A long walk home – the idea

Being fortunate enough to work from home most of the time, and being able to wistfully gaze out of the window when I should be ‘strategising’ or whatever is it I do for a living, the mind wanders on to more agreeable subjects.

And as the view from my office window has a few hills in it, however blackened they may be by decades of industrial punishment, grand days out in wild places are a common thread for the daydreams.

During a rather lengthy mental discourse one afternoon over my regular 4pm brew (one must have routine in the working day), I happened on the idea of walking to Edale.

Looking at the map that evening, this would be a trip of some 20 miles or more and include the first section of the Pennine Way from Crowden, only in reverse.The first section of the ‘Way is meant to be an easy introduction to the bleak miles that follow to the Scottish borders.

Easy it may be, but it still takes in the lumpy wastes of Bleaklow and the rocky edge of Kinder before dropping into the lush valley that was once a regular haunt of my university days in Manchester.

So what about tough outward leg and marry it to valleys and villages on the way home?

The best made plans of mice and men oftern go awry, though. The forecast was bleak for the Saturday of the trip: 70mph winds, heavy rain, walking on the hills would be ‘very difficult’ the mountain forecast said.

Change of plan then, as forays into the hills are meant to be fun after all and not purgatory (although the grim days always seem to linger sweeter in the memory).

Map down, then, and ‘Trainline’ tapped into the web browser. I’d get a train to New Mills, walk to Hayfield, skirt Kinder and eat some peat by way of Brown Knoll and Colbourne, which constitute the Edale valley’s south western rim.

Sunday, when the weather was reported to be better, would now be a long walk home, which kind had a nice ring to it.

The idea was then given more appeal when my other half promised Sunday roast if I made it home before five. If ever there were an incentive…


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