Cruising Mates Forum: Cruise reviews, chat, answers and information. cruisingmates.co.uk • View topic - Getting away at last - a week in the Peak District!

Getting away at last - a week in the Peak District!

Getting away at last - a week in the Peak District!

Postby Dave » 05 Jun 2021 16:03

We've just returned from a week's holiday in the Peak District... with our two daughters, two sons-in-law, two grandsons and two granddaughters! :D

Two years ago, with one granddaughter fewer than we have now, we all had a week in a very nice holiday home at Landal Darwin Forest, near Matlock. We enjoyed it so much that we booked the same house for the following year. But when Covid struck, we held the booking over to this year - only to realise later that we wouldn't be able to have three families in one house. So, rather than cancel altogether, my wife and I came up with a cunning plan whereby the kids would get the big house all to themselves while we'd stay in a separate lodge for two nearby. We were very lucky, because I think it was the only one left.

We had an absolutely wonderful time. The weather was perfect, which allowed us all to have dinner together sitting outside the kids' big bungalow every evening and we all went on visits together every day but one. We went to Chatsworth, Ladybower Reservoir, Dovedale, Matlock and the Heights of Abraham, and my wife and I did several trail runs in the forests surrounding the holiday park while the others were getting themselves sorted for the day. We also did one significant adventure on our own, with which I'll start my report... 8-)

Our plan was to do a circuit from Castleton that would involve the sort of elevation gain that's hard to come by in North Kent. And we wanted to do it at a reasonably fast pace, which meant gentle jogging on the flat, running down any hills and walking briskly up any inclines.

I'd bought two books of Peak District walks when we were here two years ago: Day Walks in the Peak District - the 'classic' and 'new' circular routes editions - and I joined Cave Dale & the Great Ridge from one book with Lord's Seat & Eldon Hill from the other to make a 15 mile circuit with lots of hills!

We parked in Castleton - arriving very early because we'd learned quickly that the Peak District was heaving with people - and set off up Cave Dale and along the Limestone Way path. Although the day would become warm later, it was a very cold start! We crested Eldon Hill and ran down across misty fields to join the Pennine Bridleway. Then it was a long uphill slog to Lord's Seat, which turned out to be the first of five distinct peaks (or perhaps simply high points) on the Great Ridge.

I have to admit that I didn't really know what to expect of the Great Ridge - I sort of assumed we'd go steadily uphill to Mam Tor, then steadily downhill to the far end. But it turned out to be very undulating with some quite challenging ups followed by wonderfully runnable downs for well over four miles. And the views were always spectacular!

From the final peak - Lose Hill - we descended steeply across farmland into the village of Hope and from there we followed a river back to Castleton. We covered the distance of just over 15 miles in 4 hrs 19 mins, and the total elevation gain was 2,700 ft.

Image

Soon after leaving Castleton, we were heading up Cave Dale on a very rocky path that was almost a stream. On the ridge behind us, we could see Peveril Castle. We loved this spectacular gorge and the climb helped us to forget the cold!

Image

Much later, as we neared Lord's Seat, we could see what we guessed must be Mam Tor (directly above my wife's head) far away in the distance. By this time, the cold mist had cleared and it was pleasantly warm:

Image

I think that must be Lord's Seat behind my wife as she takes a photo of me...

Image

...standing on the next (unnamed?) rise - as I'm about to take the previous photo of her. Running and walking along this ridge was just magical: :)

Image

There was some quite 'technical' terrain just before we got to the very 'untechnical' paved steps to the summit of Mam Tor. That's me in the left-hand photo and until this point there was hardly anyone else around. And then we reached a road... and we were suddenly part of the biggest crowd we've ever seen on any summit (right - and no chance of a trig point photo!). From here all the way to Lose Hill, about two miles further on, we were among hundreds of people on the ridge - I exaggerate not!

Image

Fortunately, most people didn't stray far from Mam Tor. We climbed the steep rough path to (what I'm guessing was) Back Tor (the next summit, but I'm happy to be corrected!) and found just a few dozen tougher souls sitting around admiring the amazing views...

Image

Finally, we arrived at the final high point - Lose Hill - and only had to wait a couple of minutes for the view point marker to be clear for a photo:

Image

The run down from Lose Hill was as good as it gets - steep, but not too steep, and grassy. We were enjoying it so much that we missed a turn and ended up going much further down than we'd planned. The point where we had to climb back up again can be clearly seen on the map - it was a bit embarrassing struggling back up the hill past a group of people we'd whizzed past just a few minutes before!

The hill levelled off as we reached farmland and we climbed a great many stiles and went through a good many gates - first into Hope and then along the riverside path back to Castleton.

Image

We agreed that the Great Ridge circuit was easily one of the best routes we've ever done. It was varied, it provided fantastic views, and it was tremendous fun! :)
Dave

Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
User avatar
Dave
Mutineer
Mutineer
 
Posts: 13440
Joined: 24 Feb 2011 16:25
Location: Whitstable
National Flag:
United Kingdom

Re: Getting away at last - a week in the Peak District!

Postby Camela » 05 Jun 2021 23:06

Great to hear of a wonderful family holiday. We've achieved hugs and family staying this past week which has felt so good after an absence of over 15 months.
Becalmed until
"My Ship is Coming In"
User avatar
Camela
Commodore
Commodore
 
Posts: 1941
Joined: 09 Feb 2013 19:21
National Flag:
England

Re: Getting away at last - a week in the Peak District!

Postby rdw123 » 06 Jun 2021 08:46

Well done both of you. Glad you all managed to meet up and enjoy yourselves. I love the last photo of the buttercups in the field, good to see. I see you managed to keep a hedge between you and the bullock! North Kent will seem quite flat after Derbyshire.
rdw123
Commander
Commander
 
Posts: 561
Joined: 31 Jan 2013 19:04

Getting away at last - a week in the Peak District!

Postby Gillzajoker » 06 Jun 2021 11:03

Wonderful photos of a fabulous area, Dave. So pleased that you were able to enjoy all the family together after
so long :D
Image
User avatar
Gillzajoker
Admiral
Admiral
 
Posts: 18270
Joined: 03 Mar 2011 17:07
Location: Costa Almeria, Spain
National Flag:
Spain

Getting away at last - a week in the Peak District!

Postby Dave » 06 Jun 2021 18:13

Thanks for the replies everyone. :)

We all love the Peak District and a wonderful time was had by all. Even the horrendous journey home, which included a 3 hour stop/crawl on the M25 in the rain, couldn't dampen our spirits!

I think I'll add another trip report if that's okay - just a short one... ;)

When we were in the Peak District with the family two years ago, we spent a fantastic day at Dovedale. My wife and I did a shortish walk before meeting up with the others at the car park in Milldale. It was extremely hot that day and we got as far as Ilam Rock where we splashed about in the river and ate our picnic.

This year, I thought it would be nice to see the rest of Dovedale by starting at the other end at the big Dovedale car park. To avoid another 'there and back' along the river, I came up with a circular route whereby we'd head towards Ilam and arrive at Ilam Rock and then return along the river.

Our party included a baby and a two-year-old and the day before the visit I started to wonder if my route would be suitable for pushchairs - or even for carrying the little ones. It might be better simply to walk along the riverside path and back.

So my wife and I decided to do a reconnaissance! We got to Dovedale about an hour-and-a-half before the others were due to arrive and we set off to do the 5 mile circuit and get back to the car park before they arrived. What could go wrong?

Image

The path certainly wasn't suitable for pushchairs, but for a time we thought that the carry-slings would be okay.

Image

Image

But when we started up Dunster Hill, we had to admit that this route wasn't going to work - it was a tough climb!

At this point, we probably should have returned the way we came. We'd taken more than half our planned time and not yet covered half the distance. However, we knew there was a big descent coming as we dropped down into Dovedale and then a level path by the river. We could surely run it and be back in plenty of time.

Image

The ascent finally ended and we were quite excited by the prospect of a quick run down to the riverside path. Here's the gorge - it's going to be all downhill from here...

Image

We missed the path down to the river at first because we couldn't believe it was the real thing. It was incredibly steep! But it was the one we needed, so down it we went. Far from being able to run down, we were barely able to walk down slowly. Much of the path was overgrown, but on this clear patch I was able to take a photo. There were other spots where it was necessary to sit and slide!:

Image

When we reached the river we were relieved to discover that a bridge was nearby. We were already late and we still had 2 miles to go along the riverside path - so we ran it.

But when we reached the stepping stones, there was a problem. An unstoppable and apparently endless stream of people were crossing towards us and it was impossible to go against the flow! We'd never been here before, so we didn't know if there was another crossing further along. (It turned out that there was, but we didn't chance there not being one!) There was nothing for it... with water almost up to our knees, we waded across the very cold river to the left of the stepping stones (in the photo).

Image

There was still about a quarter of a mile to go, which of course we ran to help dry ourselves a bit. We were almost 30 minutes late and along the way I was rehearsing a grovelling apology...

...only to find that the others had only just arrived. The horrendous Peak District traffic had saved us! :)

The rest of the day went perfectly to (the revised) plan. We took the pushchairs, managed to cross the stepping stones with them, had a picnic at Ilam Rock and the children splashed about for a while in the river (the boys that is, who are a bit older than the girls). :)
Dave

Booked cruise 2019: December - Caribbean on Marella Explorer 2
Remaining land-based holidays 2019: July - Peak District, August - Harris and Highlands, October - Brecon Beacons
User avatar
Dave
Mutineer
Mutineer
 
Posts: 13440
Joined: 24 Feb 2011 16:25
Location: Whitstable
National Flag:
United Kingdom

Getting away at last - a week in the Peak District!

Postby Gillzajoker » 07 Jun 2021 11:33

The best laid plans.....eh? But at least you had the foresight to check it out before subjecting the family
to it, and all was well in the end (including lovely pics. along the way!). :D
Image
User avatar
Gillzajoker
Admiral
Admiral
 
Posts: 18270
Joined: 03 Mar 2011 17:07
Location: Costa Almeria, Spain
National Flag:
Spain


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to Accommodation & non-cruising holidays



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests