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Upper Derwent Valley, Peak District National Park. Paul Besley

Upper Derwent Valley, Peak District National Park.

The Upper Derwent Valley. I spend a great deal of my time here and never tire of it.

Each visit brings up something new. A benchmark never seen, a view transformed by sunlight, saltness in the air from the sea.   Some days I just sit and look. A buzzard soaring high above Crookhill, people walking along Derwent Edge chatting as they go. The Grouse who accompanied me down Abbey Brook, chattering away and when I went to photograph him he would turn the other way, so I had to be sneaky to get a shot. Sheep at Slippery Stones, not yet have they worked out how to cadge food from the walkers, not like the sheep on Kinder who basically mug you. Not yet they haven’t. I have seen two stoats this last few weeks, first in years, darting across my path, lovely slender creatures with that creamy stripe underneath. And in the woods at Lockerbrook I saw an owl fly straight as an arrow across the woodland and perch high on an old pine tree.

I love the place.

All of the items mentioned in the post can be found on or near Walks No.10,11,12,13,14 of Dark Peak Walks published by Cicerone Press.

Buy the book here

Dark Peak Walks Book by Paul Besley, published by Cicerone Press. 40 walks in the Dark Peak with detailed route descriptions, maps, photos and points of interest.