3rd May 2018
Weather: Cloudy with sunny spells. Still surprisingly cold out of sun. Clouded over 4pm
From the side of the busy A50, the old “Dove Bridge” was visible. Passing under A50, its full glory could be appreciated
Dove valley was very wide and flat at this point. The fields had quite a lot of standing water, so this morning’s dried boots were soon wet again, so on with waterproof socks once more.
Approaching Rocester, it’s JCB factory country. “Keep Off” notices on their executive retreats, the big JCB school academy and people wearing JCB logos on clothing. Very Stepford I thought.
Doveleys Manor Park was notable for its manicured dandelion meadows
I am getting used to being pursued by the locals wherever I go
The view of Stanton rising from the plain only available due to a wrong turn
At this point I wondered whether to extend the error and follow the Limestone Way (more ascent), or descend to risk wetter conditions in the wooded valley below. Deciding on the woods, the very boggy ground and many fallen trees really did slow me down.
The Limestone Way would have been quicker, but there were bluebells to compensate
I stopped at the Dog & Partridge in Swinscoe for a pint of lime & soda. I was out of water & topped up.
Shortly after leaving, the view to Thorpe cloud & Ilam valley opened out. Getting closer:
Then a walk along one of the most popular parts of the Peak District, Dovedale. I was passing through after 5pm, so there were few people about. There will be a few more over the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend.
To Milldale, greeted by a cat,
and a sharp uphill to Alstonefield to end the day with a viewpoint to the upper Dove valley
Only the second night of camping (Martin will be pleased)
The food in The George was anything but roughing it – by far the best meal I have had the whole trip.