Going walking in the Peak District is an admirable thing to do. I am amazed at the pleasure that some people get from trudging over hills and dales. They feel rewarded by the views when they reach a summit. Good on them, personally, I prefer to drive up the nearest hill and see the views with as little effort as possible. I can heat you tutting and ready to inform me of dozens of fabulous views that cannot possibly be seen from the road and the consequences of a lack of exercise. We cannot get to see every possible Derbyshire Dale even if we lived there for decades so I’ll just be content with the ones I do see. And regarding exercise, I see young people requiring hip and knee replacements because they have worn them out. It’s common sense – things that aren’t used often, last longer.
I have been pleased with every trip that I have taken to the Peak District. There is a fair amount to see and experience. On one occasion I was crazy enough to attempt a trip with a walking group and stay in groups self-catering accommodation. That was a disaster. One thing that I can tell you about walking groups is that there is always a large number of odd men and even more voracious women. Your man would not be safe. It didn’t help that I couldn’t keep up with the main throng of walkers and trailed behind with the oldies and fatties. I gave that up very quickly I can tell you.
There were also some disappointments. I’ll tell you about the aspects of the Peak District that I didn’t like. Bakewell is a fairly popular and bustling small town. Bakewell tarts are famous but the price of them is extortionate, I haven’t purchased one yet. There is a very nice shop on the corner of the high street that sold fur lined knitted gloves. Now those were worth visiting Bakewell for.
In my youth, I tried the caverns and the proximity of the low rock roof to the boat on the water was a touch too claustrophobic. One poor man, a complete stranger to me had to endure my hand gripping his thigh all the way round the caves and didn’t murmur once. In my fear, I didn’t even realise that I was doing that. Nowadays I would probably be sued for inappropriate behaviour.
Everyone visits Chatsworth House and I also thought it would help to gain some Christmas inspiration by visiting in December and viewing the Christmas decorations. I expected lavish expensive tree baubles and opulent garlands. Sadly, the decorations were simply ordinary although themed, simply not stately enough to justify a further visit. Did visitors steal too many in the past?
Fortunately, a big effort is made to stand umpteen gaily decorated Christmas trees in the small Derbyshire villages, that and big log fires in the pubs create a very merry atmosphere indeed. I recommend a Peak District cottage break in December – the combination of chilly wind, hard ground underfoot and twinkling festive lights is strangely attractive.
A holiday in a country cottage in the Peak District is very pleasant. I do like the sight of those stone walls, sheep and little streams that cut across the fields. I was also amazed to find blueberries growing wild along the grass verges in the northern Peak District. How nice – blueberry pancakes for tea if the holiday cottage has a blender.
The wind farms on the Derbyshire Yorkshire border are a bit of a disfigurement on the landscape but better than mining for shale gas. I wonder what future generations will think of the changes and will they still be renting cottages for holidays in Derbyshire.