A week before Easter, and we should be starting to think about suncream and shorts when we head out for a walk on a Saturday morning. Not so this year. I’d planned to head out into the Peak District for a stiff climb up Kinder, but then after more than a foot of snow fell in Sheffield, local buses could not run up the hills, and there was no way of reaching Edale by either train or car (not that I have a car anyway). Rather disappointed, I decided to explore the local woods instead in the Rivelin valley.
Just like icing, snow makes everything look prettier, and just 200 yards from my house, as I reached the footpath across the fields, I realised that the walk was going to be photogenic if nothing else.
“It’s a magic wardrobe. There’s a wood inside it. And it’s snowing. Come and see!” I half-expected a faun to come leaping through the trees to greet me, such was the Narnia-esque nature of the scene. Unfortunately I saw no fauns, centaurs or talking lions. Though I would probably have had a heart attack if a lion had come strolling through the trees.
Rivers and snow are always beautiful, and after I crossed the deserted and slightly eerie main road to enter the Rivelin valley nature trail, there was a photo opportunity round every corner.
On occasion, my route was blocked by branches which had become so overloaded with snow they had literally bent over double.
Despite the snow and cold, walking along a mostly flat riverside path, I hadn’t really been considering any comparison with Alpine resorts until I came across two cross-country skiers. Definitely the quickest way to get around!
Although they may have come unstuck when they reached this river crossing point. I remembered it from previous walks, when it always makes me a little nervous, but today with icy stepping stones and the thought of a freezing cold bath if I were to slip, I must admit I did stop and consider whether it was worth the risk. Luckily I was wearing wellies, and decided to test the depth of the water in the river. It was just below the top of my wellies, so feeling slightly reassured, I very gingerly made my way across the river, part on the stones, part in the water. I was applauded by a couple on the other side as I finally reached my destination safely – they had (probably wisely) decided to take the longer route around.
Well it wouldn’t have been a proper walk if I hadn’t had something a little scary to contend with.