I've been intending to write this blog for over a week now, so this is a little out of date, but never mind. For our anniversary Alice and I decided this year to go on a brief break to the peak district. We picked a location that was accessible by train, and a hotel that was inexpensive (more on that later). The weather was a little worrying, as unlike two years ago storm clouds were threatening, but actually we ended up only being rained on once, so all in all a result.
Considering we were only in Castleton for two days we managed to pack quite a lot in. We began with a tour of the amusingly named "Devil's arse", or peak cavern if you're being boring, so named because theres a part of the cavern which, thanks to the flowing of water, would give out loud farting noises across the valley, startling the locals, who naturally assumed Satan was hanging out in the caves eating a diet of baked beans and cabbage.
The tour was quite fun- the guide had a rather laconic manner that took a while to sink in. At one point she started talking about most haunted's visit, and I inwardly sighed and prepared to hear some nonsense about the ghosts of former miners... until she called them all idiots! Twas very pleasing. We also managed to gather a photo for Alice's extreme reading she has been doing for work
On the same day we went on a couple of short walks, one across the excellent little valley of cave dale, a very quick walk I'd found online which led us slightly off the beaten path, to the point where we were basically half walking/ half falling down a hill. Still, stunning views!
We visited another cave as well on the same day, feeling we'd met our quota (Castleton has four caves in the area), and ended the day with an awesome cream tea, with freshly made scones.
The next day we went on a 5 and a half hour walk around the whole of Castleton, covering the main hills, including Lose Hill and MAM TOR (it must always be named in capital letters!) We got some great views of the whole of the valley, and at the end of it felt like we had "done" Castleton successfully
All in all it was an excellent holiday, with awesome food at the Cheshire Cheese (definitely the place to eat if you visit Castleton), and great walks. The only downside was the hotel at which we stayed, Fern Cottage. It was a B and B that had seen better days. The owner had little to no manner, and barely seemed happy to see us. He also smelt so strongly that his odor infused the entire hotel, although thankfully the rooms were immune. The room wasn't too bad, but the bed had clearly seen better days, and was ludicrously creaky and not terribly comfortable. The breakfasts were actually ok, primarily because the fried food, cooked by the nice Irish house keeper who came in for the mornings, drove away the smell. Still, if we went again we definitely wouldn't be going to Fern cottage.
That said, it wasn't a massive draw back, as we spent most of our time enjoying the countryside.