Walk Two – Brassington to Thorpe, 7.5 miles
Weather – Grey to start, delightful sunshine later … could do better
Before we started this new walk, we decided that we should try and walk the route in decent weather wherever possible. Kerry looks like she’s redefined decent weather to grey gloomy days. But a walk is a walk and the fresh air and exercise is always welcome. Today we mainly followed the Limestone Way as that was the direction we were headed across country. After leaving Brassington I donned my waterproof jacket and deployed the rucksack cover to keep dry. It was an added layer of warmth as well, so I kept it on most of the day, even though the monsoon conditions soon passed. Todays walk passed through many fields on the Limestone Way as we headed west, with plenty of ridge and furrow field patterns on show. It’s great that it hasn’t been ploughed away in this region and that’s probably mainly due to the extent of sheep grazing in these parts. Old remnants of the past Derbyshire lead mining industry were never far away either, with some spoil heaps over lying the ridge and furrow below.
We walked on the north side of Brassington then cut uphill to follow the Limestone Way beneath Rainster Rocks, with a lovely row of sheep pens, all in a row, reminiscent of the greyhound racing traps except that there were many more than six. The green lane gave way to a small stretch of tarmac, over the road and onto another green track which took us up and over a small hill and down to an abandoned estate chapel near to Ballidon. Next stop was Parwich a mile away, where we chopped a corner off the Limestone Way as we were hungry. We plumped for the luxury of a bright bus stop shelter rather than the dinghy church porch and enjoyed hot soup and sarnies, a welcome break. From Parwich our route swung to the SW with another up and over stroll – down to Bletch Brook and straight up again to cross over the Tissington Trail. It was at this point ‘brian the Bogey’ hitched a lift on my trousers. He enjoyed the walk for a while but alas poor Brian was squashed onto a small style gate – a grizzly ending for a frisky bogey. On the plus side the sun was now out to brighten the fields, and a distant view to Minninglow was a bonus. There are quite a few tumulus with burial cairns dotted around Derbyshire and nearly all are on prominent hills. A quiet lane took us down to Tissington village and the wonderful hall and wells. Unfortunately the tea room was firmly shut, so we had to make do with the elegant facade of Tissington Hall. The numerous signs around the village made sure you knew who owned what here. We wandered on, passed the church and joined the Tissington Trail – a bike track on an old railway bed – uninspiring to walk along but easy going. It took us most of the way to the edge of Thorpe and a cuppa tea and a pint in the local pub. A good end to another good walk.
I was really keen to walk, Pete was not. The sky whispered winters grey but held promise of brighter conditions, so we started from where we last left off at Brassington. As we turned away from the car it began to drizzle, invisibly light so I didn’t bother with waterproofs. However when I looked back Pete was climbing into monsoon gear. I propped myself up against a wall and snacked on dates, waiting. Off again, we went along the Limestone Way, over a landscape scarred with history from strip farming and lead mining. Hillocks and hollows, abandoned mines and strange rock formations dotted with grazing sheep and a farmer repairing a dry stone wall, bum cleavage artfully displayed. Down into a forlorn rocky valley, we crossed over a road and straight back up past a dead tree. Part of it snapped off, travelled a way with us – “that’s coming home” I declared. A forceful wind tried to wrestle it from my arms so on reaching a deserted church it was tucked behind a wall for collection later.
By now the sun was pushing through and Parwich looked clean and bright and Christmassy. The church porch was investigated for our soup and sandwich lunch, but a bus stop looking across to the christmas tree had a better view. From Parwich we continued along the Limestone Way uphill into golden light. Pete doesn’t believe in hankies and snotted the last of his heavy cold into the chill wind. One blob (which he proudly named Brian) stubbornly clung on for a ride down into the next valley.
“Yuk, get rid of him” – I couldn’t believe I was referring to snot as a he.
Pete reluctantly waved Brian goodbye against a goblin sized gate, and the path climbed up and over the Tissington Trail and into the village of many wells. It’s estimated 50,000 people visit the six wells that are decorated each year during the well dressings. Tissington Hall sits in the village centre opposite the church. The Fitzherbert family have lived there since 1465, and I can see why they stayed so long, it’s a beautiful village in a stunning region.
We wandered through the churchyard out onto a lane leading past houses, still with their Christmas tinsel, down to the Tissington Trail and then it was another mile before we reached the other car parked in the sunshine of Thorpe village. A good and varied walk and the waterproofs weren’t needed except against for Petes nasal flow!
NOTE – CLICK ON PICTURE TO BE TAKEN TO FLICKR AND THE ALBUM OF THE WALK..