Chaplaincy walk to Over Owler Tor
What an absolutely glorious day it was: a clear blue sky, sunshine, and mild spring temperatures created the perfect morning for a walk. We got off the bus at Grindleford, and walked up the scenic Padley Gorge with its bubbling waters of Burbage Brook. When we emerged from the mixed woodland into the open moorland, we turned left towards Mother Cap. This distinctive big rock formation had served as a road marker way back in the days of transport with pack horse convoys (there could be as many as 70 horses in a convoy). Today, it is used by fearless free climbers, and it was fascinating for us to watch the climbers edging upwards, while their friends hurried to get the piles of safety mats into position, and secure them when they fell off the rock. We continued uphill until we reached Over Owler Tor, with its stunning 360° view. An excellent place for a picnic, and a little snooze in the sunshine!
From then it was downhill all the way: we descended into the Grey Millstone Quarries, and watched the fully kitted out climbers scaling the vertical rock faces. Not a sport for the faint hearted! The next stop on our descent was Bolehill Quarry, where stacks of moss-covered millstones still seem to be waiting for collection. In a quarry pond we discovered loads of bright blue moor frogs, calling with their funny ‘waug…waug…waug’ sound. Continuing through a very Scandinavian-looking white birch forest, we finally arrived at our last highlight: the remains of a 14th century manor house (‘Padley Manor’). We searched for the traces of staircases and courtyards, and heard the gruesome story of the ‘Padley Martyrs’. A stroll along the River Derwent brought us back to the bus stop in Grindleford.
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