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Virtual Walk Update... March 2, 2014

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Where has February gone? It's been 3 weeks since I last posted, but in that time I've walked 67 miles from Penkridge to Edale, where the Pennine Way starts. But before I tell you about Britain's first long-distance walking trail, let's go back tp Penkridge and do a quick catch-up.

The names of the places I passed through, or near, were for the most part more interesting than the terrain, which was mostly farmland, often soggy, and at times almost requiring a mask... or full breathing apparatus... because of the droppings from cows, sheep and even llamas. I'll let you imagine the rest, and just say my boots will never be the same.

So... Great and Little Haywood, Abbots Bromley. Uttoxeter, Dovedale, Tideswell, Crannock Chase, Mam Tor, Snake Pass... each name creates its own picture.

There were a few special places. Arbor Low, near Hartington, is called the Stonehenge of the north, but the 50 stones are lying on the ground, and although the neolithic stone circle may be 5000 years old, I found it disappointing.

Not so Shugborough Hall, one of Britain's grand homes, which now belongs to the National Trust, and like many, manages to bring in some money through such diverse projects as food fairs, camping, weddings, murder mystery plays and ghost tours. These fantastic homes cost millions to keep up, and with staff no longer working for a pittance, it's a huge challenge to keep them afloat. I am grateful to the National Trust and other such organizations, for keeping these buildings open.

Now... the Pennine Way... a 267-mile walking trail going from Edale across theYorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park to end in Kirk Yetholm, just across the Scottish border. The Pennine Way is estimated to be used by 12,000 long-distance walkers and 250,000 day-trippers each year. I am really excited to reach this part of my walk, because I've loved the Pennines and Derbyshire since I first visited this area in 1993.

Thanks for walking along with me, Spark Friends. It's quite a trip, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the journey.

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