Friday 27 September Quixhill to Hartington

Distance walked: today 17.3 miles cumulative 612.1

It is (wrongly) stated the Eskimos have 40 words for snow. Douglas Adams in ” So Long and Thanks for all the Fish” creates a lorry driver who has classified 231 types of rain and I must have experienced most of them this week.

It started out dry but dull and I followed the road to Lower Ellastone . The Peak District Hills now looked quite close.

I left the road and headed across fields to the top of a ridge.There were some views east towards Ashbourne and I could see the cooling towers of the power station near Nottingham in the distance. However the cloud came in and the rain soon followed. In better weather I think this would have been a really nice walk but today it was a case of getting along as quickly as possible.

By the time I dropped down to Dovedale the rain was really heavy and there was nowhere to shelter. As I was about to enter the dale it was outlined by a rainbow for a few seconds. Dovedale is one of the most famous beauty spots in the Peak District and even in today’s atrocious weather there were several people out. Two were walking across the stepping stones which fortunately were not too slippery.

I set of up the dale. Even in this weather it is beautiful.

Ilam Rock

There are several caves along the dale

At the junction of Dovedale and Milldale there is a small hamlet where I was able to get a coffee.Finally, the rain stopped. As I emerged from the wood a rainbow appeared

The sun came out for the last couple of miles. Although I was born in London I have spent most if my life in the North-west and when I saw the small fields, sheep and dry stone walls I felt I was home

I arrived in Hartington. This is a pretty but touristy village in the heart of the Peak District. I stayed in the youth hostel here when I was 17. That was my first walking trip in the north of England. The following year I went to the Lakes for the first time and my love affair with Upland Britain had begun.