Alternative Limestone Way, Ashbourne to Brassington

Jan and I have done lots of treks around the world but just day walks on our doorstep in the Peak District. I did walk the Pennine Way in 1974 which starts in Edale 8 miles from where we live now but that’s the only exception. So we decided to change that by walking from Ashbourne to our home in Tunstead Milton.

I got the maps out and could see the Limestone Way went in roughly the right direction. That became the core of the walk for about 3 of the 5 days.

Our trip started by catching the bus to Buxton and then the bus to Ashbourne. This was a bit under 2 hours travel time. Then we will walk north for 5 days to get home. Our overnight stops are Ashbourne, Brassington, Youlgreave, Tideswell, Edale and home. A total of about 50 miles, so roughly 10 miles a day.

Looking out of the window of our room everything was wet, but it wasn’t raining at 7.30am. Unfortunately the forecast was for rain through the day. In the end the whole day was dry.


Today we started in Ashbourne having stayed at the George and Dragon Hotel. The food and beer was good as was the service.

After breakfast we left the hotel at the crack of 10am and headed north towards the Tissington Trail. We followed this for a few hundred metres, then turned onto our footpath to Thorpe village. From the approach to the village it looked like we were in limestone country with Thorpe Cloud and Bunster Hill as the backdrop. In fact we joined the Limestone Way just before Thorpe village. This long distance path goes from Rocester south of Ashbourne to Castleton.

First Limestone Way sign, Thorpe

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A mix of fields and hillsides got us to Tissington and on to Parwich and as luck would have it the Sycamore Inn was open. It was 7 miles from Ashbourne so a good time for a break. Then it was just 3 more miles to Brassington. 

Thorpe Cloud

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We had booked in to the Miners Arms and waited outside for the 4.30pm check-in time agreed earlier (the pub was shut until the evening). Unfortunately no one turned up. Jan rang the landlord and he arranged for someone else to come to the pub and let us in, no explanation as to why he wasn’t here as agreed a few hours earlier. The room was up 2 flights of steep stairs and very old fashioned, soft mattress on the bed and the bathroom was down a flight of stairs and along the passage. Not exactly the ensuite Jan had booked! After a quick discussion we left.

Fortunately, our luggage had been delivered there.

Jan rang the only other accommodation listed in Brassington, the Manor House Guest House. They had a room and were just 200 metres down the road next to the other pub! We moved there. What a contrast. Nice welcome, excellent room.

Next door was the Olde Gate Inn. Very cosy local, excellent Pedigree beer, good food and a landlord that stopped for a conversation with his customers! Why don’t more people running pubs do that these days?

In the end we had a good evening but it was no thanks to the Miners Arms.

Tomorrow we walk to Youlgreave.