March 15th:

After a warm welcome from da Wetton locals, we relocated our vehicles in the correct farang parking area. By which time our walking party numbers had practically doubled. With our initial pleasantries complete the band promptly set out from the village centre through a maze of field boundaries heading for Hall Dale via Grange Farm & Stanhope. Once through Hall Dale we found ourselves by the river Dove and made for the crossing at Ilam Rock. Our President spoke fondly of his climbing exploits in the Dale and beyond, starting with this impressive spike which appears to climb straight up from the river bank.


Caves appeared from on the east side of the dale at Pickering Tor and Reynards Cave. As the morning continued some warmth from the sun could be experienced as partial cloud cover thinned, though a chilly breeze could be felt in more exposed places. Tissington Spires was the next prominent feature where Rod described more of his climbing experiences. Soon after this we entered in to a more touristic part of the Dale. Over the stepping stones and through to Ilam village, Dovedale House. Climbing up past Rushley Woods we found lunch spot in the lee of the breeze with views to Throwley. At this stage in the day the leader and group decided to bolt on some pieces to the original walk. As we made for Slade Farm some amongst us tried to explain what the large water tanks were that we passed during our descent into Soles Hallow.

Once through the Hallow we entered the Manifold valley. Walking in a northerly direction to Beeston Tor. Where upon Rod's climbing escapades were shared with us for the last time this day. Further up the Manifold way we cut off up Wetton Hill to return back to the village for a pint at the Royal Oak. Food was ordered and the Cavers arrived in time for us all to have dinner by the open fire.

Grand day out one and all

Cheers Russ