Our latest Jolly adventure took us back to the Peak District area, this time to Bakewell.
The journey was longer than planned, due to delays caused by roadworks in towns we passed through. We were clock watching as we’d booked the Thornbridge Brewery Tour for 3pm and arrived with very little time to spare after pitching up, etc. We shot off into town on our bikes and managed to make the majority of the tour so we were happy bunnies. It was an interesting tour, we learned about the growth of the brewery, the brewing process, and sampled a couple of beers (Jaipur, Bayern & ‘I love you will you marry me’). We were given a Thornbridge beer glass each too, so they’ll no doubt be well used on our future Jolly journeys. It’s well worth a visit to both the brewery and the well stocked shop, which are located on the Riverside Business Park half way between the Greenhills Holiday Park we stayed at and Bakewell town centre.
The campsite was approx. a mile and a quarter outside the town centre. It was obviously full at this time of year and in the school holidays, but although quite crowded it wasn’t too noisy. There is a site bar and shop, and the facilities were adequate, although we didn’t use them as we were off-site the majority of the time and used our onboard facilities when back at base.
The first evening we prepared to sit out beneath a cloudless sky as Suzie was keen to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower. Conditions were perfect. Unfortunately we were both so tired we couldn’t stay awake til the early hours ended up going to bed! Fortunately, we had seen a small display of the shower the night before from our garden at home so we didn’t completely miss out on this amazing sight.
Bakewell is a picturesque town with quaint courtyards, shops and cafés. It’s situated by the River Wye, and is apparently the only market town within the Peak District National Park boundary. The first day we were there (Wednesday) it was heaving with traffic and pedestrians, but the next day was much quieter and so easier to explore.
Looking a little at the history of Bakewell, it derived its name from ‘Badeca’s well’, and almost became a spa town but for the coolness of its springs which were unable to match the warmer temperatures of neighbouring Buxton. The Bath House, built by the Duke of Rutland in 1697, still stands and retains the original bath in the cellar. It’s probably fair to say, however, that Bakewell is now best known for a confection that came into being in the 19th century when a cook at the Rutland Arms (in the town centre) was supposed to be baking a jam tart but misunderstood the recipe … and, hey presto, the Bakewell Pudding was created! It seemed only right that we sampled this culinary delight which is an absolute taste sensation! We brought plenty back with us for family/work colleagues too. We called into both The Bakewell Pudding Factory and The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop for these.
We spent our second day cycling approx. 24 miles around the local area, which included taking in a return journey along the Monsal Trail. This is a free public trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and was clearly popular with all age groups. There is cycle hire available if needed, at both the Hassop Station and Blackwell Mill parts of the trail. It was formerly part of the Midland Railway’s route between Manchester and London and, after being closed for over 40 years, was re-opened following a £2-million restoration scheme. The trail stretches 8.5 miles between Bakewell and Blackwell Junction near Buxton. Tunnels, blocked up since the 1960’s have been re-opened, lighting installed and the route resurfaced. The trail also takes you over impressive viaducts high above the River Wye. We had been forecast rain but luckily this held off and it was a great afternoon of exercise and sight-seeing. We loved it. Very impressive.
Some more views from the viaduct and trail:-
Needless to say, after a whole day of cycling, we’d worked up quite an appetite and thirst. Bakewell has a good choice of pubs and cafes. Each one we called in at had its own charm and atmosphere, except for The Wheatsheaf, which was sadly lacking anything positive. Not sure whether it’s in the process of a refurb or always like that. It was empty too which says a lot.
We decided on a curry for tea and my word what a great little place we found. The Urban Spoon, Indian Street Kitchen, ticked all the right boxes. It was a different and exciting menu, the food cooked to perfection. It is an unlicensed premise so if you want to drink you need to take your own. We were happy with a couple of tasty mango lassis instead as we’d already sampled a couple of drinks beforehand.
Full to the brim after a great day, we then cycled back (uphill mostly) to camp to cabin up for the night.
A brilliant couple of days. Big thumbs up to Bakewell 👍
Our next adventure is to the York Rowntree Caravan Club Site which in the past has been difficult to get booked onto, so we’re looking forward to this one.
Suzie & Bri