Posted in England

6th July 2021 – Peak District Area

6th JULY – BUXTON

The campsite we stayed at is situated in a disused quarry with mature trees and numerous uncut grassy areas having a beautiful selection of wildflowers including orchids, clovers, trefoil and selfheal. A noisy group of jackdaws punctuated the mornings and evenings, buzzards circled overhead and ewes with half grown lambs grazed the field in front of our pitch. It really was so picturesque and idyllic.

From this oasis we set off on walks into the surrounding hills emerging from a wooded area to see a huge tower known as Solomon’s Temple, rising 20 feet high and located at 1,440 feet above sea level. Originally a Victorian Folly, it was rebuilt and finally opened to the public in 1896 and had recent restoration in 1988.

From the hillside the views are spectacular over open countryside, dropping down through mature woodland with numerous sculptures, eventually leading down towards Buxton. We walked this pathway many times during our stay and the carving of the limestone burner made me ‘jump’ several times as I rounded the corner.

The lovely town gardens straddled the gentle River Wye as it meandered along leading to an ornamental lake with geese and ducks. The Grand Pavilion overlooked the gardens and was host to an auction of beautiful vintage cars displayed both outside and inside the building. After looking around the cars for a while and walking the garden pathways we noticed the trees held some secrets. Certain trees had notices inviting you to look up, so we did and found sculptures displayed in the branches, most of which had notes written by the artist.

Thought provoking art in trees

Walking around the town areas there we some nice old buildings and various styles of architecture, I liked the old bath spa, Opera House and a smart crescent with arches at it’s base. We found St Ann’s Well with Buxton Spring Water by a park and it tasted soft and was warm/cool rather than cold. The famous health properties means that people filling up water bottles and larger containers here as it’s free to all.

Our planned stop at The Cheshire Cheese pub was a welcome break and home to a large array of Titanic beers which we were more than happy to try. Chris favoured the dark beers, Cherry Dark and Plum Porter but my favoured tipple was Raspberry Pale, cool, refreshing and exceptionally tasty. We have since found out that the name of the pub is common around the area, so called because there was a salt trade route from Cheshire into Derbyshire. The inns that they stopped at were ‘paid’ with Cheshire cheese.

The most spectacular and varied walk we enjoyed was west from campsite, through Burbage village up Bishop’s Lane and out onto the open moors. Closely nibbled grass pathways, dark peat, heather, bog grasses, sheep and stone walls supplied the scenery, huge open skies and the sound of curlews and larks, it was fantastic.

Easy walking lead to Errwood Reservoir where we ate our picnic and watched 3 families of Canada geese on the water, before making our way around the pathways, across the somewhat un-natural square end by a sailing club, and back along the far side. Stone walls had tiny moss plants and bilberries growing nearby, climbing through woodland and along by a river there were swathes of purple grass heads and among the rocks by the lane verges I saw the delicate harebells among clover flowers. We finished the walk as we started, more of the open moorland with bracken, sheep and cattle, a long day with several pauses to enjoy the views and a huge total of 13 miles walked but well worth the effort.

A now familiar and well trodden walk through the woods lead us to Poole’s Cavern, a collection of underground caves deep under the limestone. The temperature was a chilly 7°C which apparently is a constant temperature all year round. The lighting was kept to a minimum and our guide turned lights on as and when needed when some interesting formations were then revealed. As always, people are requested not to touch these, however some cannot resist even when there are good reasons. The stalagmites growing from the floor up towards the ceiling were a case in point. The endless hands deposit a waterproof coating over the growing point, resulting in the tips turning black and droplets running off like water from a ducks back. Very sad, however, Lockdown had an amazing result in the caves with the stalagmites being naturally regenerated, washed clean and starting to regrow, now currently showing a creamy yellow tip, rather than dead and black, it was coming alive again.

Still on the mineral theme, one of our walks across country showed what looked at first glance to be a horrible stagnant, polluted pool in a cleft below two hills by a farm. As we neared the scene, I walked over to the stream running from it to discover that the banks were covered in ‘petrified’ grasses and plants having been turned to stone by the lime deposits. The pool further up looked amazing with a creamy crust in tiny wavelets, frozen in time, like a topping of icing on a cake. To think the ‘eyesore’ from afar had turned out to be a really interesting find on part of a walk through farmland, drystone walls, old barns and cool woodland.

11th JULY – CASTLETON

Driving only about 13 miles to Castleton the scenery changed to wide open spaces, high peaks and numerous pathways to chose from. This area is famous for good walks and we had plans to enjoy some while we were in the area. Rain on our first day resulted in only a short walk around the village, noting how picturesque it would be in better weather, with a well attended bakery, numerous tea rooms, hotels, pubs and an Italian restaurant. The notable landmark was Peveril Castle, a ruin owned by English Heritage and not being members we just looked from afar and spent the wet afternoon with many others sheltering in one of the welcoming pubs.

With an improvement in the weather next day the walk we embarked on was certainly was a pull up hill, ascending from the campsite at approximately 627 feet up the steep sided, bracken covered hill to Back Tor at 1,437 feet. The views were wonderful with high hills in every direction and down into the green valley of Edale, also we could see the whole ridge along which we continued across to Lose Hill 1,578 feet (as per Viewranger).

For a complete change the local bus took us to Bakewell, home of the Bakewell Tart so of course we bought one. The hilly streets lead us around some pretty areas passing rows of cottages, a lovely courtyard with light refreshments, a church overlooking the village with strange stone coffins lined up against a wall. The riverside walk was peaceful and pretty eventually leading us back to the town’s floral gardens.

During a beautiful sunny day we had what I think was the best walk along a gorge behind Peveril Castle, up onto the hills, across tracks between drystone walls, by fields where haymaking was in full swing and eventually across to Mam Tor at 1765 feet. With its distinctive shape it was easy to pick out as we approached.

A picnic at the top gave us time to take in the views and watch hang-gliders floating on the thermals high above the ridges where the air currents sweep upwards giving lift. A road snaked it’s way uphill from below and far to one side we could see all across the ridge, right over to Back Tor and Lose Hill where we had walked previously .

With another walk around Castleton in glorious sunny weather, the pretty village looked picturesque indeed. We treated ourselves to a fabulous Italian meal in Castleton village at the 1530 Restaurant, they certainly must be doing something right after 18 years, with great food and service, we enjoyed the whole ambience in the garden. Following on from that, Ye Old Nags Head were offering a gin tasting board of 3 gins with a jug of tonic and fruit slices, plus a beer tasting paddle of 3 beers and 7 different real ales to choose from. Well it would have been rude not to!

16th JULY – CARSINGTON WATER


Our last port of call was very different, only 38 miles away and situated at the southern end of a large reservoir in a campsite surrounded by huge pine trees with grassy clearing making it very secluded and intimate. The pitch we chose had plenty of sun and a large grass area behind, almost like a private lawn and in early morning or later in the evening we watched young rabbits hopping around and squirrels running up and down the trees. The reservoir was a 10 minute walk away and there were benches and a large grass area nearby, also a visitor centre, sailing club, rowing boards, bike hire and cafe further around the waters edge.

The footpath and cycle way lead around the periphery following at times a shaded path under trees, very welcome in the incense heat, then over sun drenched areas before dashing back to the shade of the trees. At the far end of the reservoir and approximately half way around is Carsington village where doubtless there are refreshments to be found, however we continued to the visitor centre car park where we found a very welcome ice cream van. By now the distance was becoming too much in the heat, but we made it uphill to Knockerdown Inn for a light lunch and more importantly cool amber liquid to rehydrate ourselves. The final 2 miles were better after that and gave a total of 10 miles walked on a hot day.

After a day of rest we visited Ashburton and toured the town using a pictorial map from the Tourist Centre, following a suggested route around places of interest. It had an attractive centre based on a triangular marketplace with a large town hall, cobbled traffic free areas, half timbered buildings, Millennium clock, an austere looking old stone school, and church with a beautiful wooden ceiling and tiled floor.

We had a great time with Chris’s brother Ian and his wife Heather, also in their Motorhome, lots of laughs and chatted late on summer evenings. The bus took us all to Cromford Mill near Matlock for a walk alongside a cool canal with geese, ducklings and lovely scenery, followed by a great pub lunch in the walled garden at The Boat Inn.

A couple of evenings were spent chatting about motorhomes, holidays and travels with two couples we met who come from the south, not far from where we live. They had a wonderful time in a boat on the reservoir and were very upmarket taking a bottle of Prosecco with them!

Centre: Jan & Shane – in front Nicki & Richard

It is so nice and we are so fortunate to be able to see the county and meet people with like minds who enjoy similar pursuits and we have stayed in touch with several people over the last few years. Long may it continue.

Author:

We retired at last and 2017 is the start of our next chapter. We now have a home on wheels in which to travel around Europe, follow the sun and whatever else takes our fancy.

One thought on “6th July 2021 – Peak District Area

  1. Hello – it is good to read how much fun you are having – I remember visiting some of the places you saw – I was born not too far away and also explored with the Scouts – what a long time ago that was !

    Best Wishes Chris Butlin

    On Thu, 22 Jul 2021 at 17:32, Our motorhome adventures wrote:

    > travelsinourmotorhome posted: ” 6th JULY – BUXTON The campsite we stayed > at is situated in a disused quarry with mature trees and numerous uncut > grassy areas having a beautiful selection of wildflowers including orchids, > clovers, trefoil and selfheal. A noisy group of jackda” >

    Liked by 1 person

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