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A WALK WITHOUT NELLIE! ~ BAMFORD ~ by Sally Mosley

This is not intended as a walk guide



With Nellie at the vets for the day, I decided upon a challenge walk to occupy my mind. I parked at Heatherdene car park beside Ladybower and made my way toward the dam wall. However, instead of going down the steps I followed a path through woodland following the black arrow signs indicating the way to Access Land. It was dark, cool and mysterious beneath the trees. After a wall stile the well-walked way ascended, at times passing wizened corkscrew oaks then a band of bracken, before finally leading me to the top of Bamford Edge.

The views down to Ladybower were simply ‘wow’ but I could also view up and down the Upper Derwent Valley and across to Win Hill opposite which with its pimple summit looked like an extinct volcano. All that was missing from my magical few moments was a fly-past by some Second World War aeroplane.

Turning right I made my way along the Edge, passing character rocks and jutting buttresses. Popular with climbers, some of these have names including The Pillbox, Grapefruit Moon and A Bitter Pill to Swallow. I then carefully descended the stone strewn path to New Road and proceeded down Bamford Clough where Leeside Road is said to be one of the steepest in the country and didn’t my knees know it! Closed to traffic until 2025, the road appears to have been resurfaced with non-slip tarmac which made the descent much easier. However, I wouldn’t want to go down there when it’s icy!

A right at the bottom along Taggs Knoll led me to the Rest Café where I took it at its name and sat for a while at an outdoor table for an al fresco lunch of tongue tingling Korean buttermilk chicken sandwich washed down with half a shandy from the Anglers pub alongside and through the swinging door. This inspirational business is a community owned café, post office, pub and hub.

Refreshed and replenished I continued on, heading down through Bamford village past Fidlers Well before turning down The Hollow which is a lovely little backwater leading down to Bamford Mill. The first mill on this site was built in 1782 for grinding corn, but it was destroyed by fire in 1791. It was replaced by a cotton spinning mill that operated using water power from the river. Bamford Mill was owned by Courtaulds when it closed in July 1965 with the loss of 120 jobs. In the 1990s the premises were converted into high class apartments and residential accommodation.

I crossed over the river using a series of stepping stones, some dislodged during storms a while back but replaced by planks. Alongside was what must surely be one of the longest and most beautiful weirs in the county, like a valance or pelmet of trickling water. Stones used in its construction were said to have been brought here from Bamford Edge.

A wander through riverside meadows followed, where newly cut and sweet smelling hay still lay in geometric swathes.

Now I was on the up again, following a succession of footpaths to Thornhill. Verges alongside were bursting with wild flowers including blue eyed speedwell, giant mullein and fragrant honeysuckle.

A right along Town Head Lane then became a path through trees and a Nature Reserve leading up to Thornhill Carrs with occasional snapshot views over to Bamford Edge. Was I really up there only a short time ago?

After a long uphill I came to a wide grassy path with views toward the distant viaduct at the traffic light junction. My finale and end to what had been a fabulous walk was not down the exceedingly steep Parkin Clough, but a gradual descent down woodland paths, emerging by the dam wall and iconic plug holes.


FOOTNOTE BY NELLIE:

I wasn’t happy with Mum last week. She took me to the place that smells of disinfectant where the humans are really friendly and nice but then stick pins in me. When I wasn’t looking she sneaked off and left me. I was hungry but they wouldn’t give me any food or treats and then the weirdest thing happened because I fell fast asleep.

I woke up all woozy and uncomfortable because I wasn’t at home in my princess bed and I had a little grumble but nobody took any notice. I felt like saying ‘do you know who I am?’

Just as I was getting a bit woofy Mum appeared to take me home. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough! I wasn’t very nice to Mum because she had abandoned me but I gave Dad oodles of kisses and big snuggles when I got home.

Anyway, the upshot of it all is that I’ve got a bit of a poorly leg and have been told no running, no pulling on the lead, no spinning and no chasing balls for a couple of weeks. Well that’s going to be a bit boring isn’t it? With love from hop, skip but no jumps Nellie xx



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