I thought I would share with you a little bit of my travels as of late. A few weeks ago I was whisked away by a dashing chap to an unknown location, which is always exciting! Having no other information than to wrap up warm, my bag was packed and I jumped in the car to race up the motorways through the busy Friday night traffic.
We arrived at the lovely Queen Anne in Great Hucklow. The Peak District is scattered with lots of lovely B&B’s, old fashioned Inns and large manor house style hotels in the bigger towns. I was informed by P, that many did not appear on the internet at all – So may be worth ringing the nearest visitors centre if you’re planning a trip and can’t find a room.
P had planned our stay perfectly in the Queen Anne. Winding through roads that rivalled those where Belle’s pappa was ambushed by wolves (Beauty and the Beast reference – don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about).
The Queen Anne serves a great full English breakfast to set you up for the day, substituting my usual favourite of hash browns for potato cakes, but I can’t say I was disappointed.
Now onto what there is to do up in the Peaks. Obviously if you don’t like walking, just skip on through to the pubs!
Things to do:
Walk Castleton to Mam Tor:
Even though I do love planning a holiday, I love surprises even more, so leaving it all up to P, we drove to Castleton, leaving Hope behind us – who’d have thought there’d be a place called Hope?!
Now I think you can guess by the name, but there is a beautiful medieval castle – built for William the Conquerors allegedly illegitimate son, all very exciting – overlooking Castleton village.
We chose to do the walk from the village to Mam Tor (on the Dark Peak), this gave some stunning views back over the castle, over Castleton and stomping through some muddy fields full of grazing sheep.
I even made some friends, I mean wouldn’t ewe?!
Be careful when descending, as lots of mountain bikes came storming past us. I would love to say I’d be up for mountain biking, and I think going uphill would be great but I find the downhill aspect of it is slightly terrifying.
Blue John Cavern:
This isn’t far from Castleton and driving through the valley which was sliced through by the last Ice age is pretty special on its own.
Onwards and downwards we went creeping down into the Blue John Caves, where they still mine after the Blue John Stone, as the only known place to mine for this specific jewel. It is in fact a blue and yellow stone, which those who bought it called ‘Bleu et Jaun’ – the swanky lot – which the locals took as Blue John and so the name stuck!
One area in the cavern was used by Lord Mulgrave as a dining room, filled with candles! It all sounds very exciting, but apparently the food was extremely cold by the time it got down to them.
This gives some stunning views down on Chatsworth House, which is something which is definitely worth a visit too, and on my list for next time along with another National Trust estate, Hardwick Hall.
I don’t think I can do it justice by trying to describe it, so just have a look at these views!
Oh and I met an-udder friend! But I don’t think she was that amoosed.
Looking across to those on the return journey it was quite reminiscent of the Hobbit – Seeing a line of wanderers marching along the hillside, that is.
And at the end of the walk, or the beginning, depending which way you go round, there’s a little café. They even sold doggy biscuits for your four legged friends, so I bought one to take back for Wilma, otherwise I’m pretty sure she would have ignored me on my return.
Pubs to frequent:
Now if there’s one thing they do well up North its pub grub! And I’ve listed just a few that we visited along the journey.
The Queen Anne, Great Hucklow:
This was a great pub and really felt like the whole village was in there on a Friday night. The atmosphere is warm and welcoming, the portions are gargantuan, bound to fill any stomach twice over. It really was the central part of the Village and felt like a good ol’ fashioned British pub.
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, Castleton:
And whilst in Cheshire, it seemed rude not to!
We both had pies, which was a portion fit to feed a small army and well at that!
They have tellies in there, so good for any big sports nights and a huge selection of food and drink.
The Cat and Fiddle, near Buxton:
The 2nd highest pub in Britain and on the bendiest national speed limit road I have ever seen, much to P’s delight!
Although, every now and again there was a Zebra sheep crossing.
It has an amazing selection of hot drinks and a real higgledy piggledy interior with gardening books alongside lanterns and a snooker table set up in the centre. As it wasn’t quite the right time for food we didn’t try anything, but it smelt lovely and is definitely a good place to stop if only for the view.