This weekend my OH and I went to Bakewell to meet my Mum. She had been down on a reconnaissance mission with one of her oldest friends, trying to find a venue for a reunion of their school friends. They do it every few years, and this time they decided to stay in the Peak District, so the Northern contingent didn't have quite as far to travel this time. My Mum lives in my home town of York which a good 2+ hours up the motorway and as I have been quite ill this year we have not visited as often as I would normally like. Having her an hour or so closer was wonderful and we arranged to spend a few hours together in Derbyshire, which was a treat, as I love that part of the world.
Mum was staying in Bakewell and we tracked her down in this lovely spot, just outside the front door of the B&B she was staying in.
When we left Leicester it was dismal and grey with rain spoiling our view of everything. You can see how lovely it was when we arrived an hour or so later. It was gorgeous, a proper Autumn day. The light was stunning. It was the start of wonderful few hours standing in the most beautiful surroundings.
Bakewell itself is a very pretty little town, but it isn't very conducive to wheelchair use on a busy Saturday morning, nor did it have much parking near the main part of the town, even if you use a Blue Badge. I know that to most people, the car parks are all pretty close to the main part of the town, but when you have limited mobility it was a long way away. After some discussion we decided to go to Chatsworth House, which was just down the road. It has an area of shops and restaurant that you can use even without going into the main house. We thought it would be a small enough area for me to cope with. We set off following my Mum.
Oh my, the drive there was stunning. I wish I'd taken photos from the car, but I was enjoying just looking too much. There were herds of deer wandering in the park, and the colours of the trees were warm and rich. We missed the turn for the main house and ended up at the Farm Shop. Even the car park for the farm shop was pretty. You don't normally expect that. They usually are muddy and bumpy places to drive through and park in!
This was a shop beyond any other farm shop I've ever used. It was huge and filled with amazing fruit and vegetables, fresh meat and fish, fresh baked loaves of bread, MANY cheeses and much more! It was an enormous deli type farm shop. We bought some supplies for our evening meal and some fruit and veg and was surprised to have spent under £20. Everything (that we bought) was quite reasonably priced. I have a feeling, though, that if you wanted some of the sauces, dips and dressings, or the prepared meals or beer from the local micro-brewery then you could easily spend much more. After our shop, we went to the Farm Shop restaurant. This is the view from the restaurant.
We were truly gobsmacked with the beauty of this location. It was awe inspiring to be surrounded on all sides by this magnificent countryside. We ended up staying at the Farm Shop and it's restaurant for the whole duration of our visit. We couldn't have chosen anywhere better to catch up.
It reminded us all that our countryside is very beautiful and we should get out into it more often. Just because I can't go walking anymore or go camping doesn't mean I can't enjoy the outdoors still. My OH and I have decided that we must get out of town more often and I plan on following up this decision. I'm going to research some good places to eat in lovely locations, so we can spend some time at least looking at the spaces in between cities, even if I can't stand in the middle of those spaces the way I want to.
It was a lovely day out and it was wonderful spending some time with my Mum. More importantly it reminded me of something that used to be so important to me, the outdoors. I'll try not to forget that again.