Travels 3: The Peak District

Overlooking Monsal Dale.

Pretty awesome even on a cloudy September afternoon.

Was actually here a few days ago and so keen to share that I attempted to use my mobile. Not a brilliant idea. I really do not understand it sufficiently.


Not far from Monsal Dale was the hotel we had booked to spend the night – online the Bed and Breakfast package appeared near perfect – but reality proved otherwise so we will not be repeating the experience. ‘Nuff said.

The village of Ashford-on-the-Water, where we stayed, was historically a gem and apparently was once more important than neighbouring Bakewell. We did have a fantastic evening meal at the Rutland Arms in Bakewell and that is an establishment we would recommend for food (excellent), service (again, excellent), and the accommodation looked good too.

The gems? I like to learn about unfamiliar practices or quirky traditions that were simply practical solutions for communities faced with common events. This village had two, one in the church and one by the river.

In the North Aisle of the Church four headdresses were suspended from four glass ‘cages’. These floral garlands were made on the death of spinsters of the parish, women who never married and so were never ‘loved’. This practice continued at the church until 1801.

Photograph courtesy of my husband. Well, he had more success with this that I did!

Spanning the river is the ‘Sheepwash Bridge’ so named because it is at the point where farmers would wash their flocks prior to sheering in order that the fleeces would appear cleaner. Across the bridge is a stone holding pen.

Found quite by chance the village proved to be delightfully one-of-a-kind. Just the way I like them.