Derbyshire

We had a lovely couple of days this weekend staying with family in Derbyshire. Travelling over to Chesterfield on the Friday evening, it takes us about two and a quarter hours via Knutsford, Macclesfield, The Cat and Fiddle Pass, Buxton and Bakewell.

The weather was quite misty but we got plenty of nice views as the last of the evening light disappeared. We had no idea that this would not be how it looked on our way home!

On the Saturday we went for a walk in Staveley (where we found a doggy day-care centre called 'House of Waggles'!) and then along the Chesterfield canal on the Trans-Pennine trail next to the Canal Basin at Mill Green.

Built in 1771 by the Chesterfield Canal Company, the canal gave Derbyshire an outlet to the River Trent. The working boats were horse-drawn carrying coal, stone, bricks and agricultural produce. This continued until the 1840s when the arrival of road and rail transport brought about the start of a gradual decline in the use of the waterway system. The collapse of a tunnel in 1907 meant that the Derbyshire section of the Chesterfield Canal was suddenly isolated and this then led to dereliction.

By 1950s there were hardly any working boats left in the UK but a rise in interest in the canal waterways by the leisure and holiday industry in the 1960s gradually led to multi-million pound restoration schemes by the 1990s, and in 2002 the stretch from Chesterfield to Mill Green was reopened.   

There is a growing wildlife popluation with new planting and we had an excellent walk along somewhere that at one time, despite all it's history, was in much need of rejuvenation - so nice to see.

Spring had certainly sprung this weekend. Everything was either covered in buds or just bursting into leaf and there were several different kinds of willow as well as hawthorn and bullrushes.

The weather started to change just as we decided to head back and although the rain didn't get anywhere near us we were in the right place to see a huge rainbow.

You do wonder how this original bridge at Mill Green stays put though (even with it's additional metal support underneath!) when you look at the angle of some of those stones.

On our walk back to the canal basin the dark clouds soon cleared leaving us with beautiful blue skies..............

........and some lovely snowdrops! 

:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

The journey home on Sunday was a different matter, but no less picturesque.

Setting off at lunchtime, the rainy weather very soon turned to sleet and by the time we reached the start of the Cat and Fiddle Pass at Buxton, the hillsides and moorland were covered in snow.

How much can a landscape change? So different from Friday, now in shades of white and grey - even more bleak but just as beautiful.

We had an excellent and relaxing weekend. Back to the grindstone now but so nice to spend a couple of days with family, out in the fresh air in the Derbyshire countryside.


  1. Beautiful atmospheric pics - spring and winter side by side. I love the pussy willow!

  2. A PS to my comment on Tuesday. Gillian at tales from a happy house "tagged" me yesterday. I have posted a tagging post (as per the instructions) and "tagged" you in turn. I hope you don't mind. If it's not your thing, feel free to ignore. Not sure about the etiquette of these things.

    E x

    1. ......i am going to try and think of 11 random things about me whilst I sip my tea on the train into work in the morning!!!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. It is great to get feedback!