Whether you call it hiking, trekking, tramping, hill walking, trail walking, or fell walking, it sure feels good to get out and do it. We visited the Peak District National Park today, a surprising 30 miles from our place here in Derby. SO gorgeous.
After taking a couple of wrong turnings, we ended up over in the Staffordshire Moorlands which are so lovely. (Big, big kudos to George for driving on the wrong side of the road and the wrong side of the car to get us there! Go George!)
After arriving, we stopped in and had tea to fortify ourselves and set out on the trail. We just couldn’t resist these little contraptions they have in England that keep the sheep where they belong, but allow (invite, even) hikers to climb the fence and tramp through the pasture. There’s even a tiny sign that says “Public Trail.”
After crossing the field to get a look at the river, I stepped right smack in… no, not sheep dip… about 5 inches of water. My shoes and socks got soaked, but it was worth it because I got to climb over a fence that, in America, would likely get me shot for climbing over it. We were surprised to see tiny little lambs (maybe a month old?) in the fields with their mamas. I think of February as lambing time, but it is much farther north here, so perhaps they come later at this latitude. I couldn’t stop taking pictures of lambs.
We made our way over to another trail that led straight up the hill to Thor’s Cave. This is one big cave, with a spectacular view. The opening is 30 feet high and about 20 feet across.
The locals say the name may come from the Old Welsh word “tor” meaning hill, but most say it comes from the loud noises that early settlers heard emanating from the cave, which led them to name it after the norse god Thor, with all his thunder and lightening.
We then made our way over to a little town called Bakewell, that boasts two beautiful mansions nearby – Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House. Both have been featured in movies you’ve heard of: Haddon Hall was in Princess Bride and Chatsworth House was used in Pride and Prejudice (the Kiera Knightley version.) We parked the what we thought was the car park for Chatsworth House, got directions, headed out and found that it was about a mile and a half walk away. Fortunately, the walk was in a gorgeous park with lots of sheep and lambs and big beautiful trees and a river running through it. The house wasn’t open for tours, but it was pretty amazing just from the outside.
By the time we made it back to our car, it was 7 pm and we were famished, so we went out to Felicini’s for Italian food. (You’d think we’d be sick of it by now, but no.) The restaurant had a moat around it (!), and the food and wine were absolutely scrumptious. It was a fantastic day and we are already planning to head back to the Peak District as soon as we get the chance.
Here are lots more photos from our day out in the Peak District National Park