Just returned from a brilliant story walk around Wirksworth with storyteller and musician, Pete Castle.

He led us up this really steep incline from Ken’s Market- a gentle introduction to what was to come- I joke, my legs don’t. We stopped at a children’s playgroundwhere we heard the story of the Sleeping Mountain. Perhaps someone in the Derbyshire Dales has the giant’s ball and ring. If so I expect he wants it back!

Moving on we stopped before the steps leading to the quarry path. The story here was from his own background- his shepherding great grandfather in Wiltshire. A gentle thoughtprovoking tale with the idea that we ought to listen to out family tales whilst we still can ask questions of those closer to the source.

We crossed the quarry- a desolate, moonscape so different from the green surrounding it. Stopping in the field on the other side, Pete told us his version of the Little Red Hairy Man. So if you ever find yourself sat on a rock and a little red hairy man pops up and asks you for a share of your sandwich and a drink, make sure you give him at least half and you will find your fortune.

We walked on up and passed a traveller with a solar panel, making a willow chair. Then we walked along the railway track to High Middleton for our loo stop. There was a long queue as we were behind a party of 35 Canadians on a walking holiday round Britain. They had done the Lake District in the rain and were glad of the lovely sunshine today.

By the time the last of us emerged from the loo, everyone else had sat and downed backpacks.The Stone Soup story was apt at this point. Sandwiches and fruit were offered around as we took needed sustenance. Then we heard the story of one of the engine drivers, his bravery in the face of an exploded steam stack with a runaway train on this line.

Stomachs fatter, we moved down to the Stone ??? . We stopped and looking at a stone that poked proud of the ground, we heard the Stone story, originally a Canadian story of how stories began and the promise that people made to pass them on and to pay the storyteller.

Our final story was Rapunzel at the site  of  a dry stone tower with an iron ladder poking out of the top.

Then back down the hill round the corner to where we had started from.

Great day, the sun shone the whole time, happiness with stories- can’t get better.