Walking 1004.9 miles from John O'Groats to Lands end in aid of Accommodation Concern! (starts august 3rd 2014)

Monday, 10 May 2010

Bushy heath to Edale

A short day today just 7 miles of walking to join up with the start of the pennine way which we will be using and abusing as suites us for the next 12 days cutting out unneeded sections and adding bits as suits us.
But today was a simple hike to castleton via the impressive gorge passed the ruined castle into the town for a good fryup and to restock Alfie's food for the next three days ( seems to like bakers complete ! ).
Headed out of town and over the hills via hollins cross in cold wind with grey skies and threats of rain, entering Edale the skys were black with the threat but held off till they'd left the valley (unlike last night when the tent had been put thru its paces (unintentional pun)).
Now warm and snug in the nags head pub , with food to order and all rest day chores done, may go for a relaxing walk tomorrow .............right !

Alstonefield to Bushyheath farm

The start for today was a brisk walk down a short lane followed by an abrupt and steep descent into Wolfscote dale and Biggin dale not as impressive as dovedale but very pleasing to pass thru, onto heathcote where I had a brief chat with some locals about geese and moorhens in a protected pond which they fed regularly.
Hopping down an embankment we walked along a converted railway track in freezing north easterly winds to the cafe adjacent to the road to Monyash mid Bacon roll we met Steve Clifford of end to end in 2010 fame (pic to follow) nice chap hope to meet up again!
Bit of road walking which I seem to like these days ?!!! To monyash then overlooking Taddington we descended sharply into Millers dale and just as sharply back out the other side! Now enjoying some sunshine we walked pleasant lanes and cross country to tideswell for a provisions stop and then up hill to our campsite at Bushyheath farm, all alone on this windy night but a very pleasing site with very green credentials.

Doveridge to Alstonefield

After leaving the campsite without paying ! No one there not our problem really.... we had a mornings walk very much looking to the horizon , with initial scenery quite normal to home we kept our beadey eyes on the hills ahead and the peak district , passing Rocester we picked up the route of the Limestone way and followed paths and roads to Thorpe and the start of Dovedale having not walked Thu here before I was impressed by the dramatic changes of view along the dale from charming river views to impressive caves at Dove holes (pic), too soon we reached Milldale and followed a steep road to Alstonefield settling into our campsite modestly priced at 4 pounds with reasonable facilities , we headed for dinner to the George Inn , very cosy and friendy to dogs and all. dinner was expensive but excellent duck shared with Alfie !

Cannock Chase to Doveridge

After a comfy night spent on the Chase where the rabbits had done a wonderful job of keeping a soft base for the tent ! We walked the forestry paths to Rugeley, for a cracking full English breakfast and to pick up more supplies, friendly folk in town very accepting of this smelly pair of wanderers, after we said what we were up too!.
Headed thru Colton and the unsignposted Stockwell Heath to stumble thru cattle fields fast becoming my worst underfoot surface! Better footing took us over the Blithfield reservoir dam to be assailed by a blizzard of mosquitos, I've never seen so many had to cover my mouth to prevent overdosing on protein and who knows what else!.
Into Abbots Bromley and dinner at the Baggot pub great place nice cheap food and entertainment from two locals ( mark and len) both pensioners who'd known each other for 20 years and had yet to settle their political differences, one Tory one labour but great friends despite the antagonism they relished !.
Some standard and uneventful walking thru fields bought us to Uttoxeter and a supply stop at Tesco only to find our path out of town obstructed by the industrial estate the path appeared to go through, a little imaginative trail blazing (ahem!) saw us taking a path over a much underused but pretty little suspension bridge into Doveridge and our abandoned campsite.....
For once Alfie's charms failed to get us both entry into the Cavendish pub so a quick pint and back to the tent to sleep.

Wombourne to Cannock Chase

The last section of canal walking today so farewell to level walking!
The route through wolverhampton i'd anticipated as being very industrial and to my great satisfaction it was'nt, other than the bridges overhead being busy with traffic and some major railway bridges with some great graffiti (pic to follow) you wouldn't have known you were in a major city! Well done to the local council for keeping it clean! .
Coming into the small canal intersection (?) Of cross green we met Adrian and sue who donated to our charity and also offered a place to stay near hebdon bridge , sadly a mid day point for us.
At Calf heath we an old chap looking to see the state of the local rabbits, plans for dinner I think !
Roads saw us to Huntington where I finally got my first stamp for the transit verification form the end to end club issue!.
Into the woods of the Chase we headed and made our first major mistake en route by simply turning right as the path hit the road than seeing that the route was right at a road junction slightly to our left ! Nearly a kilometer later as we saw a town ahead rather than the anticipated pub re routing was inorder (after a little swearing!) . A zigzaging route through more woodland took us to the pub and a major dissapointment as the pub was now a Baptist bible college ..... I had to walk right around the building before I could fully believe it! Baptists in a pub whatever next!
Thankfully we had enough food so pitched tent at our planned spot and slipped into sleep.