With a heavy training weekend ahead I was so excited to knock up some serious mileage and do so while exploring a new area – the Peak District. Exploring is one of the reasons I run – to see more, to feel more, to open your eyes.
Steph and I booked a little cottage in a village called Rowsely, perfectly placed for trips to see and do everything on our growing list – Chatsworth House and its’ incredible estate, the village of Bakewell and its’ puddings (not tarts!) and parkrun, and Sheffield’s vegan quarter to name just a few.
Between Steph driving North from Windsor and me jumping on an early train from Edinburgh, we met before lunchtime on Friday in sunny Chesterfield, surprised at how simple our journeys were and how easy it was to meet despite living in different countries and hundreds of miles apart. With the car packed and the roof down we drove to our rented cottage, dropped our bags and moseyed into the village for a spot of lunch.
We headed to Caudwell Mill, a historic flour mill once powered by water from the river Wye, now a craft centre, shop and vegetarian cafe, where we enjoyed salads as picnics on our laps in the sunshine, listening to newborn lambs bleeting in the fields and the slow trickle of the river to our side. This is the perfect place for a hearty lunch in the winter – their specials board was fantastic, with exciting quiches and even a paella – or lighter options like salads and sandwiches in the warmer months. We also explored their cute gift shop and then went away from their flour shop arms full of bags of their own flour, oats, oat bran and their special muesli, too temping to miss out on!
From Rowsely we drove through the Chatsworth Estate to Baslow, parked up outside the famous sweetie shop in the square and in shorts, vests and sunnies ran out on the trail into Chatsworth Park. Steph had a 6.5 mile route planned taking us around the park, up towards the Hunting Tower and down to admire the glittering gold leafed stately home of Chatsworth House, taking photos on the way and enjoying the sunshine!
Back in Baslow we drove to Heathersage to check out the lido and go for a quick dip. This outdoor pool is incredible, surrounded by the rolling hills and countryside of the Peaks, kept warm at 28C and buzzing on a scorching Friday afternoon. We’d hoped to join the night swim that evening held by the local swimming club every month, but tickets were sold out so we’ll just have to come back again next time we’re visiting. Instead we did some lengths of the 30m pool, paddled a little then dried off in the sunshine before heading home via the supermarket to pick up a few bits for dinner.
With exciting plans ahead for Saturday – including a parkrun sandwich (myself running and Steph on the bike) and a potter around Bakewell to find vegan friendly cafes and treats – we cooked dinner in our little cottage and got an early night. Join us next time for our second day exploring the beautiful Peak District!
Have you visited the Peak District and have a favourite activity to share? Comment below!