A Weekend ‘Up North’ / Part 2

If you missed part one of this post you can view it here, we headed up North for the weekend for a family celebration a couple of weeks back and this was day two of our adventures whilst we travelled home!

Marsden Moor

Our second National Trust stop of the weekend was Marsden Moor, very close by to where we were staying it only took us around 15 minutes in the car to arrive. Marsden Moor is a huge estate, whilst there are no buildings to see or do, there are a hell of a lot of acres to walk, should you so desire. We stopped off at just one of the points in the Moor, I have no idea how many of them there are – but there would be a lot. The stop, known as Blackstones – you may guess has quite a lot of Blackstones.

On arrival after a trip up the steep and windy road it was clear that the weather wasn’t going to be on our side and we probably wouldn’t be there for long. The mistiness was spoiling the view, it was windy and cold, but we decided to go for a quick walk along the stones to admire the view from where we were.

We wasn’t there for very long before the mist, turned into drizzle then quickly morphing into heavy spitting with drizzle, but I’m glad we stopped off, albeit for only about 10-15 minutes as the view was quite incredible. My pictures had to be edited quite heavily to get rid of the overcast heavy dark skies, and make those colours of the moor semi visible. We said we’d love to go back here with the dogs (although maybe somewhere not quite on quite as steep a decline).  

Speedwell Cavern

We didn’t head off with plans of stopping at Speedwell Cavern, and we were heading to a spot closeby, but we stopped to get our bearings and the spot was so pretty we decided to stick around, the weather had also turned out to be on ourside as we crossed the border over the county into Derbybshire.

When I was younger I remember doing the Derbyshire Caverns with my family, but apart from one visit in my teenage years I’ve not been back since, definitely not with Ben. Whilst the views around us were certainly stunning, we decided to go underground into the cavern – that is something we definitely can’t do with the dogs, where as a good old walk around and up the hills is certainly something we can go back with them for to admire the view.

It was £11.50 per person to go into the caves on a fifty minute tour on the boats, there was a multi-ticket to visit the Blue John Cave around the corner, however we were already running out of time due to it being a Sunday and everything closing at 4pm, so we opted to just do the one. The system is a little antequated, in that theres 2 boats, a session running every 25 minutes and you just have to sit and wait until it’s your turn, with only 20 people being able to go down at a time we wasn’t able to get on the first boat and had to wait for the second, so a 40 minute wait. It would have been nice if we could have booked ourselves in later in the day, walk down to the village that was closeby and grab some lunch as there was nothing around, before heading back to our slot later. On one hand I get it, no shows would be frustrating – but equally if they’e paid for a ticket it’s their own fault if they’re no there on time!

The tour was interesting and I don’t believe it’s one of the caverns that I’ve been in to in the past. It was a cave that was mined to find lead, and after a hell of a lot of money, years and people – were spent trying to find it the project was closed off as unsuccessful and massively in debt. It wasn’t the prettiest cave, nor seemingly very interesting in terms of what happened there, but it was still interesting to hear just now uninteresting it was!

Eyam Hall

Finally when we arrived at Eyam Hall we thought we would be reunited with food (by this point it was 3pm), we arrived at the cafe and was told that they weren’t serving food any more – but they did have ice creams. Ice Creams were not going to cut it at this point and we decided to skip over it, go and see the hall and try to find something after.

Eyam is a town which has an interesting history, during the London Plague a local tailor ordered some fabric from London, when it arrived the staff in the shop caught it from the ticks and lice that came on the fabric. The plague soon started spreading around the village before they decided to cordon themselves off, no one leaving or entering to stop it spreading further. Families were responsible for burying the bodies of their young ones and over the course of 18 months the population dropped by 60% to 83 people.

Eyam Hall was built six years after the end of the plague of the village, when local landowner and business man Thomas Wright had friends living by and decided he wanted to move. The hall is currently operated by the National Trust however we chose to go at the right time as it will soon become lived in by the family again at the end of the year.

What was interesting about this house is that for most of it’s life it’s been a lived in family home, you can see different eras of decoration and furniture through the house and it felt like a home rather than a grand sparkling house, especially the upstairs had a truly lived in feel. It wasn’t the grandest, nor the smartest – but it felt homely and I’m glad we got a look round as we were in the area, however it didn’t take us hours to go around, just over an hour to do the gardens and the house so I wouldn’t recommend travelling to go, but if you’re nearby it’s worth a pop in.

Downstairs my favourite room was the dining room, which also happened to be the busiest so I didn’t manage to get a shot of it all. In fact I didn’t get many pictures of the rooms in full I took the only one lens in and was restricted to close up shots when I didn’t have space to manouveur myself. Like the rest of the house the dining room was a great example of the mix of eras, from the silverware to the china – everything was of different eras and styles. Something personally I loved as I love collecting tea cups and vintage tableware.

Upstairs had everything from an interesting green tiled bathroom, to a kids playroom with treasures and pictures lining the walls in almost every room. There were interesting pieces of furniture, such as a bed which over time had slowly become built upon and grander over the years merging from a normal bed to a full poster bed, to a full poster bed with a wooden top.

One of the rooms upstairs had laid out display of vintage and antique jewellery, some of the pieces were stunning (the opal earrings had me swooning). There was lots of examples of embroidery and cross stitch from a previous lady of the house’s clear passion, as well as an entire room that was covered in a tapestry, completely unexpected given the rest of the house.

After we walked around the house we went to the Wash House out the back of the kitchen, greeted with funny poems – I’m definitely a slut given the poem above, I’d hate to know what Sunday would mean! With a well in the centre of the floor with a sign which declared that a house maid had drowned herself there in the 1700s.

From here we headed into the garden, it was a modest sized garden for a house of it’s size and stature, however what is now the car park for visitors was once where vegetables and fruits grew, so it’s since become more all encompassing once it once was.

It was really the wrong time of year to look at a garden in detail, whilst there were parts of the garden on their final flourish, a lot of the garden was clearly well into it’s way into autumn to be appreciated in it’s full glory.

I’m guessing we were in the garden for less than 15 minutes, by which point we both decided if nothing else, we really needed a drink and wandered back to our car. After the gardens we headed back to the town town centre in the car where we parked up and considered our food options,  by this point it was almost 5pm and we looked around us, admiring our choices – a pub (didn’t fancy pub food) and a cute tea room we were about to be sold on before they put up a sign saying closed. We decided then we were done and ready to go home and decided to order a chinese takeaway to collect enroute on the way home which we enjoyed as soon as we got in through the door whilst binge watching Netflix’s Confession Tapes. We did see many rainbows on the weekend thanks to the ever changing weather, but this one was a full rainbow I could actually see the end of!.

We had a lovely, and busy weekend with fair chunk of driving between spots too, which was nice to see the countryside and remind ourselves of what it’s like to drive on hills (we’re from the flattest part of the UK and a speedbump would be considered a landmark around here!). I hope you enjoyed my posts on our little weekend get away – please give me some recommendations of some places in the UK we should visit, it’s something were keen to do more of – especially if we can make use of that National Trust card while we’re at it!

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Helpless Whilst Drying

Email: helplesswhilstdrying@gmail.com

 

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