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Castleton Dog Walk Adventure
May 15, 2016
Yesterday we ventured to Castleton for our dog walk. It is somewhere we have been a lot over the years. Its a beautiful village that does have many visitors, and for very good reasons, but still manages to keep its beauty. We have walked up to the top of Mam Tor, looked at the ridge and always promised we'd walk along it. Then we have been to the Secret Valley and again walked so far and promised we'd come back and walk it. So yesterday that is what we did.
We started at the Secret Valley, Cavedale, unsure really on how far we would walk or where it would actually take us. We had plenty of water and food for us, and a large bottle of water, treats for the dogs and of course poo bags. You know there was no poo bins along the way but there was no poo bags left any where and only occasionally did we spot abandoned dog poo! We saw plenty of fellow dog walkers. I'd like to think this is due to the respect and love visitors have for the area.
For the film lovers among you this is where (along this path, not sure on precise location) the scene from The Princess bride, which Wesley rolls down the hill saying 'As You Wish' and Buttercup realises it is her one true love was filmed. Gosh, we love that film. Funny, romantic,lovely, perfect classic. If by some strange reason you haven't watched it, go find it today and enjoy!
It didn't take long to go along this rocky path. We took it carefully with the dogs so we didn't hurt their sensitive paws, and there was a stream running along it so it was great for the dogs to have a paddle and a drink.
There were many animals along the way, mostly sheep and cows. There were walkers who allowed their dogs off lead but we couldn't chance it and wouldn't, especially as Willow had a thing for said cows! It is a very dog friendly route, but to be safe it is advisable to keep dogs on leads. Normally I am a huge advocate of dogs enjoying their freedom, but it always has to be in the right place at the right time, where it is safe for themselves and others, especially farm animals. It didn't matter they stayed on lead though, they got enough freedom sniffing, finding new things, meeting new people and other dogs.
Though we did come across this little lady with a bucket on her head. She was eating the grass just fine and very close to the farm, so we liked to think the bucket was there on purpose due to an illness or injury. It did however cause us and many other walkers some amusement.
We could see Mam Tor properly from here so we crossed the road and headed up to the top. Its a tough but short walk to the top, for me anyway, and I welcomed a chat with various other dog walkers along the way! Letting our doggies meet others, chatting about what kinds of leads we use ie gencon and halti, different ones we use, gave my knees the break they needed.
Its a breathtaking view from the top (for some reason I don't have a photo of this!) what ever the weather is up there. Thankfully today it was a sunny day with a nice breeze. We headed down the other side before turning off the path and back towards Castleton.
This is on the way down. It's steeper than it looks and my knees surprised me with a little wobble! Considering we live in a very hilly area, my knees were not ready to come down Mam Tor! More practice definitely needed!
This is the route we took. It was all breath taking. Surrounded by the Pennines, fresh air, it was busy with visitors of all different nationalities, not just British, but it wasn't crowded at all. And the majority were so polite. I say majority, it was probably 99.9999%. That tiny percentage was owed to a miserable cyclist who clearly thought he had right of way to everywhere and everything! Thankfully his partner behind him was gracious enough to say thank you. It's frustrating because there was so many different kinds of people enjoying the area in all different ways yesterday, and nearly everyone (apart from him) worked together and being polite and kind to each other. I suppose we cant have everything.
We came to the end of the walk, and I think both Lily and Barnacle had the potential to keep going! Mind you they did sleep for the journey home then slept some more when we got back along with the others.