The Peak District

Sunday the 27th of June, a few of us from the “Jimny Jauntz” group had arranged to meet up in the Peak District for a day’s greenlaning, this was hopefully going to be my return to the group after the head had been done on the buggy and some local testing had proved successful. Brett the leader of the group had sent out the route –

as a GPX file that we could all load onto our own devices… I use an iPad running Memory Map software, and have the whole of the UK’s OS Landranger maps loaded onto it, to superimpose the routes onto…

The route was to start in Congleton and end in Macclesfield…

So in the morning I awoke early, too early, so I rolled over and slept to my alarm at 6:00am (a lie-in for me!) and set off at 6:30am to get to our meeting point for around 8:00am…

We were to be a group of (the maximum advised) five vehicles, four Jimnys and a big Jeep Wrangler V8, but the owner of it messaged the group WhatsApp thread on the day before – Saturday – to say he’d drowned it at the Billing Show… Whoops! “So then there were four”… from left to right – Brett our leader in his Green (and blue and silver!) Jalapeno Jimny, John “Sniper” in his trayback Jimny, me in the Jimny Buggy, and Kev – and his dog Freya – in the other BigJimny…

Breakfast was ummm, different! I’ve not really been out AT ALL during the COVID lockdowns, I’ve either been in work in our shop, next door in our house, or at Booker Cash & Carry, everything to build the buggy has arrived by mail order, and I haven’t really been anywhere else… so to have to “check in” at the McDonalds was a bit of a shock, name, mobile number, intended length of stay, etc… I nearly said forget it, and I’d meet the others in the car park! LOL

Over breakfast Brett remarked that to try out the buggy-feel he’d wound both the front windows down on the M6 and thought “Sod that”… in essence though, to recreate the true feeling he should have driven along with his rear door open, and the tintop’s roof peeled back! LOL… Each to their own, I like it… with my thick leather jacket on… in JUNE! LOL

So… after breakfast, we ventured out…

Brett leading, John behind him, then Kev and Freya, and then me at the back on gate duty, with a handheld CB so I could hear what Brett was saying…

First lane of the day then! Now somehow following John, with Kev behind Brett…

Along the way, we had to wait for a couple of hundred cows to slowly waddle passed us… LOL

As I passed the farmer, he remarked “Slightly modified?”, I laughed, pointed at his Gator farm buggy and said “I wanted one of them, but couldn’t afford one!”, we both laughed, and we carried on our route…

Another ‘lane… I must admit I lost count and locations of them all, so they’ll be mostly photos of nameless ‘lanes in this blog, but at the end of the day we drove 27 (!) of the intended 49 (!) lanes… w’d need a full weekend to do them all I think! 😉

Approaching another one, I recognised this one, I’ve been here before… in a previous Jimny 😉

Turned off the tarmac…

And scratching through the thorns…

Opening up to the edge of an open field… catching up after closing a gate. To the end of the field, and then back from whence we came…

A bit of tarmac between ‘lanes…

Another familiar ‘lane, this one drops down to the ford at Allgreave…

Down we go, to the valley floor…

And into the ford, note the right of way is up the river (stream today) and not along the bank where the signage is…

Driving upstream… luckily there’s not much water to worry me with my half-doors!! 😉

To the footbridge and then off to the left up the bank…

A short video of the ford going back the way we came…

Onto another ‘lane, and I’m now behind Kev and Freya…

“My favourite sign”… I have one on my study wall beside me as I’m typing this, it’s one I bought online, not one I acquired by other means! 😉

By this point it was about a quarter past twelve, Kev had told us earlier in the day that he couldn’t get into low box (got to love these SJ transfer box conversions?!), and now he was having driveline vibrations, and an inspection underneath found the axle to radius arm mount sheered off, and some bushings astray too…

(Photo taken the day after)

So Kev, and faithful hound, decided to call it a day and limp home, not safe to carry on, offroad stresses would make it worse.

I too was suffering with an annoying rattle, we tightened the door catch, relocated my gate stick (Alan replacement), and I crawled underneath trying to source it, but to no avail… but nothing seemed ready to fall off, so I decided to carry on… A good look over on my next day off will hopefully source the tinny rattle I kept hearing all day! 😦

“And then, there were three”

Brett leading, navigating and opening all the gates, John in the middle, and me closing all the gates… In fairness he did offer to swap, but I was quite happy bringing up the rear.

Catching up after yet another gate! 😉

Stunning views! And the weather was fairly kind to me… in the buggy!

Nice switchback captures the other two Jimnys nicely…

Through the tight gate at the bottom, and onto a fast bend in the road… careful!

Another ‘lane…

Closing yet another gate, the other two guys in the distance…

Catching them up at the next gate…

And then dropping back as I close it again…

This looks familiar too…

We stop for a rare break and a chat…

Cracking view to my right… Hmmm, just noticed typing this, isn’t it weird how the reflection in my mirror actually continues the wall pretty perfectly? Weird!

On we go, with a combine harvester and tractors buzzing around it in the field to our right, a seemingly early harvest? But then I’m no farmer…

There’s that sign again! 😉

“Forking right”, and into an…

… open field with a deeply rutted track.

Barely visible route here!.

Next lane (I didn’t photograph them all), we turned in and a Land Rover Defender was coming the other way… we exchanged glances, and he appeared to follow us in…?

I hope he knows what he’s letting himself in for…? 😉

It’s a bit T&S! (Tight & Scratchy!) LOL

I couldn’t see the Defender behind me, so didn’t know if he’d decided to follow us or not…?

On we went… I wish I’d video’d this lane!!!

At then end we got out to quickly chat what a cracking lane it was…

And then we heard noises behind us, and then eventually the Defender emerged from the foliage, to a round of applause from us, and they then joined the chat… a chap from Mansfield (where John’s from too) and his pregnant missus and two dogs! He’d seen us turn it and thought if three Jimnys could make it he’d be fine… LOL 😉

We exchanged contact details to stay in touch, as they’re obviously our kind of people! 🙂

Another one of my favourite signs! The Defender stuck behind us for the next couple of ‘lanes… 😉

Before we stopped and warned them not to follow us up the next one…! 😉

“Two Dales”…. not for the feint hearted… Enjoy! 😉

I was chuffed with the buggy’s performance up there… it did really well on a 2″ rear and 1.5″ suspension lift, 29″ tyres, a standard Jimny transfer box (4.3 diffs to correct the gearing from the original 3.9 diffs) and a Lunchbox Locker with TrailGear HD shafts in the rear axle… Well chuffed!

At the top, around 4pm, I remarked to Brett I’d stay for another hour (which turned into two 😉 ) and as we were travelling further and further away from John’s hometown…

He decided to peel off right, and Brett and I carried straight on… to the next ‘lane…

“And then, there were two!” 😉

Following the leader… literally!

Over the moors we met a group of Land Rovers coming the other way 🙂

I love this one… into a stately home’s grounds…

Up passed the hamlet’s church….

And at the top the tarmac turns into “Unsuitable for motors”…

What a great place for a greenlane!

Time for a couple more then? 😉

Dropping down in a deep gulley…

Back on tarmac and heading home(wards)… and we come across another herd of cows being moved! What’s the chance of that!

Passing the Cat & Fiddle… I must admit it is a bit cold up here with only half-doors and a blasting side-wind! 😦 LOL

Time for one more then? 😉

A great climb up and over! 🙂 A great end to a great day!…

We drove 27 greenlanes, the buggy got there, round them all, and back home, so I’m obviously as chuffed as a train with how it’s turned out… Towards the end of the project the niggles were getting really annoying, but hopefully they are all sorted now?

MANY THANKS to Brett for organising, plotting and leading, and John and Kev for their excellent company…


Next event is the BigJimny meet at Tong in two weeks, the 11th of July, better clean and polish it before then! 😉


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