So welcome to our whistle stop tour of the Peak District. David and I have never been here, in the dark and distant past we had quite a few walking holidays in the Lake District, you know the thing, dragging up steep hills reluctant young children with faithful promises of an ice-cream at the top, only for the children to discover no ice-cream van.... ahem, sorry for those lies children.
But this touring holiday promises to be much better, in the style of my grandparent's holidays of yesteryear, we drove all the place slowly annoying the locals.
First up. Heading to Castleton, or "Cassletun" if you are from hereabouts. I was map reading, not sure why, David thinks he is the only man in the house that can map read, we care not a fig for sat nav, we have long preferred a map and an argument.
But as I was in charge I said LEFT HERE! and he did, after a "where the hell are you taking us, this is wrong" but I had seen a sign for the Blue John Caves and it sounded interesting. Nothing to see from the outside just a wooden hut over a large hole in the ground. But very interesting.
Blue John only exists right here, not all over the Peak District but right here under this one hill. The mines were dug in part by the Romans in Britain mining lead, of which they used loads. But Blue John has only been mined for 300 years.
Down we went...
|One of the large caverns, this white stuff is called Miners Snot!!|
We went down about 300ft, till we came to this....
Its VERY lovely literally a stone of blue and yellow, or as the early French miners called it Bleú Jeaune (I think that is how you spell it from my school days meaning Blue Yellow, now with accent changes, Blue John).
The jewellery that is made up is only sold at this mine and in the town of Castleton down the road. I tried very hard to buy a piece but I didn't like the settings, next time.
The way down into the town went down here, kinda took your breath away...
|Here is the castle of Castleton, we didn't climb up to it as coffee was calling|
|Castleton High Street.|
|We had been up on that ridge, top right.|
|These windows are a disgrace in such a building. When I am Prime Minister they will be out.|
|A jumble of old dwellings in the oldest part of the village.|
We wanted coffee, regrettably no sushi shops here, however, for an early lunch I had a Derbyshire cream tea, I had to wait a while, BUT, oh my golly, the best freshly made, crumbly, buttery, fruity scones in the history of me eating cream teas.
HERE The Three Roofs Cafe. David had Mediterranean veg with mozzarella warm wrap which was also homemade.
A big fat WOW.
Next on the list of places to see, off to these big reservoirs, they were man made of course, but the area is very well served with parking all along the banks, cycle routes, footpaths and a regular bus service.
We took a track for a walk...
|Up through real woodland|
|Late blooming Foxglove, nice arty shot eh?|
|One or other of the three reservoirs.|
|Lovely old wall in very good nick.|
|Note the sky Reader!!!!|
|More walls, I love these walls.|
|Another one, we sat listening to a young Buzzard crying forlornly to its mum, who completely ignore it.|
|Head of the Dam.|
You can se how low the level is, actually 75% of capacity. But when full, the water flows over the wall between the towers into the next reservoir. There is a museum here all about the Dam Busters raid, but sadly it is in private hands and the gentleman owner has recently died so we couldn't go. For anyone too young to know what the Dam Busters was all about read this. HERE
This dam was used by the bombers as it was the most like the ones in Germany. While we were driving up the valley to get here, a zonking great RAF plane flew over, too fast for me to get a photo of course, but maybe the RAF still use it for pre tent target practice....?
After a lovely walk in the hot sun, it was getting late so we headed back towards Bugsworth, but via a very very pretty valley and village called Edale. It was knee deep in walkers of all sizes and ages, all coming down from the fells. We had a quick look around the tiny village then headed to the pub.
|Cottages in Edale|
|Really old house with a stone roof and what appeared to be the stone window frames in place still.|
|Edale is the very start of the Pennine Way, or finish depending.|
An amazingly spectacular drive out of the Edale valley over the fells towards home and Bugsworth Basin.
|Not sure about winter living here....|