Who doesn’t love a parkrun, especially if it’s somewhere new and you can squeeze it into the middle of  your long run to make up the miles. So on Saturday, while we were exploring the Peak District, Steph and I tried out Bakewell parkrun.

“In a study of more than 8,000 people by Glasgow Caledonian University, 89% said that participating in parkrun has made them happier”

From our cottage in Rowsley I followed the trails to the start line and ran 5 miles (with some serious ascent!), while Steph took to the roads on her bike and knocked up 6. We met at Hassop Station where the parkrun community gathers, just outside Bakewell, on the old railway line now called the Monsal Trail.

The parkrun is a flat out-and-back, which felt good as you know as soon as you reach the turnaround point you’re half way and only have to retrace your steps to reach the start/finish line. As I was running 16 miles in total that day, 5 before and 8 after parkrun, I took it easier than I would’ve usually run on fresh legs and reined in my pace a little. I felt comfortable for the first half, seeing Steph in the distance and high five-ing as we passed each other, and on the home straight and last few kilometres, I picked up the pace a little, striding out on the flat terrain and crossing the line in 22:46.

Steph was feeling sprightly and on form finishing strongly in 21 minutes dead and after we thanked the run director and volunteers we went our separate ways again, Steph on the bike as I retraced my steps again on the Monsal Trail back to Rowsley and picked up the Derwent Valley Heritage Way path for a few extra miles to make up the distance.

After a quick coffee and cake stop enjoying our little cottage’s front garden in the sunshine, we hopped in the car to explore Bakewell. A beautiful little market town, well known for its local confection the Bakewell pudding (not tart), full of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants, we parked a little outside the bustle and walked over the river to the centre.

On the hunt for lunch we found Because I Like It, tucked away in a little side street with lots of tables outside to enjoy the sunshine. This cafe had been on our list to find after we had read that it delivered wonderful vegan options and the menu did not disappoint! I enjoyed a lovely falafel sandwich and got to sample the famous Henderson’s Relish, made locally in Sheffield and a vegan friendly option to Worcester sauce which contains anchovies.

We saved room for cake and moseyed around the shops, popping into a local church hall that was hosting a bake sale as well as a local craft fair that happened to be open that afternoon. On the hunt for Steph- and Amy- friendly cakes (gluten free and vegan! what a pair we are!) we had a nosey around a few other cafe and coffee shops but with no luck ended up back at our lunch spot! where again we sat out in the sun and enjoyed coffees, banana bread and cinnamon streusel (like the good crumbly bit on top of muffins and cakes).

Full of delicious food we jumped back in the car as the clouds finally drew in and drove to the nearby town of Eyam, also known as “the plague village” as it is noted for an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1665 during which the villagers chose to isolate themselves rather than let the infection spread. How delightful! Unfortunately the National Trust’s lease of Eyam Hall ended in January so we weren’t able to see inside, but the craft centre was open and we enjoyed looking at all the local produce – beers, condiments, jewellery and gifts – before weaving down the small streets of the town reading all about its’ history and past community.

Back in the car we drove back to Rowsley and our little cottage, ready to cook dinner and rest before our final day together in the Peak District. More running, cycling and eating were on the cards of course! Join us next time!

Have you tried Bakewell parkrun? Where’s your local parkrun and your favourite?

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