2021 Travels – Sudbury and Draycott-in-the-Clay

The first journey of the WOW (Week off Work) Tour announced yesterday took me to Sudbury and Draycott-in-the-Clay, two small villages to the North West of Burton on Trent, on the bus route to Uttoxeter.

I caught the 402 service from outside the Town Hall in Burton, and stayed on it for around forty minutes as it passed through Tutbury and Hatton before arriving in Sudbury, where I alighted at the bus stop on the main road, called Main Road.

I had a stroll through the village to the other end, which didn’t take long. The last Census figures available from 2011 give Sudbury a population of little over 1,000 in the area, which includes a few small hamlets nearby. Tourism is important to the local area, with the magnificent Sudbury Hall in the middle of the village, which plays host to the National Museum of Childhood. At the time of writing, it is closed for renovations, but is expected to reopen early in 2022.

Sudbury Hall

I had a stroll around a public park/open space which leads to the Sudbury Hall car park, which was empty, seeing as the hall is closed.

Also in Sudbury is a church, located next to Sudbury Hall. I didn’t have a walk around it, because the gate was closed, but I did take a picture.

All Saint’s Church, Sudbury.

It was soon time to leave Sudbury and start the walk down to Draycott-in-the-Clay. I passed a former pub and restaurant called The Vernon Arms, which closed in 2019.

The former Vernon Arms, now closed.

I retraced my steps back to where I left the bus and turned right onto the A515 road which leads down to Draycott-in-the-Clay. There is a narrow pavement on one side of the road, and it takes around an hour to walk to Draycott. On the way, the road crosses the Crewe-Derby railway line at the site of the former Sudbury railway station, which closed in 1966. The platforms no longer exist, but the signal box does.

I continued down the road and crossed the border back into Staffordshire, where Draycott-in-the-Clay is. As much as I enjoyed walking in the open countryside, the fresh country air smelled a bit too “fresh” at times. There were cows lying in their fields, which everyone knows is a sure sign that it’s going to rain, which it did for a brief while before the sun came out again.

Draycott-in-the-Clay is a small village with some newer housing estates having been built in recent years. There is a village hall, a school and a post office, as well as a couple of pubs. One of them, The Swan, boasts that it serves the best pies in England.

The Swan Inn serves the best pies in England, apparently.

Buses back to Burton are not very frequent from Draycott, every two hours during the day. I was about forty minutes early for my bus, so I had a little explore around the village, and happened across an old well on the corner of a street.

I returned to the bus stop, where my bus back home arrived bang on time. The driver took us to prison on the way back; HMP Dovegate Prison to be precise, which has its own bus stop. It’s one of three prisons in the area, HMP Foston and HMP Sudbury being the others. The bus passed through Fauld, which is where the biggest explosion recorded on British soil occurred in 1944 and left the Fauld Crater. I may do a blog post about this sometime in the future.

Thanks very much for reading this post. I will be back tomorrow, hopefully having visited Fiskerton & Rolleston in Nottinghamshire in the morning. You can keep up with everything happening on this blog on social media. All the links are at linktr.ee/martynsblog.

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