Mr M turns another year older tomorrow so as an early birthday treat we went away for 3 nights to the Peak District in Derbyshire while my parents offered to look after their beloved grandson which I was comfortable with doing as they are so great with him. This was a much needed break for both of us although I still felt like I was packing for a round the World trip. It’s crazy how travelling with a baby/toddler becomes a military operation but I find that making lists really do help as I have a bad case of post baby brain which I fear will remain with me for life!
We did hit some Bank holiday traffic on the motorways but it was great to finally arrive at the most beautiful B&B I have ever stayed in to date called the Old Shoulder of Mutton and the owners Steven and Julie made us feel so welcome straight away. The room was gorgeous and immaculate, and I can see why it’s the most popular B&B in Winster. If you ever make a trip to the Peak District I strongly recommend you check out this gem. Stepping into the big bath felt like I was entering a pool and the original features certainly made an impression on us. Living in the age of technology it was actually nice to switch off from social media as we really couldn’t get much signal coverage. We had dinner at the Druid Inn and the locals were chatty (something I miss since moving to the South of England!) That evening we got to wear probably the most softest robes ever by Catherine Lansfield and a soak which felt heavenly. I’ve mastered the mummy 4 minute shower so this was a welcomed change.
The following day we didn’t hear our alarms go off and we blamed the seriously soft beds that has us sleeping like babies! it was incredibly refreshing to wake up when we wanted and not have to change nappies or watch Milkshake and Cbeebies. BUT I did wake up looking for Jay and when I realised he wasn’t there I reached for my phone to check messages of which there were none other than a “goodnight” from my mum. We had a relaxing Saturday and a pamper and that evening we had a fine dining experience at East Lodge Hotel that I will remember for a long time. The bread rolls were divine as well as the rest of the food. I’m so glad I got to treat Mr M to a slap up meal as it’s not something I get a a chance to do very often. The last time we ate like this was in Jersey at a restaurant called Bohemia which I also treated him to…come to think of it I do a lot of treating! Having dinner together by candlelight was really special. I think I need to make more use of the tea lights at home.
On Sunday after a super Full English brekkie we headed off to Chatsworth House which I last came to see when I was 8 years old. It is one of the Peak District’s most famous landmarks and tourist attractions. This stunning house home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire has an impressive art collection including artefacts from ancient Eypgt, a large garden, a working farmyard exhibit and a shop and café. I was blown away by the magnificent opulence of this place and will definitely bring Jay to the adventure playground here when he is a little bit older. I even got to put my feet up for 5 minutes. We found a gorgeous pub in Pilsley called the The Devonshire Arms which served up a roast and that brought our Sunday to a lovely close.
It wasn’t all about eating, drinking and having fun, we got up bright an early the next morning and did a long walk which lasted about 6 hours and was quite tough on my ageing pins. We went to Stanton Moor and saw the nine ladies stones which is visited by walkers. Druids and Pagans occasionally celebrate summer solstice there. I got to see a pair of baby booties tied to a tree which reminded me of Jay (sigh).
The park itself spans an area of 555 square miles and receives more than 10 million visitors each year, making it one of the most popular national parks in the whole of the UK. The landscape is both diverse and extensive, and includes moorland, hills and farm. I feel a bit embarrassed to say that I have lived relatively close to the Peak District before I moved to London in 2005 and yet never explored it. However the walk has inspired us to try and do more in Surrey. It felt like a workout of epic proportions.
I didn’t feel any weekend blues on the drive back to my parents house as I was looking forward to seeing the Jay bird. As we walked in he showed us his jazz hands and I got to see that smile that I love so much. He’d also had a fab weekend from the photos and videos that I saw. Did he miss us? ….I don’t think he had time too.
Hope you all had a lovely weekend, not long before the Spring Bank Holiday!
Thanks for reading