The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday 8 October 2010

On The Limestone Way

Having achieved a pass-out from his household duties, off set Mick yesterday morning to meet up with John, Gill and Viv for a jaunt on the Limestone Way.

Rocester is the starting point of the Way and, after a public transport adventure (which went like clockwork) that’s where Mick met up with his companions for the day to set off in a generally northerly direction.

The late start demanded so as to allow people to travel to Rocester also gave the early misty greyness chance to burn off, so it was quite a nice day by the time they were underway:

IMG_0961 In the meantime, I was sitting at my desk, looking out of the window and thinking ‘Nice day for a walk’. A few minutes later I had requested a half day’s holiday for today.

After a pleasant afternoon’s walking, featuring donkeys:




giant red toadstools:


and (most importantly) good company:

IMG_0953the party of four pitched up at Bank Top Farm in Fenny Bentley where they soon established ‘green tent corner’:

IMG_0963before hot-footing it to the better of the two pubs in the village for beer, food and beer.

The stats for the day were 11.5 miles with 1700 feet of ascent.

Today dawned as grey and misty as yesterday, but with a greater degree of dampness and, unlike yesterday, it didn’t burn off by late morning.

The ‘Phreerunner Effect’ didn’t have its usual effect today, and it was still murky when Martin and Rick joined the party for the day. By 10am off they had all set in a generally northerly direction … or at least that was the plan.


A bit of the Tissington Trail featured to get the group back onto the Way (having detoured to Bank Top Farm last night), and having reached Tissington it would have been rude to shun the tea room there, so in they all popped for some light refreshment.

They were still there when I left work at 11.45, and when I reached the car park at Winster (having done a thorough tour of the place looking for the very pub I had driven past as I arrived) they were just having a few navigational issues in leaving Parwich. It is, of course, understandable on a not-sunny day that six people can walk for some distance in a southerly direction before realising that the direction doesn’t feel quite right for a south-to-north walk.

A lunch break soon after called for another pause, all of which was to my benefit. I had been concerned that by the time I arrived they would have all but arrived at their night-stop, but as it went I got all the way to just-north-of-Brassington before I met them.

Around I turned, and finding our way across the fields became simple until we reached Grangemill as we were retracing the steps I’d just walked. The stiles didn’t get any easier, mind. The stiles on the Limestone Way were definitely not designed for ease of passage!

A golden orb vaguely tried to make itself visible through the murk, but the best it achieved was causing faint shadows for a few three-second stretches, and so the views were still curtailed as we past some massive quarries and crossed more fields to reach Winster.

The party split at The Miners Standard pub, where those completing the whole route were to camp the night, whereas Mick, Martin, Rick & I made our way back to the car park and thence home.

Mick’s stats for the day (excluding the leaving-Parwich diversion) were 13 miles walked with 2200 feet of ascent. My stats were 9.75 miles walked, with 1300 feet of ascent.

All of the group photos taken outside of The Miners Standard would imply that I wasn’t there, whereas the reality was that everyone trusted me to be photographer:

IMG_0967From my point of view it was a very pleasant leg-stretch after another few weeks of inactivity, and it was good to catch up with the others (and to meet Gill for the first time). From Mick’s point of view it was his first night spent with Connie, and (believe it or not) his first ever night of solo camping, and it seems that he had rather a good time too.


  1. Very good. Great to see you both, and I'm pleased to see that you had another good day today. It was sunny in Manchester both today (Saturday) and yesterday BTW!

  2. Good to meet you all. You missed out by not staying at The Miner's Standard... Lamb shanks and a pint or two of Pentrich were a delicious bargain!
    Those giant toadstools are mature fly agaric - not quite as tasty as the damsons ;-)
    Cheers, Gill

  3. Martin - I noted that it was also sunny as we drove home on Saturday. Seems that it was me that was driving away the sunny weather in the locality of the Limestone Way!

    Gill - Good to meet you too, and a good set of photos that I saw you'd linked from OM.

    We may have missed out on the camping and the food at the Miners Standard, but we didn't leave Winster on Saturday afternoon without first sampling the Pentrich (or 'Thingy Revolution' as I was calling it).

  4. My brief entry, featuring the self-timed photo outside the Miners Standard, is here:

  5. Didn't see that last comment before I passed comment on said 'self-timed' photo!