Adventures in the Peak District – Travel Tuesday

20131021-085101.jpgOn Sunday I got back from three nights in the Peak District and it was an absolutely brilliant weekend – I loved every second! I’ve only ever been to the Peak District once before when I went for a walk around the Ladybower Reservoir up near Sheffield. You can read more about that over here! Since then I’ve been wanting to go back as it looks just so beautiful, and finally this weekend that happened! The reason? The younger sister’s birthday celebrations and seeing as she’s studying at Sheffield University, a family trip to the peaks seemed logical. After much searching we found a beautiful little cottage overlooking the river in Bakewell and we were set! We arrived on Thursday afternoon and didn’t leave this patch of paradise until Sunday lunchtime and I can honestly say I was so super relaxed whilst there. It certainly lived up to my super high expectations and the scenery was just superb, despite the less than glorious weather. But hey, what are you going to do about that?

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Whilst there we did some day trips – to see a friend in Leeds, to the Chestnut Centre Conservation and Wildlife Park and to Bolsover Castle but the shining star in the weekend was in my humble opinion, the lovely town of Bakewell. I can imagine in the summer it is fairly hectic and busy as it’s so picturesque, is close to the famous Chatsworth House and is renowned for its Bakewell Tarts, but during our weekend it was an okay amount of busy. We went for a few walks around and into the village and it seemed every corner you turned took you to quaint shops or beautiful views, not to mention a pretty river and a lovely sounding weir. Some of my favourite photos of the village are sprinkled in this post, although I’m not sure you can appreciate it’s beauty in these. As for places we visited that I can thoroughly recommend? The super cheap and brilliantly stocked charity shops, the atmospheric and brilliantly decorated Pointing Dog and Duck pub, which served food that was out of this world (there really aren’t the right superlatives I’d need to describe their chicken, leek, ham and mushroom pie), lovely looking coffee shops and Rajas – home to delicious tasting curries!

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We did of course treat ourselves to Bakewell Tarts whilst there and they really are something else when you taste a tart that is how it’s meant to be – none of the Kiplingified nonsense you are taught is the correct why. If you’ve never had one I highly recommend you rectify that asap!

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So yes that’s what I got up to over the weekend, exploring the beautiful peak district with family, if you’ve never been I highly recommend it and I will most definitely be going back. Any suggestions for where I should visit next? I’m all ears. Happy Travel Tuesday and don’t forget to visit all the other lovely people who are linking up posts with Bonnie and the rest of the lovely Travel Tuesday brigade. Happy travelling from your desk/sofa/bed everyone.

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A Compass Rose
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Three months to do whatever I want

I often ponder the question of what I would do with my life if I didn’t have to work for a long stretch of time or, if say, I won the lottery. I can come up with so many amazing ideas that I inevitably force myself to stop day-dreaming as otherwise I’d just quit my job there and then without a second thought as to how I can make these dreams a reality! So when I saw today’s topic on the Blogtember challenge I thought I had to share some of my dreams with you, so below are my current three favourites. I know sadly that they are unlikely to happen (at least anytime soon) so I will instead satisfy myself by dreaming from the comfort of my desk.

*crosses fingers that the winning lottery ticket currently resides in my purse*

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The absolutely stunning Lake Wanaka

Top three ideas if I were to win the lottery tomorrow:

  1. Travel to New Zealand. I was lucky enough to spend five weeks in New Zealand during in my gap year (hence this stunning picture) and I loved every single second, it really is a stunningly beautiful country. Every corner you turn shows you a new unbelievably spectacular vista and you soon run out of adjectives to describe what you’re seeing in Rotorua, Dunedin, in Wellington, Christchurch, Nelson, at Lake Wanaka and everywhere else in between. I often had to pinch myself as I couldn’t always believe my eyes! Even though I’ve been before I’d love to return to do it all again, at a far slower pace, with no time pressure thanks to a pre-booked flight and also to discover many more beautiful places. It would also be wonderful to go round in a camper van so I could just wake up to the Mount Cook view or a step or two from the beach.
  2. Open my own bookshop/ tea rooms/library/gift shop. This would be a mix of all my favourite things in one place and I would love it. From being able to concoct and share new recipes to introducing people to new voices and places through a simple story – that would be bliss. Not to forget all the coffee I could ever want, beautiful things for me to keep for myself instead of selling and interesting people to talk too. A girl can dream.
  3. Travel the length and breath of the UK. I’ve mentioned in the past that I’ve been to loads of places, lucky me!, but I still feel like there are parts of the UK that I don’t know well enough. So I would love the opportunity to walk along Hadrian’s Wall or visit John O’Groats and maybe fulfill my dream of visiting Loch Ness or getting lost in the countryside of central Wales. It would be so much fun just to pack up the car, set off for a few months and see where I fancy stopping.

What about you what would you choose to do if you weren’t at work for a three-month period?



New books, playing at tourist and fun with friends

I’ve had the best few days, thanks to some wicked touristy fun, which I’ll share another day, and lots of fun with friends. I think I could definitely get used to just working a three day week you know. It would be lovely to then go off gallivanting around the UK having fun and seeing the sights – what fun!! So anyway what have I been up to?

  • Well first off I’m very excited that I’ve finally rediscovered my reading gene and as such I’ve had to choose some new books this week. After much deliberation I went with the very first Vampire Academy. My reasoning: it’s lighter for my commute. Yes really.
  • My brand new Clothbound Penguin Classics arrived this week. The new books in my collection are: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Gulliver’s Travels, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Sense and Sensibility and Treasure Island. Don’t they look beautiful on my newly arranged shelves?
  • I had another fish finger sandwich and West Wing night with friends last week and it was aces. Although it saddens me that the series is so very close to ending again. The only positive: I can’t remember what’s still to happen!!
  • I realised this week that sometimes it’s worth leaving the office for a full hour, even if it might seem like you’re too busy it’s definitely good to have a proper catch up with a friends. Let’s be honest however long you spend at your desk, there’s still loads to do. so you might as well make the most of your lunch when you can.
  • Two fun-filled days of being a tour guide around London, including stops at The Tower of London, St. Paul’s (don’t judge me for not going all the way to the top, I’m a scaredy cat), The Tate Modern and Harrods. It was seriously fun to be a tourist in my own city as there’s so much stuff I always mean to see and never quite get round too.
  • A trip to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Musical in the West End. I won’t spoil it for anyone who is going, I’ll just say this: it’s epic, everything you imagine and so so much more. The children and the scenes where they get chased by squirrels, shrunk, sucked up, etc are absolutely wonderful.
  • I spent a lovely weekend playing tourist in Bath. Again I had an absolute ball. The city is wonderful, the Baths are so interesting and beautiful and our hotel was a haven in the middle of the Wiltshire countryside.
  • I learnt that my Aussie cousins think it’s normal to have cold ice cream and hot custard together as a pudding. I was actually appalled, it looked so wrong.

Holiday planning

We’re now three months into the year (unbelievable I know!) and my mind is fixed firmly on holidays! I decided at the end of the year that I was not going to have a big holiday in 2013, as I’m still paying off my amazing trip to Australia from last April. Instead Lau and I are going to do lots of shorter trips, to places much closer to our lovely little abode, as there are loads of cities and areas of the UK that we still haven’t visited. So far our holiday planning is looking like this: a long weekend to a cottage in Oxford, a city break to Dublin, a week of relaxing with family in Cardigan Bay and a sisters road trip to Sheffield and Newcastle.

Not bad for the next three months, hey! I honestly can’t wait and this post is really a plea for suggestions of what we should do in each of these places. I will of course be looking on all the usual websites and in guide books, but I would still LOVE suggestions of must sees from you lot! From the people that know these cities and areas – I’ve found that this is the route to the best ideas. So what do you think where do we need to visit when we head off on our travels – what can’t we miss?! Thanks!!

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