Saturday, 16 July 2011

The Very Very Long Walk

Chesterfield Parish Church, with its wonky spire

Hello there!

After yet another long break from this blog, I'm back again! I do have a couple of excuses though... we have bought the house which we've been renting for 14 years, I now know what people mean by house-buying being stressful... But thank goodness that it's all sorted!

The other thing which has been keeping me busy, is that I'm taking part in a summer-long walking event, called the DWP Walking Challenge, for the charity The Civil Service Benevolent Fund (see the end of this post for more info about the CSBF).

So far, I've walked over a third of a million steps, which I'm really pleased with, but I'd really love to walk at least a million steps, maybe more!

So, as you can imagine, I've been walking a lot more than usual for the last couple of weeks! Mathew has been too, and he's being a brilliant support with this, basically encouraging me to go for more and bigger walks, and sorting out the routes. Which is good, as my sense of direction is almost non-existent. I'm the sort of person who comes out of a shop and has to think about which way to turn! I'm not exaggerating.

a map of the very, very long walk

This is why, last Friday evening as me and Mathew were doing our evening walk through nearby Norfolk Heritage Park, we decided to do a big walk the next day (i.e. a week ago today)... and I mean a BIG WALK – from our house in Sheffield, not far from the city centre, to Chesterfield, around 15 miles away!  After we did the walk, Mathew mapped it out on, but there's a screen capture above so you can see.

We started out around 6:25am, which was plenty early for us. It was light, but rather gloomy. Umbrella was packed in case of rain.  This picture below was taken at the top of Granville Road, looking towards Sheffield city centre.

Walked past the big cemetery just up the road from us. These stone carvings are relatively new. I think they're of apples, because there's lots of apples trees in City Road cemetery.

Here's a brief history of City Road cemetery: City Road cemetery history on Sheffield City Council website

More new stone carvings just off City Road:

I've never seen Manor library (I don't even think that I knew there was one!) but I think they're done a lovely job of making it look nice, don't you think so? Oh, and another stone carving... bit of a trend here!

We thought these two signs were funny, outside a primary school. Very passive-aggressive!  They could have written the signs in a much nicer way.

We passed this metal sculpture in Herdings Park at around 7:35am - been walking for only an hour.

This sculpture is in the same style as the deer and little robot person in Norfolk Heritage Park.

We popped into Graves Park to see if the toilets were open. They weren't. Hold on for a bit longer...  But the park was really peaceful, just a few dog-walkers around.

There's some great playground stuff in there too! The sun was actually starting to make an appearance too.
Graves Park is fab, not only because of the gigantic park itself but they also have animals!  We only saw a few on this morning though, some cows and goats:

Good way to clean out your nose! :-)

Don't the goats look contented?
We arrived at Jordanthorpe and saw this bizarre outdoor gym equipment! I would have had a little go but I was a little tired by this time and was a bit self-conscious too!
Then at around 8:45, we crossed the border into Derbyshire! Yay! The village of Coal Aston was very nice.
The countryside around here is really pretty, look at how far you can see!
Odd sign at Dronfield... it took us ages to work out what it meant.  What was the matter with writing "it's 30 for a reason"?

road rage

WE'VE ARRIVED!! Well, not quite.  It actually took us another hour and a half to reach the town centre... my feet were really killing me by now, but Mathew was fine!

Look, we can now see Chesterfield's parish church's famous crooked spire. This was 40 mins after passing the "Chesterfield" sign above.  But we still weren't that close... it took us another hour to reach our destination!

Bright and jolly mural on the side of a school.

We eventually reached Chesterfield town centre at about 11:30am.  To say that my feet and legs were tired is an understatement.  I'm quite very extremely overweight a bit of a porky pig, and I think it's that which makes it tougher for me (I know, I know, it's my own fault...) but it's still not pleasant to have incredibly sore, aching feet and legs! If you are a slim, healthy person then it probably wouldn't be so much of a problem for you. Mathew wanted to have a look around the town's charity shops, but my priority was a nice sit-down!!  We eventually found a lovely park, Queen's Park, which boasted a duck/boating pond, a miniature train and a cricket match! So I settled down, put on a bit of Ravi Shankar on my MP3 player and lazed around for a few hours!

Puffin' Billy

Watching cricket

Mural on the underside of the bridge which links the park to the town centre

One of Chesterfield's oldest buildings, which dates back  to the 17th century, is now a coffee house.

interesting building; I like the colour & ornate windows

another interesting building... I love the tiles above the central doorway!
After a lunch of peanut butter sandwiches and numerous bags of crisps, then an hour or so of watching the cricket, we staggered our painful way home.  Well, Mathew seemed pretty ok, but I really struggled.  At least it was a beautiful evening... look at these views!

It's tea-time!

More cricket! This time, in Graves Park (the toilets still weren't open...)

The picture you see above was the last one I took of the day. I was too tired to bother with my camera.  By this time, my legs and feet were in absolute agony. Yes, I am a bit of a drama queen, but THEY REALLY HURT! I am not used to a lot of physical exercise.  We got back at about 8:15 p.m., mainly because I was shuffling along at a snail's pace.

That, we vowed never to go on such a long walk in one day.  But this week, Mathew's been suggesting all sorts of crazy long walks! Watch this space...

And please sponsor me, at my Just Giving page!

Best wishes
Joey xx

The Civil Service Benevolent Fund
The CSBF helps UK civil servants, ex-civil servants, and people connected to them, and also the employees and their families of many associated organisations which used to be part of the UK civil service, in times of desperate need. It’s the CSBF's 125th anniversary year, and to celebrate, they're aiming to raise £125,000 during 2011 to support their help and advisory activities. The sorts of things the CSBF does is help people during bereavement, long-term and terminal illness, relationship breakdown, financial crisis etc. If you want to know more about the work of the CSBF, please take a look at last year's Impact Report:


  1. wow Joey! I've just finished reading and really enjoyed all the photos of your route to chesterfield and back! you passed some places i recognised...the library at manor, i used to pass that on my way to meadowhall every morning (i hadnt seen that play area before though, it must be new and i don't drive that way anymore if i can help it!) and also that metal snake! I used to drive past him every day too! i remember when he was new, and it only took a week before he was covered in a graffiti. nice. i love the pics of the animals, specially that furry brown cow - awww cute! and the passive aggressive signs, and 30 for a reason sign made me laugh too! what a weird way of getting messages across! and no wonder you were so knackered at the end..i dont think i would have made it back from chesterfield, i would have had to have got on a bus, at least part of the way. it doesnt matter that you were going really slow at the end, it just matters that you DID it! i am VERY impressed!! xx

  2. Wow! What a very long walk you went on! My daughter goes to the school with the passive agressive signs, and I must say, if it had been me in charge of the sign writing, they would have been aggressive aggressive, as unfortunately a large number of parents seem unable to read... Some lovely photos of Chesterfield. You've (almost) inspired me to get my walking shoes out (almost!) :)



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