So we survived the weekend with the Ponciau Royal Family! Very few foh-pahs, in fact all went remarkably well. Firstly the site at Longnor Wood Holiday Park…Adult Only, so no kids http://www.longnorwood.co.uk What a difference, the campsite was nearly at full capacity when we pulled up on a very hot Friday afternoon. But all you could hear was …nothing! zilch, silence or near enough. That remained the case throughout the weekend, other than when the Royal Klampitts were calling in their dog …FFFFFFFFFIOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNN! in the Ponciau Princess’s “Janice Battersby” style voice.
The site is located a mile or so from the village of Longnor, which is well equipped with 3 pubs, several coffee shops and a general store. A nice village and worth a short stop to re-stock.
The site staff are very helpful, its not an oppressive regime, everyone just respects each others peace and tranquility. Although Per-Witch(The Royal Consort) unaware of the standard, well established “2 Metre Leash Rule” placed his mutt on a 40metre leash, which ensured the lovely Fi had full access to the entire campsite and left a trail of battered and broken pensioners in her wake! As the Princess later remarked drily “They can jump can’t they?”
It really is a nice site, with an excellent dog exercise area and a well stocked camp shop. The shower facilities are first class and as the Princess was eager to point out, they have a communal microwave, ice freezing facilities and a washing machine….My life is complete!
On the Saturday, we travelled a few miles to a trail of hill top gritstone crags called The Roaches. Popular with trail walkers and climbers alike, this is a great place to stretch the legs and let the dogs off. On arrival we could see lots of climbers, mainly schools etc, climbing the local stone and also practising techniques on some of the large boulders that abound. I noticed one large rock, that had hand holes chiselled into it, so of course the “Alpha Male” gene that lies dormant in most men, suddenly fired up in me (first time in 20yrs) and before I knew it, I was on my way up to the top:
Of course that was the easy bit, and I was for a very brief moment; King of the Castle.
However in my eagerness to show off, what I’d failed to factor in was the convex curve of the rock divided by the length of my short legs = Potential Disaster
Anyway, I was eventually coaxed down by the Ponciau Princess shouting “JUMP”, whilst the Other Half concentrated on focusing the camera in case of any potential “LOOK he’s falling” shots. I basically slid down like Wiley E Coyote, with the sound of my finger nails being scraped across the rock, like chalk to a blackboard.
The walk across the top of the crags was really enjoyable, its a steep climb up the steps to get onto the summit, but worthwhile once you’re up there, on a good day the views are excellent. You can then walk a few kilometres’s along the peak, passing the .506 trig point, heading towards Lud’s Church.
More info on the Roaches can be found here: http://www.roaches.org.uk/index.html
The only other incident of note was at the end of the Roaches, in the middle of nowhere, was parked a solitary ice-cream van(if you’ve seen the film Twin-Towns, you’ll know where i’m going with this?) So I strolled up to the van and asked the young girl serving for “4 ninety nines and a bag of heroin please love”! She gave me a look that suggested she’d not seen that particular movie #awkward…I was promptly admonished by the Ponciau Princess, in that special voice that she reserves for when she’s dealing with diversity issues…“That was not an appropriate comment, what happens if she uses!” ….So suitably admonished I skulked off with my 99 and a wallet that was £8 lighter 😦
After that brief stop we headed down from the crags into an area called Lud’s Church. This is a deep chasm formed within the gritstone. Over 100m’s long it conjures up connotations of pagan rituals, King Arthur etc. Getting into the vibe, Muttley our family pooch decided to recreate “The Hound of the Baskervilles” as evidenced below:
Next day, after a 2nd night of wine & beer, we headed to the village of Tissington, which has been in the ownership of the Fitzherbert family for over 500 years http://www.tissingtonhall.co.uk/the-hall/history/
The village is dominated by the manorial hall, where the current owner Sir Richard lives. The village has flourishing artisan businesses doted around the village and a really nice restaurant and cafe called “The Old Coach House Tearooms”. Whilst we were there a school jazz band were playing outside…The Royal Consort(Himself a talented trombonist) was very impressed with the youngsters ability. They really were very good and on a sunny afternoon, it was very pleasant.
Later we drove over to the village of Wetton and eventually stopped at The Royal Oak for lunch. The pub serves great beer and the food is good and plentiful. The pub is also home to “The World Toe-Wrestling Championships”. The other half was gutted we’d missed it, she prides herself on her toe-wrestling techniques….Never mind, later that day she beat The Royal Consort 2-1 on the campsite badminton court. She spent the rest of the day boring anyone who would listen about her serving technique and backhand volley.
So that was the weekend pretty much covered. An excellent trip, great company, lots of laughs and brilliant weather. The Peak District is a beautiful area to visit, its actually closer to us than its big sister up at the Lake District, it also seemed less populated with visitors. Over the next 12 months we intend to return and explore it in more detail.
Finally to finish with “Loves young dream”. Muttley and Ffion….awwwwww