Delightful Derbyshire Dales

Good Morning people. I am writing from a waiting room at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital today. Not the most cheery place on a beautiful sunny morning but a stark reminder that we must count our blessings daily. We are here with Mark’s Dad who is having a PET CT scan after being diagnosed with cancer last week. We are all very shocked but he is very philosophical and handling it admirably like the strong gentleman he has always been. There is a very young, pretty girl at the side of me waiting for the same thing. She looks terrified, I want to give her a hug.

We have put our imminent travel plans on hold following Jack’s news. Lake Annecy will wait and we need to see what the situation is here before we venture out of the UK again. With this in mind, we are considering a joint job offer in the New Forest as we will both need to work if we are hanging around. It’s too expensive to live in UK over the Summer months without working with the price of campsites going through the roof! Anyway, we shall see. Watch this space.

For now though, I will share a couple of my favourite walks around the Bakewell area. Many of you visit the Peak District without realising there are spectacular spots hidden away if you just get off the beaten track a wee bit. We used to live in the village of Youlgreave, a couple of miles out of Bakewell. It’s a charming little place, very characterful and indeed full of characters! I miss it and them very much. Matthew had a wonderful childhood growing up there. Building dens, rope swings and poaching the odd trout out of the river and cooking them over a fire!! On an evening we used to either stroll with the dogs or take the ponies down the hill to Bradford Dale and follow the River Bradford. Left to Alport and eventually into Lathkill Dale which I covered in my earlier blog or right, up the dams to Middleton by Youlgreave. Either way it’s simply stunning. The kids could safely swim where the water was deep enough. It was an awesome place to live.

My friend, Amanda Shaw, from Pommie, (as Youlgreave is affectionately known), and I, spent many a happy hour riding along the river when all the tourists had gone home and letting our horses cool off in the water afterwards. Idyllic. I do miss those days. Do visit this place. The Pubs are great. Both the Farmyard and The George serve excellent home cooked food. George Pie and chips is legendary!!

Another scenic spot and pretty circular walk is through Monsal Dale. You can park at the top. It’s a great view of the viaduct from up there. There is a small campsite close by too. We used to take the kids there back in the day. The villages of Great and Little Longstone as well as Ashford in the Water are close by and again, have great traditional pubs. You can either do a short walk, down the hill to the left, over the bridge at the bottom, turn right and follow the path back up or a much longer one. Turning left at the bridge, over the river. Follow the river and cross over the A6 at the end and then left towards Ashford, pint at the pub, would be rude not to, and back up throughAshford Village. At the top, get back onto the footpath which eventually brings you back to the Monsal Carpark. The Stables Bar at Monsal serves good grub. You can sit outside or in, it’s doggie friendly. Alternatively there’s a nice little cafe up there if you prefer.

Because our plans have changed, I unfortunately haven’t managed to catch up with everyone I needed to see. I can only apologise. I wanted to meet up with the rest of my former colleagues, Kath, I’m so sorry I haven’t got to see you! It was your day off when I called at the office. Amanda, you’ll have to hitch up the caravan and drag it to the New Forest, would be fab to see you and Nick. Likewise Janine and Graeme, Di and Pierre! I did get to see my girls for brunch with the exception of Jude who was busy at Chatsworth Horse Trials. Squeezed in a cocktail session with my lovely family. Four generations of Wadsworth ladies hit the town!!

Marg and Lisa, we will have a re-run of Pointing Dog and Duck action upon our return!

So you might not hear from me for a while from today. We are heading down south tomorrow morning and I understand the phone signal and internet are both very sketchy in the New Forest (how am I going to survive without Facebook and Twitter?!).

I will do my best to keep you updated lovely readers. In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine while it lasts. Make every day count. Keep safe and appreciate your loved ones.



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