Saturday, 19 February 2011

ENGLAND – The Peak District

Day 1 ~ 07/06/2006 ~ Grin Low
This trip had been long awaited, the plan being to do some walking and visit Alton Towers. The drive up took nearly five hours and was quite demanding after working a night shift. At just over two hundred miles, this was also the longest journey towing the caravan. We arrived to find a very unusual but attractive site, situated in an old quarry, now grassed and redeveloped, but still showing the hewn rock faces enclosing the site. As the pitches were all level hard standing, we were away on foot in a very short time, for a 5 mile circular walk. It started with a climb to a small observation tower with great views, before turning into a wood emerging the other side. The route turned into a sweeping long circle, covering several miles of farm land. Sheep were almost everywhere and seemed to be the main type of farming in the area.

During the evening, which was still very warm, we dined outside with a BBQ. It was still twilight at 10pm.

Day 2 ~ 08/06/2006 ~ Alton Towers
An early start to beat the crowds and make the most of the day; we had queue jumper tickets which allowed you to get to the front of the queue on several rides. The first few rides were thoroughly enjoyable or gut wrenching - Oblivion (a vertical fall) and Rita Queen of Speed being my favourites. As it was a warm day, the water rides were also there to be enjoyed and we had two goes on each.
The warm weather held for the evening and another BBQ was in order.

Day 3 ~ 09/06/2006 ~ Edale
We made an early start to get a few miles in before it got too hot. Starting from Edale, we completed a seven mile loop of moderate difficulty but amazing views. The route took us up a gorge, following a stream getting narrower and steeper with a scramble up some rocks on to the moorland top, having climbed about 1200 feet. The path up and over Kinder Scout offered a few miles of breath-taking views and unusual rock formations. The path intersected with the Pennine Way and we turned south descending Jacob’s Ladder and a further two miles to Edale. This was the most impressive walk we had completed to date. Edale itself had a warm feel to it and we relaxed in The Nag’s Head sampling local brew of the same name. Back in the car, we stopped nearby for a picnic. The afternoon was spent exploring the Dark Peak area of the national park.

In the evening, we drove to the nearby village of Chelmorton and ate at the Church Inn pub. This was another hot evening with a pleasant meal in a country pub.

Day 4 ~ 10/06/2006 ~ White Peak and the journey home
Saturday had come too soon. We left at lunch time and took a cross country route to Ashbourne to see more of the White Peak (southern) area of the Peak District. Today was the first England match of the World Cup. The radio commentary passed two hours of the trip and the match seemed to keep the roads clear, however it was also the British Grand Prix this weekend so we were diverted a few miles to avoid Silverstone. The return journey took much the same time as the drive up.

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