As much as I love London, sometimes it’s nice to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Last weekend my family and I hosted a reunion up in the Peak District. It’s the perfect place to host a gathering as you can stay in huge cottages (there’s no fighting for somewhere to sleep) and you can really disconnect from the strains of everyday life. And boy, did I need to – I think the last time I had a week off work was March when I headed to Copenhagen.
I had the pleasure of staying in Valley View, which is located in the hamlet of Mill Dale. I’ve been coming here since I was a kid, so it really feels like a home away from home. If you want to relax and zone out, lie in and lounge with a good book and a cup of tea, and explore the great outdoors you need to come here. If you’re thinking about a staycation in the countryside, this is the perfect place to enjoy a lazy weekend out of the city – though the WiFi connection is fab if don’t want to completely disconnect.
The Peak District is a real gem, it’s located in the middle of England and is full of rich history to discover. It was named the first national park of the United Kingdom back in 1951. It’s just a short drive or train from London and it makes the perfect spot for a weekend break as you can be as active or as laidback as you’d like.
Autumn is a wonderful time of year to explore the Peak District – I love spending my days kicking up the leaves on a walk followed by an evening cosying up by the fire. We saw the weekend off by going to the Derbyshire Food and Drink Festival which was being hosted in Bakewell.
I was invited by Burtree Puddings and got to try some of their delicious brownies. Scott also brought some of their sticky toffee pudding to have later that night. I haven’t got the biggest sweet tooth and I’d much rather have a cheese board for dessert, but their sticky toffee pudding really hit the spot.
On Sunday we laced up our walking boots and headed down the River Dove and in no time at all we were at the famous Stepping Stones. We took a walk that looped us back around through Mill Dale and to Alstonfield, where we headed straight for The George for a late lunch – it’s one of my favourite gourmet pit stops. As you walk in you’re greeted timeless small rooms with old beans and crackling log fires. The food is seasonal but you’re bound to always find steak and ale pie and treacle tart on their menu.
I can’t wait to go back to the Peak District in December. It’s the perfect place for a weekend out of the city, where you can turn off your phone and soak up the fresh air.