My lovely wife was off visiting her mum so it was an ideal opportunity to show off my parenting prowess and also nip out and get some great images.
Wanting to help my children appreciate the beauty of the Peak District, I decided that the best thing to do would be to climb up to Over Owler. It looked sunny outside so we could just jump in Patty (our car) and get going. Simple enough I thought.
The children were not so keen. Comments such as "It may be cold and windy, and we would have to walk” came floating back to me.
If you know me at all, you will appreciate that this made me even more determined. Children these days need vigorous exercise and outdoor fun. This was an opportunity to be a great dad and instil a lifelong love of the outdoors. Top draw parenting here we come.
Over the past few months I have relied heavily on my iPhone Sat Nav. I miss maps. I used to know where I was heading, and had a sense of direction. Now I just seem to follow along to the sound of the lady in the Nav system. So it was back to basics for this trip. No Sat Nav. No map….just sort of head in the right direction and hope for the best.
There is a free car park near Padley Gorge that leads to a great composition. I headed towards Hathersage. Remarkably we got to the spot without any issues. Well, if you do not count the resistance within the car to actually doing something with the day.
The free car park was full so we headed on to Surprise View car park. This is a great spot to take in Mother Cap, Over Owler, Higger, Carl Wark, Padley and the Longshaw Estate. There is always an ice cream van over the moor and the cafe at Grindleford Station that sells tea by the pint.
I secretly wished that I had brought coats.
It looked so nice at home that I forgot we might need them. Daniel had mumbled something about them before we left...I just had not been listening. I reassured my children that once they got moving they would warm up.
We made our way up to Mother Cap. As we rose above the tree line the wind started to bite. It was a cold cold wind.
Children have a way of looking at you that confirms that in their eyes you are probably a bad dad. “No worries”, I encouraged them, “we can shelter behind Mother Cap”.
On reflection that was not that encouraging!
Once we were hidden from the wind, behind the impressive rock stack, we all felt better. It was warmish without the wind and I soon started to eye up the peak of Over Owler Tor...we set out again.
Walkers were passing us on their way down. They all wore sensible warm windproof jackets and hats. I felt like I should have been wearing a ‘Bad Dad’ badge.
Once we go to the top my children hid in the rocks. I promised that I would take just one picture and we could head home.
That was when it started to hail.
It was a strange experience, being in sunshine and hail at the same time. The hail being driven by the strong (and icy) wind.
Looking back I could see my youngest three huddled together amongst the rocks for warmth. Maybe this was not my best idea ever.
I worked quickly to capture the scene of Over Owler with Higger in the distance. This area of the Peak draws me so much. The shapes of the hills and rocks fascinate me.
Once I had packed up we made our way back to the warmth of Patty. We did not speak much on the drive home. I had turned from a great dad to 'Bad Dad'.
I do hope you enjoy the image I took. This was a trip that we will all remember for some time to come.
Location: Over Owler, Peak District National Park.