Get your walking boots on if you must during a cottage holiday in the Peak District

Peak district holiday cottages

Peak District Cottage Holidays

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.

Bakewell dressed up in Christmas glamour

Bakewell dressed up in Christmas glamour

Chatsworth House festive displays

Chatsworth House festive displays

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.