Easter 2016 – The weather could have been Kinder

Easter 2016 – The weather could have been Kinder

At last the season has started and we can begin to get away in Absinthe. This is the first time we’ve used her properly at Easter – for the past few years we’ve gone up to our Static in the Dales, but as we finally let the caravan go in October 15, Easter will now mean more Absinthe time.

As usual, we’d left it a little late to have the pick of sites – the one in the Lakes I’d planned to use was full, so, on the recommendation of our friend Simon, we booked into the Camping and Caravan Club site at Hayfield.

We’d booked from Thursday and we were joined by Gill and Alan in their lovely van, Voyager. Simon was arriving in Skooby on Friday.

Gill & Alan’s, Voyager

The drive from home was only 50 miles and the SatNav reckoned we’d be there in just over an hour. It’d been raining all morning so we delayed our departure until 2.30pm, in the vain hope that it might fair up. No so luck though, and, even though we avoided the M61 and the M62, it took us 2.5 hours to get to the site, mainly due to the bottleneck at the end of the M67.

Gill and Alan were already there when we arrived and we soon had the festival tent up and the mat out to set up camp.


The rain cleared for a while but it was replaced by low cloud and heavy drizzle later, so, rather than walk down into the village to eat, we headed to the Sportsman Inn, close to the site, to catch up, natter and maybe have a beer or two.


Judging by the look and the empty glass, I think Alison was ready for another beer

It was pretty cold overnight, despite the presence of an over active schnauzer on the bed, but at least we awoke to some brightness and the prospect of a better day weatherwise.

After a breakfast of coffee and crumpets, we met up with Gill and Alan to walk to Kinder Reservoir, further up the Sett Valley. It was a beautiful spring morning by now and already quite a few walkers were out and about on the myriad of paths available in the area.






Kinder Reservoir


We carried on over the top of White Brow, past a shooting hut and down into Little Hayfield.

Shooting hut


Somewhat surprisingly, we ignored the pub in Little Hayfield and carried on until we arrived back in Hayfield village. Unsurprisingly, we did stop at the George Hotel for a couple of pints in the sunshine at the back of the pub, but not before we’d come across two fantastic tractors and their owners, out for a drive.





A roaring fire in the range inside the George.

To some people’s obvious disappointment, the chip shop was shut when we left the pub to walk back – probably a blessing in disguise, I suspect.

The route to the reservoir (just under 5 miles)

Simon had arrived by the time we got back to the site; his van, Skooby looking great with her new wheels.


Simon joined us in the evening for a few beers and some food at The Pack Horse. They offer 25% discount for Camping and Caravan Club members and have a range of pies which we can thoroughly recommend.

Gill and Alan left us on Saturday as they hadn’t been able to get booked in for the full weekend. The forecast wasn’t good either, so we had a lazy day, eventually walking down into Hayfield for a potter round the shops and tea and cake in the dog friendly cafe.

Millie’s Tea Rooms and Chocolatier


Tired Schnauzer

One of Hayfield’s claims to fame is that Arthur Lowe, who played Captain Mainwaring in Dad’s Army, was born there and there’s a plaque to prove it, although it looks like there’s some uncertainty about which house he lived in…



More important is Hayfield’s part in the Kinder Mass Trespass of 1932. About 400 ramblers set off from Bowden Bridge quarry on Sunday April 24. About halfway up William Clough, the trespassers scrambled up towards the Kinder plateau and came face-to-face with the Duke of Devonshire’s gamekeepers.
In the ensuing scuffle, one keeper was slightly hurt, and the ramblers pressed on to the plateau. Here they were greeted by a group of Sheffield-based trespassers who had set off that morning crossing Kinder from Edale. After exchanging congratulations, the two groups joyously retraced their steps, the Sheffield trespassers back to Edale and the Manchester contingent to Hayfield.
Trespass Walkers - Click to Enlarge
As they returned to the village, five ramblers were arrested by police accompanied by keepers, and taken to the Hayfield Lock-up. The day after the trespass, Rothman and four other ramblers were charged at New Mills Police Court with unlawful assembly and breach of the peace.
You can find more information here: KINDER TRESPASS
Simon had been up to Kinder Scout a couple of times before and he’d promised to show us the way on Sunday morning. The forecast had been for a bit of everything, including a possible appearance of some snow.
In the event we had sunshine, rain, hail and wind but no snow – not a bad selection though, with added thunder and lightning on the way back.
The walk itself was brilliant with fantastic views round every bend.














The shooting hut from a distance



Boris struggling on the rocky path
Boris had to be carried for a while – he suffers from sore paws and the boulder strewn path was proving difficult for him. He was fine once we got back onto more level grassy ground – spoilt dog.
The route to Kinder Scout (just under 9 miles)
By the time we’d got back to the site the rain had set in, so we made the decision to pack up and head home – a particularly unpleasant drive through wind and rain, although we were rewarded with no traffic jams and a spectacular rainbow over the M66.
Lovely weather for ducks
I think we’d all been tempted to cancel our trip on Thursday as the forecast was so poor. Fortunately, because we were meeting friends, all of of us turned up and were blessed with a brilliant weekend – just what we needed to banish the winter blues. Spring has properly sprung and the season’s off and running at last.
There’s a full set of photos here:  FLICKR
Here’s a link to Simon’s excellent photographic Blog:  SIMON’S BLOG 
(and here’s one of his videos:)
Things we’ve learned:
  • Ignore weather forecasts – there no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing
  • If you forget one glove you might find another on the moors:
  • Boris likes a blanket:


  • Once a birdwatcher, always a birdwatcher (treecreeper alert):


I'd love to hear your thoughts, so grab a pew and I'll make you a brew - Hobnob or Bourbon?

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