Limestone Way Day 3 - Winster to Tissington
Updated: Jan 19
Today was HOT. We got going pretty early, leaving one car at Tissington before driving on to where we left off the previous day in Winster.
The first part of the day was hiking up high and looking down into the valley below, where we could see the town of Matlock. We reached the outskirts of Bonsall, and continued onto the small village of Ible and down into the valley of Via Gellia. This is thought to be named after the guy who built the road in the 18th century - Philip Eyre Gell - in a jokey Latin way. They knew how to have a laugh.
Quarries surround this part of the Limestone Way. If yesterday's walk showed telltale signs of past human activity, today was all about the present. The industry of Derbyshire has long been built on exploiting its natural resources - it has been remarked before that the biggest export of Derbyshire is Derbyshire itself! There's evidence of lead mining as far back as Roman times, and today, lots of quarries mine the local limestone for supplying the construction industry.
Walking through the trees around the quarry, you might be mistaken for thinking they've been coated in a thick layer of frost. As you look closer (and hopefully remember it's the height of summer) you can see that it's actually dust from the quarry that has settled on the surrounding world, giving the vibrant greens of the trees and browns of the earth a slightly more muted tone.
From the quarry, we made our way up the other side of the valley and through the pretty stifling afternoon heat. The sun beat down on us as we followed a road past the ancient settlement of Rainster Rocks, struggled up and around the steep base of Ballidon Moor and down into the tiny village of Ballidon itself. We rewarded ourselves with a quick stop by the chapel on the fringes of the village, where we had some some water and a bit of sausage roll that had finally defrosted from that morning.
We pressed onwards into the bucolic scene of Parwich, where roses climbed over the cottage exteriors and thriving allotments sat alongside the churchyard. In more normal times, the village pub would have been waiting for us to drop in, but with Covid meaning all temptation was taken away, we had no choice but to continue on.
Following the theme of the previous days, a last minute surprise hill was thrown in for the final part of the day. We trudged up and down, and then up and down again, before finally crossing the Tissington trail, and finishing in Tissington itself.