A hot day in summer with only two people on the walk can mean only one thing, yes Neville and Paul were the only people brave/stupid (delete as appropriate) enough to travel to the Peak District to enjoy visiting 5 of the lesser–known dales.
After finding a suitably shady spot in the car park our heroes started off down Tideswell Dale before enjoying the shade of Miller's Dale. We were slightly surprised at one point when the river went from being very wide to non–existent and back again in a matter of a couple of hundred yards! After reaching Cressbrook Mill, where extensive marine engineering works were taking place (sorry Alan, I forgot to take photos so you can't see what they're up to!), we continued into Cressbrook Dale and, amazingly, stayed in the shade. Continuing our good fortune, Paul managed to find the lower path by accident so we avoided a steep climb in the sun.
We stopped for coffee in Tansley Dale having ticked off 4 of the 5 dales in less than 2 hours, at this rate we'd be finished by lunch! The next few miles took us over the top of the hills where a pleasant breeze helped to keep us cool. Entering Monk's Dale we were back in the shade but the narrowness and rockiness of the dale meant it was not the nicest walking we have done and we were grateful to reach the end.
A slight navigational error by Paul meant that we joined the Monsal Trail a bit earlier than we'd intended and had to cross a bridge that was a little higher than either of us was entirely comfortable with. Leaving the Trail we retraced our steps up Tideswell Dale that had miraculously become steeper than when we came down it in the morning!
After returning to the car the traditional end of walk drink was taken at the Horse and Jockey in Tideswell.
Report – Paul
Pictures by Paul