Back in Edale

After a break of 15 years we were heading back to one of our favourite places: Edale in the Peak District. It would be the first destination in our “fifteen national parks in fifteen days” extravaganza.

We decided to take my dad’s midlife-crisis-mobile, a Mazda MX5, in the vain hope that we might encounter some sun and warm weather over the next few days. It turned out to be a good decision because the drive over from Lincoln, via Chesterfield with it’s curvy church spire, was really nice.

chesterfield

When we arrived at Greenacres campsite just outside of Edale we put up the tent that would be our home for the next two weeks and started the short hike over to the national park visitor centre.

Greenacres campsite

The weather held out for about 20 minutes – just long enough to get the below shot – before the heavens opened. I had almost forgotten how unpredictable the weather in England can be at times. Luckily I hadn’t forgotten my waterproof jacket and trousers.

Railway Edale

When we arrived at the visitor centre I learnt that the Peak District became the UK’s first national park and was created in 1951. Much of the picturesque moorland had been previously privately owned, preventing ramblers from enjoying it. The discontent among the general public culminated in a mass trespass of the private land by 400 ramblers back in April 1932. Many believe this public action to be the first step towards the creation of the national parks system.

After having our national park passports stamped we headed back to the Old Nag’s Head, the pub which marks the beginning of the Pennine Way and the place where we had our photo taken fifteen years ago (remember this?). We had aged a little (and my rolled up trouser combo was looking particularly stylish – ahem), the sign had changed, but the pub still looked the same.

Old Nag's Head

Our plan for this trip was to complete a  well-known hike in every national park. In the Peak District our walk took us down the picturesque Edale valley:

Edale valley

As we made our way down the valley we passed Upper Booth Farm – which has a great campsite and camping barn – and then walked through Lee Farm, where we came across a nice little information centre and a traditional woodturning workshop.

Shortly after Lee Farm we arrived at the foot of the famous ascent called Jacob’s Ladder, which doesn’t lead to heaven, but does take you to some heavenly views at the top of Kinder Scout, the highest mountain in the Peak District.

Jacob's Ladder

Unfortunately it was getting too late to carry on and get a glimpse of those amazing views (click here to get an idea) and so we decided to head back down the valley,

Edale valley

to the Old Nag’s Head for a well-deserved pint of the local ale. Now that really was a heavenly experience!

 

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