Ever since I first watched the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice with the gorgeous Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen I have been in love with Jane Austen and all her books. That’s right, I am indeed a typical, romantic girl at heart who loves those 1800s love stories filled with balls, dinner parties, women in beautiful dresses and of course the sassy female leads that Austen created.
So when I recently had the chance to visit the Peak District where lots of the movie was filmed I jumped for joy. This had been on my bucket list since I was around 11 years old!
I’ve never travelled much around England before and I was curious to explore more of the picturesque English countryside and walk some of the Derbyshire peaks. In the spirit of exploring more of my own country another adventure awaited….
Where I stayed…
In an unusual first for me, myself and my friend stayed at a bed and breakfast we found on Airbnb. The B&B was called Peacock Roost, located in the central village of Tideswell and was £37.50 each per night. Staying here felt very luxurious and our hosts were the loveliest people! They did not bat an eyelid that we were two girls in their 20s on a very middle aged weekend away…
A scrumptious cooked breakfast and fruit was included each morning and the eggs were perfect every time! Gigantic breakfasts meant we were full all day and could just snack and not need to eat again till dinner time.
Following in the footsteps of Keira Knightley….
On the first day we beelined straight to Stanage Edge, the location where Elizabeth Bennet looks out over the countryside beyond in an iconic movie moment. Oh why, oh why didn’t we have a drone to get that same epic video shot (just joking, kind of!).
This did not disappoint and absolutely took my breath away! Standing on the edge of the cliff the views are utterly spectacular, even though the day itself was pretty cloudy. You can see right down Derwent Valley and far into the distance.
To reach Stanage Edge you can park at the carpark at the bottom and walk straight up onto the cliffs above. From here you can then do a 7 mile loop coming back via the valley below to the car park in around three hours.
Disclaimer: This may take longer if you stop for as many photos as we did!
Our second day in the peaks was rather miserable so we opted to visit the incredible Chatsworth House (also known as Pemberley for fans of the movie!) owned by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. This is very pricey to enter but so fascinating and ornate. We wandered the grand rooms imagining what it would be like to live in such a fine, stately home, slightly pretending that we were royalty of course!
The most impressive thing about Chatsworth is the grounds. They own acres and acres of land and there are trails that you can follow all around the countryside and woodland. On a good day it is possible to walk from the village of Bakewell to Chatsworth which takes an hour each way.
Pies, pints and bakewell tarts….
I had so many food (and drink) goals for this trip and they were all satisfied. Traditional pie and chips in an English country inn, local ales in the village pub, an English Sunday roast….. Drool, drool, drool.
Of course no visit to the Peaks would be complete without a visit to Bakewell to try a Bakewell tart. Actually there are two creations here the Bakewell tart and the Bakewell pudding, who knew?! We went straight to the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop to try this delicious product!
The Red Lion in Litton nearby where we were staying was a stand out meal. A traditional English inn around 20 minutes walking from Tideswell down a country road. They have an open fire, reasonable prices and we were just about the only table there that didn’t have a dog. I had a chicken and leek pie and chips and a large red wine sitting next to the fire and I felt like I was the epitome of English country life….
On the Sunday we majorly treated ourselves to the most outstanding roast ever!!!
The best thing about the peaks is all the quaint little villages and we visited as many as possible! Each one has its own unique character and they all have lots of shops and amazing tea rooms for cake stops. My favourite was a village called Eyam, famous because of an outbreak of plague in the 1600s, where the villagers chose to isolate themselves rather than let the disease spread through the district.
I was blown away by my first experience exploring the English countryside – The Peak District really lives up to the name as an area of Outstanding Beauty! My stand out memory was how welcoming and friendly every single person we met was to us and how beautiful the region was even on a rainy weekend.
As usual I always leave with something I want to go back for and I would go back in a flash to climb more of the peaks including Kinder Scout the highest point in the peak district. For now feeling very fat and very happy after this wonderful eating and walking weekend!