Goyt Valley to Cat and Fiddle

Friday, 10 April 2009

A quick Sunday stroll through the woods to the Cat and Fiddle public house for lunch today with Jan and my daughter Christina who was on her maiden walk with us !!

We started at the car park half way along the Errwood reservoir where the path left to the rear. The boats from the sailing club were trying to catch what little breeze was about and the fly fishermen were also trying to catch something, but whilst we were watching they also only caught a little breeze !!

boating on res


The reservoir was pretty still and gave great views over the hills of the Peak District.

We soon gained height on the path up to a split where left took us up Shooter’s Clough towards the Cat and Fiddle, which I think is the highest pub in England and where beer was waiting for me. The path wa well walked but had it’s obstacles, like a tree that had fallen over our route and Jan was caught mid straddle with Christina chuckling away to herself.


Fortunately there was quite a heavy frost during the night and the muddy track was for the most part frozen although the sun was out in force and thawing it out fast.

jan and christina path up


christina and frost

As we climbed the path we came to clearings in the trees where we were treated to views back over the reservoir and the surrounding hills. In the shade the frost still clung to the ground and considering that this was early afternoon and we were in full warm sun, the frost refused to disappear. Not enough for throwing around though!! At the top of the path there was a gate which led through to a heather filled slope and left to the start point or right to the pub. Mmmmm, a difficult descision but I made the right choice and right it was.


jan and krissi looking to res

We stopped here so the girls could do some posing and catch their breath.


The path led away along the slope with the boundary wall to our right ant there were views back to the reservoir behind us. Across the valley the heather fields had lots of rectangular patches in it where thay had cut the heather back. I have no idea why this is done but I have seen it in Wales on the Offa’s Dyke path also, so not a random thing !!

me and christina

We passed the gate which led up to Shining Tor but the pull of the pub was too strong and we decided to go the summit on the way back.


field of heather

The path was easy going from here, but the the memories of an old walk came back to me as we passed a familiar looking field of heather, mum you know the one !! Years ago we were marched across this field, and all around the surrounding fields, by my mum with the promise of a warm pub to rest up in for a while and some food. No such look on that day, bloody closed, the mental scars are with me to this day!!


We went through the last gate before the pub and came across a field looking over to Shuttlingsloe, another ‘blast from the past’ walk destination with my parents so took a quick picture. However there was an electric fence surrounding the field and I decided to get right next to it to take the photo. I DID test it but my boots must have stopped me from being earthed and as soon as my leg touched the fence too I got a right belt, not good. Needless to say I was treated to lots of sympathetic laughter from the girls!!!


blue sky near end

We got to the Cat and Fiddle which was busy, and due to the fine weather and the bikers were out in force blasting past the top. We found a table and ordered lunch, (the home made pie was great) and some beer. The wait however was quite long due to crowds so we had some more beer, good job I wasn’t driving. Then, as if by magic, an 80’s pop sensation appeared. It was non other then Paul Young who was laying his hat in our pub that day before sensing his donna and leaving. A few more wrinkles but still unmistakeable, what was he doing there???

Anyway after trying to explain to Christina that in his day he was quite famous, like the pop starts of today we started the journey back to the car. We simply retraced our steps back to the gateway where the girls were posing and went straight on down the path back to the car park. The sun was very warm and fortunately there was not too much haze spoiling the views as we descended. A last couple of photos ended the walk.

You have probably spotted that we didn’t got to the summit of Shining Tor. Well even with four pints and a great pie dinner in me I wanted to, but he girls were far too full and needing an, err, call of nature, that a quicker break down was required!!! All in all for a quick day out in the Peak District that we planned we walked about five miles and were out all afternoon, superb.