Friday, October 19, 2007

Derbyshire / Staffordshire Church Walk

  • Walked: 14th October 2007
  • Distance: 11.5m
  • Terrain: fairly flat - high points are just 20m higher than low spots
  • Summary: Coton-in-the-Elms, Edingale, Harlaston, Cliffton Campville, Lullington
  • Time: around 5 hours start to finish

Today was a real comedy of errors. I didn't manage to jump a ditch very successfully and my hand landed in stinging nettles, we got a bit lost and I ate a mushroom which wasn't as edible as it looked. (All it did was to briefly touch my tongue, which was then stinging and burning for half of this walk.)

There is a private track after a short stretch of road out of Coton, but it is marked 'here be dragons' in big letters (or something similar) so Raddle Farm Wood makes a pleasant National Forest walk towards Edingale. I commented a week ago about the beautiful colours to be seen at this time of the year. It's also good to see how tall some of the National Forest is becoming.

There's a little bit of road to Edingale, but it's quiet enough. I didn't realise until writing up this walk just how many churches are concentrated in this small area.

This boundary stone by the church marks the old boundary between Staffordshire and Derbyshire. Today's boundary is about a mile from here.

Just through Edingale, this is the very attractive river Mease, which gives Measham its name. After crossing the river and a road, I have to confess that we found it difficult to follow the path and match up the ground with the map, and got a bit lost. When the path becomes a bit uncertain or has been diverted a bit, there is a danger of spotting a stile and assuming that it's the right way. Once you're heading in the wrong direction, then you quickly get a very long way away from where you think you are. Watching the compass more carefully would have prevented the problems today, I think.

This is Harlaston Church, a very interesting and beautiful church, decorated with corn for the harvest festival and a gorgeous spot for coffee.

I'm reliably informed that this is a listed building!

I enjoyd the walk between Harlaston and Clifton Campville. As with the rest of the walk today, there was a real mixture of standing crops, ploughed fields and freshly-planted fields. All surfaces were fine, the weather hasn't been too wet.

I'm amazed that there are so many ripe blackberries around. There seemed to be some ripe ones very early in the year and in places there are still some edible ones. These were delicious!

Not quite the last church, but Cliffton Campville is certainly the most visible. This tall spire is on a high spot, and so you see it as you leave Harlaston.

We'd got well behind schedule and we had to walk the last part (though woods) as it was getting dark. By the time we arrived back at the car, it was completely dark. It's a reminder that a torch in the rucksack is always a very wise precaution.


whippetsgalore said...

That was a very pretty walk, such lovely colours around at the moment, I love it. It reminds me that there are still blackberrys around along Honing long lane, although they are rather soft and squishy but still taste good. Much better than your mushroom i should imagine!! What a lovely church at Harlaston , just right for a welcome coffee break.

Flugel Proud said...

Very interesting blog. Can't believe you didn't call in for a coffee being so close by. It is beautiful around those villages though and I'm sure you enjoyed your walk. I look forward to joining you for some easier routes!!