View Limestone Way Day 1 Rochester to Parwich in a larger map
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|Wheelchair/ Pram Friendly:||No|
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Parwich was not meant to be our final destination today. Our Plan was to drop a car in Castleton, drive to Rocester and start our walk about 9.00 am. We started our walk about 11.30am! Traffic was a nightmare, could possibly of been avoided by arriving the night before, and i should have learnt from the Pennine Way! This put us under extreme pressure due to the limited daylight hours this time of year. We knew we would not reach our planned destination and wanted to get at least to Parwich.
We parked the car and headed past the JCB Academy and St Michaels Church, pausing for a quick photo to mark the start of our walk. The route, although is not well signposted as the Limestone Way, the footpaths it uses are quite clearly marked, in the main! After heading up a hill out of Rocester we crossed the B5030 and reached the driveway of Barrowhill Carehome where we rejoined the B5030 as we could not see the stile in the corner that was supposed to be our return point. Crossing the road at Dalesgap Farm we headed down the hill over fields to follow the River Dove.
You soon reach a stone road bridge over the river, where you leave the river and turn left up towards Lower Ellastone but turn right as you approach it and over a small bridge to follow a track towards Calwich Abbey. Before reaching the Abbey you pass Martin’s Pond where you take a sharp left almost doubling back on yourself. This track follows an arc to the B5032 where we turned right, heading up the hill and turning left at the first footpath signpost you see. you now start to head over the fields. We started to notice that sometimes you would see a ram’s head on the walking signposts, the symbol for the Limestone Way, but not always! you need your maps and some interpretational skills as the path has been redirected at times by the local farmers.
We soon picked up an old track that we followed all the way to Stanton Lane and Lordspiece before navigating some fields once again before reaching the A52 where we turned right. after a couple of hundred yards we turned left into a gated road signposted Blore. Before reaching Blore we reached a very pretty farmhouse called Woodhouses, where we turned right immediately after, descending down and up the other side of a valley to cross a minor road to Caldwall Farm. Another valley to traverse, only deeper this time. At the bottom of the valley is the River Dove once again, having cut some large twists and bends out. Also at the bottom of the valley is the Manifold Trail following the route of the former Leek & Manifold Light Railway opened in 1904, which I would like to walk sometime. Following the track over Coldwall Bridge it takes you up into Thorpe.
You can see Thorpe Cloud, the gateway to Dovedale just to the north of you, which sadly is avoided. We pass Peveril of the Peak Hotel and up towards Tissington Gates and Tissington. At Tissington Gates you cross the A515 and enter Tissington via a tree lined Avenue through parkland. We stopped in Tissington for a late afternoon bite to eat and to decide what we were going to do. Parwich looked our best bet as the light was now starting to fade. Tissington Hall was a tempting thought, if a little outside our budget! We passed through St Mary’s Church graveyard and past the earthworks described as ‘Siegeworks’ dating from the Civil War.
Turning left onto Chapel Lane and then right over a field and then right again along an unnamed road, we cross the Tissington Trail, a 13 mile cycle/ walking trail tracing the railways constructed by LNWR in 1889. One more valley to cross and we arrive at Parwich, just as the light is completely failing. We ask for directions to the local pub, The Sycamore Inn, which opened at 7pm, just enough time for us to cook our curry before heading in for a pint or 2. The pub and locals was very friendly and we managed to negotiate somewhere to pitch our tents for the night not far away from the pub at all. The pub is also home to the village shop so we we were lucky enough to be able to buy bacon at 8pm for next days breakfast! Will tells me the beer was as good as the company (Will drinks the Ales whilst I do the Ciders), so we stopped for 4 and a night-cap, thanks to The Sycamore Inn for the warm welcome and hospitality!