Mining a rich seam of history on scenic Wye valley ramble
ELEVEN members of the East Cheshire Ramblers recently completed a 10 miles circular walk from Ashford-in-the-Water near Bakewell.
The day was bright and mild and the usual waterproofs for once weren’t required.
After a steady climb with a brief stop to admire the amazing views over the Wye valley, the group reached the remains of the Magpie Mine just outside Sheldon.
This was once one of the most famous lead mines in the Peak District and was operational until the 1950s.
The surface remains are probably the best example in the UK of a 19th century lead mine. The surrounding spoil heaps are now reclaimed by nature and provide a wonderful habitat for cowslips, mountain pansies and other lead tolerant plants that were in full bloom when visited. The walk continued across fields and farm tracks, where the Ramblers were treated to the rare sight of a curlew perched on a dry stone wall, down into Lathkill Dale, a National Nature Reserve, which at this time of year is a riot of wildflowers, butterflies and birdsong.
Following a leisurely picnic lunch in the pretty Derbyshire village of Over Haddon, the Ramblers continued towards the thriving market town of Bakewell, where the group stopped and treated themselves to a well earned ice-cream.
The town has many historic buildings and the parish church dates from Saxon times.
A fine 13th century five arched bridge spans the river Wye just east of the town centre.
A leisurely walk then followed along the banks of the beautiful River Wye back to the car park. For more details of East Cheshire Ramblers’ programme of weekend and midweek walks ranging from four to 15 miles in length, go to ramblerseastcheshire.org. uk.
Remains of the Magpie Mine, visited on this walk