Well this is a tough one. I recently wrote a 30 before 30 list, ya know before everything, thinking I had from January until September to fit tonnes of activities in, days out and travel experiences in. As the current situations stands it does not look like we are going to be exploring a new place or treading familiar paths anytime soon, which is fine, it just makes me want to evaluate my previous list, and change it a little. So with this in mind, it won’t be a 30 before 30 list anymore, it will be a ‘When Lockdown Has Fully Lifted and It Is Completely Safe To Go Out’ list or the ‘WLHFLAIICSTGO’ list whichever rolls off the tongue easier.
Disneyland Paris Trip – as you may be aware we had our Walt Disney World Florida holiday cancelled due to the lockdown and as it may be off the cards for a while I would love to visit Disneyland Paris as soon as possible.
Head into Derbyshire on the motorbike. As passenger on the back of my husbands motorbike to be more precise. Spending the day drinking tea and cake in Bakewell, having some chips in Matlock Bath and take a walk around Chatsworth.
Visit friends in London. And hopefully go decorate some biscuits at Biscuiteers or go and do The Crystal Maze experience with the husbands.
Go to Birmingham with my sister. Go shopping in the Bullring and watch a film at the Luxe cinema there.
Treat myself to a spa session.(It will be for my birthday after all.) I would love to have an overnight stay in a spa hotel and get to fully relax with some treatments and a sauna session.
Take a friend to afternoon tea. Preferably somewhere we haven’t been before to have a catch up and eat all of the cake they have under those glass domes along with plenty of sandwiches of course.
Spend a weekend in the Lake District. Take a tour around The Lakes Gin Distillery and go on plenty of long walks -not in that order though.
For now that is it. I think apart from seeing family, which will be first on the agenda when it is safe to do so, they are the places that I have missed the most over the past few weeks. I also read a book recently ‘The List That Changed My Life’ which had a similar narrative of things to do before the character reached 30. Completely different to my list however inspiring all the same.
You might also notice that there aren’t 30 anymore. Due to the shorter amount of time and the fact it will be September before we know it I have had to narrow it down. This hasn’t bothered me to be honest, I might not be able to get 30 things in but I may get other events in that are completely unplanned but that I am 100% grateful for. An impromptu picnic or an evening spent with friends at a great restaurant, sometime the best times are the surprise ones, what do you think?
Have you had to alter any plans or experiences? Or create a new ’30 before 30’ list?
A little disclaimer before we start. Everyone’s first priority right now (and always) is to STAY SAFE. Practice social distancing and self isolate where required. In this post I am simply remembering a favourite walk that we have done on previous visits to Derbyshire.
We all, of course, have our favourite locations when taking the pooch on a day out. Sometimes we change it up and go somewhere different and then others we’ll want to know exactly what we are up against. Monsal Dale is that go to, long walk, out in the open for us. It has everything from open green space to water which we can’t keep Mia out of and a little uphill section. The route is even in a good spot for a drink or bite to eat after too. There is plenty of parking at the top of the route and we always tend to use this and walk down.
There are a couple of steep hills on the walk and I am not a fan of going downhill but I would say for me, it is worth it every time. My favourite spot along the trail is probably right at the end of the route in the field below the viaduct.
On one previous walk we were able to get right up to the weir and take a couple of photos. On our last day out here it was fenced off and you could not get near it. I am completely guessing but I take it this could be for safety purposes to stop silly people walking along the rocks to get a photo for the ‘gram, just a thought. There are some beautiful spots on route, as there is with most of Derbyshire, and the large viaduct and the weir are just a couple of them.
Mia, our chocolate labrador, also loves splashing around in the water here. She is a complete water dog and we haven’t the heart to stop her, even if it does mean a wet car on the way home.
The route ends by going up a fairly steep hill back to the car park (and food!) and this is where Mia also manages to make us laugh. The hill is on a bank with a slight tilt to one side which carries on down the hill. If she stops and you shout her name she always manages to look at us with her head tilted in the same way of the banking.
The trail can sometimes be a little muddy so we mainly wear our walking boots and take some extra shoes in the car. We have also been known to stop in Monsal Dale and open up a few snacks along with a flask of tea.
I love a walk in Derbyshire and the Chee Dale route has to be one of my top 5. It links to Monsal Trail and went walking this route we did go up to the trail for an ice cream. We soon headed back down to the path though as the Chee Dale walk was quieter and more dog friendly for what we wanted on such a super hot day.
The path is scenic throughout and even on the first bridge I was already snapping my camera and taking photos. From a section of the viaduct to the dogs walking and enjoying the water there was literally photo inspiration at every turn and as it was the height of summer there were plenty of plants thriving.
This also meant that there were plenty of plants thriving. In the way that they were kind of taking over the path and we were brushing past them. Now I am not a big fan of plants brushing past my legs (hello nettle stings and ticks people!) but I managed it there and back and even tucking in for people and their pooches to pass on the narrow paths.
We walked down by the river for most of the day and the dogs loved dipping in and out along the route. There were plenty of other dogs out too enjoying a walk and a swim on the bank holiday.
The popular stepping stones are along the Chee Dale route and we loved this section of the walk. The whole route we did have to be careful as it is next to water which can make paths slippery and the stepping stones were no different. We hadn’t gone quiet dressed for the event so took extra care that we didn’t end up as wet as the dogs and we made it to the other side. I must say there is only one set and we were being closely followed. From the other side there was a point where walkers were coming from the opposite direction and this did make it tricky for a minute as the stones aren’t that wide.
I would definitely do this walk again in the future and potentially see some more of the route and what surrounds it.
What is your favourite route to walk, in Derbyshire or elsewhere?
Before we continue with this post I would like to state I hope everyone is staying safe and adhering to the current government guidelines. This post is merely to recount my tales and for entertainment purposes.
Monsal Trail surely has to be one of the most popular walks in Derbyshire. It is a simple route, hopefully I will never need a map for this one, is a lovely flat path thanks to its history of being an old railway, and the character is still aplenty. Oh and there is plenty of places to eat along the way. I will always think of food, ya know, in case you’ve eaten the picnic before you’ve even set off.
We have walked along Monsal Trail more times than I can remember. If we haven’t walked along it we have parked up outside Hassop Station and stopped for breakfast before going onto somewhere else. Side note: Hassop Station do an excellent breakfast range and have a fantastic selection of books and artwork in the shop attached. There is also bike hire here and on a sunny day becomes quite busy. There are a few car parks along this route and we tend to either park at the cafe or down into Bakewell.
As mentioned the route does still hold a lot of character and this comes in the form of tunnels, some quite long and dark for a time, that have the names in signage across the top. The route also has plaques and boards stating the history of certain parts and I remember one explaining how a pulley system was used on the line.
I distinctly remember the time before last that we walked along Monsal Trail was one of the hottest bank holidays in Britain. It was a beautiful day spent with friends and our dogs walking and talking. We were lucky to start the route away from the sun down on Millers Dale and did not notice how warm it was until we veered off course onto Monsal Trail. We stopped for an ice cream and loo break at The Refreshment Room and then headed back down to where there was cool water for the dogs and plenty of shade for both them and us humans.
We will walk along Monsal Trail many more times yet and I cant wait to explore more sections on the route.