Day 23 - Abbot's Bromley to Ilam

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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wet, wet, wet (again). We arose at 6am and were shocked to find it was still pitch black! We then set off walking around 7:15 from Abbot's Bromley, a beautiful little village in the heart of Staffordshire. We took a wrong turning out of the village because we too busy surveying the scenery and the old houses. However, we soon corrected our error and were on our way across the common onto open fields and forest tracks. It was so very wet and my umbrella was struggling to deal with the incessant rain and finally gave up after a couple of hours. We continued walking on the Staffordshire Way across more fields and muddy lanes, the main hazard of the day being the very many slippery wet stiles and fields full of cows and bulls. Yes, bulls on rights of way! Thank goodness they were accompanied by cows so that we thought they would be less aggressive, but still gave them a wide berth.
We continued on through Uttoxeter, past the racecourse which should have been busy hosting a national hunt meeting but the weather was so awful the race meeting was cancelled.
The route skirted Rocester, famous for housing the world headquarters of JCB. Chris met us for lunch in the car park of the JCB Academy - a converted mill for training future engineers and technicians. It looked a beautiful site and a great environment in which to study.
Moving on from Rocester we left the Staffordshire Way, which swung off left past Alton Towers, and continued north on the Limestone Way, following the line of the river Dove. It was so wet when we crossed the bridge at Ellastone that even the canoeists were inspecting the river and deciding it was not a day for paddling.
As we continued walking north towards Ilam, the terrain suddenly changed - we were in a land of limestone walls and short green grass. The land appeared better drained despite the rain. It was a fantastic finish to our day's walking down the hill into Ilam, which is nestled beside the river Manifold with amazing views of Dovedale.
We have covered more than 60 miles in the last three days and in reaching Ilam today we are a day ahead of our original schedule. We are delighted with our progress despite such difficult weather conditions. The next section of our walk in a couple of weeks will take us from  Ilam, across Derbyshire, to Crowden.
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Linda and Eric Douglass on

What a mixture of weather you have had !! Beautiful scenery though !!!
Well done keep up the good work . Hope you have a good spell of dry weather for your next session!!

pwmcc14 on

Hello Sue and Julie,

Rain and cold aside, I am always so impressed by the history (canals, reservoirs etc) and how calm everything seems. Maybe you have a different perspective bit coming from a young country, the English countryside has so much to reveal.

Would love to join you for a leg at some point. Will your route take you by your home? I'm enjoying the blog.


valkelly on

Umbrella! What's wrong with a bit of rain ??

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