When we woke this morning to hazy sunshine streaming in through the gaps in the blinds, we knew we would have to go on a little adventure in the countryside. Jeff, my lovely fiancé, and I would both tell you that we love walking and would like to think we spend most of our spare time hiking up mountains and exploring the Leicestershire countryside – in reality – we hardly get the chance! Although we love it, we definitely do not make the time to actually get out there and do it!
So today, we decided to spend our Sunday in Castleton, Derbyshire. In the heart of the Peak District, it was only a short drive away; armed with a bag full of food, snacks and Jeff’s digital camera we were really excited about our first hiking adventure in a long time!
Luck was on our side from the moment we arrived; the sun was shining, no traffic hold ups and free parking (a very timely electrical fault shut down all of the parking meters)! The first part of our walk took us up a steep hill to Treak Cliff Cavern – the first steep hill I’d claimed in a while and my legs were feeling it! For a moment I was really worried that I wasn’t going to be able to do it but I soon pulled myself together; taking in the gorgeous views and chatting away with hubbie to be.
The warm sunshine and soft breeze had attracted a lot of walkers! I always naively assume on our days out that we will be the only ones there and am always stunned by the number of people we see on our walks. We passed families, runners, cyclists and Scout groups – all making the most of this tranquil setting. We even saw motorcyclists and hang gliders!
We reached the top of Mann Toor before settling down for our picnic. It was so therapeutic being surrounded by the hills basked in sunshine, and the soft summer breeze through my hair. We didn’t really speak much as we eat – I was just taking it all in and enjoying being there together. Climbing up to the top of Mann Toor felt like a great achievement – not the biggest hill I’ve ever climbed but certainly the biggest for a while!
Our descent back to Castleton brought with it a change in scenery. We walked down rocky paths lined with bracken, under a beautiful tree arching over the pathway down to a gorgeous country lane surrounded by farm land and meadows. We even had to manoeuvre ourselves over a little stream (resulting in me getting wet feet – that’s what I get for hiking in Nike’s!)
It was only right that we ended our walk with a cup of tea in one of Castleton’s picturesque tea shops. Both exhausted with our walk, we didn’t stay long before heading home; but since we arrived back, we have both kept saying how much we have enjoyed the day. I have loved really making the most of our Sunday together and taking time out from work and wedding planning!
Although I’m sure we will both ache a bit in the morning, it’s been a wonderful day. How do you like to spend your Sunday’s? I really can recommend a day in the Peak District – rain or shine.
x L x