Updated: Apr 11
Last weekend I received a message from my hiking buddy Matt who asked if I fancied going for a hike somewhere in the Peak District. We came to the decision to explore Thor's Cave as I had not ever been and Matt hadn't been there for a number of years.
I met Matt through instagram. A top bloke who I now regularly get out and enjoy hiking with. He has been kind enough to open the door for me into a wider social circle of hikers/walkers who I am now getting to know. For this walk, another one of the group (Becky) joined us and I am glad she did as she is lovely and a good laugh!
We parked up in a tiny village in Derbyshire called Wetton where we started our walk. Matt and I were approached by a friendly cat who bowled over to us for attention and some food. Matt generously gave him some of his Gold Bar (chocolate) which was a real treat, only for the cat to reject it outright. Outrageous! It decided that some egg from his sandwich was much better. Meeting feral cats seems to be a thing on our walks as the same thing happened on our first hike together as well!
Becky arrived shortly after Matt lost his gold bar to the cat and we all made our way towards Ecton Hill through some very boggy patches - in which I fell over multiple times.
We headed over the stile and towards the top of Ecton Hill. Despite the wind and rain we were having a blast and a good laugh. Matt and Becky were both more than happy to throw a couple of poses for a quick photo before tackling the ever increasing wind speed.
On our way to the top of Ecton Hill, we passed a group of older walkers who warned us that it was scarily windy up there and to be careful. We pushed on but we could definitely see what they meant the closer we got! I am not a lightweight human being and I was being blown all over the place and struggled to keep my footing when we got to the trig point.
Matt's hood was filling with air which looked hilarious, and Becky couldn't stop howling with laughter as she clung to the trig point for dear life! I tried taking my phone out to take a quick selfie of us all at the top and the wind nearly ripped it from my hand on a number of attempts. We did finally get a photo before scurrying off the top and to somewhere less blustery!
Once we were off the top of the hill we passed an outbuilding which I thought would make a nice photo so we stopped and had a drink, took some photos (got blown about again) and carried on.
We continued to walk and eventually we got to a point where we could see Thor's Cave in the distance. It looked epic and like something out of an Avengers movie! You would not think you were in Derbyshire or the U.K.
We all made our way up the steps to Thor's Cave and to the entrance. It is bigger than you realise - and getting into it was good fun as the rocks were slippery due to the amount of mud on them from other people who had been to see it, and the fact the rocks are so smooth. This meant a very careful climb into the cave to explore where we thought the wind would die down.
We were oh so very wrong! The wind whipped around the cave like a wind tunnel and was literally blowing people over - including two kids from a D of E group. My heavy hiking bag got picked up with ease and was blown across the cave - so I made taking a photo of the cave entrance a quick affair!
It looks calm here but it was extremely windy. The inside of the cave was great to explore though and we had a good look around inside with our head torches on. The inside is very tall with several sections to it which you can make your way around.
We slowly and carefully made our way out of Thor's Cave and onto the top of the cave from the outside (negotiating an extremely muddy small hill section) which we all nearly fell over on. We got to the top to see the views and a secondary smaller cave and then made our way back down a different route.
We had to go over a barbed wire fence which we accidentally broke but made good. Matt cut his finger in the process and was treated to a plaster by Becky who was well prepared!
By this point we were at the end of our walk and were heading to where we had parked through a muddy lane back to the village. I was absolutely caked in mud, Matt had been splattered in blood - but Becky had gotten away with it!
A good 8 miles was covered and with two great people. We had a good laugh and hopefully we will get out again as a trio in the near future. I am still cleaning the mud off my bag and coat in the mean time!
Date: 13th January 2019
Parking Location: Wetton Village (public toilets and free car park) DE6 2AF
Time taken: 4 hours 10 minutes (including time in Thor's Cave exploring)
Hiking buddies: Matt & Becky Instagram: @mountainswithmatt @beckythetraveller
A video overview of this hike can be viewed below: