Posted by Lidya Endzo Kun iLLa
Scrambling up the steps
I sometimes get out and about for a stroll with the family atthe weekend, and last week was no exception, as we visited Fairholmes, at theDerwent Reservoir in the Hope Valley.  Thishas begun since we visited Rufford and I noticed that nobody walking around thepark seemed to be overweight.  My nearestand dearest suddenly decided that getting out of the house for some exercisemust therefore be a “good thing” that should take place regularly.  Often this sort of trip can be good forfinding artistic inspiration too.  ThePeak District is still a beautiful area in spite of manmade interventions.  Even if it looks pretty, I know from past experiencethat it is usually colder than where we live, even if it is in the same county,so we took hats and gloves with us. 

Kevin and Barbara at the art group had told me a few monthsago that the Derwent looked a bit on the low side, but when we visited, theoverflow (which I would guess is about 100 feet high) was flowing quitenicely.  There were one or two traces ofsnow, and some thawing ice on the quieter parts of the river.  There’s a visitor centre at the car park whereyou can buy food or drink (including for the ducks) or hire a bike, but thereisn’t all that much to see unless you want to go all the way around the edge ofthe water.  There is some coniferous woodlandwith paths and small animal and plant sculptures.
We visited this place once or twice when we lived inSheffield, which is nearer, including on the day we got engaged.  We had a celebratory meal at the Strines Innwhich is within easy driving distance. That time we had been on our own but this time, a few years on, we hadour small son with us.  On a previousvisit when he was a baby, he’d had to be carried up the many steps at the sideof the overflow, but this time he managed to get up all the steps himself.  Just as well, as he is too heavy to carrynow.
This small bridge leads into the wooded area.  The brown and green tones of the foliage contrastwell with the stones of the bridge, and the white silver birch bark on oneside.  I’ve photographed it in case Iwant to paint it some time.

If you want to know more about walking in this area, this site has more details: http://www.trekkingbritain.com/derwentedgefromfairholmes.htm

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