High Peak Trail

Our walk along part of the High Peak Trail started at Middleton Top Countryside Centre, Middleton by Wirksworth.

Next to the centre is the steam engine house built in 1829 to haul wagons up the Middleton incline which at this point is 1:8. Many years ago we made the mistake of starting our walk at the bottom of the incline. Older and wiser now?

This couple are about to walk down the descent to Cromford
Looking down from the top of the incline

The 17 mile long High Peak Trail takes the line of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway between Parsley Hey and Cromford and was one of the first railways in the world. The railway was opened in 1831 and was mainly designed to carry minerals and goods between Cromford Canal and the Peak Forest Canal, with connections to the Manchester area.

Most of the trail we walked today was level and it was easy to imagine the railway track. The tunnel was also a big clue! Part of the walk was through cuttings between the rocks but other parts were open and elevated.

At the furthest point we walked to, many of the trees had already lost their autumn leaves and will remain wintery skeletons until the new leaves appear in spring. Although the trees will be dormant over winter, the wind turbines will continue to turn and contribute to the national grid.

I have seen wind farms from a distance many times but this was probably the closest I have been to one. There was something quite mesmerising about them and incidentally, fairly quiet and not a dead bird in sight.

As you know I often include a quote which I think is appropriate for a post or photograph so I couldn’t resist this one on the subject of wind turbines by none other than Donald Trump. “I never understood wind. You know, I know windmills very much. They’re noisy. They kill the birds. You want to see a bird graveyard? Go under a windmill someday. You’ll see more birds than you’ve ever seen in your life.”

14 thoughts on “High Peak Trail

  1. The wind turbines mesmerise me too. There’s a group of half a dozen or so opposite one my favourite restaurants. I’m always being dragged away for standing too long staring. I’ve never seen any dead birds either. It goes without saying that neither has Trump!

    I love your photos, obviously you did more than a gentle stroll!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi John and Sue, we’re glad you’re enjoying your time away. We walked the High Peak Trail starting at the bottom about 50 years ago. We were a bit fitter then. Going back into the 1950s, I remember the track was still in place then but, I don’t know if it was still in use. The same applies to the Tissington Trail

    Liked by 1 person

  3. On one of our first holidays in the Peak District we visited the Centre and looked at what was left of the winding gear and bought a few things at the shop, including a commemorative tea-towel. We didn’t do any walking as we had a small child in a push chair and a grumpy teenager with us at the time. I am sure my husband would love to return and spend more time there, as he is a train enthusiast. I think we’d also enjoy the walk as well!

    Liked by 1 person

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