Day 54: Alsop (nearly) – Alsop Station – Tissington Station – Ashbourne – Wyaston – Yeakley – Alkmonton – Church Broughton – Marston-inDove – Rolleston-in-Dove – Burton-upon-Trent

27.2 miles – dusty, turbid heat, stale, murky sunshine

Approaching Tissington Station.
A robin at Tissington who wanted to share my breakfast.
Ashbourne from the south

I had three pieces of good luck to help me on my way:

  1. The man preparing W.H.Smiths in Ashbourne to open at 10:30 actually let me in at 9:30 to buy the maps I needed;
  2. The ‘Large Full english’ (2nd) breakfast at the Tunnel Cafe washed down with two pots of tea;
  3. The fact that the sunshine remained hazy all day – I think this is what saved me and enabled me to walk so far in 30 degrees Centigrade. Actually there was a fourth piece of good luck.
  4. The beautifully-kept pint of Marstons I had at the Shire Horse in Wyaston – it’s a pretty, rural pub in a tiny, tourist-less hamlet; I bemoan the loss of rural pubs, so rather than moan about it, support them!
The Shire Horse at Wyaston.

It was after that that I noticed how different the landscape was south of Ashbourne. Instead of dry, limestone walls there were hedgerows; instead of sheep and cattle there were fields of ripening wheat; the hills were now gently undulating, and I saw that all the houses and barns built before the War were of red, Midland brick.

Red, Midland brick. Also notice the leaves on the beach tree, already feeling the effects of no rain.
The old school house at Alkmonton.
Haymaking near Alkmonton
Church Broughton
Marston-in-Dove. Notice the date – 1738 – Midland red brick weathers exceptionally well.

Burton itself was rather disappointing the way I came in: dusty, grimey roads, shops boarded up, peeling paintwork, and men and women with a look of disappointed surrender on their faces (or was that just a reflection of how I saw their environment?)

The Three Queens Hotel, which would be home for me for the next two-and-a-half days had seen better times too, but it was decent and clean.

I made it to Burton in time to shelter from two the two days of heat to come, forecast to be 40 Centigrade (which would be a national all-time record. I covered the largest number of miles so far in my walk and clocked up the fastest walking speed (3.2 mph, averaged over the day). I am unlikely to go that fast again!

The Three Queens Hotel, Burton-upon-Trent

Comments (2):

  1. Guy Harbottle

    19 July 2022 at 22:12

    Good effort Toby!

  2. Noa

    24 July 2022 at 13:58

    It was very hot indeed, glad to know you were not walking in the sun! love the photos you are posting, really giving the feel if your journey!
    See you in about 2-3 weeks?! on the 1066 Walk x


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