Saturday 18 July 2009

Familiar Places

In "My Family and Other Animals" the highest accolade that Mrs Durrell gives to a place is that "she could have her ashes scattered here". Well I certainly give that accolade to Monsal Dale in Derbyshire. I feel so lucky that we can get to one of our favorite places in the world so easily. I know that it is a favorite of some of you other bloggers too (Rosie and Rowan ) so I thought I would take you on our walk. Photographs do not do justice to this spectacular landscape. The valley is so deep, cut out by the river Wye below.

The river was very swollen and fast flowing following yesterdays all day downpour.

The path to Litten Mill was flooded.

You can just see the mill owners gothic mansion peeping out of the trees high above the valley.
The mill (in the fore ground) has been converted into luxury apartments - I'd love one of these. In the background are some of the old mill workers cottages. The mill was used up until 1965. It used to be a cotton mill, and they also distilled peppermint and other herbs that are grown locally. I find these tranquil, beautiful valleys so amazing. I would love to be able to step back 100 years and see how industrial this valley was then.

The walk along the disused railway track is full of the most amazing wild flowers and fruit. I loved this carpet of herbs - I think it is wild Thyme

The boys could not believe how giddy I got when we found huge patches of tiny wild Strawberries. They had a wonderful smell, but they were very sharp tasting!!
We also found wild raspberries - it was a foragers delight!!
After scrambling up hill and down dale, I couldn't resist dipping my tootsies in the river. Very refreshing and highly recommended.

After Monsal, we made our way home via Great Lonsgtone where there are many beautiful houses. Mr Darcy could come calling here!!

They were holding their Well Dressings this weekend. These are made out of flower petals and are really beautiful.

The Morris dancers were very entertaining outside of the Crispin Arms - I always think there is no more English a sight than Morris Dancers outside of a pub on a hot summers day.

And finally we finished off with Bradwells Ice Cream (this Derbyshire ice cream gives the Cornish version a run for its money!!)

An absolutely perfect day.


Michela said...

(please see your last post for my reply..)
I heartily recommend you that book Diane!!!
What a relaxing day out!
Is it yours or Becky's the red nail polish???

Cal said...

Beautiful scenery. We are so blessed in this country. My DH loves foraging. 'God's Bounty' he always says - especially when it's blackberry and apple crumble time!
The flower petal pics are really pretty.
Cal x

Rosie said...

Sigh! Wonderful, Diane - delightful Monsal Dale - one day I'm sure we'll all of us have a 'bloggers meet' there with a gentle ramble and picnic by the river, not forgetting a Bradshaws Ice Cream for good measure. Glad you are feeling better and have been out and about in your favourite place:)

By the way - we went to visit my sister and B-in-L at Chesterfield a few days ago and I remembered to buy some Henderson's relish:)


Hello Diane
Thanks for your lovely message today. I have popped over to see your gorgeous pebble banner. Where on earth did you collect all those lovely heart shape pebbles? They are gorgeous! I never see any heart shaped ones! Mind you I am distracted by the ones with crystal seams running through them ... next time I go to the beach I shall try to find a heart shaped one ...

Your walk is lovely, I can see why you might want to go to this peaceful place as often as you can get ...

Have a lovely weekend
Best wishes
Carolyn in rainy St. Ives

Bumble Bee Cottage said...

Hi Diane, thankyou for sharing your lovely walk, it was gorgeous countryside. I have never seen Morris dancers ‘in the flesh’ so to speak, only on a River Cottage show I watched once, but they are on my ‘must see’ list whilst we live in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s funny the things which take your fancy from another culture! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Lisa said...

Another beautiful day out with lots of lovely photos. I like the Morris dancers coats.
A day rounded off with an ice cream sounds perfect.
Lisa x

lesley said...

Thank you for taking us with you, your photo's are so lovely, I've never been to Derbyshire, I have a friend who hails from there, she keeps pushing us to go...maybe one day. I totally agree with you about the Morris dancers, quintessentially English! :0)