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The Hermit's Walk - Part 01
w/e 30 April 2017
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

It's bluebell time! We know that as they're growing in our garden but the best place to see them is in the natural setting of a wood. and there are several locally. On this occasion we opted for Hermit's Wood at Dale Abbey.

Access Gate

The wood can be reached by a path from the village or through a gate and across a field from where Woodpecker Hill meets Dale Road from Stanton By Dale and Potato Pit Lane from the direction of Risley.

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Point 5

As we crossed the field it stuck me that the route we were following was the same as the one described in a Groundwork/Ramblers/Derbyshire & Erewash "Country Walks" leaflet titled "Hermits Walk". That walk of three and a quarter miles begins at Pioneer Meadow in Kirk Hallam but as it is a circular route it can be picked up anywhere on the circuit. We are now at Point 5 on the circuit.

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East Window

Zooming in across the field we can see the ruined East Window of the Abbey (which is Point 6) that was dissolved in 1538 thanks to Henry VIII.

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Overflow

The path across the field runs at the foot of a sandstone escarpment and bluebells from the wood overflow beyond the fence into the field.

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Footpath

A gate across the path provides access to Hermit's Wood.

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Halfway

Once in the wood a flight of roughly hewn steps leads up to the Hermit's Cave - this is from about half way up.

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Hermit's Cave

The cave carved out of the sandstone is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

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The Hermitage

A board at the cave informs about its origin and more can be learned from the Dale Abbey Village Trail series from 2005 on this site.
Down & Up

Another flight of steps leads back down to the main path through the wood and from the bottom looking up the steps the cave can be seen. As the season progresses however the increasing leaf cover will probably obscure the cave.

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Bluebells

But it was bluebells we'd come to see and the hillside was covered with them.

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Native Bluebell

There are two main types of bluebell - the Spanish variety that is upright to a spike with flowers on each side of the stem but these are definitely native bluebells with flowers on one side and gently bowing their heads to all who pass by.

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Magnus Magnusson coined the catch phrase "I've started so I'll finish" on a TV quiz show some time ago and as we've started the Hermit's Walk, we may as well carry on.

To be continued .... at a later date.

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