Way back in 1970 is when it all started - I was taken to the Manifold valley on a school field trip, and fell in love! Some pals and I had a week camping and walking there after the school trip whetted our appetite, (and generally making nuisances of ourselves, getting lost, etc etc). As naughty teenagers do, I carved my initials in a barn door - and they are STILL there today (although painted over several times).
Ecton hall, where we parked the car to start the walk. This hall is striking in the fact it has a copper roof, and over time, this has oxidised so it's now green. If you click on the picture, you'll get a larger version, and can see this.
Simple starkness like this always takes my eye.
Early spring sees the blossom blooming.
Huge, blue skies was the order of the day, great for views and pictures.
A lot of the high walking in the Manifold valley is rewarding, as views are particularly good on a clear day,
The lovely little village of Butterton, sleepy today, with its ford across the road.
Sue debates whether to walk through a slippery-looking ford, or go via the footpath above.
The spire of Butterton church.
After Butterton, we dropped into a wooded grove. The path was difficult to find.
Sue tries to suss out if we are where we're supposed to be.
Me? I got my sandwiches out!
At Upper Elkstone, we saw this impressive bell on a private house that used to be a school, but this other one was on the small chapel.
Elkstone chapel and graveyard.
We were soon up high again, and the views were superb.
Two slight wisps were all the cloud we saw all day.
One of many Manifold barns, roofless and in need of some TLC.
Lots of sheep, but no sign of lambs here yet.
We dropped back into the valley as the evening sun was casting an orange glow over the hillside.
Wetton mill, where it all began back in 1970.
The ford at Wetton mill.
We walked along the valley floor in the dying light of the day, passing through an old tunnel from the days of the Manifold light railway.
You can read about it by clicking HERE
We reached the car shortly after the tunnel, and looked back on a sometimes 'challenging' walk, navigation-wise.
Here are a couple of well-hidden stiles on the route!