My trip to the Peaks

This weekend I had a lovely and long overdue holiday with my mum.
We drove to Ilam hall, had a delicious lunch of local delicacies such as oat cakes and then headed off with our map, and probably not enough water, on a walk up towards Dovedale.
Along the way we saw an aggressive sheep that nearly stopped us in our tracks, a fake giraffe and lots of views of lovely fields.
It turned out a lot hotter than we thought and I had worn not the most sensible of shoes so we didn’t make half the journey planned so headed back to Ilam to eat an ice cream before picking up the car and driving to where we had intended on getting to, Milldale.
We walked part of the track in reverse, heading over the bridge and along the river seeing the famous caves though didn’t make it as far as the stepping stones before heading back to the car and on to check into our B&B, Middle Farm.
We were given the family room instead of the double room that we had booked due to an issue with the TV. The owner was very friendly suggesting locations for our evening meal. Our room consisted of a double bed, a single bed and a bunk bed, great for a family it had a TV, mini fridge,  kettle and en suite.
Some of the furniture was a little outdated and the bathroom door could have done with a lick of paint but I thought it was lovely and the bed was very comfortable, which goes a long way in my mums rankings of holidays!

We booked ourselves in at the pub he suggested and I had a huge (I mean whopping) steak pie followed by a sticky toffee pudding, both were delicious but well and truly stuffed me silly.
Mum had a salmon dish followed by bread and butter pudding which was equally as huge and tasty. I was so stuffed when I went back to the B&B that I fell asleep at 9!
I was still full at breakfast though I had a good attempt at getting the fry up down me. All the works, including black pudding, yummy. Very tasty though slightly undercooked sausages and the mushrooms were swimming in something I’m not too sure what, maybe butter, but it was very nice, and unhealthy I am sure (wedding diet going well…).

After breakfast we packed up and headed for RSPB Coombes valley nature reserve. Only a few hundred feet up the road from the B&B we had found it on the way back from the pub the night before. When we got there at about 10 we were the first people there, other than the RSPB employee.
We first went to the viewing platform through a wild flower meadow with signposts telling us which flower was which: Knapweed, Clover and Betony to name just a few.

We then headed on one of their trails. Unlike my local RSPB Middleton Lakes which is around lakes and ponds, Coombes is in an oak woodland with a small stream at the bottom of the valley.

We walked up and down the valley seeing some incredible sights including deer tracks, plenty of fruit bushes and trees starting to churn out the fruit (the wild raspberries were ripe, blackberries still have a few weeks to go), insects and an incredible moment when we saw something dart into a small hole in the side of a soil bank…

Upon closer inspection we saw more holes and a lizard pacing up and down them. I even captured this photo of him before he rushed back in his home.

Other than the wildlife and scenery there were other fun things to do including stuffing myself into this den, climbing over a log and walking over an areal bridge.

Kids would love it! Though unfortunately no dogs allowed 😦
After Coombes we headed only a few miles away to the city of Leek where we wondered in and out of some of the artsy and independent shops and sampled goodies from the local food market that was happening in the city centre.
It was a lovely treat to go away with my mum and the Peak District is such a beautiful location with lots to see and do I can’t wait to go back.

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