Spring arrived here in the UK and with it an idea began to form in my husband’s brain. He has for several years wanted to do more walking in the Peak District and now that he is retired and ‘has the book’ he decided to sit down and plan our route. The inspiration came from ‘The Inn Way’ by Mark Reid. It is an 84 mile circular walk divided into sections. The author does it in six day stages but we decided to do it in a more leisurely twelve days. The idea being that we go off on Sundays and return on Monday evening thereby spreading the adventure over as many months as we want. Almost as important is the fact that we use, where possible public transport to begin and end each stage. I do hope you are still with me on this!

We began our first section in Hayfield in May. And walked to Snake Pass on the first day, staying overnight and then going on to Bamford where we caught various trains home. And so we progress on around this beautiful part of the UK. We did have to do one small section separately to make the distances and overnight stops work but with lots of planning, not by me, each jaunt has been great fun!

We have climbed up high and gazed out over spectacular scenery and we have walked alongside clear, cool streams and through peaceful, silent forests. We have got hot and sweaty. There have been clouds of midges accompanying us and the odd river had to be waded through due to a bridge-collapse.

What began as a tiny germ of an idea has developed into a memorable and gloriously happy journey. We have both had such a great time. We could have gone off and done our week-away-somewhere in the UK but these forays into the hills so close to us have proved inspiring. We live only thirty minutes by train from some of the most wonderful countryside. 

We have now done seven days of walking which translates into 37miles. There is still much walking to do and we are now at the further-most point from home, so getting to the start of the next section will take rather a few train/bus trips! But that is all part of the fun. Along the way we have seen, Kinder Scout, Ladybower Reservoir, Stannage Edge,Baslow….We have had coffee breaks in Bamford, a pub lunch in Hathersage and wonderful afternoon tea in Bakewell. Chatsworth House provided the backdrop to a packed lunch and the village of Edensor is an eclectic mix of architectural styles and almost chocolate-box perfection.

As well as all the ‘Big Views’ there were the tiny delights that we often tend to overlook as we scurry along through life. The magic and calm that pervades the air in the clearing of some standing stones…how ancient and with so much history flowing around them. Then the mossy stream simply begging me to sit beside and dangle my feet in. Fairies and elves obviously inhabited one wee valley, it was The Perfect Location for Tiny People!

At the end of each stage I feel a certain sadness as we come back ‘into life’ knowing that part of our trip together is over. We have achieved our aim, but then it is important to simply stand a while, breathe and gaze upon all that is there in life whether it be the gentle countryside or the more hasty life of everyday living. That then becomes the whole picture for me and enables me to step a little more elegantly and smoothly into my working week. 

We must stop for a while as we prepare for our gorgeous daughter’s wedding. Our weekends are needed for slightly more important matters but perhaps there will be time and weather to do the next stage in the autumn….

The book The Inn Way is a very good guide with loads of information on where to stay and the actual route. There are several other Inn Way books…

May your week go well and perhaps at some point just give yourself a moment to breathe and notice where you are. We are not always able to fly off to beautiful distant parts but it can be a delightful surprise to see something that delights your heart and spirit closer to home! 

May we all walk in beauty….

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