Malhamdale Weekend Away, 14th to 17th September 2018

Sue and Dave organised and led five walks for the Vale of Belvoir Ramblers based at the HF's Newfield Hall, a grand 19th century country house situated in the Aire Valley south of Malham in the Yorkshire Dales. Below you will find photographs taken on the longer walks.

Map of walk area - zoom in and pan for detail

Saturday 15th

Dave led the longer walk from Newfield Hall along the Pennine Way up the Aire Valley to Janet's Foss and Gordale Bridge before climbing up to the high ground below Malham Tarn.  Return was past the water sinks and down Watlowes Valley to Malham Cove and Malham.
Newfield Hall, our HF base

Our route on Saturday and Monday
Airton Mill, originally the site of a corn mill owned by Bolton Abbey

Overlooking Aire Head, the official source of the River Aire,  Malham Cove in the distance

Gordale Beck leading to ...

... Janet's Foss, named after the fairy queen who inhabits a cave at the rear of the waterfall (allegedly)

Tricky descent down Watlowes Valley, also known as the Dry Valley, originally carved out by the glacial overspill from Malham Tarn

Safely down Watlowes Valley but more wet limestone hazards to come

Limestone pavement with the Cove in the background

The base of Malham Cove

Tea-time? at The Buck Inn, Malham
The way back down the Aire - even the herons look wet

Sunday 16th

Sue took charge on this very wet day taking us to Winterburn Reservoir, up the Dales High Way to Hetton Common and Calton Moor, returning along the Aire Valley.

Water above ...

... and below

Winterburn Reservoir
Liquid lunch - but not as you know it
Heading down Calton Moor.

Monday 17th

Today's 8-mile walk took us along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. This 127 mile canal, one of three across the Pennines, reaches a summit level of 148m.  Started 1770, the main line of the canal was completed in 1816.  In its early days it  carried mainly coal and limestone and did not close to freight traffic until 1982.

The walk started in Gargrave, originally the site of a Roman Villa but now more famous as the junction of the canal, the Pennine Way and the A65 trans-Pennine road.

The start in Gargrave

Gargrave Lock

Bridge 169
Bridge 162

Towpath near the double arched bridge at East Marton, only a few metres below the canal's summit level

The end of the road - Gargrave Bridge over the Aire ...

... and the end of the road for Elaine's boot too.

Woolsthorpe and the Grantham Canal, 9th September 2018

Rose led ten VBR members on this lovely six-mile to Casthorpe Bridge along the Viking Way and the River Devon and back to the Dirty Duck at Woolsthorpe Wharf.

Cuckney and Welbeck, 2nd September 2018

Marion's walk today started next to the church in Cuckney and took us near the historic Welbeck Estate to Norton and Church Warsop in the general vicinity of the Rivers Meden and Poulter.
The start at Cuckney Village Hall
St Mary's Church, Norton Cuckney
Cuckney Water Meadows near the River Poulter

Memorial to Lord George Bentinck on Lime Tree Avenue

House made of local magnesian limestone on Welbeck Estate
Pleasant walking in fields and woods

Waves of solar panels
Lunch at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Church Warsop

Displaying routes and tracks on maps, August 2018

Several local group websites provide valuable on-line displays of walk routes which are available to the general public.  Examples include Gedling Ramblers, Derby and South Derbyshire Ramblers and the Vale of Belvoir Ramblers.  To do this, the first two of these use a fairly high level of computing skill but VBR's approach is simply to show the track on top of an OpenStreetMap (OSM) image and import it into a website or blog as you would import a photograph.  This has several advantages: no hyperlinks to third party web-based applications are required, nor a registration or subscription; it allows editors to maintain control of the data in the future; and, as long as you credit OpenStreetMap and its contributors using OSM avoids any copyright issues of the sort that would arise with Ordnance Survey maps.

The starting point for most of our tracks is a .gpx file from a GPS device.  This can be displayed on an OSM map by uploading the file to, for example, the free, off-line application GPS Track Editor which can be downloaded here.  A screen-scan of the track can then be made and stored as a .jpg file for importing to the website.  An example is shown below.

A slightly less simple approach involves inserting a snippet of html into the website using the free, on-line application UMap.  A .gpx file is uploaded, map style chosen and the appropriate html is then created for copying and pasting into the web page html editor.  The end result in an "embedded" interactive map which you can zoom into and out of and pan. 

This is our approach for tracks which have been recorded on GPS devices as .gpx files.  As for routes, that is walks that have been created manually, we plot the walk on a 1:50k or 1:25k maps using OS Maps.  The website editor first creates a route and inserts a suitable hyperlink on the website to the route or track which in this case is hosted by OS.  The disadvantage is that website editor needs a subscription to OS and OS may change their terms and conditions in the future.  The website visitor however does not need to register or subscribe to OS but can only view the route on top of a "standard" OS map; see here for an example.  However, the standard map, like OpenStreetMap, does enable you to zoom in to see details not available on the 1:25k maps such as street names and minor footpaths.

OS Maps has other advantages in that .gpx files can be downloaded as well as uploaded.  However, in our experience, the files are not always transportable to and from some mapping applications.

For more information, feel free to contact the VBR website editor at .

High Peak Trail, Minninglow Hill, Roystone Grange, Long Dale and Gratton Dale, 19th August 2018

The second of this weekend's walks started at the High Peak Trail car park, south of  Pikehall, before winding along the trail to Minninglow Hill and then to Royston Grange, Pikehall, Long Dale, around Gratton Moor and then back via Gratton Dale.

Zoom and pan map for more detail

The start at the High Peak Trail car park, south of  Pikehall

High Peak and Tissington Trails

Impressive embankment built for the High Peak Railway

Ascent on the concessionary footpath from the High Peak Trail to Minninglow Hill

Minninglow Hill, 372m

Neolithic tombs on top of Minninglow

Descent to Roystone Grange, formerly a monastic sheep farm

 This derelict pumphouse near Royston Grange is of 19th century origin and was built to house a large water-cooled engine that pumped compressed air through cast iron pipes to drive the rock drills in the quarries that developed along the Cromford and High Peak Railway line

Entrance to Mouldridge Mine in Long Dale

"We meet to create memories, we part to cherish them".
Sculpture of three standing stones in Long Dale marking boundary of Middleton & Smerrill parishes
This  sculpture is one of seventeen boundary stones marking entrances to the parish of Middleton and Smerrill in the Derbyshire Peak.  It is inscribed with a text chosen by members of the parish as part of the Sites of Meaning  millennium project

The Cheese Factory, Gratton

The Four Shires Bloodhounds - dress code tweeds
Lime kiln in Gratton Dale

On the way back, junction of Gratton Dale and Longdale