Ain’t Gon’ Follow No Footsteps I’m Making My Own.

pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: the rappers of Detroit don’t take kindly to Slim Shady.

We’ve booked a bed in each of five alpine huts in Austria. We plan to complete a good portion of the hut to hut Berliner Hohenweg in September this year.

Now, the thing you should know is, that whilst we are keen walkers, we haven’t carried anything more than a packed lunch since we travelled the World thirty, yes 30, years ago.

Not wishing to end up needing rescue from an alpine pass, we’ve decided to put a few training walks under our belts. First job, was to pack a pack. Second, go on a day walk…

We waited for fine weather and chose to stay fairly local. For our first venture with a pack we opted for a fairly flat eight miles, 13km around Ilam.

We parked at Ilam Hall. The Hall is a Youth Hostel, but the grounds and carpark belong to the National Trust: Kerching! Being members we saved £5 on parking charges.

First stage was to follow the River Manifold to River Lodge. The last part of this path is not a public footpath, so users are ‘encouraged’ to drop a penny in a charity box.

Two Fine 18th Century Halls on one Eight Mile Walk.

Castern Hall was the next landmark, supposedly one of the finest 18th Century buildings in the Peak District. Next, across several fields, with long reaching views, to Stanshope and another large, fine 18th Century Hall!

Hall Dale discovered on an 8 mile hike in the Peak District

The path along the bottom of Hall Dale leads to the River Dove and Dovedale. Here we stopped for lunch by the river at Ilam Rock; a 30+ meter limestone stack.

We continued to follow the river past Reynard’s Cave and Lovers Leap onto the stepping stones in the river below Thorpe Cloud. Up the track to the car park and we treated ourselves to an ice-cream.

A simple stroll across fields back to Ilam Hall completed our hike.

It is easy to forget how lovely the Peak District is. It is on our doorstep and we often overlook it; we always expect it to be really busy. Within a couple of hundred meters of Thorpe Cloud car park was the only place on this walk where this was the case!

Walking eight miles, 13km with an 8kg pack was fairly easy. Next task; hills…

pop trivia: The lyric is from ‘8 Mile’ from the 2002 movie of the same name starring ‘Eminem’, ‘Mekhi Phifer’ and ‘Brittany Murphy’. The 8 Mile Road runs between the predominantly black city of Detroit and the predominantly white Oakland County and Macomb County. ‘Eminem’ won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for ‘Lose Yourself’ also from the soundtrack.