Blog Review of the Year 2022 – Part One: January – March

It’s been a great 2022 for this blog, with many new and exciting places visited, some old favourites re-visited and a lot more delving into the history of Burton upon Trent. The number of views on the website has more than doubled in the last year compared to 2021, so thank you to everyone who has read, liked and shared these posts.

January 2022

The year began very quietly for the blog, with only one trip out, and that was to the Brizlincote Nature Walk near Burton on Trent. It was a fine, sunny day, but there was too much mud. Some of which is still on the wall outside my home to this day.

February 2022

In February, I had the bright idea of visiting all the railway stations in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire which aren’t included in the East Midlands Ranger Area. The first train journey of the year took me to Shenstone in Staffordshire, via Lichfield Trent Valley, on 3rd February.

Shenstone railway station

The following week, it was back to East Midlands Ranger Area business when I travelled to the charming village of Collingham in Nottinghamshire, just outside Newark-on-Trent.

All Saint’s Church, Collingham

Next up was a double header over the last few days of February, with an early Saturday morning trip to Atherstone in Warwickshire. I also spent some time in Tamworth while waiting for a train back to Burton that day. It was freezing cold, but I think there’s something special about being in an almost deserted town early on a Saturday morning.

The sun creeping up at the back of Atherstone station

Just two days after my Atherstone adventure, and having warmed up a little bit, I decided to have a crack at one of the stations up in the Peak District in Derbyshire, Grindleford. This one ranks in the top five of my favourite train trips of recent years. The weather was not great (I left before the torrential rain, luckily), but the views were spectacular, the village of Grindleford is beautiful and I got to ride a train through one of the UK’s longest railway tunnels, the Totley Tunnel.

March 2022

In March, I used up the last of my holiday from work to hit the trains again, and the trams. The first trip of the month was to Nottingham, to visit more of the Nottingham Express Transit tram network, and try to tick off all the tram stops north of Nottingham Station.

The Forest tram stop, Nottingham

Just days after the tram festival in Nottingham, I went back up the Robin Hood Line to visit both stations in Mansfield; Mansfield Town and Mansfield Woodhouse. I had a good time in the town, visiting a woodland, a nature reserve and both of the town’s beautiful old stations, re-opened in the 1990s after being closed since the 1960s.

The trips just kept on coming in March, with a trip up to Lincolnshire to visit the historic town of Grantham, birthplace of grocer’s daughter Margaret Roberts and where Isaac Newton, of “gravity” fame, was educated.

The last trip of a busy March was a visit to another Staffordshire station, which turned out to be a visit to three Staffordshire stations. Rugeley Town and Trent Valley were ticked off the list on the way to Landywood. The blog post has turned out to be one of the most-viewed of the year. It was a fine day in Staffordshire when I visited a park and walked part of a former railway line.

That’s it for this stroll down 2022. Part two (of four) will be out on Wednesday, so look out for that. To be the first to find out when it’s out, you can follow the blog on social media. All the links are here.