If you ask most people who visit Britain which areas they intend to visit you will invariably get responses along the lines of the Yorkshire Dales, the Lake District, Scotland and that city which is no longer part of the real UK i.e. London.
Very rarely will anyone mention the Peak District of Derbyshire which is very unfortunate as it contains some glorious countryside, beautiful scenery and hostelries that serve wonderful food and excellent ales. There are of course up-market restaurants, bistros, numerous coffee houses and delightful little cafes serving afternoon cream teas dotted throughout the area.
There are numerous villages and small towns from the very well known Bakewell (home of the infamous Bakewell pudding) to lesser known places such as Bamford, Grindleford, Castleton and of course the “plague village” of Eyam.
I recently spent a week in a holiday cottage (it was a converted barn and huge in size) in the village of Hope and was blessed with glorious weather for six days out of the seven I was there.
An early visit to Buxton to buy “supplies” for the week resulted in the discovery of Brockelbys Pies which were being sold on the open market by a very enthusiastic young man. On display were Wild Beaver Pie, Longhorn Steak Pie, Moroccan Lamb Pie and Penguin Pie (don’t ask!) amongst others. I purchased the Moroccan Lamb Pie and had it with Jersey Royal potatoes and a green salad and it was excellent.
A visit to the nearby Chestnut Centre was obligatory as I had to take my grandson to see the giant South American otters which were swimming about and then coming right up to the fence where we stood.
One glorious morning I got up early, drove to the foot of Mam Tor and then climbed to the top by 8.45am……….how’s that for dedication? The views were spectacular (although a little hazy) and I spent some time indulging myself in taking photographs of every view, the view along Edale was spectacular.
A visit to the Cheshire Cheese in Hope one evening resulted in feeling so full I could hardly walk along the lane back to the cottage. The food is made on the premises and includes traditional favourites like Chicken and Mushroom pie, Chips and Fish and Suet Pudding with Beef inside, I thought this last dish had disappeared completely from restaurant menus!
If you have never visited the Peak district then put it on your list, from Monsal Dale to Winnats Pass, from Mam Tor to Derwent Valley, there are numerous glorious sights to behold in England’s “green and pleasant land.”