Sunday 11th December, 2011
This Sunday my big walking group had its Christmas walk and meal. Next Sunday it's the turn of my small walking group. Both walks and meals are in Hathersage as this is such a good hub and is on the train line from Manchester to Sheffield, so people living on either side of Pennines have the choice of catching the train instead of driving and so can have a few beers with their Christmas meal.
I chose to drive as it's much quicker, cheaper and I didn't feel like drinking a lot anyway.
I picked a friend up at 9am and we were in the pub car park in Hathersage by 10am. The pub we'd chosen was the Millstones and is just outside of Hathersage on the road to Sheffield. The car park had a few goats and a collection of micro pigs and piglets roaming around. The piglets were for sale at £60 each. Tempting, but as I don't have a parish licence (it's not that straightforward to buy a pig) I wasn't able to give in to temptation.
It started to rain just as we began walking, so it was wet-weather gear all the way. We followed a path at the side of the car park downhill into the trees and headed towards the railway and the River Derwent. We walked along a back lane of Grindleford, past Padley chapel, through the Longshaw Estate and ended up at Surprise View from where we walked along the road back to the pub.
We stopped for a coffee break at a shelter behind Padley Chapel and also stopped to take photos of a waterfall and of the money tree on Longshaw Estate. The money tree is a horizontal tree trunk that has been embedded with coins over the years. The coins are firmly hammered in, so there's no removing them. This is supposed to be a tradition associated with good luck, making a wish (similar to making a wish when throwing a coin into a wishing well) or getting rid of illness (if someone removes a coin they could become ill). See here for an Daily Mail article on money trees.
Once back at the pub we all piled in and took over the toilets so we could get changed into clean and dry clothes. Then, drinks and meal tickets bought and paid for, it was time to attack the carvery. Carveries are great for vegetarians. I piled my plate high with roast potatoes, veggies, bread sauce, stuffing balls, yorkshire puddings, cauliflower cheese, and horseradish sauce. It was delicious and I left the pub a few hours later feeling several kilos heavier than when I'd entered.