An industrial site in a place of beauty!

A cement factory might be an unexpected thing to write about in a countryside blog, but if you have ever been walking in the Hope Valley area of the Peak District, you will have seen the Lafarge cement works which forms a dominant feature in the landscape. The factory is visible from the whole of ‘The Great Ridge’ – one of the most popular walks in the Dark Peak. The initial reaction that most people have when seeing it for the first time is ‘what an eyesore in a beautiful valley’. Admittedly it is a bit ugly, but there is a lot … Continue reading An industrial site in a place of beauty!

The wonders of Lathkill Dale after heavy rain

Lathkill Dale is a very beautiful and fascinating place for many reasons.  Its geological history is outstanding.  It is home to an abundance of wild flowers.  What interested us the most however on our guided Nature Walk yesterday was the River Lathkill itself. The River Lathkill rises in different places throughout the year depening upon where the water table lies.  After prolonged periods of heavy rain, usually in the winter it flows gently out of a cave called Lathkill Head Cave which is towards the western end of the dale.  In recent years however the point where it has risen has tended to be much further to the … Continue reading The wonders of Lathkill Dale after heavy rain

Britain’s biggest natural hole!

We are just back from our first ever long weekend of guided walks in the Yorkshire Dales.  Our aim was to climb the three highest mountains in Yorkshire over three consecutive days, taking it slowly to allow time to enjoy the views and look at points of interest along the route. Yesterday following our descent from Pen-y-Ghent, we passed Hull Pot.  A collapsed cave which now forms a hole in the ground approx 60 feet wide, 60 feet deep and 300 feet long.  It is rumoured to be Britain’s biggest natural hole.  A stream enters the hole part way down creating a … Continue reading Britain’s biggest natural hole!

High Tor, Matlock Bath

High Tor is a great limestone outcrop which towers almost 400 feet about the river Derwent between Matlock and Matlock Bath.  The limestone was formed about 325 – 350 million years ago when the area was at the bottom of a shallow tropical sea. Over millions of years, limey muds and the shells and skeletons of tiny sea creatures settled on the bottom and formed a thick layer of limestone.  Large areas of limestone such as High Tor have been pushed upwards by land movements and further shaped by glacial meltwaters at the end of the last ice age. You can walk up … Continue reading High Tor, Matlock Bath

Caves in the White Peak

On Friday whilst walking down beautiful Wolfscote Dale and Biggin Dale I couldn’t resist the temptation to explore some caves on the side of the valley that looked rather inviting. The White Peak, limestone area of the Peak District has numerous caves systems, many of which were carved out thousands of years ago by underground rivers forcing their way through, and eroding the soft limestone rock. The first that I explored was at the entrance to Wolfscote Dale.  It was a bit of a scramble to get into it.  The limestone at the entrance was polished to a smooth sheen from the hands and feet … Continue reading Caves in the White Peak