Friday, 26 December 2014

Derbyshire's rolling landscape

In Duffield at my brother's. Boxing Day, traditional time for a longer walk to work off the over-eating (and ale-quaffing) of the festive season.  I ascend the hill to Hazelwood, for a 5km/3 mile walk rising over 100m. The scenery of this part of Derbyshire, where the Peaks give way gently to the plains of the East Midlands, is unmistakably English, its man-made decoration - architecture and infrastructure - add flavour. Below: looking down towards Duffield from the edge of the town.

Below: hedge, gate, field, valley, ridge rising beyond; characteristically English landscape. Somewhere in that valley runs the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, between Duffield and Wirksworth.

Below: between Hazelwood and Duffield.

Below: between Hazelwood and Duffield, upon a brow of a hill, hedgerows to one side. No footpath, fortunately drivers around here take it easy.

Below: the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Hazelwood. Standing on the crossroads at the top of a hill, the site was evidently associated with pagan ritual before Christianity reached Britain's shores. The church is on Hob Hill - hob being an archaic name for the devil. Standing on the hilltop, I could feel a strong spirit of place, though it was not malign.

Below: Gallic engineering looking incongruous against a British backdrop - a 30-year-old example of a 66-year-old design, a late production Citroen 2CV Charleston.

Below: entirely congruous in rural Derbyshire - a 60-year old Morris Minor van (Series II, split windscreen, grated grille), looking the part against stone walls; Hopping Hill, Milford. The Minor and 2CV both entered production in 1948.

After the walk, some more glorious food (honey-glazed ham with all the trimmings), mince pie and more fineft alef from the Great Heck Brewery in Yorkshire.

This time last year:
Our Progress Around the Sceptr'd Isle

This time two years ago:
Out and about in Duffield
Christmas Break

This time three years ago:
Boxing Day walk in Derbyshire

This time four years ago
This time six years ago:
This time seven years ago:

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