Iona visits Derbyshire

Trip 11: Poplars Farm, Hulland nr Ashbourne.

The view from the van

The weather forecast was not very encouraging but it was going to be a bit warmer. This trip we are staying at Poplars Farm campsite, a couple of miles from the Derbyshire town of Ashbourne. This is a 5 pitch site with 3 pods and a field for tents. There are a few footpaths nearby so we are hoping to get out and about.

Iona’s pitch

We went for a walk after lunch. It had been raining so we dressed for wet weather. Sara had told us that a lot of the footpaths had not had a lot of use.

Sara was right, the first footpath we came too went down into a wood and we had to uncover the steps to use them, they were covered with mud and leaves.

One of many streams

We tried to follow the paths in a large circular route , we managed quite well, we avoided all fields with cows in although as we approached the last few fields the cows had made such a mess in the mud by a bridge that it was impassable. Sue promptly slipped over in the mud.

One of several footbridges

We abandoned that path and crossed a field where we picked up another path. Unfortunately there was no style just a hole in a hedge that the cows had also used and the mud was a good 2’ deep. I went through first and then helped Sue through, but once she was through the worst I let go and Sue promptly slipped over in the mud and cow muck for a second time.

Just a bit muddy, worse than it looks here.

I told her to get up, however that did not go down well, she missed the funny side of it. Once we were on fairy good ground I took a picture of her.

We continued on the path until it crossed a narrow road. Instead of following the path we walked up the track until we came to the main road. This is the road we were told to avoid when walking because there is not pavement. The first part had a wide verge that we used but the last 200yds had no verge but we managed to duck into a couple of gateways when cars came and we made it back safely, although muddy.

A Motorhome arrived this afternoon and then another turned up at 18.00 just as it was getting dark.

For tea we had the stew that Sue had prepared before we left home, accompanied by some homemade bread.

Day 2:

The day has started with rain and it looks like it may stay all day. However the weather changed and it brightened up so we got ready for a walk. This time we started by walking into Hulland Ward along the quieter road, although we still had to get on the verge a few times.

We found a pub

Towards the end of the village we walked through a small housing estate to the footpath and then headed out into the countryside.

We passed a few farms but it was mainly walking across fields of sheep today.

If it was not for the MapsMe app on my phone we would not have found some of the styles or gates.

A little misty this morning.

We were going to look for somewhere to eat out packed lunch but we came to a field with cows in. Sue wanted to follow the road instead so by the time we had passed the cows we were well on the way home and then it started to rain so we carried on to the campsite.

Some sort of well in the middle of a field

We ate lunch in the motorhome once we had changed and cleaned ourselves of mud.

Another view
Still smiling after 5 miles

This afternoon we read in the Moho. We have found the free wifi which is useful. Sue has tried the showers out.

Tonight we have Chicken 🐓 breasts stuffed with mozzarella and tomatoes, salad and sweet potato fries.

Tonight we also had a great red sky and an orange moon although the iPhone does not do them justice.

Day 3:

Today we went walking again. Last night we agreed to walk to Carsington Water which looks about 2 miles away. There is no direct route so we started off following the country lanes until we reached Kirk Ireton. There was one very steep hill to climb which put my heart rate upto 145bpm and Sues to 154bpm.

Here we left the roads and joined a footpath that took us in a straight line to Carsington Water. After about 100yds Sue saw the cows but by then she was committed to follow me. The said cows were part of a dairy herd and they were quite happily laying down and chewing the cud.


In the next part of the field we’re more cows but this time with calves, Sue got nervous again but they too were happy to stay laying down.

The last part of the trek was along a farm track and downhill. We reached the reservoir. We have walked around the full 8 miles before so there was no need to do it again, instead we found a bench and sat down to eat our packed lunch.

Carsington Water

The reservoir was 3.6 miles from the campsite the way we came. We were going to follow the road back but after 1/2 mile the pavement stopped and there was very little verge to walk on so we backtracked and returned the way we came.

There was one change Sue did not want to walk across the three fields that had cows in so we followed the road back to Kirk Ireton to avoid the beasts.

We arrived back at Iona by 14.30. We had covered a total of 8 miles and we had been walking for 2.5 hours. The sun has been out all day, 10°c when sheltered but the windchill has made it feel cold 6°c.

Tonight we have steak for tea, our last night before heading home.

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