The Three Haddons

4th April 2002
I’m not sure why this walk, the details of which I found in a walking magazine, is called the Three Haddons. Except that it started at the Car Park for
Larry and Mick in Over Haddon
Haddon Hall, located on the A6 a mile or so south of Bakewell in Derbyshire, and went across Haddon Fields to Over Haddon. However, the walk was far more than this little stroll would have been.

Mick, Larry and I set off up the M1 on a beautiful April morning. Mick had even got his shorts on and I quickly changed into mine when we reached the Car Park for Haddon Hall. Hope I didn’t shock passing motorists and their passengers too much. As per usual Larry ignored our comments about him not daring to show his legs – he rarely wears shorts – and he informed us that we would get stung by vegetation and nasty insects and scratched by brambles.
Mick and Barry with Over Haddon in the distance. A Larry Photo
So two pairs of bare legs and one pair of trousered limbs left the Car Park for the small pull up the hill to. Haddon Fields. The route details did state that the paths were not very distinct, however, the real problem with the initial navigation was that a plantation that existed was not shown on the map. This did cause a wee bit of confusion but once that was sorted the rest of the route finding was easy and with the sun getting stronger we strolled over the fields to Over Haddon stopping for elevenses in the Car Park above Lathkill Dale.

As we walked down from Over Haddon to the "Dale" we were conscious of the pull that would face us after we had crossed the river and started to climb up the wooded slope to the south. However, having crossed the river, admiring the clearness of the water as it rushed eastwards towards its confluence with the River Bradford at Alport, we were pleased to see the path south was easier than it initially looked. Both Larry and I had walked down the path before, and it seemed steep then. It was, but in reality because of the zigzag route
Farm above Over Haddon
it was fairly easy and we reached the top without having to stop and admire the view, which is what walkers do when they need a "breather". At the top though we did admire the views across Lathkill Dale with Over Haddon on the other side and lines of white limestone walls that characterise this area so much.

From here it was through the farmyard of Meadow Place Grange, then continuing uphill to cross Back Lane before reaching Moor Lane which brought back to Mick and me memories of trudging up this road in the afternoon sun when competing in the White Peak Walk. Today's lesser heat was a lot more pleasant.Bradford Dale

Bradford Dale
Having crossed Moor Lane, still going in a generally southerly direction, we reached Bradford Dale, which probably was the best part of the walk. None of us had been in the upper reaches of the dale before. Having reached the waters edge via a wooded path that followed the water upstream, we reached a bridge, which we crossed to reach the southern bank of the River Bradford. From here we followed a well maintained path, part of the Limestone Way, downstream so we had the opportunity to enjoy, on the opposite bank, the beauty of the wooded slope, which we had previously traversed. We also watch the trout that were enjoying the crystal clear waters of the river being fed bread by a couple of other walkers. The fish were making ripples as they broke the surface of the water to enjoy a free lunch. Unfortunately a duck became aware of the free feast and soon ensured that it was getting its quota. It was all very idyllic.

Another view of Bradford Dale
Along this stretch we were also asked by a walker, who told us he lived in Kent, where we got our walking poles from and were they any good. As usual we all had our walking poles and although Larry and Mick had only used theirs spasmodically I had been using both of mine all day. We were quite surprised that he had never seen them in any walking shops and promptly gave him details of shops we knew in the area that would sell them.

Mick, Larry and sign.
Soon we were walking uphill from the river into Youlgreave to find a hostelry, the Bulls Head Hotel in Fountain Square, for midday refreshments and we sat outside in the warm sun eating lunch and drinking drinks. However, as we still had a little way to go before we got back to Mick’s Car we were careful to ensure that we were moderate with our alcohol consumption. Lunch over, we returned to the River, followed it down stream and soon after crossed a packhorse bridge on to the north bank and followed a high level path to Alport. Views were really good.

Walking into Alport we crossed the River Lathkill just before it met up with the River Bradford. However, we didn’t stay too long in Alport because of a sign on the wall of a building, see photo, and soon were trudging
uphill again via Dark Lane to reach Haddon Fields and a northeasterly track, which took us back to the Car Park at
Larry decided not to
Haddon Hall. From here, having first had a quick look round the Shopping Outlet in Rowsley, we had an easy drive back home. It had been a very enjoyable day and the weather had been perfect.

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