DOVEDALE HOLIDAY 2018
New Forest - Dovedale, Derbyshire - Saturday 28 October
After a long journey and encountering accidents both on the M27 and the M40 and roadworks on the M1 we arrived at The Peverill of the Peaks lodge. Nestling in the valley in the village of Thorpe in the Derbyshire Dales. We were all greeted by a wonderful hearty carvery dinner.
HOTEL - DOVEDALE - ILAM - Saturday 29 September
The day was bright and sunny and mild in temperature. Sylvia led the walk which started from the back of the hotel over the fields littered with grazing sheep. Directly behind this tranquil scene in the Derbyshire countryside stood the imposing Cloud Peak. Its triangular form rising sharply from the undulating landscape. We split off into 2 groups, the longer walkers taking a route up Cloud Peak. We walked around the base of Cloud Peak over a stoney path leading through a lovely valley. To the left the Peak and to the right a steeply rising and very imposing hill, again covered with peacefully grazing sheep. We emerged at the well known beauty spot known as The Stepping Stones on the river Dart. Unfortunately the stones were close due to repair work to the bank. We walked along the river bank under the watchful eye of Cloud Peak. We crossed at a small wooden bridge and headed off into the fields. After encountering a few stone stiles we reached the village of Ilam. There we headed to Ilam Hall and had our picnic lunch in the grounds. After an exploration around the grounds, a walk along the river and a steep climb into the gardens we met with the longer walkers and enjoyed a cup of tea whilst admiring the stunning views over the Dales of this district. Pleasantly refreshed we made our way back over the fields , along an old drovers track crossing the river on an old stone bridge, and up several steep inclines with breathtaking views over the lush green countryside.
Thorpe Village walk & Pipes in the Peaks - Sunday 30 September
A cloudy day, but dry. Sylvia led the walk round the village of Thorpe this morning, A short walk, 3 miles in all. We took a route from the back of the hotel then into the village stopping at the old well by the side of the road. The houses were all constructed from the local limestone. The gardens all very well tended in this idyllic village. We paused to admire the lovely old village church. We spotted a rope swing by the side of the road and some of us went back to our childhood and had a go. Larry was "monkeying around" and made us laugh. Came back to the hotel to eat our packed lunch
In the afternoon many of the group went to the organ concert at The Pipes in the Peaks. A restored 1930s Mighty Compton concert organ played at this concert by Robert Wolfe the resident organist from Norfolk's Thursford Collection. The venue was the village garage. With its car showroom and workshop transformed this Sunday into a spotless concert venue. The walls were lined with motor history, old petrol pumps, tools, veteran car parts, garage memorabilia. Hanging from the walls were the instruments linked to the concert organ. At the rear an antique pianola played , later followed by a playerless fairground band. It was just an amazing venue, the like of which has never been seen before. We were greeted with drinks and in the interval tea, coffee and biscuits. The concert began very dramatically by the organ rising up from the floor. The organist's skill was amazing his hands and feet moved so quickly they were like a blur. Everyone who attended from our group thoroughly enjoyed the unique afternoons entertainment.
We walked back down the hill to the hotel, taking in the early evenings beautiful sunshine on the surrounding countryside. After dinner our hosts put on a quiz.
Bakewell - Haddon Hall - Monday 1 October
The coach came at 9.30 and took us to Bakewell, famous for its tarts and puddings. A beautiful market town on the river Dove. We had an opportunity to browse the market and to sample that Bakewell tart - quite delicious. We all met up together and started our walk which took us over the fields close to the river. Stopping for our packed lunch on some old logs we all enjoyed some autumn sunshine. Continuing on with our walk to Haddon Hall the footpath came closer to the river which we followed right to the Hall. This most beautiful and unspoilt 11th century house and gardens stood in an imposing position amongst the Derbyshire hills. We explored the house and learned much historical fact about it with the aid of the guides. The gardens surrounding were most beautiful and in an elevated position enjoying stunning views over the Dales. The coach took us back to the hotel after driving along a scenic route. After dinner our hosts put on a quiz
Ashbourne - Tissington - Thorpe - Tuesday 2 October
A rather dull, drizzly and windy day. After breakfast the coach took us to Ashbourne via a lovely scenic route. We spent an hour here and then all met up to commence todays walk led by Sylvia. The route took us along the old railway track to Tissington. This long elevated tree lined pathway gave us some shelter from the elements. After stopping for our packed lunch we continued along the railway track and into the quaint village of Tissington. Having a cup of tea before the last leg of our walk to Thorpe. Tonight the hotel laid on a special 5 course dinner cooked from local produce. We finished eating at 10pm. After which we finished off with local cheese tasting.
Chatsworth House - Wednesday 3 October
After breakfast, all aboard the coach and off to Chatsworth. The weather was cloudy, but dry and mild. Chatsworth, a very popular and imposing stately home. Everyone went their own separate ways to view the house and gardens. The house was amazing with its dark oak panel walls, beautifully painted Greek Mythology ceilings and tapestries. The gardens were absolutely stunning even on a dull day like this. Part of the garden was designed to look like the Peak District with its magnificent limestones, caves waterfalls and rivers. The famous landmark cascading waterfall was beautiful. The coach took us back via a scenic route. After dinner a quiz was put on by our hosts.
Alstonefield - Dovedale - Thursday 4th October
After breakfast the coach took us to Alstonefield, another quaint Derbyshire village with the most spectacular Norman church. We were able to go inside the church before starting our walk. Sylvia led the shorter walk and Alan the longer walk which was more hilly. The shorter walk took us down a single track road skirted by amazing limestone walling and lush countryside as far as the eye could see. We walked down into the stunning village of Milldale nesting in a deep valley with the river Dove rushing through and under the stone bridge into the gorge behind. After having our apple stop here and admiring the beauty of this area, we continued the walk following a footpath running alongside the river and into the gorge. Surrounded by towering cliffs with caves we meandered our way along the valley. We were lucky enough to see trout, heron and a dipper. We stopped for our picnic lunch alongside the river. Some sitting on logs and some clambering up into one of the caves. Some parts of the footpath had to be walked with special care as the rocks were slightly slippery. We took a climb up away from the river, and then down to meet the river Dove again and walking alongside this beautiful river we came to the Stepping Stones again. They were open this time, and many enjoyed a hop over the rocks. The last part of the journey had been trod by us on our first day up the valley at the base of Cloud Peak, through the undulating countryside back to the hotel. A few of us enjoyed the last rays of sunshine whilst drinking a cup of tea on the terrace. Before dinner we all gathered and Larry gave a speech of thanks to Sylvia and Alan. After our last dinner we were entertained by a local folk group with a barn dance.
Return home to the New Forest - Friday 5 October
After breakfast we all boarded the coach for our homeward journey which was trouble free. We are all so grateful to Sylvia and Alan for making this a truly wonderful holiday.