It’s been a few years since we visited the Peak District, so this trip was long overdue!
This time we took the bikes, as the Tissington Trail was just across the road. A bit of a struggle getting them and the caravan attached, with much cursing from one of us, while the other just watched. Guess who cursed and who watched! Bit of a long journey due to the volume of traffic going through Stockport.
Rivendale lies within the Derbyshire Dales part of the Peak District known as The White Peak, due to the whiteness of the limestone rock which makes up the spectacular gorges, cliffs and caves for which the area is famous for.
We last stayed at this site four years ago when we had the tent, and we were put in the ‘wild camping’ field. It was indeed wild with only a portacabin for the facilities and just curtains for showers (no doors!) As you can imagine, we were quite excited at the prospect of being allowed into the posh ones!
We were put on a pitch near the toilets (a bonus for J who always gets lost coming back at night). Again, no grass, just gravel even though there were much nicer pitches available.
Within an hour of setting up, we befriended a cute cat having a rest near our caravan. Within a few minutes, it had been enticed back and was around pretty much the whole weekend.
Before dinner we had a short cycle ride to Biggin, which was a few miles along the trail. The Waterloo Inn and adjoining caravan site were at the bottom of a steep road. Felt like two of the Famous Five freewheeling down it – not so much fun going back up! Had a quick drink then back to the site.
Didn’t go to the on site pub as we weren’t keen on it last time and thought it would probably be full anyway, due to it being the only pub for miles around. Had a barbecue instead, but it was too cold to eat outside.
Up late as weather not looking so good. We had planned to cycle to Matlock, some 20 miles away, but instead drove to Thorpe for a short walk around Dovedale and up Thorpe Cloud. A popular place for families and walking groups. It’s a huge limestone hill dating back to 350 million years ago.
As it was brightening up we decided to walk along the river for a bit, and ended up walking another four miles, so about six in total. Came across some very friendly sheep, which were obviously used to people.
Soon came to Dove Holes, these caves were created by water wearing out the soft limestone cliffs.
D too scared to go across the stepping stones on the way back - even the sight of a small child skipping over them didn’t reassure him. Walked along the other side of the river, but backfired badly as we had to climb up a very steep, muddy hill to get back on the main path. If we hadn’t had tree roots and boulders to grab hold of, we would have slid down into the river!
Back at base, D was determined to make bringing the bikes worthwhile and went for a ride on the Tissington trail. J didn’t fancy the wintry conditions, so read her book instead. Then dinner, some wine and bed.
Time to go home
Cat back again, but arrived too late for a bit of bacon. Very tempted to smuggle it home! Traffic much better coming back. No major mishaps this time, apart from D blocking a drain by emptying the waste water down the wrong hole!