Thursday, 14 May 2015

Lantern Pike

The next morning greeted us with torrential rains and howling winds.  After a breakfast and a chat with fellow walkers, we headed back upstairs and drank tea in bed and read books and chatted until the sun suddenly came out around 11.  That's probably the laziest morning we've ever had on the trail.

We decided to do a short hike into Hayfield via Lantern Pike, and decide from there where to go depending on the weather, as this break in the forecast was totally unexpected.  We were talking about taking the train into Manchester just to have some museums or indoor things to do, but the sun got us back in our boots and out the door.

The climb up Lantern Pike was peaceful and lush.  On the other side of the valley, we could see the cloud cover still storming away over Kinderscout and we stayed at the peak for a bit to wait for it to clear.  You could just make out the shooting cabin that marks the otherwise featureless moors.  This is not a good day to be on top of Kinderscout!  You wouldn't see a thing.

Finally, more sun, and the colors started to pop as the wind whipped the clouds past.

We met a nice family out for a walk with sons and dogs- this was their local hike- and they gave us some advice regarding local haunts and trails.  They had been from London but moved up here to telecommute and live a much more peaceful life.

It was an interesting area.  Sandwiched between major cities (you could see Manchester and Liverpool from the top of Lantern Pike) but kind of isolated.  This area is also shaking an industrial past and the walk down the Pike into Hayfield along a former rail line we passed a few derelict factories.  

Ahh, finally, a bit of sun on Kinderscout.

I love the subtle colors of the moors.  The heather is starting to bud, giving the hills a purple tinge.  In high summer, the ground will be awash in purple.

We made our way into Hayfield and waited out a fairly epic thunderstorm in a pub.

The rooftops shining with wet and sun, we decided to go up the Snake Trail up to the shooting lodge.  Despite the heavy rain, it looked like it was clearing.

The weather up here is quite wild.  The Peaks have a reputation for sponging up a great deal more rain than the rest of the country.

The bonus of all this wicked weather we ended up being the only people on the moors.

It was lonely and lovely.  After yesterdays traffic jam on Jacob's Ladder, it was a nice surprise to be out alone.  Plus, the Snake trail is historic.  The mass trespass that lead to Kinderscout being open country began on this trail.

We ended up enjoying our walk so much, we took a longer loop back to the pub.

For a lazy rainy day, we ended up doing 8 miles, stopping at pubs and having a leisurely stroll.

Song thrush
I'm a little in love with the Peak District now.

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