Blog Review of the Year 2020 – October

As the nights began drawing in, there was still more travel to be done, with new places to explore and old places to revisit.

October 2020

First up, on the first day of October, I made a return to Beeston in Nottinghamshire. I say a return; I was there very fleetingly in April 2019 on the way back from Sileby in Leicestershire. I always wanted to return to Beeston and have a look around the place, so that’s what I did. I had a walk around the town centre and visited Highfields Park, a huge Victorian park which was once owned, and later donated to the council, by Jesse Boot, founder of Boots the Chemist, who are also based in Beeston. I caught a glimpse of their site when I walked the Nottingham Canal on my way back to Beeston station.

Waterfall at Highfields Park in Nottingham.

The next trip was a Saturday evening jaunt to Nottinghamshire, to tick off one tricky station and another not-so-tricky station. Netherfield has a limited service and it is just a short walk away from Carlton station. The plan was to get the train to Netherfield, walk to Carlton and get the train back to Burton. It didn’t turn out to be that simple, though, due to a delayed train at Nottingham. It all worked out in the end, though.

Carlton station, just as night-time was arriving.

This trip was also the subject of the first video on the blog’s new YouTube channel.

The next trip came just a few days later. Obviously, I had changed trains at Derby railway station many times on various trips, but I had never left the station via the Pride Park exit before. This time, I did that and explored a part of the city I had never been to before. I saw Pride Park, the home of Championship strugglers Derby County, and visited Alvaston Park. I then had a walk over to Derby Arboretum, the world’s first public park.

Derby Arboretum

The final trip of 2020 came late in October. I had a day out in Longport in Stoke on Trent. The weather was something of a mixed bag, with rain showers alternating with sunshine. I walked by the Trent & Mersey Canal, past a variety of former potteries and mills. I also took the opportunity to visit Festival Park, the site of the 1986 Stoke on Trent Garden Festival, an initiative by the government at the time to regenerate former industrial sites across Great Britain. Unfortunately, there is not much left of Festival Park, which has mostly been taken over by retail and leisure facilities.

Former pottery in Longton.

Any hopes I may have had of further travel in 2020 were dashed when the government, in response to rising cases of Covid-19, implemented a second lockdown in November. This prevented non-essential travel. And anyway, it’s too cold and dark to go anywhere.

That’s it for the blog from 2020. In spite of everything, I managed to get out and about quite a lot. Hopefully in 2021, I will be able to do a lot more exploring. I already have a long list of places I want to visit, and revisit. Thank you very much for reading and supporting the blog, and I hope you have a great Christmas.