'Buy local' is a great and worthy concept in the current climate but how about holidaying local too? Mike Cummins of Let's Stay Peak District explains why the people of Chesterfield should consider a break in the Peak District National Park...just a mile or two over the hill to the west!
As a man born and bred in Chesterfield I've had a very large soft spot for the Peak District since my parents dragged me over to Hartington for a few days camping at Jackson's farm close to Hulme End and the Manifold valley.
That was more than 40 years ago and I've been grateful to them ever since as the trip left me with a love of the area that certainly didn't register at the time; I was too busy reading my James Bond paperback, beating my younger brother at 'stretch' (a charming old knife-throwing game!) and kicking a ball around with a boy from an unknown place called Bath; he was left-footed and had a cracking shot on him.
The delights of Beresford Dale largely passed that 15 year old boy by. Me, of course! But I do recall the old water-bailiff, a large and fearful woman who kept all the boisterous camping kids out of harm's way and, mainly, out of the water! I later discovered that water to be the peerless and delightful river Dove which meanders along the beautiful dales of this region all the way down to Dovedale and beyond.
A few years ago we moved from Chesterfield to live in the village of Great Longstone near Bakewell - a quiet, rural place protected from cold northerly winds by the great mass of Longstone Edge and just a short stroll to the Monsal Trail and famous viaduct at Monsal Dale.
Living (and growing our business) at the heart of the Peak District has only served to increase our love of the place and we realise how lucky we are to have actually achieved this long-held ambition - not that we don't still love Chesterfield (I still have a season ticket at the B2net) - but being part of this small Derbyshire community remains rather special and wherever we might have been in the world we always love to return to our house just across from the village green.
So much so that a few months ago I had the idea of a holiday in Edale! Yes that very same Edale that is just 14 miles up the road towards Castleton! And I don't mean a short break either - I mean a full 7 night 'staycation'! A journey of about 20 minutes....! About £2 worth of petrol. Could it be done? Did it make sense? Would we enjoy it?
We picked our week in August. We sourced our accommodation from the huge choice of Peak District Cottages on the Let's Stay Peak District online holiday guide website: Taylor's Croft, Edale - a 5 star (Gold award) rated, self catering cottage/apartment for 2 which was dog friendly too - perfect. A bit of luxury doesn't have to a 300 mile drive away you know!
The day came and we set off for our holiday destination at around 2pm. At 2.17pm we pulled up outside the beautifully located wing of Skinners' Hall, home to Sue and Tony Favell the property owners. Not even Holly, our Border Terrier, was stressed!
Taylor's Croft is a first-floor, east wing extension of the 18th century house affording fabulous views from its many-windowed lounge across to Kinder and back to Mam Tor on the opposite side of the Edale valley. Complete with a 4-poster bedroom and luxury bathroom this is a wonderful property for a short break or holiday at any time of year!
Settling in was short and sweet and by 3pm we were out exploring Edale properly for the first time ever. No need to check our watches for car parking limits. No need to think about 'getting back'. This was a real holiday experience and one that we just knew we would love.
During our wonderful week in Edale we enjoyed a visit from our son & family by train from Manchester (small station at Edale which is part of the Hope Valley line), a day's walking with friends over from Chesterfield (Edale/Rushup Edge/Mam Tor/Hollins Cross/Edale), several excellent meals out including the Cheshire Cheese in Hope, the Curry Cabin also in Hope and real ales in the two pubs in Edale - Rambler's & Nags Head as well as the Old Hall Inn at Hope (under new management recently).
Another special event was the Rambler Folk Train which meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month arriving from Sheffield, continuing the 'live' music at The Ramblers before the return to Sheffield which, presumably, is a rather louder affair than the trip across to Edale. A great night out if ever you find yourself over this way on the correct Tuesday!
Long lazy mornings followed, pub lunches were enjoyed, dog walks up to Ringing Roger, the Nab, Crowden Clough, Barber Booth, early morning photographic adventures to catch the rising sun, a few delectable real ales were enthusiastically consumed including Farmer's Blonde from Sheffield's Bradfield Brewery and Chatsworth Gold from Peak Ales (both available at The Cheshire Cheese in Hope) and Kelham Island's wonderful Pale Rider (Rambler's) - this was our holiday for seven great, unforgettable Edale nights.
And remember. We were just 14 miles from our home in Great Longstone. And about 25 miles from Chesterfield. Anyone fancy a Peak District holiday now? Of course you do - check out the Let's Stay Peak District website and don't miss the Peak District Late Deals page either as you can very often pick up a bargain break.
And the final 'holidaying local' verdict?
Fantastic - in EVERY way.
Blog courtesy of Mike Cummins
Let's Stay Peak District
Tel: 01629 640 640
Member since: 9th July 2012
Hi I'm Emma and I am passionate about all things Chesterfield. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs and find them to be interesting. I would love you to add your personal comments to them