A little break away

Since launching the show back in October, I’ve not really had a lot of time off to myself. But this week I went away with some friends to the beautiful Peak District in Derbyshire. 

My oldest and closest mates

My oldest and closest mates

We hired a lovely countryside cottage in the village of Parwich, which is an idyllic limestone village full of pretty cottages, gardens and has a lovely village pub - more on the pub later. The cottage we stayed at was called Orchard View and can be found here.

It was really nice for me to get some time away in a place like this with some great mates. We all live in different parts of the UK, so we don’t all get together as much as we’d like to. With us coming from Bristol, Wrexham, Oxfordshire and Yorkshire, the Peak District was a nice middle ground to meet up which was nice. Getting away gave me chance to recharge, relax and also to reflect too!

The village pub is called The Sycamore Inn and welcomes walkers and dogs. The landlady was lovely and welcoming and we had a cosy few drinks in front of the roaring fireplace with a nice selection of beers and ales (and loads of gins too!) and the food coming from the kitchen to the tables around us looked great. Worth a visit if you’re in the area.

My friends have dogs (Marley, Murphy and Beasley) - so we spent a fair amount of time out walking with the pooches which was lovely in the warm weather. I think we clocked up 16ºc one afternoon, which is madness for February.

One walk up and over Dovedale was a toughie, but the views from the top were incredible. One of the most stunning views I’ve seen in a while. I felt on top of the world being up there! At 942ft and a fairly steep climb, my legs were a little tired at the top. But it was worth it at the top.

The view from the top of Thorpe Cloud at Dovedale.

The view from the top of Thorpe Cloud at Dovedale.

Then for the second half of the break, I took a wee trip to Bonnie Scotland!

I’ve only been to Edinburgh once before, but was really keen to visit again.

I took a wonder around Edinburgh Castle with a guided tour and then hired an audio tour headset. I’d highly recommend anyone getting the headsets if you’re in to your history. As a radio nerd I was very impressed with the level of production that was one the headset audio. The soundtrack and sound effects were incredible, shame that the audio guide wasn’t Scottish though… It’s the little things. Also, book your ticket in advance via the website - it’s cheaper and you’ll avoid the huge queues in the morning.

I loved having a sit down in St Margaret’s Chapel which sits on the upper part of the castle. The chapel was built around 1130 by David I and he dedicated it to his mother Queen Margaret.

St Margaret was a member of the English royal family who fled the Norman invasion and married Malcolm III. You can still get married in the chapel today! Who knew!?!

I also visited the room that Mary Queen of Scots gave birth to James VI in in 1566. It’s the tiniest room in a large Royal Palace… I mean, it’s not even really big enough for a single bed and a wardrobe by today’s standards!! I was particularly struck by the Scottish Crown Jewels which were on display (but not photography allowed of them… dammit)!

Anyway, I loved having some me time. Some friends time. Some fresh air in the countryside.