The Peak District!

This weekend my Mum and I headed off down to the Peak District with the Veteran Boot Breakers to take on a 15 mile walk across the district of peaks, taking in Kinder Scout, Winnats Pass and Mam Tor.

This was my first time visiting the Peak District and the drive down there certainly did not disappoint. It’s like entering a whole other world, with beautiful woodlands and windy country roads. The views are astonishing, rolling hills towering over tranquil forests and sparkly reservoirs.

We were booked in at Losehill Hall YHA and it was amazing.

For a start the driveway leading up to the house was surrounded by sheep and where there are animals wandering around I am happy!

There are some amazing YHA venues around and this is definitely one of the more amazing ones that I have had the pleasure of staying at. It’s set in acres of land with nature trails, woodland, streams, pigs, sheep, hens, rabbits, badgers and squirrels. The people were friendly and helpful, the facilities were great as always with YHA and the food was delicious.

I cannot give this place a higher recommendation. It was beautiful and perfect.

We had a nice wander around the grounds, said hello to the sheep and made our way in to the village of Castleton. It’s a cute, serene place with plenty of shops, restaurants and pubs, all packed in to a lovely stretch of country road.

The rest of the evening was spent lazing in the hostel gardens with cups of tea, coffee and some yummy cake. It was an early start the next day, we were meeting the rest of the group at 7 am so we headed for our bunks excited for the day ahead.

My excitement soon turned to trepidation when I was rudely awoken at 5 am by the hammering rain on our window.

‘Not to worry’, I thought.

It will ease off within the next couple of hours.

Not quite, it was relentless. We weren’t going to let it stand in our way though.

To be completely honest I was already soaked from standing in the car park waiting to set off, so I wasn’t going to get any wetter was I? Oh how wrong I was…

We set off in high spirits ready for the 15 mile challenge ahead of us, over fields and muddy pathways all praying for the rain to ease, the wind to drop and the sunshine to push its way through the clouds.

No such luck I’m afraid, the rain continued to pour and the wind only added to the misery.

I think by this point we had all come to terms with the fact that we were just going to be soggy for the rest of our lives and more or less thought it couldn’t get any worse. I mean what could possibly make it worse? It’s not as though the world would swallow up our pathway and we would be lost…

Oh but yes, yes it would.

Our walkway just up and vanished in to a river!

We tried every which way to get across but the rainfall over night and throughout the morning had created a river rapids down an ordinarily completely dry river bed.

With stupendous reluctance we had to call it a day. It was just too dangerous to cross and it was too steep to go straight up. We trudged back down through the mud feeling deflated and slightly miffed, a few paddies were thrown but safety is paramount in these situations. It was the sensible decision to admit defeat and head for the pub!

Showered and changed we gathered in The Ramblers Inn and even though we hadn’t completed the walk I felt a pint was still in order for effort.

The ordering of food and drinks was highly entertaining. I asked for a rum and coke for my Mum and we were given a brandy and coke, even after the bar tender had confirmed which bottle was rum with another member of staff…we ordered two Irish liqueur cheesecakes and were brought a disappointing passion fruit one instead and finally when I asked for an Americano I was told they only had white coffee…

“Americano please”

” We only have white coffee, would you like that?”

“No thanks my Mum doesn’t like milk in her coffee”

“Oh I can do a black coffee instead”

“…Okay, yes please”

“Would you like milk with that”?

What the f**k!!??

As the day had not gone exactly to plan we wondered what else this glorious place had to offer on a rainy Saturday afternoon. The answer was of course, ‘The Plague Museum’.

The Plague Museum is in a tiny little village called Eyam. They have a free car park, and the museum entry fee is only £2.50! The gift shop is quite obviously where they are making their pennies… £9.00 for a tiny soft toy, maybe skip that bit.

The exhaustion had started to set in by now so my Mum and I headed back to the YHA for a tasty meal and a bottle of Prosecco and then off to bed.

Our fun filled weekend was rounded off the next day with a quest to find Mam Tor, which would have been part of the Saturday walk. Another couple from the group had gone to find it the previous afternoon and found that you can practically drive up there, there was a National Trust car park and a paved path straight to the top. That sounded good to us! So I asked the SatNav to take us to Mam Tor National Trust car park, it said it knew where it was and I believed it.

Well, it lied to me, it took us to the middle of nowhere.

It was fine though, we parked up and stumbled across a place called Odin Mine and found a very broken road which eventually lead us up to the National Trust car park. It was definitely worth the trek up there. Astonishing views across the Edale valley on one side and Hope Valley on the other.

We didn’t quite complete the challenge we set out here for but I’m pretty sure we clocked up some impressive miles over the weekend, wandering aimlessly around.

Even though the weekend didn’t go to plan it was still fun and we had an amazing time, we made new friends, ate some delicious food and met some piggles!


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