Distance 15.57 miles, cumulative 798.63 miles, time 7 hrs 30 mins, walking time 6 hrs 40 mins, pace 2.3 mph, B&B Meadows Guesthouse.
Lynn started the day in shiny new boots but a frustrating day soon took the shine off them.
It was a fine morning as we left Ashbourne. Ashbourne is the town which celebrates Shrove Tuesday with the whole town playing a Shrovetide football game with the uppers playing the downers. As we left Asbourne we passed the down’ards goal.
The next village we passed through, Mayfield, also had an old custom of ‘dressing’ it’s wells. We passed two of the wells each decorated with collages made of petals, leaves and seeds. One celebrating the Queen’s 90th birthday and the other Beatrix Potter.
We passed through Rocester, garrisoned by the Romans and listed in the Domesday book as a wealthy manor but now it could be called JCB town as the location for the JCB digger HQ, factory and Academy. The Academy is partly housed in Arkwright’s original mill. Steve got all excited about a factory tour but it needed to be pre booked. What is it about boys and diggers?
We passed one other walker Andrew, a 61 year old Canadian from Vancouver who was born in Glasgow, was walking LEJOG. His blog is:
We compared notes and experiences and wished each other well.
The day was frustrating as public footpaths in Staffordshire are poorly signed and maintained. The path had also been closed or diverted in a few places with little or no signage or alternate route provided. This made for slow and at times painful going as we ploughed through the undergrowth or struggled with route finding and detours. At one point we emerged into the rear yard of a garden centre to find the path well signed from it’s entrance but not from the field behind it. We just about retained our sense of humour, including when it started to rain an hour from our final destination of Uttoxeter.
Our first visit to a Wetherspoons since crossing back into England helped to restore us, if not completely cure all the nettle rash.
And finally – it’s sad to see the England football team have also decided to exit Europe at least the Rugby team have faired better down under.