May 26, 2014

The Peak District and The New Forest: Travelling Adventures, part two

The Peak District and The New Forest: Travelling Adventures, part two

I’m back as promised for the “long walks through some of the prettiest areas in the UK” bit of my trip. After my weekend in Manchester I went to Edale in the Peak District. This is an area I’d been meaning to go to for ages, and after having to cancel a visit earlier this year at the last minute, I really wanted to seize this chance. Also, in between Neutral Milk Hotel gigs in London, we went down to the New Forest for a ramble among the ponies and deer.

These past few weeks were a much needed reminder of how much travelling adds to my life. Exhaustion has been a real problem for me lately, and more often than not I give in to the temptation to barely move away from my couch when I have a full weekend off. But I really want to make an effort to go out and actually do stuff more often. Of course, it’s much easier when I have long stretches of time off work like I did now, but those won’t come around very often and I shouldn’t let that stop me from living my life. I think what I’ll do is book something for later this summer while my travelling enthusiasm is still fresh and before exhaustion sets in again (Brighton and the South Downs are looking pretty good right now).

I was very lucky with the weather, except when I was very unlucky. The latter involved being caught in a thunderstorm in the New Forest, adventures with a soaked only pair of shoes and a hair dryer back at my hotel, and then, when the sun miraculously came out and we went out again, slipping and falling flat in the mud. But hey, the sun did come out, and seeing the sky reflected in all those puddles and feeling the smell of the forest after a rainfall made it all worth it. I wasn’t so lucky on my last morning at the New Forest: it rained non-stop for hours and I had no choice but to sit at a café with a cup of tea and a slice of Dorset apple cake. On the bright side, Dorset apple cake! Also, I finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

‘But where are the pictures?’ you ask. Edale first, where the weather was so gorgeous that even when we climbed the peaks I didn’t need a coat:



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Lambs!


















The Hope Valley and a sheep with a great sense of timing.








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And now the New Forest (Brockenhurst area):












The ponies really are everywhere.


Not that I’m complaining.










My state after falling in the mud.


Colt!





The aforementioned slice of Dorset apple cake (even though I was actually im Hampshire).

I went away only regretting the fact that I had missed the deer, but at the very last minute I spotted a group of five or six fallow deer from the train — it was quick but worth it. Also, though I usually like to investigate the literary connections of the places I travel to, this time I didn’t have the chance. So my main bookish takeaway from this bit of the trip is that being so close to Dorset made me desperately want to reread Peter Beagle’s Tamsin. It also made me want to go to Lyme Regis, and did I mention my train went through Winchester? I really need to keep what I said above about travelling firmly in mind.

17 comments:

  1. Oh those muddy paths... they always remind me of Elizabeth Bennett ("Yes, and her petticoat; I hope you saw her petticoat, six inches deep in mud").

    Did you go to Grasmere to eat the famous gingerbread and visit Wordsworth's grave?

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  2. I've always loved those lines :D Grasmere is in the Lake District, not the Peak - the Peak is further East in Derbyshire, between Manchester, Sheffield and Derby/Nottingham. I honestly find it every bit as beautiful as the more famous Lake District. Anyway, I did get to go to Grasmere a few years ago, and I love love love their famous gingerbread :D A colleague who visited not too long ago brought some in to work, and it was gone in no time at all!
    PS: I've been a rubbish commenter lately, but I read your post about the move and I just wanted to say I hope everything's going well and that you're settling in nicely. Huge congrats on the amazing-sounding job <3

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  3. That countryside is so beautiful it seems close to unreal! :) I am with you on wanting to go to Lyme Regis. I just came back from a trip that included London and Bath and it was amazing.

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  4. So beautiful, I have only ever been to London and to the southeast coast of England. I so want to see the area you describe!

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  5. So beautiful, I have only ever been to London and to the southeast coast of England. I so want to see the area you describe!

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  6. Beautiful photos of an absolutely beautiful area! I'd love to go there. Someday...!

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  7. A thunderstorm? Are you sure? I lived in England for a year and heard thunder like three times ever -- it made me very sad. I love a good thunderstorm (though not, of course, being caught out in one).

    Your pictures are gorgeous!

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  8. The sheep at bay!

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  9. Janicu: Bath! I went last year and it was so beautiful.

    Kay G: I need to see more of the Southeast! The South in general, really - I got to travel quite a bit when I was in Manchester for graduate school, but ever since moving down South I really haven't seen as much as I should.

    Robin: If you're in the UK you'll have to let me know!

    Jenny: 100% sure! There was lightening and counting the seconds until the thunder and then freaking out because we were holding an umbrella. I think it's only the second one I've seen a thunderstorm in all my time here. Just my luck :P

    Anon: The Peak District sheep were great at posing :D

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  10. I am glad you had some lovely trips recently. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos too. My mother lives on the south coast on the edge of the New Forest it really is beautiful down there.

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  11. Sigh...I wonder if I will ever make it back to the UK again. All my travel money is used for trips to Switzerland (where my husband is from) not that I'm complaining, but there are so many places I would like to visit. Keep travelling and taking us with you!

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  12. I read the Edward Rutherford book The Forest some years ago, and now you've shown me pictures to go with it!

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  13. wow, these pictures are gorgeous. It's looks very serene. Glad you had a good time.

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  14. I simply love these pictures, they are stunning!

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  15. I always joke with my mom that I don't want to do anything but sit on my couch in my downtown until I'm actually doing something. Then I can't remember why I wanted to just lounge around in the first place. :)

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  16. *happy sigh* I am in love!!! Your pictures are so gorgeous! Now I must go investigate where these places are (sadly, my knowledge of UK geography is nearly nonexistent).

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