It's mid July, a hot hot week, and Brighton is full of people. The 8 year old tomboy has been dragged around France along with her 14 year old brother, and Dad is running out of ideas. Bingo! The Peak District, where cycling and walking are top billing on the menu.
And so we pitched at Nicky Drummond's place for 3 nights, staying in the cottage right next to the main house. It's walk-in high standard easy living. Kitchen with granite worktops that look as if they were cut yesterday, flowers that were cut today...and books crammed with ideas for walks/cycle rides etc for tomorrow. 8 year old in heaven because of Maisie the dog...if you want to see pure happiness then watching those two scampering around the glorious garden is as close as I've got to it for a while.
The cycling was fantastic...an early morning ride down to Hartington, pick up the milk from the local stores, zip back through Hulme End onto the first third of the Manifold Way then up a taxing hill back to the ...shower. Cracking way to start the day....seeing the gentle mists and clear peaks around with no traffic around..beautiful. I challenged the 14 year old to cycle that return climb without getting out of the saddle and there was a bet on it.
The Manifold Way is right on the doorstep...with Thor's cave a short walk away (that was a neat afternoon where we armed ourselves with torches and scrambled around the cave half way up a cliff), and the Tissington Trail is easily accessible too. I got my 8 year old on both trails and she zipped along happily. We dabbled our feet in the Manifold at Wetton Mill, the Dove at Milldale and it was glorious on both occasions.
Both my kids wanted to stay longer, but it is always good to leave on a high...so we did. The cottage is superb, fitted out with all you could wish for, including board games. The suggested walks are great (we only managed walk number 3, but there are 6 offered and I'm sure Nicky could rattle off 66 more if wished).
The Devonshire Arms in Hartington offers cracking food, and the place has a magical cheese shop. Marvellous. The apple pie offered in the Royal Oak was wolfed down happily, and there's a decent pint served there, along with some neat conversation, and a load of curious momentos scattered around..including some on toe wrestling. And why not.
I'm recommending the cottage for families, Maisie for kids (boy, she's a good playmate)...the area for cycling and walking and all in all the whole place for a relaxing getaway. My kid's verdict? 'Dad...why did we go all the way to France for your mad camping trip when we could have had a couple of weeks in Derbyshire?'. And, frankly, I've not thought of a response to that one yet.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This beautiful Country House is set in over an acre of secluded gardens in the heart of the peak District National Park. Originally built by The Chatsworth Estate, The Old Vicarage has been lovingly restored and offers a home from home full of character and charm,in the pretty stone village of Wetton. With literally dozens of walks and cycle rides straight from the door and a traditional pub only 2 minutes walk, it is a great base to explore this picturesque area. Wake up to the aroma of Nicky's freshly baked breads served with organic home made jams and a tasty freshly grilled breakfast. We are also ideally located for exploring the pretty marker towns of Ashbourne, Bakewell and Buxton and the many National Trust properties in the area as well as Chatsworth House and Alton Towers. As featured in August Edition of Countryfile Magazine!! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- The Old Vicarage Country House Bed & Breakfast Wetton, Peak District National Park