Day One, Ladybower to Edale
Saturday 13th October 2018.
Meeting point – Ladybower Inn, Peak District. We jumped out of the car and rushed to the toilets after our 2 hour drive up to our destination. Once emptied, we filled ourselves back up with tea and squash and welcomed Uncle Pip off the bus. The kids played around with the beer mats while myself, my husband, and my mother looked at the route and finalised a few points. The men will take a car to the campsite and come back up to meet us women and kids for breakfast. Perfect.
We gathered all our belongings and waterproofed ourselves up for the first day of our challenge. In our bags, we carried lunch, water, blankets, spare clothes and a sleeping bag for ‘just in case’. We also had torches, a first aid kit, camera and phone charging equipment. The kids had a bag each with their waterproofs, a packed lunch and water bottles. We donned our poles and set off to find a café suitable for hungry walkers.
We departed from Ladybower Inn, walked around the reservoir and down towards Yorkshire bridge where there was thought to be a little roadside café. Of course, we could not find it. The men eventually met us at the side of the road and told us to walk 5 minutes down towards Bamford where they’d seen an eatery of some description. 5 minutes? It was another mile! We’d already walked 3 miles before we’d even ventured anywhere.
After a hearty breakfast at the Anglers Rest we formally started our hike. We headed back up towards Ladybower Reservoir and on to Win Hill. Where we promptly walked round in circles 3 times before giving up on the route we were on and opening up the Ordnance Survey maps app to guide us in the right direction. As I’d already purchased the correct area map and downloaded it onto my phone, it was a godsend to have a good navigational guide.
The wind started picking up as Storm Callum had made his way to us and threatened to whip us off our feet. In fact, he made good on his promise half way up Win Hill and gathered Finley up, spun him around and dropped him forcefully on to the path. Thankfully he got away with just a grazed head and a bruised ego. I got a little worried at this point, the enormity of the days ahead lying on my shoulders, and I was already stressing at how I’d gotten us lost less than half a day in. I had planned this, and people were relying on me to know what I was doing and to keep them safe.
Luckily, the kids have hard heads so all was right with the world as we made our way over the other side of Win Hill, unfortunately having to miss the trig as it was just too windy to be up in the open with no barricades of any sort. Molly would have surely been blown up like a little ginger Mary Poppins!
We stopped for lunch on our trusty Mr Bigs blanket, perfect for stormy hikes as it pegs down on the corners, and held on to our packets for dear life. If the fig rolls blew away, we would have a riot on our hands. After 20 minutes rest and recouperation, we headed down towards Edale Road to find our campsite. We found some marvellous things along the way, there was a train track bridge to run and shout under, conkers to pick up and throw around to see who was the strongest conker thrower! We saw a horse and funny mirrors and even a few cows who came to say hello at our pit stop.
The kids were growing weary now, Edale Road is actually 4 miles to our campsite so it felt like a hard slog to get there. Eventually we made it and we popped up our tents in record timing. Although it was dark, we pitched up along a little river at the back of Fieldhead Campsite across from which we could see Kinder Scout. It was peaceful and secluded, shrouded from the worst of the weather.
We changed our socks and headed to the Ramblers Rest, a very appropriately named and beautiful little pub, where the kids and a sudden burst of energy and certainly put off Uncle Pip ever having children. The kids put as much food in as they could manage, growing tired and sluggish with full tummies. I could see they would succumb to the warmth of the fire soon enough, so we wrapped it up and went back to the tents to settle for the night.
Our 4 man tent was roomy enough for all of us. I think our bags could have stayed in the car to give us more stretching room, but to be honest, we were too tired to care. We had done 14 miles overall, with the to-ing and fro-ing of the morning calamities and we were glad for a chance to rest our heads.
Thankful for ending our first day in one piece, we slept in relative peace, aside from a snorer in a nearby tent. Who knew they weren’t soundproof?!
Day 2, to be continued.