Monday, 4 May 2009

Day 29 Sunday - Uttoxeter to Alstonefield

Walking 8.15am to 6.00pm
Distance walked today 17 miles
Total distance walked 412 miles
Distance left 640 miles

There was some early morning rain but this had stopped by the time Gayle and I left the house. We drove to Uttoxeter station and left her car there. We then found our way out of the town via the Staffordshire Way, crossing some fields and then under the A50 dual-carriageway. The path at times wasn't particularly good, one farmer having recently ploughed a field, leaving little or no margin at the side for a path.

We followed the Way towards Rocester with the River Dove meandering off to our left, although we came right next to it as we reached Rocester. Here, we left the Staffordshire Way (which went off north west) and joined the Limestone Way which followed field paths before dropping down to the Dove, continuing to Ellastone. We had been looking forward to a drink at the Duncombe Arms in Ellastone but were amazed to find that it doesn't open at Sunday lunchtimes. We were both hungry by this time so went across the road and ate our lunches in a bus shelter - very sad!

Gayle then headed back to her car and I pressed on, picking up the Limestone Way again. It wasn't well waymarked as such very well so close attention to the map was necessary. I only lost the trail once.

Approaching Thorpe
The limestone hills of the White Peak came into view and it seemed no time at all before I was dropping down to Coldwall Bridge and climbing up the other side into the village of Thorpe - real Peak District. On the way into the village, I came across this marvellous car. A Frazer Nash, I think.

I stopped at a seat by the church to remove a stone from my boot and saw Vinnie! He'd walked from Uttoxeter as well on the same route as me but a little behind.

He was heading for a campsite at Tissington but I persuaded him to come with me as I was going up Dovedale. He'd never heard of it but I felt that he couldn't visit the Peak District without seeing it, even though, it being Sunday, it would be busy, as it proved to be.

We left the trail at the village of Milldale and took the lane up to Alstonefield where we camped on the site adjacent to the Youth Hostel camping barn.

We spent the evening in The George, discussing tomorrow's route and in pleasant conversation with Brian and Tess from Rugby who were up camping for the weekend.

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