Iona goes to the Peaks

Trip 14 : The Peak District Beckons
From the seaside to the mountainside. This trip takes us to Derbyshire and the Peak District. The campsite is on a working farm near Castleton in Hope Valley.
We arrived after a couple of stops to change my shoes because they were catching on the carpet and wedging it under the throttle pedal.
The site is ok although uneven but this is the Peak District. We tried one pitch but it was too uneven, our second choice is better and we are fairly level.  The site is fairly empty but the steward still managed to put a caravan across our bows but then moved them forward slightly so we could get out. We shall not be moving for four days anyway.
This afternoon we went for a walk, the first part was easy but then we hit the first hill and it was difficult for me to keep up with Sue but we made it, then the road went back down towards the main road where we joined the footpath and walked into Hope village.
We walked to the church and then checked on the rest of the village. Two pubs, two cafes and a Spar shop, greengrocer plus one or two other gift shops.
We then headed back to the campsite via the railway station, which was more of a halt than a station. From here we took a short cut back to Parsons Lane and the campsite.
Tea tonight was a meze of Greek food from the Lidl Greek week. It was amazing and far too much for two people.
A caravan neighbour came around with some leaflets for the Blue John cavern at Castleton. Tomorrow we will try to catch a bus To Castleton.
Day 2:
We set off for another walk heading up to the hills above the campsite. The first feature we came to was an old mill on the river, it had a great weir and you could just make out the water wheel that looked as if it was being repaired, you could also see the sluices and the water rush. There were trout under the old road bridge.
We carried on but the pavement stopped so we followed a footpath across fields to an old roman fort and then on towards Hope. We left the footpath and headed back to the campsite along a narrow road. We came to a bridge over a works road with a conveyor belt. On one side was a clay pit and on the other, some way off a cement works. A man on a bicycle stopped and told us all about the cement works and the production process as he had worked there for years. He was very interesting and he was happy to answer our questions. He pointed out the old workings from 1920 that were now covered with trees.
We continued on our way and the next point of call was two large ponds that were formed by the quarrying. I went through a gate to get a closer look and the pond we looked at was full of carp swimming on the surface in shoals. I tried to take a picture but I just got a reflection of the sky and clouds.
At the end of this single track road was a pub , so ready for a drink we tried the door only to find it closed. We continued home which was quite uneventful apart from 300yds of road that had no pavement. Luckily the traffic was minimal and drove slowly.
Once back at Iona we had lunch and read for some time before exploring the fields around the campsite. Then back to Iona where Sue started cooking paella outside on the Cadac.
It got cold fairly early so as soon as tea was cooked we went inside to eat. Over the late afternoon a large group of students arrived in small groups. We think they were doing their Duke of Edinburgh award. We felt a bit sorry for them as it was so cold, however they got their tents up and cooked tea, the ‘teachers’ did the rounds checking on each group. By the time we got up the following morning they were about packed and some had already set off on the next part of their trek.
Day 3:
Today we are walking the 2 miles into Castleton. We went through the factory yard to Hope train station and followed the road to Hope. We followed the app on my phone which took us past the church and the original School house, complete with a Boys entrance, although I could not get a good enough picture of the carving in the stone above the entrance door.
We came to a Pinfold, this is where stray animals were held until the owners paid a fine to the Pinfold keeper.



It was then up a hill to a footpath that would take us along the valley side and into Castleton. The footpath was well maintained and followed a stream. It was interesting to see the different gates and stiles over the dry stone walls that separated the fields.
Castleton is at the end of the road for many with only narrow roads going over the peaks, so lorries for the cement works and buses terminate here and turn around.
We walked through the town that is focussed on Blue John and every other shop was a jewellers but there are other touristy shops and pubs. Up on the hills above the town are some castle ruins but we decided to leave that attraction and go to the Peak Cavern or Devil’s Arse as it was originally known.
The path to the cave entrance took us past some very picturesque cottages. We got our concession tickets that saved us a couple of quid and joined a group just as the guide stated his talk on rope making.
It was an interesting demonstration and I thought that was it, however we continued deeper into the cave and our guide stopped at various places and continued his talk on the history of the cavern.
We left feeling that the attraction was well worth the entrance fee, and the history was explained very well.
Sue was feeling hungry but we could not find a sandwich shop, then on the way to the Castle we found a fish and chip shop. We managed to buy a couple of bags of chips and I added a sausage just as the shop shut. We ate them outside and made our way home stopping at a shop to get some lemonade, R Whites no less at £2.49 a litre the most expensive on the planet. To top it all, when we got to Hope there was a Spar shop but I daren’t go in incase I had carried expensive lemonade two miles when I could have bought it for a £1 in Hope.
The rest of the walk home was uneventful but we knew we had been on a walk, I logged just over 7 miles on my pedometer.
Day 4:
Woken by a train at 4.50am, went back to sleep until 7.00am. It was only 11c inside so I put the heating on and went back to bed. This took it’s toll on the batteries and by 8.00am it was upto 19c which was bearable. The sun is out in a cloudless sky so the batteries  recharged fairly quickly.
Our last day so we will probably just chill around Iona but if we get bored we can always go for another walk. We did chill around the motorhome, especially when the sun went behind a cloud.
At about 3.15 pm I was getting restless and Sue had already mentioned stretching her legs, so I suggested a short walk. We set off out of the site and turned right for a change. There were yellow arrows pointing along the footpath so we followed them.

We turned onto a road and followed it for about half a mile when we came to a junction. We were just deciding where to go when a woman on a horse asked us if we would hold her horse because she had forgotten to close the windows in her house. We duly obliged and asked her where the road went, Win Hill she replied so off we set.
The footpath got steeper and steeper as we headed up towards the top. Finally we reached a bit of a plateau with a footpath sign. I was still breathing like a raging bull as a lady appeared around a corner. She explained where we were and with a few more minutes walking we could get to another high point and then follow the path down towards home.
The hill, Win Hill was still about a mile away and it was 16.30 which was a bit late to get there and back. We made our final climb and took some pictures then we slowly made our way down the hill and joined a familiar road where we headed back home. All that effort and we had done about 5.5 miles.
We deserved that drink, beer for me and wine for Sue before tea. Another great day and we will have to come back to finish the walk.
Trip 14:
155 miles, 27.1 mpg, 29 mph, 5hr 16m

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