#Derbyshire

So having parked, we walked a few yards, crossed the busy road and climbing over a short stile dived down into the wooded yonder. At first we had a steep stoned stepped descent towards a fast flowing stream - a small newly repaired bridge allowed access and then a steady upwards rise from the small valley.

The rock path hinted at the rock escarpment we were enjoying but the low close trees prevented us from seeing the view at first. Our legs were gently stroked with every pace by the fronds of the palm like leaves - but besides us as we walked also the strong purple thistles we have come to know well.

And there as the rock emerged you could discern clumps of the purple heather of the broad open moors, but for now intermittent glimpses.

But more than than beneath the canopy of the pine and oak and beech trees the full scale of the rock foundation became clear. The ancient steps that we repeated - rocks with eyes, expression laden, bearded and more - I found myself enjoying the reality of Tolkien's fantasy world - real beneath and around me as I walked. Clearing the narrow path and the close trees we found a view to pause and embrace before diving back along our mission.

Following the dry stone wall close we found ourselves rising above the trees and clearing that next stile (also newly repaired) we entered a more formal wooded forest of farmed pines recently logged. As the types of wood and undergrowth and overgrowth passed me by I was struck by the scope of colour, shape, style and natural environs. Blue, pink, red, greens verdant beyond words and shades of brown so subtle and bold I cannot describe.

And so we found our quarry, our objective, our viewing platform - the Hunters Lodge high above Chatsworth and we drank from the natural beauty that lay supine and stunning before us. And if the break in the trees were not enough then the clouds were clustered and dancing for us in the gentle winds and gusts of a sunny day. We sat there enjoying the outcome of our climb and silently rejoiced at the decisions we had made.