At 8.30 a.m. on Saturday 10th August, 12 people from St. John’s climbed aboard a coach bound for the small market town of Ashbourne with the Liverpool Road Methodist Church Rambling Club.
Ashbourne is situated in the middle of England, in the county of Derbyshire, at the southerly end of the Pennine Chain - the mountainous backbone of England.
After stopping for a break en route we arrived at the car park, by the Leisure Centre in Ashbourne, at about 11.30 a.m.
Having disembarked from the coach, the 18 “walkers” followed David Wall to the Tissington Trail whilst the rest of the party walked into Asbourne to enjoy their day out there.
The Tissington Trail runs for 13 miles from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay, where High Peak Junction joins it. The High Peak and Tissington Trails were formerly the Cromford and High Peak and the Ashbourne to Buxton railway lines. The Buxton to Ashbourne railway line opened in 1899 and closed in 1967. Once the track was removed, the route was transformed into a recreational trail and opened to the public in 1971. You can walk, cycle or ride a horse on the trails all year round.
Following David, we walked out of Ashbourne along the Tissington Trail but, shortly after passing through the tunnel, we left the trail and veered off across fields of cows or sheep towards the Peak District National Park.
It was a really lovely walk and for once conditions were ideal. It was not too hot, not too cold and not even wet!
We sat down, for our picnic lunch, on a ridge.
David told us that this was the border of, and looking out over, The National Park.
After lunch we walked on to, and through, the pretty village of Thorpe, which had been mentioned in the Domesday Book with records from January to December 1086!
A little later we heard the sound of gunfire and wondered what we had let ourselves in for. However, being an intrepid band, we continued to follow our leader.
We spotted a red flag in the distance but marched on towards it! It turned out that we were passing right behind a shooting range but, fortunately the targets were well off in the opposite direction!
Eventually we curved back onto the Tissington Trail for an easy walk back to the Ashbourne Leisure Centre. The trail was very pleasant to walk along – tree lined, well surfaced and virtually flat. However, the main hazard for walkers on the trail was the cyclist of which there were many!
We rejoined the coach by 5.00 p.m. (15 minutes later than we had hoped to be).
We all had a lovely day and our thanks go to David Wall for choosing and leading the walk and the Liverpool Road Methodist Church Rambling Club for, as ever, being such excellent hosts.