Monday, 11 May 2015

After years on our bucket list, we finally get to the Peak District!

We're both very excited about arriving at Hope. Walking in the Peak
A footpath from the campsite leads under
the railway line and into Hope village 
District has been on our joint bucket list for at least half a decade and it feels great to have finally made it! We are pitched up on a Caravan Club CL called Farfield Farm, just over the road and up a lane from a much bigger campsite, and with our best UK campsite views yet. Again basic facilities - water, waste and electricity - but surprisingly our Osprey internet doodad is working well with 3G so I can blog at speed! We are on the single hard hardstanding pitch, so hard that I couldn't get any pegs in, so we are awningless for the next three weeks. The sun has been out practically all day today though and fingers crossed that it continues, so we might not need the extra space for wet coats and boots. As well as one sewn up door, I did notice a small hole in the roof when we tried to erect it here. Maybe we will have to get another before autumn?

Bailey at Farfield Farm campsite 
Today we set out on our first proper Peak District walk, a local stroll yesterday not making the grade! For anyone following along at home, we are using Ordnance Survey Explorer map OL1 and also Explorer map OL24 - Hope is near the edge of OL1. We crossed some of Eyam Moor and went down to Stony Ford. I was glad of my new North Face boots through the boggy bits and the muddy bits, and was surprised by quite a lot of sandy bits. We saw lots of sheep and young lambs as well as
The locals are unimpressed! 
greenfinches, blue tits, skylarks and a small pale brown bird of prey that might have been a kestrel. We heard a cuckoo too. Walking through heather was reminiscent of some Spanish walks, but here the stems are soft and flexible, not brittle and scratchy as they are there. Also soft was a great swathe of cotton grass plants. I had to look this one up because I hadn't seen it before! I love how tiny streams flow unexpectedly across the paths. We saw several little waterfalls and were serenaded by babbling brooks!

Babbling brook! 
We are looking forward to lots more walking over the next three weeks here. I need to get my fitness levels back up a bit before attempting the iconic walks in places like Kinder Scout and Edale which I'm very much looking forward to having heard the names so often! Dave suggested I bake more of the Seed and Sultana Flapjack bars I used to have for breakfast when I was working. They would be be ideal for a mid-route snack!

Cotton grass 
We are hoping to visit a few cultural attractions as well. Chatsworth is probably out because they want £38 to get in and the tram museum looked fun but that's £25 which is equivalent to two nights pitch fees! Instead I've been researching local art and crafts online as this seems a particularly vibrant area. There are two arts festivals underway right now. I like Chick With Chainsaw, based in Sheffield and working with Peak District beech and laurel wood. And I would love to try a flavour of the BirdHouse Tea Company's Peak District teas!

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