Our Travel blog
Wednesday 15 June
After arriving back late last night from London we were up and away this morning in good time, excited to be spending a couple of nights in The Peak District. We hold a special place in out hearts for this beautiful part of Britain. It's where I took refuge when I needed a break from other pressures in an earlier lifetime, where we've visited since meeting for weekends away and where we honeymooned.
The Peak District was founded in 1951 as the first of Britain’s 15 national parks. It covers an area of 555 sq miles and sits plumb in the middle of England, 20 million people live within one hours journey of the park, and its resident population of around 38,000 people is swollen by 10 million visitors a year. Its an area of great diversity, dark moorland, dramatic limestone edges, lush farmland, forests, 55 reservoirs and hills. They are not really peaks, that term probably comes from Pecsaetan, an Anglo-Saxon tribe who settled the area. The highest point is Kinder Scout at a relatively modest 2086 feet.
Walkers and cyclists are a common sight but a significant number of the visitors don't venture more than a few yards from their car or coach, preferring to take a few quick snaps to bore the grandchildren with then retire to a tea room to complain about the price of the cream tea they've just purchased and catch up on gossip. Sometimes this is because of their age and restrictions in mobility, and their are some fine views and landscapes to enjoy from a coach window but if you can then you need to walk away from the towns to really experience all that the Peak District has to offer.
But before we could get there we had to negotiate Bar Hill post office and Tescos. This was where Alison lived for years and as you'll know by now Alison is on a mission to befriend every citizen of earth so in Bar Hill it was inevitable we'd bump into her old friends and acquaintances. Being experienced at this now we'd allowed ourselves plenty of time and exchanged pleasantries with a host of good folk in a manner we hope wasn't too rushed before heading off.
Turning North out of Leek our hearts lightened as we hit the southern end of The Peaks and the rolling hills became studded with the dramatic outcrops of The Roaches, a gritstone escarpment made up from the Lower and Upper tier Roaches, Hen Cloud and Ramshaw Rocks. It is a haven for walkers and climbers. We are planning to walk there tomorrow so we'll leave further descriptions for now, but we'll tease you with talk of Peregrine Falcons and Wallabies.
For today we pulled into Blackshaw Moor Caravan Club site, which sits on the site of a WW2 US anti-aircraft battalion and
then from 1946 it was a re-settlement camp for camp for Polish soldiers who couldn't return to their homeland. The site wardens are very sensitive to the memory of the camp and have erected a plaque commemorating the camp and service men who lived here, and there are little notice boards with picture dotted around. Its all very well done and the site is most becoming, with little private glades around a central site and very generous pitches.
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