Lost in Hope // England // RW4

Lost in Hope // England // RW4

Lost in Hope // England // RW4

Lost in Hope // England // RW4

We weren’t meant to be here; yet getting off at a place called Hope suggests otherwise. We’d been lost in conversation on the train as it snaked gently through the beautiful vales of the Peaks and had glided past our stop. Hope had been so named for more than a thousand years, predating the Norman invasion. Ancient Britons had been here before the Romans arrived with a fort nearby two millennia ago and even the Danes had owned land in Hope, living happily among the Anglo-Saxons. Now we were here, slightly muddled after hurriedly leaving the train.

We passed through sheep populated fields, broken only by old dry stone walls and stone barns as we climbed out of Hope, without sighting another human. This wilderness crafted over the ages is a rejuvenating escape from the city life of Manchester and Sheffield either side of the Peaks; the slow train on the Hope Valley Line depositing gleeful souls as the fast commuter train hurries through.

We weren’t meant to be here; yet getting off at a place called Hope suggests otherwise. We’d been lost in conversation on the train as it snaked gently through the beautiful vales of the Peaks and had glided past our stop. Hope had been so named for more than a thousand years, predating the Norman invasion. Ancient Britons had been here before the Romans arrived with a fort nearby two millennia ago and even the Danes had owned land in Hope, living happily among the Anglo-Saxons. Now we were here, slightly muddled after hurriedly leaving the train.

We passed through sheep populated fields, broken only by old dry stone walls and stone barns as we climbed out of Hope, without sighting another human. This wilderness crafted over the ages is a rejuvenating escape from the city life of Manchester and Sheffield either side of the Peaks; the slow train on the Hope Valley Line depositing gleeful souls as the fast commuter train hurries through.

Fog was sweeping down over the edge of the moors in the distance, dropping into the Vale of Edale below. From the vantage point of Win Hill there were views up Woodlands Valley and Upper Derwent Valley to the north, the tentacles of Ladybower Reservoir spreading far into the horizon; Lose Hill on the other side of the valley from Win Hill, supposedly named after an ancient battle between the kings of Mercia and Northumbria. Whatever the weather this view is always stunning, even under strong winds and moody grey skies, rain threatening. It takes time to part from this place.

Leaving the purple heather-clad hills behind, we ambled along narrow country lanes, boxed in by hedgerows on either side. Squelching through sodden fields, we reached the weir of the old cotton mill at Bamford from a time that water powered the world. Skipping across the worn stepping stones across the River Derwent we finally found evidence of modern life as cars hurtled along the busy road, disturbing our passage back to another time.

My French friend Aïda was visiting and with the Peaks being the very epitome of English countryside, this was our local adventure; morning mists and quaint old villages dotted amongst the rolling hills. Walking narrow spongy paths, climbing on top of rocky outcrops, leaping over boggy sections; these forgotten adventures from our youth had since been replaced by trips to higher mountains and wilder places abroad. Yet, in this changed world what we treasure in our lives also seemed to be metamorphosing and these beautiful local regions with their deep history were powerful reminders of where we’d come from; and maybe even, where we’d have to return to – living in hope and harmony, woven into the natural fabric of the environment.

Fog was sweeping down over the edge of the moors in the distance, dropping into the Vale of Edale below. From the vantage point of Win Hill there were views up Woodlands Valley and Upper Derwent Valley to the north, the tentacles of Ladybower Reservoir spreading far into the horizon; Lose Hill on the other side of the valley from Win Hill, supposedly named after an ancient battle between the kings of Mercia and Northumbria. Whatever the weather this view is always stunning, even under strong winds and moody grey skies, rain threatening. It takes time to part from this place.

Leaving the purple heather-clad hills behind, we ambled along narrow country lanes, boxed in by hedgerows on either side. Squelching through sodden fields, we reached the weir of the old cotton mill at Bamford from a time that water powered the world. Skipping across the worn stepping stones across the River Derwent we finally found evidence of modern life as cars hurtled along the busy road, disturbing our passage back to another time.

My French friend Aïda was visiting and with the Peaks being the very epitome of English countryside, this was our local adventure; morning mists and quaint old villages dotted amongst the rolling hills. Walking narrow spongy paths, climbing on top of rocky outcrops, leaping over boggy sections; these forgotten adventures from our youth had since been replaced by trips to higher mountains and wilder places abroad. Yet, in this changed world what we treasure in our lives also seemed to be metamorphosing and these beautiful local regions with their deep history were powerful reminders of where we’d come from; and maybe even, where we’d have to return to – living in hope and harmony, woven into the natural fabric of the environment.

  • Alone On Mykines // Faroe Islands // RW1
  • French Mountain-Fearing // RW2
  • Arctic Circle Trail // Greenland // RW1
  • From Them, Came Us // Namibia // RW3
  • Lost in Hope // England // RW4
  • Alone On Mykines // Faroe Islands // RW1
  • French Mountain-Fearing // RW2
  • Arctic Circle Trail // Greenland // RW1
  • From Them, Came Us // Namibia // RW3
  • Lost in Hope // England // RW4