Peak district, Derbyshire, UK

UK Peak District

There I was sitting on the ledge overlooking beautiful valley of Peak District. It was quite cold end of August 2010. We hiked that day among moors of Derbyshire which reminded me of my childhood and “The Secret Garden” directed by Agnieszka Holland.

Peak district Derbyshire UK

Peak District is divided into gritstone Dark Peak (peat bogs) and limestone White Peak (flower-rich dales). The landscape is diversified but don’t expect high, bare peaks as I did. This National Park is more of soft valleys that steep mountains. You can imagine I found the name very misleading. You can see map of the area here.

There are different reasons why you might want to go there. First is to have a hike and admire the landscape, other to take part in outdoor activities.

Hills Peak district Derbyshire UK

Let’s start with some of the sights:

  • Poole’s Cavern is a magnificent natural limestone cavern where you can see an impressive formation of stalactites,
  • Peveril Castle (reminds me of many castles in Ireland)
  • Speedwell cavern (with boat ride)
  • Blue John cavern
  • Treak cliff cavern
  • Thor’s cave

Moor Hills Peak district Derbyshire UK

Activities:

  • 2,900 km of trails (including hillwalking and hiking)
  • mountain biking (Bridleways)
  • horse riding
  • rock climbing
  • caving (Eldon Hole and Nettle Pot)
  • sailing
  • fishing
  • canoeing
  • hang gliding
  • paragliding
  • birdwatching
  • fell running
  • off-roading
  • orienteering

Tissington Trail and High Peak Trail re-use former railway lines; they are well used by walkers, horse riders and cyclists. Anyway please do enjoy the pictures.

Hills Peak district Derbyshire UK

Hills Peak district Derbyshire UK

Hills Peak district Derbyshire UK

Hills Peak district Derbyshire UK

Hills Peak district Derbyshire UK

Rocks Peak district Derbyshire UK

Rocks Peak district Derbyshire UK

Rocks Peak district Derbyshire UK

 

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Durdle Door, Dorset, England

Durdle Door Dorset England

We had brilliant weather when going to Dorset and the Jurassic Coast. The sun was shining and a light breeze was coming from the sea. Durdle Door is a natural limestone arch on the south coast of England near West Lulworth, between Swanage and Weymouth. The name Durdle is derived from an Old English word ‘thirl’ meaning bore or drill.

Durdle Door Dorset England

At the bottom of the cliffs lies a wide, picturesque beach. Unfortunately it is not lined with smooth, white sand but sharp pebbles.  This might stop one from lying around and sun bathing but not from having fun! For us it meant chasing and lashing each other with seaweed whips.  At some point we even organised cocks fight. Not very elegant but loads of laugh.

Durdle Door Dorset England

Durdle Door is one of the darkest places in England and one of the best places for stargazing, so if you have an opportunity do stay until after dark.

If you like Cliff Richards you will be please to listen to one of his songs titled Saviour’s day while watching beautiful Durdle Door in the background of the clip.

On the east side of Durdle Door you will see Man O’ War Beach. Which is ideal for swimming in shallow water. This is pictured acctually on the photo opening this blog post.

Durdle Door Dorset England

Durdle Door Dorset England

Durdle Door Dorset England

Durdle Door Dorset England

Durdle Door Dorset England

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Beachy Head – day trip to suicide favourite

Beachy head England

Living in London makes it difficult to leave for a day trip. This is due the enormous traffic heading out of the city on Friday/Saturday and returning Sunday. I suppose this must be true for any metropolis. If we decided to go south we had two options Blackwall Tunnel or city centre. Both not great. One might think it would be better to take the train and rent a car. Maybe quicker but way more expensive.

Anyway Beachy Head is one of the most distinctive features of English coast. The cliff there is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 162 metres. The height and availability make it amazing spot to admire the landscape, dramatic cliffs and waves but also one of the most notorious suicide spots in the World. According to BBC there are an estimated 20 deaths a year at Beachy Head.

I loved the lighthouse the most. White and red stood out with colour against the white cliffs. Lighthouses in the sea or on small deserted rock islands always make me wonder how does it feel being inside with the eternity of water underlying alloy.

When we were leaving London it was nice and sunny. This was the first time I was going on a trip in convertible. I can’t say I felt like movie star, but my best friend at the back of the car definitely had wind in her hair.  The day turned out as very windy and at least it made one person happy. Yes, the person that took the kite with him.

Anyway enjoy the gallery and if you are living in London or visiting UK is worth while to take a trip to Beachy Head in my opinion. Just a note. The lamb was so cute…

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

Beachy head England

 

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Bath, Somerset – grils and Jane Austen

It was a day trip. It was girl’s trip. And we had so much fun.

My friend Natalia left London for the first time behind the driving wheel. Awwww! Very stressful but we did it! Or rather SHE did it!

Royal Crescent Bath UKWe are all helpless romantics raised in the spirit of Christian Andersen’s Cinderella.  The Jane Austin novels and movies based on those novels reached us when we were already of age so it’s hard to say they shaped our expectation of romance but we can appreciate a bit of drama sealed with “happy end”.

Bath is absolutely amazing. Having said that I started to remember so many other places I’ve been to and reflect on this sentiment for Bath. It is very pleasant place to go away for a day. Have picnic, visit roman baths called thermaes maybe visit spa. I wouldn’t stay there longer though.

Bath UK Pump RoomI remember as a child I had this books in red hard cover. They were describing different cultures/societies/centuries. I was really interested in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. One of my favourite pictures was the one of roman baths. Most probably no one remembers it but for some that might do I enclose the picture. Pierre MiquelThe author – Pierre Miquel is French and the original title is La vie privée des hommes: Au temps des Romains. I used to imagine living in roman house with inner courtyard (atrium) and bathing is pools of hot water with steam blurring the surroundings. I was amazed with the colour of the water in the baths we visited. You can be really tempted to just get into the water and splash as a nymph or goddess. Do enjoy the pictures before continuing to some more of the city itself.

I liked the architecture of the city centre a lot. Most of the buildings were built in the same fashion and you wouldn’t get those modern steel and glass “fillings” in between.

Royal Crescent Bath

I loved the The Royal Crescent, a street of 30 Georgian terraced houses where they filmed scene from Persuasion and The Duchess.

Number 1 Royal Crescent is a historic house museum and even though we didn’t go in I can imagine if you are into history of households it will be interesting. They always make me imagine what it would be like to live in those times and those homes. Walk the stairs, look through the windows and eat by the tables. But maybe it’s just me. I get it all the time even browsing house designs online.

Worth mention is the fact that you can fly over Bath in a hot air baloon drinking champain on board.

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Madrid

I have been to Madrid three times now. First time on our way to Mexico we spent the night sightseeing. I remember it as beautiful but also very cold. It was January 2009. Last year was the second and third time on my way to and from Cuba.

Madrid royal palaceAbove you can see the picture of The Palacio Real de Madrid. It’s really impressive. I think I already mentioned the Argentinian restaurant we went to the night on our way to Mexico. Beautiful food. Very, very good. This time my culinary ramble ended in Museo de Jamon. Cheap food, tasty and very filling. Nice coffee as well or a glass of beer.

museo de jamon madridThis post will be about things and people I noticed wandering around Madrid on my own, when I was less concerned with sightseeing and more with experiencing the moment in a kind of way.  So please do enjoy watching Madrid through my eyes.

Architecture:

1. Clash of times, Temple of Debod and concrete sky scraper just off Plaza de Espania.

Temple of Debod 2. Townhouses/Buildings

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

 

3. Churches/Temples

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

4. Markets/Squares

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

Madrid Spain

 

People

And my favourite place triggering imagination

Libros Antiguos

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Lake District National Park, UK

map of UK, Lake districtI was coming to UK from Ireland. Arriving at Luton (at least I think it was this airport) late evening. P. picked me up and we drove the motorway into the night. I remember being surprised how few petrol stations are on the way.

When we got there we parked in the hills and tried to get some sleep. It was 5am when we gave up trying. We got out of the car and walked into the hills. It’s just so beautiful. Colorful. Lakes spring out from behind the rocks and amaze you with theirs picturesqueness (if a word like this exists).

Lake District UK

We walked across swamps and streams among lush moorland. We had a chinese instant soup for lunch cooked with water boild on gas stove brought by P. I used to camp a lot as a child and loved it. I was so glad P. had this survival knowledge and I felt safe that he knew what he was doing. We found a place between rocks to shelter the gas burner from the wind.

DSCF4949

When we got back to the car I was wet and tired, cold but happy. My cheeks were red from the wind and my soul peaceful. I love walking and trekking. Communing with nature. I should do it more often.

lake district panorama

When we drove to our hotel I couldn’t keep my eyes opened. I was exhausted. The navigation told us to go around the globe to get to our destination but I couldn’t even think so tired I was. I can’t remember if I showered before falling into bed but the second my head touched the pillow I was fast asleep.

River crossing Lake District

The next day we rented a boat. This was outside the season, quite cold and so it was hard to find tourist services opened anywhere. We got to this farm house and asked to rent a boat. The owner agreed on one condition. We will remove the freezing water from inside the boat ourselves. And so we did… or rather I did. It made me warm up.

Boat Lake District

We ate a dinner cooked on this boat. Simple travel gas cylinder and burner allowed rice and curry. We had some whiskey as well. When we got to the opposite shore we met people who wandered around the lake with a dog. I think they wanted a lift but we refused not knowing how long we wanted to stay. We passed them on the way back and they looked quite unhappy. Silly me I waved at them in recognition and then their faces went even more grim.

Exploring Lake District

We went to Windermere and Whitehaven. In the latter we had an amazing dinner. Lamb served in metal bowls on tripod stand. As we figured out later we were supposed to put the food on our plates not eat directly from the bowls!

Anyway I liked it so much better than Peak District. If you live in UK do go and visit!

Some attractions that we haven’t visited are:

  • Lowther Castle

  • Muncaster Castle

  • Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway

  • Keswick Brewery

  • Roger Savage Gyro Planes

  • The Rum Story

  • Rydal Mount

  • Laurel and Hardy Museum

 

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