Sunday, 23 August 2015

Purple and Gold


Hello! We are back from our week away in Derbyshire, feeling rested and well, and we've come through the other side of the washing mountain and lived to tell the tale. This comes with a "long post" warning so...sorry. I took a lot of photos. Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed our trip back up north and thought the Peak District a rather spectacular place with a ruggedness which reminded me of the Yorkshire Dales. Even arriving in the pouring rain, after a nightmare seven hour car journey, I thought it looked wildly beautiful, with pink and purple hedgerows and yellow golden fields every where you looked. 


We stayed not far from Matlock in a place called Darwin Forest. I'd really recommend this place as it's very family and dog friendly and in a great location for exploring the Peaks. 


We shared a cabin with my lovely in-laws (and their Jack Russell, Alfie) and it was very cosy indeed with everything you'd want including an amazing power shower which was a lot better than our crappy one at home. And I never thought I'd love wood cladding so much!


On our first day, ready to explore in the sunshine and in search of a local National Trust landmark or similar, we found ourselves on top of a place called Stanton Moor. 


Angus had thoughtfully colour coordinated his outfit to match the local landscape.


The purple heather was just stunning and in full bloom everywhere you looked, completely covering the tops of the moors.


That view is one of my mental postcards, stored away to pull out and look out in the middle of winter.

The reason for our trip to Stanton Moor was to see the Nine Ladies Stone Circle. I know,  I know, another stone circle - we are not doing a tour of them, I promise - but show me a National Trust or English Heritage landmark and I'm there, before you can utter the words Middle Class. Now, I did not really research the stones before we left, but I was expecting them to be big-ish, like maybe the same height as me. 


They are, as you can see, much smaller, but no less interesting and you can climb on them too. But we'd walked a while to find them and kind of built them up to the kids, and so the whole thing did remind me a bit of that scene in the film Spinal Tap.


Other highlights included:

:: Bakewell, a pretty Peaks village made famous by the cake of the same name. There is a trend here for couples in love to inscribe their initials into padlocks (love locks) and then attach them to the bridge, a controversial tradition which began on the Pont des Artes in Paris. I don't really get it, if I'm honest. Have you ever attached an inscribed padlock to a bridge?
 


:: A picnic lunch at Monsal Head, a beauty spot with the most giddying views down into the valley.


:: Heights of Abraham, to ride the cable cars over the valley and explore the caves below. Absolutely brilliant fun, all of it.



:: Matlock Baths, a strange and lovely place which feels like an English seaside town but is completely landlocked. 


With it's faded grandeur, arcade machines, tourists and many fish and chip shops all along one street, it's more like Scarborough or Blackpool than a Peaks village.


:: The "Plague Village" of Eyam. I can't recommend this place enough, with it's charming cottages, excellent volunteer-run local museum and rich, sad history. Well worth a visit.


And then we have Chatsworth House


Oh my word. 


It is a spectacular stately home, in all it's over-the-top, gold-windowed opulence. A part of me is deeply uncomfortable with the display of eye-watering wealth, of the contrast between the lives of those who have and the have-nots, especially after visiting Eyam the day before. But the other part of me shoved that socialist out of the way and ran around screaming "Pemberley!"  "Mr Darcy's house!" and  "LOOK AT THE PAINTED CEILING!" 


I thought the children would be bored. They were fascinated (for about an hour, and then they wanted lunch).


My favourite part was watching these two people doing some kind of restoration work on the rug. I'm not sure exactly what they're doing, but it looks time consuming and skillful.


That's always the really interesting thing, isn't it, getting a glimpse into the inner workings of a stately home, of what goes on behind the closed doors.

You'll be relieved to know that in between all that visiting and day tripping there was swimming, bike rides, football, reading, crochet, eating, drinking and a fair amount of lazing around too. And it's so good to be home.



42 comments:

  1. Wow! Your photos of Chatsworth are stunning. It's been a while since we visited but I so want to return now xo

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  2. "I think the problem may have been that there was a Stonehenge monument in danger of being crushed by a dwarf." Or something like that. Sorry, I couldn't resist. :) Your photos are really interesting. I love seeing the stately home. I always enjoy touring the ones we have here. The colors of the heather and other plants are beautiful. I have never seen heather in real life but I have always wanted to. I'm glad Angus could coordinate his outfit so beautifully for the photos. :)

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  3. It's like reading my own blog a little, haha (only yours is better written!) as these are all places I go to. I love Stanton Moor - it's featured on my blog a fair times. Did you make it to Nine Stones Close & Robin Hood's Stride too? That's lovely. If not you can search for them and find on my blog!!

    I love the Heights of Abraham, I've not been for a while but have a plan to go soon as I was given a free pass recently in return for my voluntary work with Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Did you pop into the aquarium in Matlock Bath and see the Koi and the petrifying stream? I love it, I go into the aquarium every time I go to MB even though it rarely changes. I do prefer Matlock to Matlock Bath though.

    I don't get the love locks craze either. I think the bridge in Bakewell looks awful and I'd dearly love to sneak out with some boltcutters one night and remove them all. They haven't been there long, one appeared a year or two ago and now... what an eyesore.

    It sounds like you had a lovely time :)

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    1. No, sadly we didn't have time to visit Nine Stones Close or Robin Hood's Stride, or Bolsover Castle, Castleton Caves or Buxton or many other places - we could easily have spent another week there. We didn't see the aquarium but I wish we had now. I'm off to look at your blog now!
      Gillian x

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  5. You packed a lot into your break away, but you deserved to after that 7 hours of travelling to get there, phew!
    I like the look of that bed in Chatsworth, looks very tempting and what a ceiling.
    Matlock Baths looks like an interesting mix up of a place and Bakewell is a must for the tart alone.
    Lisa x

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  6. looks like you had a truly wonderful break x

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  7. I'm so glad you had a good time. The heather was stunning when we were in N Wales as well, it's one of the memories that has really stayed with me, I took loads of photos of it, it really is looking gorgeous at the moment. It was lovely to see your photos of Eyam and Chatsworth. We visited both places a few years ago when we holidayed in that area. We saw lots of padlocks on a bridge in Bristol the other day. The Other Half was extremely scathing about it. He loathes anything to do with affection! So no, no padlock anywhere with my name on it. Do you think it was started by the padlock manufacturers? Or am I terribly cynical? CJ xx

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  8. Some of my favourite places, and you had good weather too. That 7 hour journey? Was it the M6? We came from Stockport to the south coast last week, usually takes 5-6 hours but it took 10. I am going to investigate another route for next time.

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    1. Yes! I think the M6 was closed and that made the M1 much busier than usual. Such a grim route at the best of times!

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  9. Sounds like a perfect holiday to me (except the bit about the long car journey) and your pics are just lovely. Thanks for sharing them, and I think I'd do the same as you at Chatsworth... I am quite partial to Mr Darcy too! ;-)
    Xx

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  10. Will you stop showing me places I want to visit in the year when we aren't going away? I will just have to bookmark this for next year!


    It does look lovely, I think Derbyshire is lovely. It's close enough to us to do as a day trip, but of course in a day trip you cannot do everything!

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  11. What a week! You did so much - Eyam is high on my list of places to visit. Your cabin looked like the perfect home away from home - cosy and clean and keeps the weather out! Chatsworth House looks very impressive! I can see why the kids were blown away! I would be too. Thanks for sharing your pics, Gillian! I love catching up with your family!

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  12. Sounds perfect - and you certainly packed a lot in. Matlock Bath is a rather strange but charming place isn't it? I do love the Peak District. Chatsworth is stunning isn't it? Glad you had a great holiday
    Caz xx

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  13. Lovely holiday photos. You reminded me of our trip to Derbyshire a few years ago - my memories include me shouting at R after he started rocking one of those cable cars! I don't really get the whole padlock thing either - do you think people have to sneak along with a hacksaw if the relationship goes belly up?! Glad you had a great time. xx

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  14. Lovely pics. I love lodge holidays and heather. I find using a padlock for a symbol of love very odd!

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  15. Gorgeous photos of the heather moors. It's an area I want to visit more the more I see of it. The padlock thing seems to be growing - we saw loads of them in Verona last year - hopefully it's a fad which will be replaced by something else very soon! x

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  16. It looks a lovely place to visit, lots to see. I'm glad you all had a lovely break x

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  17. I enjoyed the trip to Derbyshire thank you! My mum and I went last summer and visited most of the same places. We also caught some well dressing, did you spot any? Xxx

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  18. The Derbyshire tourist board should give you a job! Beautiful photos. I do love the wildness of the moors and being up high. We saw the padlock trend along the railings in the Albert Docks in Liverpool - I don't get it either. Sam x

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  19. I really want to go and explore this area. Today. It looks really interesting. I am glad you had a lovely time! x

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  20. We visited the nine ladies earlier this summer (post is here: http://andamentoblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/dovedale-and-nine-ladies.html if you're interested). I too was surprised by how small they were! We approached from a different direction to you, so not such a long walk I think. It is a lovely part of the world.

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  21. What a lovely break you've had! The heather is amazing!
    Jacqui x

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  22. Wonderful photographs. Chats worth House looks amazing. I do like a visit to a stately home! Seven hours in the car, that is one tough journey, your children must be very patient! X

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  23. Lovely photos thanks! I think the French padlocks had to be removed recently, as they were damaging the railings and the bridge?

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  24. It all looks fantastic and busy! You sound as though you now need a holiday to get over it ;-) x

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  25. Oh my goodness, looks like my sort of trip! I adore that cabin, looks so cosy and I bet the wood smells amazing! That view is breathtaking, I don't think I would have braved the cable cars though! Glad you had a great time!

    Katie

    http://long-may-she-rain.blogspot.co.uk

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  26. What beautiful places! That heather in bloom is glorious and your pictures of the towns make them look so picturesque. I definitely do want to visit England some day. It may not be as exotic as some places, but the scenery is beautiful.

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  27. That heather is simply gorgeous. What a fabulous week you've had. It sounds as if you've managed to keep three generations (and a dog) very happy indeed. Textile conservation sounds very appealing but in reality I expect it's very hard work. I don't understand padlocks either. What's wrong with simply saying the 'L' word?

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  28. Hey Gillian,
    I have always wanted to visit Chatsworth. For much the same reason as you, I suspect. I just remember the scene from the Keira Knightley's P&P (a favourite girlie film), when she makes that face as she looks as Darcey's home. It looks as though you all had a great time together. My boys love NT places and castles and so on. I think it's an antidote to seaside living. Oh and I do love how you can make anywhere look inviting and cosy. My sister in law can do the same. She can style a tent to look like home in about ten minutes. I do not possess this skill.
    Have a great week, lady.
    Leanne xx

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  29. Loved reading this post, glad you had a good time. You did visit some really interesting places and had lots of fun along the way too. I have heard of the padlocks on bridges thing but only because I saw it on Neighbours! (How embarrassing is that!) I will say no more about that topic, however, must add that your photos are lovely and the heather looks so pretty.

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  30. Is that last Heights of Abraham photo the giant (to kids) slide? i have fond memories of that!

    My last visit to chatsworth was with work, on a site visit in the snow and i have to it gets more stunning than ever with an inch of dusty snow on the ground!

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    1. Yes it is, well spotted! My two loved it.

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  31. I'm glad you've really enjoyed your break in Derbyshire. It's full of lovely, interesting places, we're lucky to live just a short drive away from most of them. Hope your week back from holiday is going well. Would love to see more of your new blanket soon! X

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  32. What a wonderful break for you all. I love the peak district and have lots of happy childhood memories there. we visited chatsworth a lot in school holidays and I remember spending a whole day by the river that runs through the land trying to dam it with rocks. The heather pictures are stunning. Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog too, I really appreciate it :)

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  33. Such a fab holiday for you all. Derbyshire is beautiful...that heather!! I love Chatsworth so much. The gardens, the house...it's all just wonderful. I haven't been there for a while, last time was mid winter before LittleR was born. We often take a trip up to Bolton Abbey which is also owned by the Devonshire estate. One of my closest friends is from Matlock. Now she's lived in Leeds for 15 years she finds it a really odd place :-) Have a fab week. xx

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  34. It looks like a beautiful trip. And yes I understand your views on the display of wealth and all but I would also be screaming, "Pemberley" and would have felt a bit of me had died and gone to HEaven seeing that amazing place.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  35. One of my favourite parts of the country. I loved your photos of Chatsworth house...don't you find when you have visited such a grand house your own home feels cosy and welcoming! I loved all the heather, we are beginning to see lots on the headlands at home. B x

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  36. I have such a soft spot for the peak district which is where J and I did much of our walking and camping out when we were in our twenties. We're going to stay at the youth hostel at Eyam (A Victorian Folly) in a couple of weeks as we have a family get together to go to in Bakewell - really hope the weather holds! Lovely to catch up with you, hoping the end of your holidays is peaceful! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  37. I just turned to my husband and said....''oh look, chatsworth house has similar windows to our house''. Ha. It's not georgian era by chance is it?
    Same proportions and design...different curtains and finish.
    How interesting.

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