From Thornhill the route climbs a bit further up the hillside until levelling out to give some lovely views out over the Derwent Valley and an intersection with the Thornhill Trail. This was the old rail line used by the construction company building Ladybower reservoir, but it now makes for a most delightful traffic free ride. Although it is ideal for cycling along towards Ladybower (and is the existing official route) Andrew has asked us to consider a route change which would potentially eliminate the section along the trail, and introduce a new section along the very quiet, little used road from Thornhill up to the main road at Yorkshire bridge. There are a number of reasons for wanting to do this, and a couple of alternative ideas, which we will be investigating further. What was very clear was the fact that signage in this area does need some urgent attention to meet current Sustrans standards.
Having contemplated whether the route should go across the dam wall, or not, we adjourned for much needed refreshment at the Yorkshire Bridge Inn. There Dan gave us a training session on "how to sign a route", which certainly covered a lot of the areas we are likely to come up with in the next few months.
The final task for the day was to retrace our steps back to the point where we had joined the Thornhill trail but then, rather than staying on NCN Rte 6 we deviated onto a lovely descent along the Thorhill trail which leads almost into Bamford. Andrew was keen to look at this as a potential link route to Bamford station and we all agreed it would be excellent, if only we can get permission to use a short stretch of private road. We deduced that this access lane was probably owned by the local Quaker community and so, in for a penny...., we went and knocked on their door. The guy we spoke to was very friendly and suggested we write to them to put forward our proposals. He was surprised we were even asking as he said most people just used it as a "right of way" anyway! Maybe they'll give us permission to sign it
So, all in all a really interesting day. I was not aware previously of the Sheffield to Castleton NCN route 6, but I intend to try and ride all of it as soon as possible (even if not on such a fantastic day as today!). Otherwise, we will gather together everything we need to complete the signing on our next visit so that users travelling in either direction along NCN rte 6 can be confident about following the route easily.
Thanks to Andrew, Dan, David & Catherine and Paul for all their contributions today.