This time last week we were in Wales and attempting to climb Snowdon but it was cool and raining, we had not brought the necessary UK travel gear we had bought (yes the wet gear) but we persisted and had a pleasant but damp walk over half way up but the mountain was covered in mist so we beat a retreat back to our base at Betws-y-Coed to find it was bathed in sunshine, such is life.
It did however set the tone for the rest of the weeks weather, of late I had been reading Bill Bryson’s Road to Little Dribbling and a text from a friend John in London these contributed greatly to what we would visit over the coming week.
On John’s advice stopping off at a total marvel of British engineering the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in Llangollen. The setup here is fantastic easy perking for the Motorhome and a short walk to the site. You really don’t get to figure out what you are going to see until you turn the corner, and the canal seems to float in the sky. It is utterly remarkable and a big thanks to John for letting us know about it.
Our next overnight stop we had booked was in Bakewell, Derbyshire and I was going to blame my friend Syed for this as he said it was very pretty area, and for some reason, we booked four nights. The town itself is picture post card gorgeous, and we enjoyed wandering around taking in the atmosphere. We made our way to the Bakewell Tart Shop and picked up a pair of tarts for dessert that evening. Syed is in the money this was a great stop
Well, the four days possibly was not enough! Bill filled in some gaps saying we had to cycle the Monsal Trail an old railway line that has been converted into a cycleway. Beautiful and well sign posted, we got to see what the first proper factory that was probably ever built ‘Cressbrook Mill’. Now converted into apartments it is stunning. As it ran through limestone country there were lime kilns built on the line and it was fascinating to see how they worked.
The line never made any money, but the Duke of Devonshire managed to have two stations built for his use one for himself and guests and the other for workers and freight from his holdings in the area. Speaking of the duke we had an invite for the next day and cycled over to his house. No matter where I have been I do not think I have seen such a projection of power, wealth and beauty ever. The setup is amazing, a fantastic Farm Shop nearby perfectly laid out. Mind you it seems not many turn up on bicycles! We did struggle to find somewhere to park up. It would be fair to say the Duke and family own everything around here. But pictures paint a 1000 words so here are 1000’s for you.
The campsite at Bakewell was lovely and close to the town and an easy walk in. The staff were efficient and very helpful. On the wall they had pictures of the site as it has evolved over the years, the last picture taken in the mid 2000’s so I added an up to date one to the collection.
Our next stop was down to Fred Sirieix and his new TV series Remarkable Places to Eat the Yorkshire Episode with Nadiya Hussain Harrogate to visit Betty’s tea room, as an experience it was wonderful and we can recommend it.
Again our campsite was lovely, Harrogate Caravan Park it haas friendly helpful staff and close to town with a bus service to the door.
We were told that nearby was another old railway converted to a cycle path going to a village called Ripley and it is worth the visit, even prettier than Harrogate, plus they make ‘World Famous’ ice cream. Well off we went and yes they make lovely ice cream and a particularly nice set of Gin’s plus you can if you like make your own gin in a an afternoon. We did not have enough time and unfortunately the village Pub had a sign reminding us of the times we live in. But we on the way back we able to take in something that is quintessentially English, a village cricket match in progress.