Peak Meet; Parkhouse Hill & Chrome Hill

Some of you, who regularly read my blogs, will know I’m relatively active on Twitter. Through Twitter, I’ve come to know quite a few folk, from varying backgrounds, all interesting in their own unique way.

August Bank Holiday, 2011, saw the first Twitter Peak District meet, at Monsal Head in the Peak District, known on Twitter as the #MonsalMeet.

This meet was set up to initially to celebrate the Peak Districts 60th Anniversary, by a fellow blogger and outdoor gear tester, Terrybnd and also Dave Mycroft from My Outdoors UK.

The idea was for a chilled weekend, socialising with others and to take a wander through the local hills and Dales, along with guest appearance from Terra Nova, Chocolate Fish Merino and Webtogs, and showing off their wares.

With that being a successful first time gathering of like-minded people, Terry, along with Dave, organised a second meet up, this time, camping at a small village called Crowdecote.

This year’s Bank Holiday meet, at Bridge End Farm, Crowdecote, was along the same line, but not celebrating any anniversary, well, none that I was aware of anyway.

Unfortunately, we only had Terra Nova show off their tents this year, but that didn’t dampen the weekend. I will say, some lovely tents were on display,

Many of us arrived on the Friday, pitching our tents at various times and varying amount of light, or darkness. As the evening progressed, we all introduced ourselves to each other, some old faces and some new.

Tent pitching in the dark!

It didn’t take too long, once everyone that was arriving on the Friday had pitched and organised themselves, before we took an amble to the village pub, the Pack Horse Inn.

It was almost a takeover bid, we virtually filled the pub.

Among the chat and banter, we got to know each other well and started to discuss where we were going to walk the following day.


Inside The Pack Horse Inn, Crowdecote



Parkhouse Hill and Chrome Hill seemed quite high on the agenda, a walk that Terry had done earlier this year, plus it was in nice walking distance from the campsite.

Eventually closing time arrived and we had to depart from the friendly hostelry and take a short wander back to our campsite.

Some of us headed for bed, while others continued the socialising well in to the early hours!

I think some found the apple juice (a fondly used definition for cider), was possibly a little more potent than it appeared….

I would like to convey, this was in no way a boozy weekend.

Still, all was nice and friendly and calm and me personally, I wasn’t disturbed once I’d gone to bed. But then, I had been up since 04:00am, starting arriving at work for 06:00am!

Saturday morning arrived; I managed to get a lie in! A rarity for me, even at weekends….

The last of our campers, Lee, arrived on the Saturday morning, pitched and his tent.

The general chat from last night continued, talking of our exploits over time, where we came from, our tents, gear and other things that backpackers and hikers generally share with each other.

I mustn’t forget, Terra Nova, we had a good look at the fine tents on display, spoke with the rep, whose name escapes me.
Our campsite
For those of you old enough to remember the old heavy canvas tents of days gone by, it’s amazing how things have moved on since then, in materials, design and weight to name a few.
 
Oh, and our intended walk for the day was confirmed, Parkhouse Hill and Chrome Hill.
 
The morning was moving on, fast, we were so chilled out; we never started walking until close on 11:00!
 
But hey, that’s what the weekend was all about, chilled, relaxed and fun.
 
Now I had decided this was an ideal time to downsize my rucksack, something I’d been considering for a long time, but never successfully done.
 
My trusty Deuter 45+ Guide was given time off for good behaviour and my Vaude 25 litre pack, bought for when I’m cycling, was used.
 
I nearly managed to get everything I needed in, apart from my coat, which was strapped to the rucksack in the end.
 
Crowdecote
 
Parkhouse Hill and Chrome Hill, from Crowdecote
 
The weather was superb, sunny, hot, dry, what more could you want, along with great company and superb scenery.
 
We departed the campsite and headed in to Crowdecote, following the lane in a north westerly direction, for Earl Sterndale.
 
As we entered Earl Sterndale, we had to take the footpath through the village pub, called the Quiet Woman.
The Quiet Woman, Earl Sterndale
 
Needless to say, various comments were passed amongst ourselves regarding the pub name. I’ll keep the remarks made amongst the merry hikers, with the merry hikers….
 
Now, if like me, and the rest of us, we were genuinely curious as to why or how the pub got its name?
 
Well, I found the following on the internet;
The pub is reputed to be over 400 years old and was in the occupation of the Heathcote family for over 300 years. The pub name is unusual with only two others in the country. It is said to refer to a too talkative woman who was decapitated as a consequence.
 
Hmmm, nuff said there I think…..
 
Back to the walk.
 
We walked through Glutton Dale, crossed the road and headed for Parkhouse Hill.
 
Glutton Dale
 
 
For some people, hills are nothing but a mere mole hill in their desire to get some proper mountain climbing in. Do not be fooled in to believing that, there are a great many hills can be more challenging than some mountains!
Parkhouse Hill from Glutton Dale

Chrome Hill from Glutton Dale
First impression from the south east, it looks like any normal steep hill. It has a grassy slope to ascend towards the summit.
Parkhouse Hill ascent
Approach to the summit of Parkhouse Hill through a nettle lined path
Parkhouse Hill Summit

 
But fear not, this is no push over of a hill, it holds a nasty surprise if you continue to traverse it!
 
We made the ascent, boy, it was hot, wrestled with nettles along the ridge towards the summit, where we stopped to take in the views and have a quick breather, before tackling our descent.
 
Tackle was no understatement.

Looking down our descent route
The start of our descent from Parkhouse Hill


It was a very steep descent with a narrow pathway and quite steep sides dropping away!
 
Not for the faint hearted….
 
Once down to the ground level, we took a moment to look back at the seemingly small hill with a big challenge to ascend and descend.

Looking back to the narrow spine that was our descent off Parkhouse Hill!
 
From there, we headed off in a north westerly direction for nearby Chrome Hill. Though again, another steep ascent, it wasn’t as steep as Parkhouse Hill.

Chrome Hill






Once at the summit, we stopped for lunch, and again, taking in the views, particularly of the rain clouds heading our way from the North West!
 
A sharp shower descended on us, just as we were finishing lunch, so it was waterproofs on.

Lunch on Chrome Hill summit
 
 
We discussed our various options, whether to carry on or return. The general consensus was to return back to the campsite. However, do we back track up Parkhouse Hill or circumnavigate it?
 
We all agreed it was better to circumnavigate Parkhouse Hill.
 
By the time we had descended Chrome Hill, the shower had subsided.
 
We circumnavigated Parkhouse Hill to Glutton Bridge, through Underhill Farm, where our route was blocked by a herd of cows.
 
Fear not, these were not out to cause menace, they were just waiting for the farmer to let them in to the farm for milking time.
 
Now, generally, cows don’t really want to be milked, they only want the food they will be getting, while the farmer gets the milk.
 
The farmer feeds the cows while they’re in the milking parlour (or byre on older farms) and while they’re eating, the farmer gets the milk. Simple.
 
Anyway, one member of our group manages to gently move the cows away from the gate and we then walk through calmly and relaxed.
 
We continued along the footpath, crossed the farm drive and re-joined the lane in to Crowdecote.
 
Now on this part of the walk, there is a quite a serious problem, especially at the time of day we arrived, sometime around 4:00pm.


The Pack Horse Inn, Crowdecote, provided vital refreshment for us
 
 
The Pack Horse Inn as open for business as usual!
 
Needless to say, vital refreshments were obtained and consumed…..
 
Back at the campsite, we off loaded our packs and days walking kit, ready to get lunch.
 
Some cooked their own meal, a couple drove in to Buxton to a chippy. I, along with a couple of others, savoured the menu at the Pack Horse Inn.
 
I enjoyed the “Pride of the Peaks sausages, creamy mash, caramelised onion gravy” with a vegetable side order.
 
It was not long before we all met in the pub again, to discuss the usual. The days walk, previous and intended walks among many other of the normal pub type chat.
 
Once again, after the pub had closed, we returned to the campsite, again, some of us socialising before bed in Dave’s big tent, sampling some more of the apple juice.
 
As with all good things, they have to come to an end.
 
For many of us, it was the great packing up for home, while the rest managed to squeeze another day’s walk in,
 
Me, I had to be back at work on Monday morning, so it was the great pack up, dodging the rain drops.
 
Yes, the heavens decided to dump on us mid-morning. Luckily for me, it was just my tent that was waiting to be packed away.
 
It was another fantastic weekend, great company, meeting old friends and new, super campsite even though it was a little basic.
 
Now when I say basic, what I mean is you don’t get all the facilities of glamping. There was a toilet with an outside wash basin, which was fine in my book.
 
Back home, tent dry, all my kit cleaned and ready for the next outing, sometime very soon, I hope.
 
Finally, happy rambling and thank you for reading,
Peak Rambler
 
 
The Pack Horse Inn, Crowdecote;
http://thepack-horseinn.co.uk/

10 comments:

  1. Sounds great!

    There's a quiet woman in my local town. I knew the origins of the name but was surprised about how few are named that... it seems odd I'm sure I've seen several pubs of that name, maybe they're all in/around the Peak District!

    My grandparents lived in this area so I spent a lot of time around there and still love a walk up those hills :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a great weekend.

      There could be more than three, as stated from the website. However, subsequent searches didn't offer any different figures.

      The interesting thing was, when I typed in to Google the pub name, that was top of the list!

      That's not an area of the White Peak I've really ventured in before, so it was a very pleasant change of area, but still the good old White Peak.

      My Grandfather on my mother's side, came from Darley Dale, then moved to Manchester before moving down to the Midlands during the late 1940's

      Thank you for taking the time to read and pass an interesting comment.

      Delete
  2. Sounds a great, sociable meet up - nothing like the great outdoors to get everyone chatting happily. I must say I'd be a very "Quiet Woman" passing that pub now I know what the punishment is! I'd be silent, in fact! Very brave to pass the cows - you know the trouble I have with them - they just take an instant dislike! Now, why is that I wonder...?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, [tongue in cheek] cows are lovely animals....

      As for the Quiet Woman, well, its very interesting how some places get their names.

      Thank you Karen for reading and posting a comment.

      Delete
  3. Nice write up Mike. Was good to see ya again mate :) Some nice pics too. Hopefully, folk will see why I frequent the area as often as I can :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Terry. It was good to meet up with you again as well, along with a few other faces.

      As you rightly say, there are lots of lovely places in the Peak District, both Dark and White.

      Delete
  4. Sounds like a great weekend, good pubs, tents, convivial company and good walking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a very good weekend and I'm looking forward to the next one.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      Delete
  5. A very interesting write-up of a part of the Peak District I haven't visited yet...it's pretty much impossible to get there on public transport from Sheffield.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to confess, that was my first visit to that part of the White Peak, and it was a very enjoyable walk.

      I don't live local, so I can't help you with public transport solutions.

      You may already have seen the Transport Direct website,it does suggest you can get to Crowdecote by public transport from Sheffield.

      Though it appears to be approximately a 2½ hour journey!

      Copy and paste the link below in to your browser;
      http://www.transportdirect.info/Web2/Home.aspx

      Thank you for reading and taking leaving a comment.

      Delete