Day 12 Waterfall to Upper Hulme (12 miles)
The days walk was to Upper Hulme, the Timster was a happy boy as there was a cafetiere and plenty of coffee in his room for the early riser. After a nice breakfast it was time to return to Waterfall from 'The Colourmill' a former dyeing works in nearby Winkhill. So thanking my host for a lift back I duly set off. The route descended down to a pretty brook past a picturesque village church. (1st photo).
I expected to arrive at my next stay in a very isolated location quite early and knowing the only pub nearby had been closed for refurbishment, I took a pack up for a lunch cum evening meal later. The route climbed a little to join the Hamps way which I stayed on for about a mile and a half until the pretty hamlet of Ford on a potentially muddy riverside route. Fortunately the ground although soft in places was not prone to forcing what I call the 'Pennine way jig' By way of an explanation on that walk I spent long periods jumping like a demented frog between clumps of sedge grass to keep the water out of my boots. On this section though the boots remained dry even when passing through potentially muddy farm yards. The early route was through lush gentle hills with plenty of our wooly bretheren, a few fields of Bovine folk and even one field with baying donkeys that were audible for miles. The early morning sun became subdued by cloud and as the route climbed the easterly wind was bitingly cold beyond tiny Onecot hamlet.Somehow I managed to miss a turn and had to recalculate my route by map and compass. As the route north reached over 1500 feet I had a look at a toposcope of the surrounding landmarks that included across the valley Hen cloud a fierce looking rocky outcrop that was the location of the cottage, I was to stay in later. There were still though some miles to walk but I was glad to begin a less cold westerly descent from near the former Mermaid pub, now a self catering place.
The Mermaid situated as it was over 1500 feet in splendid isolation would have certainly been among the highest pubs in Britain. I mused how I would have loved to have drunk there and hear the stories of people being cut off when snow fell. You might gather I have a thing about high pubs and have been to Britains top three the wonderful Tan Hill near Keld being number 1. As I came down the valley and across the A53 I climbed to Upper Hulme leaving the trail to head for the Hen Cloud cottage. I had a lovely garden room overlooking scenery, as shown in the last photo from my bedroom window.
The location was as isolated as expected so I happily had the packed up food I got at the Colourmill, had a hot drink and settled down for a quiet and restful Sunday evening, my last of two Sundays on the Boundary walk.