The Peak District – Cottage Living

After all of us being put through our paces since being back at work a well deserved Covid 19 permitted trip was definitely on the card. After Jack and Maddie had stated they were going to the peaks for a week and an invite later we were on our way to Eyam in the peaks for 4 days to do some walking, talking and chilling.

So a little bit of history! Eyam, where we stayed for the week, in the Peak District is also known as The Plague Village. After being able to keep themselves free of the Bubonic Plague a tailor received a fabrics delivery from London. Making clothes and other bits for the villagers the tailor unknowingly spread the Bubonic Plague around the village after the fabric contained lice and other factors which helped contribute to the spread of the disease. The village itself saw more death than London itself! The village is really historical where you can visit the museum and learn about how the village made a comeback. There’s also lots of historical plaques outside houses where you can learn who died there and how, what their trade was etc.

Maddie found the cosiest cottage to stay in! It was absolutely so beautiful, it had a fireplace in both the lounge and the kitchen which made it super warm. it had everything we could’ve asked for, there was even enough beds for our friend Mason to join us on the Thursday night!

There was a beautiful pink themed double room that Brad and I stayed in, there was another triple room for Maddie and the boys. There was a really lovely outdoor seating area upstairs but we didn’t use it once as it overlooked everyones garden so instead we used the outdoor seating area outside the front of the cottage which was just as lovely. There were two bathrooms and the sitting room had a beautiful open fire and enough seats to relax, stay warm and catch up, plus a fully stocked book shelf! The kitchen was also fully operational, we had all the pots and pans, literally the works so we could cook every morning and night and prepare lunch for our walks. We had all sorts, Maddie cooked the first night, Brad the following and we also met my sister and her man for some pub grub! We had some really lovely food, Jack was on cocktail duty and I made pancakes on our last morning in the cottage!

On our first night we decided to go for a walk around the village! We headed up the hills behind the cottage and had a cute rendezvous with some sheep in a field which were really cute. We then found a pub just down the road so we sat outside and had some hot and alcoholic drinks. I wish I had more pictures of the village but I did get plenty of video footage! So it is definitely worth heading over to look at my youtube footage of the trip!

SW Coastal Road Trip Day 3 – Brixham, Totness, Dartmoor & St Ives

Another early wake up on Day 3 for a full day of action and exploring with Tasmin as our tour guide showing us around Brixham, Berry Head, Totnes and Dartmoor before we headed across to St Ives!

Our first stop was Berry Head just around the corner from Torquay and Brixham. It was a beautiful spot for a walk and to enjoy the sea views off the cliffs! Berry head is a nature reserve and coastal headland which houses an old quarry, a lighthouse and a cute little cafe for anyone wanting a hot drink and a cake whilst they take in the views of the ocean! It was a gorgeous spot and I’m glad we went on such a hot day! Its also one of only 7 Unesco Geoparks in the UK, 140 only in the world, how fascinating is that? It certainly didn’t disappoint.

Once we had finished in Berry Head it was off to Brixham. A bustling and very colourful seaside town on the coast of Devon. The houses were all beautiful colours and there were endless families crabbing in the harbour! I hadn’t been crabbing since I was a kid so this was so great to see which they had managed to catch with their lines and bits of bacon on the end. Of course fish and chips was in order. Tas took us to this amazing fish and chips shop called Rio’s Fish & Chips restaurant and takeaway. We decided on a takeaway and went and sat at Brixham Breakwater, a small flat stoned beach just the other side of the harbour!

The food was amazing and we spent the next half a hour watching and learning how to skim stones. Tas and Brad were really good but I just got into the habit of just throwing them into the water and giving up. But I tried and thats what counts!

Next up on our travels was the cute town of Totnes. With a beautiful river on low tide as we arrived we walked up the main high street which is a slight hill to enjoy all the small independent shops and to watch them make fudge in the window at Roly’s Fudge Pantry. A place we noticed is EVERYWHERE. Exeter, Lincoln, Brixham, Bournemouth, you name it chances are they have a shop there. We ventured up a small alleyway underneath the archway that hung over the main high street to find a quaint church of Totnes with low hanging trees all down the pathway, It was really beautiful. Followed by a browse in a book shop, mine and Tas’ favourite place! We then headed back down the hill for the next leg our journey!

Tas wanted to take us to Princetown in the Dartmoor National park and it was without a doubt the most stunning part of the trip when it came to driving routes! There were wild horses everywhere and sheep all over the hills and in the road that you had to slow down and swerve just so you didn’t hit them! One sheep did decide to run out in front of the car but thanks to Brads quick reactions he was safe and so were we! Honestly the views were like something from a movie, I’d never expected views quite like those here in the UK but how mistaken I was. It was breathtaking.

We arrived in the small village of Princetown and decided we wanted to have a look at Dartmoor prison. The prison is a category C mens prison with huge granite walls and a very gothic looking demeanour. We made it to the outside gate before realising we probably shouldn’t snoop any further but it was so cool as I’d never been so close to a prison before and I have a real fascination with prisons (dark tourism and all that). After a full day of exploring it was getting late and we still had an hour and a half drive to St Ives from where we were we decided to have a quick tea at The Old Police Station cafe in Princetown before we all went our separate ways.

We couldn’t have had a better day with Tas as our tour guide showing us places we had never even thought to go too! Plus it was so so wonderful to spend time with her, especially as when we left Dartmoor for St Ives she had an hours drive home for herself she brought us all this way. I’ll always be grateful for this time spent.

Next up was St Ives! Once we jumped in the car again we were off to our Hobbit Home! Yes you read that right, Brad and I were staying in a coastal Hobbit Home! It was so cool. The driveway once we arrived was small, narrow and windy and if anything a little bit dangerous. Once we arrived we grabbed our wheelbarrows, popped our luggage in the barrows and trekked our way across the field to our hobbit home.

We had our own hammock outside and a log fire too for us to prepare which accompanied an honestly box at the entrance where we could pick up a bag of wood. £5 down later and cracking fire we absolute could not complain. That same evening we used the communal kitchen and living space to cook up an easy meal of tortellini. The shared kitchen was amazing, wonderfully decorated and literally had everything you could ever need. The only things we brought was our food! Really resourceful. There was also perfectly clean and functioning toilets and showers but if you didn’t want to do the trek from your hobbit home or cabin up to the communal areas you had the option of a compost toilet. Personally, I chose the communal area toilets because the smell of the compost one nearly knocked me clean out. That and there was no good lighting in them either so if you fell over, oops.

The Hobbit Homes themselves were super cosy. There was a double bed and inside was a hamper with blankets inside if we needed them for around the fire. There were fake candles which were cute and fairy lights all around the cabin which gave it such a homely feel and there was plenty of room for our bags and belongings. You really are one with nature though as just as we went to sleep something started scratching at the walls of the home and naturally, not literally, I shit myself.

It was a great night and just as the sun was setting we ventured up to Knills monument which was only a 10 minute walk from where we were staying and got the most beautiful 360 view of the St Ives coastline, St Ives itself and we watched the blood moon come over the hills. It was definitely one of the most relaxing nights on the trip ready for another day of exploring the next day!

St Ives town and Newquay are up next!