The Sturston Goal

A Walk Around a Football Pitch!

This afternoon, I needed to find a short, easy, low-level walk with some added interest as an alternative to the Dovedale walk that I had planned for a coach party on Saturday.  From the look of the amount of snow on the road down to the southern end of Dovedale at present, I decided it was unlikely that a coach would be able to get down there!

My solution?  A walk from Ashbourne around part of the area that is used as the football pitch for the annual Shrovetide Football game. For those of you that haven’t heard of this local tradition, Shrovetide Football takes place annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday.  The football pitch is 3 miles long and 2 miles wide.  It encompasses the whole of the town and surrounding countryside.  The goals are in the river and are 3 miles apart.  Lots of local people from the town play the game including men, women and children.  The game lasts for 2 days.  There are two teams, and it depends which side of the river you were born on as to whether you play for the Up-ards or the Down’ards.

If you would like to know more about Shrovetide Football, then take a look at the official website.  Otherwise, simply enjoy the photos that I took on my walk today.