On a cool and cloudy Easter Sunday, April 13, June had organised a walk from the public car park near the Isaac Walton Hotel in Dovedale. We started off walking along the lovely River Dove.
After a little while we crossed over the famous stepping stones, under June’s careful supervision.
We then climbed up the hill towards Thorpe.
After a long steady climb we then headed through woodland before reaching a spot with a view, where June decided to stop for our coffee break.
Occasionally on our walks, we do a bit of standing around to regroup, admiring the view in the meantime.
Our lunch was taken at the beautiful St Mary’s church in Mappleton, where we inspected the interior before exiting to peruse the graveyard.
Although a church here was first mentioned in records during the reign of Edward 1 (1272 – 1307) the current building was built in the mid-18th century to the design of James Gibbs, a pupil of Christopher Wren. Among his most important works are the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London and the Radcliffe Camera at Oxford University.
After that we returned to Dovedale via the river and the scenic countryside near Ilam, having crossed over the impressive Coldwall Bridge near Thorpe.
This is a Grade II listed monument dated 1726 and was originally the main coach road across the River Dove, between the counties of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. When the motor car became popular, it was used less and less because the steep gradient was too much for the first cars. Today, the bridge is only used by farmers and walkers (and sheep) and is really peaceful.
We then returned through the beautifulvillage of Ilam. Despite the weather, we all felt this had been an excellent walk – thanks June!