Day 1 Buxton to Chapel-en-le-Frith (17.5 miles)
After a pleasant journey by rail from Lowestoft the previous day, changing just twice at Norwich and Stockport (See map on home page), an enjoyable evening and a restful night in Buxton it was time to start my fourth long distance walk, solo in 18 months. My destination the oddly named Chapel-en-le-Frith several miles away. After breakfast in a breakfast room overlooking the prettier parts of Buxton, I left my overnight accommodation at the wonderful Grosvenor House not far from the railway station and close to the attractive opera house and serpentine. Being an early riser I was delighted to have a coffee maker and good strong coffee in my bedroom for an early morning caffeine 'fix'. Nice to see places dispensing with silly plastic portion size milks in favour of refrigerators in bedrooms with a jug of the real stuff.
My accommodation at the end of the day would be at the Old Hall inn a 16th century pub at Whitehough, a pretty high peak district hamlet in a valley between Eccles Pike and Cracken Edge. and not in Chapel-en-le-Frith due to a lack of accommodation there. In what was to become a fairly regular thing as a taxi to and from the trail had been provided, I phoned to arrange the pick up details before setting off.
The weather throughout the day was to be fine, ideal for walking and lovely for enjoying the scenery. The high Peak didn't disappoint with rocky outcrops and undulating scenery.
I was soon out of Buxton and climbing the high peak of Derbyshire. There was many steep climbs and descents through sharp inclines such as in Deepdale (2nd photo).
I've got to say I was happy that the ground was not too slippery on some of those descents which were sharp. I was glad too to have hiking poles
As feared signage was not the best and I managed a few slip ups in navigation once actually travelling for a mile in the wrong direction! Note to self, if the route advises spells on the Pennine bridleway, make sure you are following it the correct way. The days little errors added perhaps three miles to my journey so lesson learnt....well hopefully! My guide book lacking the emotion of a foot sore walker described the problems thus 'as you cross the pasture west of Peak Forest there are few signposts and the route is not always clear'. Oh well at least the weather was fine and at a push I made my rendezvous with the taxi at 4pm and then off for a most pleasant night at the Old Hall inn. I really love ale from 'up north', its always creamier somehow....it must be the water. With the days mistakes I had skipped lunch but still had my trusted 'meal deal' offering from Buxton Sainsburys to devour so had an 'apres ale' dinner in my room which had the bonus of a Nespresso machine.....and after a but of telly so to bed.The pub was set in a lovely spot with hills behind as shown below. My room was glorious