Hayfield – Rowarth – Cown Edge – Monks Road – Matley Moor – Little Hayfield – Hayfield
Setting off this afternoon, I suddenly realised that this would be the first time since February that I’d gone past ‘the spot’ where I broke my ankle. What a difference though in conditions today, compared to then!
I was walking with friends Kim and Hamish, and their dog Daisy. Dixie stayed at home. These days, I find that I have to be a little choosy about what I do with her, and she’s been looking tired all week. She does very well mind for a dog that’s the equivalent of 77 years old in doggy years…
The start of the walk took us out of Hayfield up the road known as The Sitch, with grand views back towards the village.
This quiet road is followed for about 3/4 mile before picking up a track off to the right which takes you down to Rowarth.
Curving round the back of Lantern Pike, this is a very popular route for mountain bikers, so you do have to keep you wits about you, especially where it drops more steeply towards the village!
Half a mile further, and we came to the spot where I’d broken my ankle.
Looks very undramatic doesn’t it? You have to remember that on that fateful day though, there was a thick layer of sheet ice, hidden by about 6 inches of snow. And as it happens, it was Hamish and Kim who came to my rescue after the event. Geoff had helped me hop back up the hill for about 50 yards, to a point where they could get in with their 4×4 and pick me up!
Anyway, back to today. A bit further down the track and we got a good view over to Cown Edge.
Before climbing onto the edge though, we had to go through Rowarth. I always call it a village, but apparently it is officially classed as a hamlet. Many years ago it used to have a Post Office, but not any more. It does tend to be well visited however, because of a particular pub – ‘The Little Mill Inn’ – which not only has a large waterwheel in the stream next to the buildings but also a retired Brighton Belle Pullman railway coach which is used as guest accommodation. Sorry, was talking too much and forgot to take any photos of these…
Did take a photo of some very cute little piglets though
and also managed to snap Daisy when she decided to actually stay still for a few milliseconds.
Climbing up out of Rowarth and onto the Edge, the views started to open out.
Manchester and Marple could clearly be seen to the west, with a very moody Kinder off to the east.
Cown Edge is on the very western boundary of the Peak District and does have a bit of history attached to it. Back in about the year 80 AD, it was the site of a big battle between the Romans and the local people known as the Brigantines. The Brigantines not only lost, but were totally massacred and it is said that on certain moonlit nights they can still be clearly seen, marshalling on the battlefield ‘…waving in phantom hands their phantom axes…’ Not seen them myself, but many apparently have…
The whole edge is a couple of miles long, but at about the half-way point we picked up another track and dropped off down to the right in the direction of Monks Road. Just before reaching this road, we turned right again and made our way across to Matley Moor.
We were all bit peckish by now, so found a sheltered spot for a snack, in a hollow on Matley Moor. The wind was suprisingly cold on uncovered fingers – a total contrast to last Saturday’s heat!
Hunger pangs satisfied, we continued over the moor and then on down another track towards Carr Meadow, passing yet more pigs on the way.
The final couple of miles back to Hayfield were through fields and a small plantation known as Hey Wood. Here, we were amazed to come across a huge tree which had obviously come down recently.
And so, 20 minutes later we were back in Hayfield. It had been a very pleasant wander and many thanks to Kim, Hamish and Daisy for their company 🙂