Thursday, September 03, 2009

A September Walk

We returned to Dimmingsdale this time to walk along the former track of the Old Churnet Railway which runs from Oakamoor to Alton.

This time we parked at Oakamoor Picnic site and walked towards where the old station used to be - all that was left to show that there had been quite a large station here were the remains of two of the platforms.

It was a branch line built through the Churnet Valley by the North Staffordshire Railway Company and opened in 1849. It was used mainly by copper workers from the nearby copper mines and also by day trippers up to Rudyard Lake and thence to the seaside towns of Rhyl or Blackpool. The line was finally closed in October 1965.

It was gloriously muddy underfoot and the weather seemed distinctly autumnal. We diverted for a while up to and over the bridge and down towards one of our favourite places.

Well, who can resist a mug of hot coffee at the wonderful Rambler's Retreat! By this time the weather had brightened slightly and as we were sitting outside we found the wasps a bit of a problem. I must admit I'm not keen on wasps!

We returned to the path which was flooded in places and a lot of the ground either side was under water and looked as if it had been that way for some time.

There were several trees fallen across the path too - it looked almost as if there had been a huge winter storm except the trees were still very green.

We reached Alton Station which is now in private hands and walked up the steps at the side of the road bridge to see where we were.

We were on the road just going into the village of Alton with Alton Castle in the background.

It was time to retrace our steps and walk back towards Oakamoor. By this time the sun was out and all the picnic tables were taken so we decided to move on to find somewhere else to eat our lunch.

We drove through Cauldon past all the huge quarries and out onto the Leek to Ashbourne road. We turned off this road at Waterhouses and went towards the small village of Waterfall. We parked near the little church and went to have a closer look.

There is a footpath across the field to the church from the village. It was a most peaceful place with a typical village churchyard.

Amazingly the church was open so we popped in to take a look. I was quite surprised that my camera managed a couple of decent interior shots.

One of the East window and one of the pews in the nave all filled with wonderful embroidered kneelers.

We are busy this week getting ready for our visit to the New Forest so I'll try and get the Gladstone Museum part two post done before we go but if I don't manage it I'll finish it when we get back. I'm hoping the weather will be better than it has been for the last two days; as I sit at the kitchen table typing this post the wind is whistling around the house like it does in November!


  1. That was a lovely walk!
    Oh my gosh yes those xray machines, I have a feeling somebody decided they were dangerous so they took them out. Mind you, my mum was right, growing feet bones, need good shoes never had any problem with my feet, where as friends who had the fashionable shoes have bunions! OUCH...

  2. English churchyards are always very fascinating, as you don't have any enclosure for tombs (our cemeteries are really ugly)
    Beautiful autumnal colours!

  3. We have just visited Englesea Brook Museum, inspired to do so by your blog. It was a great treat, they gave us tea and biscuits and we watched a magic lantern show. I took some photo's so when I have a minute I may put them on my blog.

  4. Gosh, that was enjoyable Rosie! Every time you post a photo of the Rambler's Retreat I'm envious! I can taste a cup of tea and fresh scones on a cool day. Yum!

  5. That looks like a beautiful, peaceful place to go for a walk. I love the church with its tapestry kneelers.

  6. You sure live in a beautiful area Rosie. I look forward to reading your blog to find out where you have been next.

  7. Is that Alton as in Alton Towers? It always looks so lovely around that area when we are forced to pay a visit - I think next time i'll drop 'em off and pick 'em up later!! Have a great time in the New Forest. One of my favorite places in the UK is "Bucklers Hard" - if youve never been, make sure you pay a visit. xxx

  8. A perfect walk for early autumn weather. Yes, I know it's not really autumn yet, but we are celebrating early here!

    It looked like Wellington weather!

  9. You have so many delightful journeys, Rosie. I enjoy tagging along and seeing all the wonderful places you visit...
    Thanks for letting me look over your shoulder, I had a marvelous time :D
    Be well, Be happy... Pam

  10. Hi Rosie,

    Once again, a most beautiful walk. I love the glimpse of Alton Castle in the background ~ it looks like the castle of fairy tales.

    Marie x

  11. jeannettestgermain4 September 2009 at 21:21

    The embroidered kneelers look very nice! As always you take your readers on an interesting trip!!
    Why I actually dropped by Rosie was because I saw your comment about your go-cart/push cart on someone's blog, and it really made me smile, as it was a good childhood memory:)

  12. Your environment is like Eden to me. Pray that the human kind take good care of this heritage that money cannot buy.