Tuesday, 23 August 2016

"What we did on our holidays"

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....

Blue John

Its VERY lovely literally a stone of blue and yellow, or as the early French miners called it Ble├║ 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....

Monday, 22 August 2016

Quick Flit

It was a Monday late afternoon, when Fliss and Leon departed and we drove them over the "Fells" back to Bollington, I wasn't going to go but stay and do the washing up and David just said its a lovely evening so come, I did and how glad I was.  

Whaley Bridge is a glorious little town next to Bugsworth, its on the Macclesfield road, so the Macclesfield to Whaley Bridge road if you get my drift, but in any case, somewhere else in the area was a detour leading lots of cars down into Whaley Bridge, and as we left and climbed up the hills towards Bollington there was a terrific queue, we didn't want to sit in that queue which was over a mile long, I would say nearly two miles so a decision was made to kill a bit of time in Bollington.

I really wan't expecting the drive over to be so lovely, I thought the Peaks were further east of us. here are a few snaps I wondered if you might like to look at...

This main route over is a wide lane without white lines

I'm glad I let David drive.

The locals come directly at you at speed in the centre of the road

We eventually found the bottom of the track leading to here....  White Nancy.      HERE

It was built on Kerridge Hill to celebrate the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, White Nancy is visible for miles around but finding the correct track was another matter.  
The views are fabulous on an evening like this one and if you look carefully in the picture below you can make out Bollington Mill that we passed by on the boat  only a couple of days ago.

Bollington Mill is in the centre and Stockport beyond in the haze.

A nice horsey shot for those of you that like horses.

On returning to Whaley Bridge, the traffic queue was down to two cars.  Good move. 

Sun, run and sausages

Well Reader just look at the weather this morning...  A cracker.  In the south I heard old ladies are being fanned and being kettled in buildings with air conditioning but here, in the north, it translates into a very lovely day.
The guests arrived on deck dressed thus;


And when we stopped at the Braidbar Boat Yard to fill with water, off they ran.

Fliss wanted to run in total about 5kms, after looking at the Nicholson guide book with her dad, with its mile markers, she was happy and ran off, but then there was confusion as she passed millstone markers on the towpath and got hot, all I know is she was very pink on returning!
Leon just runs and runs.

I do think this was the shortest narrowboat I have seen, the colours are paler in the photo than in reality.

So David and I carried on in their absence, through open rolling hills giving a feeling of total joy.

Can you feel the joy Reader?

This is another mill, the Goyt mill, an odd name I know but we would come to learn more about Goyt as the week went on.  There is a local historical site with a bit more information......      HERE  I hope its future is secure, it looks in need of a bit of TLC.

They should get Amanda to help clean those windows.

I hope the media companies pay a hefty rent to the mill owners for these ariels.

The Goyt mill is in Marple and the junction of the Macclesfield canal and the Peak Forest canal is there too.  Just around a few corners in fact.  We wanted to top up with water again as the man at the Braidbar yard had told us there wasn't any water point in Bugsworth, this was serious as Fliss had just washed her hair!  

We wanted to stay there a few days too.  The water point at Marple was at a narrow point with moored boats on the other side and a second boat waiting to fill, the man said its only dribbling out, great!  But we were told by the second captain that there certainly is water at Bugsworth and its a great pressure too.  Good, we abandoned the Marple water tap and headed off.

This stunning property at the junction here I believe wasn't always a grand house but formally a warehouse.  Have a peep at this if you are interested, or if you know more than me please do tell.    HERE   But either way what a fantastic place?

Fliss and I walked between a couple of the swing bridges and I took this photo of the fells on the other side of the valley.  Its a pretty amazing feeling that on the canal you are up high, then on arriving at Bugsworth Basin you are at "Ground level" again without the aid of any locks.

We manx a mental note of a possible mooring place here on the way home

See the name?  This bridge caused problems to us girls and Leon had to come over to do it.

Carrs doing Carrs Bridge

See the house on the right?  Pretty good view to eat your cornflakes each morning....?

Unusually this chappie didn't flinch when we passed by next to him.

End of the line for us today.  Bugsworth Basin a very historical industrial place that was almost empty.  As you can see suncream came out along with G&T's, Fliss makes a good one, don't know where that skill came from, ahem!

Fliss and I had been really looking forward to sausages and mash, it wasn't really the weather for it but we managed to choke it down anyway.

Later we drove them back to Bollington to retrieve their car and for them to drive home to the south coast.  
Work tomorrow Reader, well them not me.