Dovedale Valley, Derbyshire

Walking in the Dovedale Valley in Derbyshire

One of the things that came as an inspiration from walking in Laax was the determination to get out for regular walks in the UK, especially in places where it is a bit hilly.

Last Sunday morning, my daughter, Steph, and I went to Gymophobics in Tamworth, where we both had 10 minutes on the vibrating, wobble, plate exercise machine, followed by our regular 30 minute circuit and then a further 30 minutes of Matwork to Music.

It is fair to say, we were quite warmed up! Good job really, as we then drove out to a place called Dovedale, in the Peak District, north of Ashbourne.

We were very restrained and did not start our walk with an ice-cream, although we were very tempted!

It is a lovely walk up through the valley. The rocks are made of limestone, with some very interesting caves formed on the side of the rock face. This is an area of the country, which many centuries ago was part of a whole indoor lake area. Before the English Channel was formed, people used to walk from what is today Northern France/Flanders/Belgium to this area for the winter, as it was much warmer.

We set off with great gusto, knowing that there is a hill near the beginning, where there is a climb of approximately 100 metres.

When Greg and I did this walk about 3 years ago, we huffed and puffed our way up this hill and then had a big FORMER Goldston heavy-on-the-carbs picnic and then struggled along for another half a mile before turning back.

This time, where our weight has reduced, we are much fitter and we passed on the bread and crisps picnic, we got to the top, stopped and had a drink of water and continued. This was, admittedly, inspired by the lure of the coffee shop at the end of the walk, about a mile away, and the promise of a cup of tea – and a slice of cake!

I have to say that whoever wrote the mileage indicators on the signposts, must have had a rather strange sense of humour – and Maths certainly was not their strong point!

Shall we say, that last 1 and ¼ miles, although it was almost flat, seemed much longer than the previous one!

We eventually came to the coffee shop at Milldale at the other end. This was just over 3 miles from the start point. Tea and cake all round was much deserved.

We had other activities planned back in Tamworth for later that day, so we has set ourselves a limit of walking for an hour to the furthest point and then coming back, which we did, and that got us to the coffee shop.

We walked back along the same route. When we got to the hill with the 100m incline, we got to the top quite quickly. Yes, we were puffing a bit, but it was so much better than the last time we attempted that walk.

We got back in just over an hour, having covered 6.2 miles in about 2 and ½ hours and stopped for tea and cake as well.

This was, quite naturally, rewarded with a large and very scrummy ice-cream at the other end.

My husband Greg has a very nifty app on his phone called Endomondo, which records all the details of the walk.

According to that, we walked 6.2 miles in 2 and ½ hours, with a difference in gradient of 100m and Greg burned off around 1900 calories (although some of that was probably replaced by tea and fruit slice at Milldale and ice-cream back at Dovedale).

It was a gorgeous afternoon out.

Greg had just bought some new walking poles that morning and I was very glad of them, especially on the uphill and downhill part.

I have to say, this has got to be one of the best ways of losing weight and keeping fit – going out walking on a sunny day with my family and having a fab time, laughing and smiling all the way.

So, next week, we are off on another jolly jaunt!

With abundant blessings.

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