The choice of 6th November was one of those lucky happenings in terms of weather. The previous week had seen some pretty awful conditions with high wind and rain in abundance.
About twenty ringers and their friends set off from the car park at the shopping outlet at Rowsley. An earlier start of 11-00 am had been selected both to allow other duties to be performed and to make sure we could finish, what was a longer than normal ramble, before it got too dark.
Our first objective was to reach Bakewell by 12-45 where we were to ring the bells. The route took us up the road and track by Rowsley church, past three lane ends to join Coombs Road leading into Bakewell by the Agricultural Centre. We were joined here by two of our party who were not able to start at Rowsley.
An early arrival allowed some time for a bite to eat and drink before gathering at Bakewell Church for the ringing session. The eight bells are very nice to ring and sound very good both inside the ringing chamber and outside the church. The 57 steps of the anti clockwise spiral stairway was no trouble. Our own 56 steps give us plenty of practice.
Following the ringing, our next objective was to climb over ridge by the golf course an head towards Chatsworth. This entailed going back through the town and passing an ice cream seller.
Once through the town the route headed up the fields now used by a herd of alpacas. Really friendly creatures. Across the golf course the path ascends through a wood and becomes ever rougher and steeper until we were thinking we had taken a wrong path and were now trying to walk up a stream. But no. We were OK and soon reached the gate at the top leading out to the high pastures beyond.
The walk becomes easy now. Straight across the pastures to the track leading through Calton Houses and on down to the Chatsworth Garden Centre, the road bridge over the Derwent and the field path into Beeley village. We arrived at Beeley within a minute of the appointed time, 3-45 pm, and were met in the church by the churchwarden.
There are three bells at Beeley which dont get rung very much so it was a treat both for us and for the villagers!
The final leg of the walk back to Rowsley was mostly through fields to avoid walking by the side of the road. The start of this section proved very muddy, but soon became quite pleasant culminating in a slippery path by the side of Smeltingmill Brook down to the road. The final muddy path leads between the river and houses back to the car park.
By now it was getting dark, but we had had a very pleasant 9.5 mile walk with some good ringing. The day was completed with a visit to the Grouse and Claret Inn nearby for a meal - excellent.
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