The approach to Tissington is through a magnificent avenue of lime trees, and when you first see the place it completes the idyll of a perfect village. On one side of a huge green is Tissington Hall, the home of the Fitzherbert family since the reign of Elizabeth I: on the other a neat row of cottages and a slightly elevated Norman church.
On this walk you save Tissington village for last, preferring instead to take to the Tissington Trail, the former trackbed of the Ashbourne-to-Buxton railway, which was closed by Dr Beeching in 1967. The route soon leaves the old track behind and descends into the valley of Bletch Brook, then out again onto a pastured hillside.
Now you see Parwich, tucked in the next valley beneath a wooded hill. Overlooking the village is a fine 18th-century red-bricked building, Parwich Hall. Parwich isn't as grand as Tissington, but it has a village green, and there's a duck pond too. St Peter's Church is Victorian, but incorporates the chancel arch, and a carved tympanum from the old Norman church.
Leaving Parwich behind, the path continues over the hillside, back into the valley of Bletch Brook and the Tissington Trail, then back for a better look at Tissington. Every year on Ascension Day Tissington's locals dress these wells. This involves making a clay-covered dressing frame onto which pictures are traced. Flower petals are then pressed into the clay, creating elaborate patterns. The ceremony is unique to Derbyshire and the Peak District. Originally a pagan ceremony to appease the gods into keeping pure water flowing, it was later adopted by the Christian religion. During the Black Death, when people from neighbouring villages were being ravaged by the plague, the Tissington villagers were kept in good health, due, they believe, to the pure water from the five wells.
Miles: 4.2 miles
Gradients: Lowest 570ft, Highest 902ft, Total ascent 799ft
LATE CANCELLATION POLICY: Sherwood Nordic Walking has a late cancellation policy whereby full price will be paid for any walks cancelled within 12 hours of the start of the walk. Any refund will be at the discretion of Sherwood Nordic Walking and will be dependent on the cancelling client making contact with us before cancelling.