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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Cales Dale and the Stairway to Hell

It was Geoff's turn to drive and we again went looking for these elusive steps that went to Cales Dale. We parked just off the road next to Haddon Grove Farm and got booted up. It was a misty morning with not a lot of quality light about and we set off towards Lathkill Dale via the footpath through the Haddon Grove farm caravan site, we met a chap with 3 little Jack Russel Terriers and had a chat before heading down the steps to Lathkill Dale. I've called these steps The Devils Staircase because they are steep and very slippy. When at the bottom of the steps it was across a small wooden bridge and this took us into Cales Dale.  Its somewhere that none of us had been before so we just followed the footpath for a few hundred yards and then we saw the finger post and it was pointing to the elusive steps. Geoff was happy so we set off up to the top of the steps and had breakfast up there before we came back down. As we packed up to come down the steps a couple of guys came up them and we had a chat, one of them had  a video camera and a GoPro on a selfie stick and he told me how good it was for all sorts of situations. At the bottom of the steps we backtracked to the small bridge over the Lathkill then turned right and followed the river. The river slowly started to get wider and deeper and we then got to the Tuft Weir and then the remains of Carters Mill.We did meet another group of walkers in Lathkill Dale and this made the total to about 10, we don't normally see many on our travels and this must be a record. From Carters Mill it was a slow and steady climb back up to the car. On the way back in the car driving along one of the lanes a wagtail came out of a hedge and was flying in front of the car for about 3 or 4 hundred yards and it never dipped below 30 mph, for a small bird i thought it was remarkable.

The Tuft Weir

The route to Cales Dale

Parked up

Mother & foal

Electric fence

Views from the top of  the Devils Staircase

Ike & Geoff heading down the Devils Staircase

The Wooden bridge over the river Lathkill


Rob, Ike and Geoff

More dam steps, these in Cales Dale


Geoff using his new camera

On the way back down

Signpost in Cales Dale

This small cross next to Calling Low had us thinking this may have been a coffin route in days gone by

River Lathkill

The Tuft Weir

Abandoned millstone net to the remains of Carters Mill

All thats left of Carters Mill

Geoff emerging from Lathkill Dale
This was another cracking little walk just over 2 1/2 miles but a total of 738 feet of ascents and descents with those dam steps.
See you next week