|Day 31 – May 7||Hartington to Tideswell|
|Weather: Cloud, Sun, Windy||B&B: Poppies B&B (£23.00)|
|Departed: 9:30 Arrived: 15:15||Walked: 4h 25m Rested: 1 hr 15m|
|Distance Today: 14.8 mi / 23.82 km||Total Distance: 492.4 mi / 792.44 km|
|% Complete: ~ 43.23%||Pint of the Day: Abbot Ale|
|GPS Track for: Day 31|
This morning was one of the few where I felt I could have easily slept in. I’m not sure if it was election coverage or the effort required to get the “Blog Bog” operational that tired me out. Then again maybe it’s because I’ve walked 8 days in a row and need a break – but not today.
The hung parliament version of my “full English” this morning included a Staffordshire Oatcake, my first ever. The oatcake has the consistency of a crepe and was delicious. My B&B hostess explained that there is a fierce rivalry between the Derbyshire Oatcake and the Staffordshire Oatcake but that she preferred the Staffordshire version (which is much thinner) despite hailing from Derbyshire. I promised her I wouldn’t tell (oops).
Savouring my oatcake did come at a cost, namely my 9:30am departure however I had a relatively easy day today so I wasn’t too worried. The walk began with a 1.5 mile march east down a somewhat busy minor road where I linked up with the Tissington Trail at the old Hartington Signal box. The Tissington Trail also forms part of the Pennine Bridleway which I will be following on and off both today and tomorrow.
The old railway bed is now used by cyclists, walkers and horseback riders. The 5-mile stretch I was on was quite exposed and the strong northeasterly wind was biting cold. One section includes an impressive cutting (Coldeaton Cutting) made through a limestone hill.
The Tissington Trail is dotted with cycle hire centres that also provide washrooms and cafes. Parsley Hay is one such stopping point and it is here that I finally met up with fellow LEJOGers Andy and Alfie. Andy and I have been exchanging emails and blog comments for a long time now and both of us wondered if our paths would ever cross. If he hadn’t stopped for that cup of tea and sausage sandwich we likely wouldn’t have as he was about to leave the Tissington Trail. We had a great chat and I got to spend some quality time with Alfie too (the first LEJOG dog I’ve met on my walk). Definitely the highlight of the day and with any luck I’ll run into them again further up the trail.
I continued north along the trail for another few miles before cutting east and taking a brief break at the friendly Duke of York pub, situated at the side of an A-road in the middle of nowhere. Suitably refreshed I carried on along a series of minor roads through a valley and into the village of Taddington. I then descended via a rough track into a deep leafy valley known as Miller’s Dale. From here it was a steep climb up another hill and a two mile walk into Tideswell, my home for the night.
Tideswell is a large and attractive village with a very impressive church. My b&b is not only the least expensive so far (£23 w/ continental breakfast) but it also has wifi which doesn’t require me standing in the bathroom doorway balancing my netbook in one hand and typing with the other!
I had supper at the George Hotel which specializes in steak cooked on volcanic rock slabs and pizzas baked in purpose-built pizza ovens. It’s been ages since I had a pizza so my very cheesy thin-crust pepperoni was a real treat. When I emerged from the pub the bell-ringers were practicing at the church next door. I love peeling church bells but am always reminded of Monty Python’s Church Bells sketch.