Mini Break in the Peak District

Easter Away Trip

I am writing this in a tiny cottage snuggled in the hills of Lower Bradfield. You might remember that in January I attended a conference for Old Testament Study in Sheffield, and Husband kindly drove me and rented a cottage in the Peak District? I stayed in the cottage for just one night, and was sorry to leave, so when we realised we had a week free after Easter, we decided to return. 

We arrived on Easter Sunday, after lunch with the family in Cambridge. The cottage was warm and comfortable, and after unpacking we strolled up the steep lane behind the house. It was dusk, and an owl was hunting in the fields, swooping over the lane. There was the trill of curlews, who rose above us, warning us not to stray near their nest. Sheep watched from behind stone walls, their lambs snuggled under their legs. In the distance, hills rolled away, dotted with stone buildings and steep fields, up to the moors. It’s a open place, a place where you can breathe, and it feels weird that it’s only half an hour from Sheffield.

Monday morning, my Ocado deivery arrived at 8am. Perfect timing for breakfast. The delivery man was exceedingly grumpy, and told me he had worked all weekend, and no, he had not had a nice Easter. I felt slightly guilty as I unpacked my order. I seem to have ordered a lot of cakes, so won’t be losing any weight this trip.

We walked across Agden Nature Reserve to Canyard Hills. Muddy footpaths, twisted trees, a reservoir in the valley. I wished I hadn’t gone for a long walk a few days before Easter and given myself blisters. I blamed my walking boots (which I left at home) and was stomping along in wellies. Husband hardly mentioned it. We walked for two hours. There were beautiful views—and big black clouds. We got home just before it poured with rain.

It was still pouring after lunch (ate some cake). We went for drive to Castleton—which we both remembered but couldn’t remember why (we are at that age when we can spend a happy half hour trying to remember things). Then we drove through Winnats Pass. This was spectacular, we turned the corner, and there it was—steep rocks rising on either side, tiny streams bubbling down to the valley. The road was single-carriage, and there were lines of cars waiting to pass, so I recommend you don’t visit in peak times. But definitely plan to visit, it’s amazing.

We had dinner at The Plough in Lower Bradfield. It was a ‘pubby’ sort of pub (as opposed to a ‘gourmet’ sort of pub) but after a nice glass of Merlot I decided it was lovely. We chatted about the day, and managed to remember when we last visited Castelton, and I bored Husband with interesting details about the theology book I am currently reading. A good day.

Tuesday, I got up at 6.30. At 9.30 we left the cottage and walked to Lower Bradfield on the footpaths. I was still in wellies. It was okay. The walk was very pretty, we went up the hill to High Bradfield, and the old church with dragon gargoyles and sheep grazing in the graveyard. Then back down, along pretty footpaths under trees and over rivers, to the village. There’s a new cafe, which advertised brunch and coffee, but it was shut. (Apparently it’s always shut on Tuesdays.) Walked back to the cottage for coffee and toast (and more cake).

I spent the afternoon reading my theology book (by a chap called Leo Perdue, about Wisdom Literature—very interesting). Sounds of fighting wafted upstairs. Husband was in the sitting room, watching a cartoon. 

We decided to drive to a cheese factory advertised on Google Maps. We found the lane (very narrow) but not the factory. I think it must have closed. Drove into Hathersage, and I bought some walking boots in one of those outdoors shops that smell of sensible clothes and waxed jackets. These boots fit better than my last ones. And they have pink laces, which is an additional delight.

It was pouring with rain again. We drove home via Snake Pass, but it didn’t compare to Winnats. 

Dinner at The Plough again. We had asked to sit in the same room, but they either forgot or decided to ignore us because they were busy. We were seated in a very ugly room, full of people who seemed to know each other. I ordered fish and chips, and the portion barely fitted on the plate, it would have fed three of me. Especially as I was already full of cake. A pleasant day, but not as perfect as Monday.

I hope your week is fun. And you have cake.

Thanks for reading. Take care.

Love, Anne x

Thanks for reading.

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