BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘Weaver Hills’

#365daysofbiking Windswept and happy

Saturday March 27th 2021 – The long rides of summer are underway now, fittingly on the last day before British Summer Time starts.

The day was characterised by a very strong southwesterly,

There was some sun from time to time as I and a friend headed up the A515 to Hoar Cross, Newborough and over Marchington Cliff to Woodroffes, the lonely church on the hill overlooking the Dove valley and Uttoxeter.

From there, down to Uttoxeter itself, along the cycleway to Doveridge and over Roston Common to Ellastone and that gorgeous bridge on the frontier.

From Ellastone, the weather turned grey and rain periodically joined the harsh wind. But it didn’t matter: Up over the Weaver Hills at dusk, down Star Bank into Oakamoor and along Red Road on the Churnet Valley floor by night, listening to owls and enjoying the oddly now warming up air.

Home was via Bramshall, Loxley and Rugeley. A terrific ride of more than 80 miles that was totally enjoyable. Great to be back.

Interesting too was the Peli case we found chained to the guard rail by the Trent between Kings Bromley and Yoxall: An Environment Agency water quality monitor, it had sensors in the water, presumably monitoring particulate and runoff pollution from the demolition site of Rugeley Power Station. Great to see.

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#365daysofbiking Beyond the blue

August 26th – I normally hate August Bank Holiday Monday – it’s seems to be the end of summer (although it usually isn’t). If it’s grim it’s the most depressing day, and when bright it can be hard to think of a summer passed.

However, today was fabulous. I slipped out in the morning heading for old hands – the countryside of the A515 corridor to Sudbury, the lovely villages between there, Ashbourne and Utoxetter and the Weaver hills, before returning via the Churnet Valley and Blithfield.

I was fast and the riding was good. I caught Sbnelston, the perfect little village in the Dove valley with it’s gorgeous, tree shrouded church; I sat at the top of the Weabvers, unusually with the company of picnickers. I saw the Moorlands edge village of Cotton shrouded in heat mist.

A cracking day that was just what I needed. A most excellent Bank Holiday.

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#365daysofbiking Churnet up

June 29th – Since it was to be the hottest day of the year so far, I went for it again: Another ride out.

I rode up over Chorley to Armitage, and then up through Blithbury and Abbotts Bromley to Denstone, then up the Churnet Valley Trail to Alton, which always gives gorgeous views of the castle at Alton, evoking Bavaria or the Loire Valley.

From Alton to Oakamoor on the wonderful valley-floor lane called Red Road, then a quick break in the village and up Star Bank for a drink at the Old Star pub to cool down/ From there a loop round Windy Harbour and Caldon Lowe over the Weaver Hills, and back home through Ellastone, Marston Montgomey, Sudbury and Yoxall.

A fantastic ride on a perfect day.

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April 8th – Spotted in the meadow at Waterhouses, this venerable, grumpy looking puss.

Peak District cats are a tough breed, and often look as weathered as the landscape they inhabit. This white cat was just sat, taking the air and enjoying the sun (one presumes, although the expression doesn’t give much away). I like to think it was taking stock, and looking forward to another summer of hunting, stalling territory and snoozing in the sun.

As befits any older cat, really.

April 8th – The first big hayride of the year – out to Staffordshire, Weaver Hills and the Manifold, then around the Moors and Roaches and returning from Congleton on the train.

More photos on my main blog later today – a cracking ride; I was fluid, had energy to spare and it was a fast, warm ride on a day more usually expected in May than April.

Nice to be back in the saddle for long rides again!

September 23rd – At Calton, high in the Weaver Hills, I was surprised to find a tree with a huge crop of ripe plums, so ripe that they were falling off the tree and rotting on the ground, food only for birds and a huge army of wasps.

A taste of one of the purple fruit told me why they were untouched – so tart my face nearly turned inside out.

This was no deterrent to the wasps, however, who were too busy to bother the inquisitive human with the camera.

August 10th – The Weaver Hills are one of my favourite bits of Staffordshire. From the floor of the Manifold Valley at Steeplehouse, to the ruins of Throwley Hall; from the picturesque, weathered beauty of Calton Village to the solitude and fine views of The Walk, they are a fine, pagan place. Hell to climb up from either side, but a heavenly descent. This is Staffordshire, the county I adore, at it’s finest. 

April 22nd – The long Good Friday.

Another big panorama image, about a mile further into the Manifold Valley. The road descends nerve-wrackingly to a 90 degree righthand bend through a farmyard, otherwise known as Throwley. Nearby, the ruins of Throwley Hall are preserved. Few really seem to come here, and it’s why I love the area so much – there’s unexpected delight in every turn.

Further down the valley, people throng at Dovedale and Milldale, yet seldom stray up the hill. Their loss.

April 22nd – The long Good Friday. 2nd 100 mile plus ride this year, a 114 mile spin up through Staffordshire, into the Dove Valley and up over the Weaver Hills to take some photos and video for top twitter guy @66usual (Steve Lightfoot), who’s interested in the area. Dropped down into the Manifold Valley, then up onto the Tissington Trail, back down the High Peak Trail to Brassington and home via Ashbourne, Hatton, Barton and Lichfield.

This image was taken from the back of the Weaver Hills, just north of Calton, overlooking the Manifold Valley. Few people here, only livestock and bird song to break the silence. And, of course, an old, sweaty cyclist singing tunelessly to the Stone Roses as he descends on one of the best downhill runs he knows.

A great day and a fantastic ride. Seem to be in good shape for early spring, and didn’t crap out once – although the climb out of Thorpe to the Tissington had me sweating a bit. 

Look out for a post and video here and on the main blog in the next day or so. This is a large panorama photo and you’ll need to click on it to get the full impression.