In mid-September we set off for a month in England.
Our month started with a short bus ride from Heathrow to the Reading Rail Station, followed by a train ride to Stoke-On-Trent where we picked up our rental car. Then the “fun” started – dealing with rush hour traffic while navigating our way out of the city, all the while driving on the “wrong” side of the road was a little unnerving. I had driven on the left on a previous trip to the UK but that was years ago. Anyway, once we got out of the city, driving became a little more relaxed.
After a couple hour drive into the beautiful Peak District we arrived at our rental accommodation in Hope. It was on a sheep farm just outside of town and was a very cozy, comfortable place to spend the next 6 nights.
I started the next day, just after sunrise, with a short hike up into the hills behind the farm. There were plenty of photo opportunities along the way.
Following breakfast, it was shopping day. My wife wanted to visit a yarn shop in a nearby village. Unfortunately, our GPS took us all over the countryside, including a dead-end road and several very narrow lanes. We never did find the shop that day. A few days later, after re-checking the location, we had no trouble finding the store. Anyway, after aborting our initialed attempt we went off in search of groceries to stock our rental for the coming days. We had better luck finding the grocery store!
The forecast for the next day was mostly rain, so we elected to spend the day relaxing in the cottage. During one period in the morning when it looked like it might be clear for a bit, I took a stroll down the lane into town. For my return trip I elected to take the public footpath past fields of sheep and over the railway tracks. I got back just as the rain was starting again.
Several months earlier I had arranged a one-to-one workshop with a photographer I had been following for some time on YouTube. Nigel Danson (nigeldanson.com ) is based in the Peak District. His photos of the area was one factor that made me want to spend some time in the Peak District on this trip to England.
About 6:00 am on the Monday morning, Nigel picked me up at the cottage and we were off for a day of shooting starting with sunrise at Mam Tor, a prominent hill in the region. From there we visited several other spots in the Hope Valley. It was a great day and I picked up a number of helpful tips from Nigel.
The following morning we made our return trip to Tideswell and the yarn shop we had tried to find a few days earlier. By now my wife had been in contact with the owner and arranged to visit the shop (which is normally only open on Saturdays). Not surprisingly she found some yarn to purchase. For my part I took the opportunity of our return trip to wander the town with my camera.
A visit to the neighbouring village of Castleton was first on the agenda for the following day. It’s a very picturesque little English village and I quite enjoyed an hour or so of strolling the streets.
From Castleton it was off to visit Brodsworth Hall and Gardens, about an hour away in South Yorkshire. Our visit started with a visit to the Tea Room for some scones, clotted cream and a pot of tea. That alone made the trip worthwhile! Then it was off to tour the house and the gardens. The home is a beautifully restored mid-Victorian structure and the gardens were absolutely stunning.
All too soon our visit to the Peak District came to a close and it was time to move on. Our next base would be in Barnard Castle, County Durham just north, of Yorkshire.