Landed and on our way to Bakewell
Well we have landed at Manchester and made our way down to Bakewell for our first night in the Old Dart. After a bit over 24 hours in the plane, including a two-hour stopover in Singapore and an hour on the ground in Munich, we were somewhat jaded on arrival. But full of get up and go. So we did. Off to the Rental Car Village to pick up the car and head off out of the city to Bakewell, a couple of hours to the south-east in the heart of the Peak District.
It was about 9 am in the morning, a Sunday, so not much traffic. Heading out-of-town we had to negotiate a few turns here and there, no GPS to guide us (at 13 pounds a day we didn’t hire one) but then again who needs a GPS when you have a 2004 street map and a guide like Homealone in the passenger’s seat! After a bit of pointing and some clear directions to go this way and that we found our way. Allthego had a couple of moments where he suggested that the pointing could be confusing and to focus on the road and lanes. After a bit of pushback on these suggestions harmony was restored and we made our way onwards.
Our first stop for a look-see was near a little town called Chapel-en-le-Frith where there was a rather large system of viaducts carrying a couple of railway lines across a ‘ravine’, while there a British Rail goods train made the crossing looking down on the little village below.
Next was Buxton to catch its famous Opera House overlooking a 19 century garden and parkland complex. The old mineral baths, originally the site of an old Roman Bath House, are in the process of being restored. Should like amazing when complete. Allthego will have to return here at some time here to be restored as well.
Further along we stopped in at one of the major attractions in the Peak District at Monsal Head. This is the Headstone Viaduct, crossing the River Wye. This viaduct and a few tunnels were constructed in the mid 1800s to carry the Midland Railway which linked Manchester to London. It opened in 1863 and was closed in 1968. It is 300ft long and the 5 arch spans are 50ft high. They have banned bungee jumping and rope swinging from the arches which had been popular it seems. Homealone was not interested in this in any case. The old train line is now the route of the Monsal Trail for walkers. And they were everywhere. We didn’t join them, just had a look down and then drove to the bottom. This was also where I had tried to book some accommodation, but had no response from the Monsal Head Hotel. Now upon inspection of the said Hotel I think was our first stroke of luck! Not overly inviting despite the great location overlooking the viaduct.
A short drive into Bakewell found us at the Peacock for the night. Right smack bang in the middle of town.
Until next time.