Sunday 14th August 2022
Surprise View car park, Grindleford, Sheffield, Hope Valley S32 2JA
Last month I was invited on a group hike in the peak District for somebody’s birthday. I caught a 9am train from Manchester Piccadilly to Hadfield station. Such a big group was a challenge to organise, so I waited a while for everyone to arrive.
Once everyone was here, we split up into cars and drove about 40 minutes to our destination. We arrived at Surprise View carpark at around midday, and began on our hike. We followed a planned route, guided by the birthday girl. The weather was warm, but there was a breeze so it was bearable.
On the first leg there was a bit of an incline, and it was fairly mild considering the amazing views at the top! After a break we started heading down again. Later on we entered some woodland, and had a quick scramble up a steep bank back to the car park.
The area that we hiked seems to be very close to Hathersage, so I decided to focus my research there. This point in the Peak District is known for its millstones, and inspiring one of the most famous works from the Brontë sisters.
Millstone production, and the quarrying of materials has been practiced in the area since medieval times. The millstone has also become a strong symbol of the Peak District, representing the long history of the region.
While I’ve never read any Brontë novels, I’ve started to think that maybe I should. Charlotte Brontë was so captivated by north Lee hall in Hathersage, that she made it the setting of ‘Jane Eyre’, only under a fictional title. We did pass through the grounds of a country house, and while there are many impressive properties in the area, I may have been tracking the footsteps of Charlotte Brontë without even knowing it!
The route was 9.69km (6 miles), while it was a very fun day out, I was extremely relieved to buy an ice lolly from the ice cream truck at the end!