The Portway was used for trade and pilgrimage for centuries, so it's important that I focus on the human element - a good excuse for a night out at one of Derbyshire's most unusual and unmodernised pubs. Sitting at the junction of the old Portway road through Wardlow, and the 'Turnpike' at Wardlow Mires, real ale is served in a cramped room of the farmhouse. A group of men who had braved the fog in a steam engine unknowingly became the subject of various sketches. It's not the sort of place where you sit with sketch book and pencil, so memory had to suffice:
The grey village of Wardlow is spread thinly along a linear stretch of Portway. The village dates from the 13th century, but the history is ancient: a Neolithic barrow was discovered when the road was widened in the 18th Century, lying a mile north east of the lookout post of Fin Cop near Monsal Head. The sunset from Monsal Head is the subject of one of the first Portway paintings completed in the summer - the sun sets right in the notch of two hills - a perfect composition.
Sunset from Monsal Head