A walk, a country house and a pasty…
On Saturday 16th May an intrepid group of students and staff from the School of Education set off on a trip to deepest Derbyshire as part of the School’s ongoing series of social activities.
Tightly clutching our bottles of water (and accompanying bag of crisps and a very “English” Penguin biscuit) it was an excited group that journeyed down from Leeds via the M1 motorway on a beautiful, sunny spring morning. Our first stop was the amazing Chatsworth House, seat of the Duke of Devonshire and home to the famous Cavendish family since 1549. Several of our party got off the coach and took the opportunity to visit the house and its amazing gardens (much of which were designed by Joseph Paxton, possibly the most innovative gardener of the 19th century). A large part of the day was spent in the main house itself; with over 30 rooms to explore, from the magnificent Painted Hall, regal State Rooms, to the newly-restored Sketch Galleries and beautiful Sculpture Gallery, the group was presented with array of stunningly-beautiful objects and artwork. Chatsworth is home to one of the important private art collections in the United Kingdom and some of the items on display were truly breath-taking.
On completing their tour, the students treated themselves to some of the culinary delights available at Chatsworth, including English cream teas and the justifiably-famous “Chatsworth pasty”, whilst waiting for the rest of the group to arrive….
The rest of the group – including a number of ‘seasoned veterans’ from the trip to Lake District the previous October – were keen to do something a little more challenging and continued on the coach up to the beautiful village of Grindleford, where they commenced to walk towards Chatsworth House, a journey that would take them across the high peak of Froggatt Edge, past Big Moor and down through Baslow towards Chatsworth.
Whilst the weather at the foot of the hills was nice and gentle, it was a different story once we got to the top of Froggatt Edge, where we were confronted with 60mph winds, which nearly blew us off our feet (and made eating a cheese sandwich, whilst trying to take a selfie extremely difficult!). Our group was strong in spirit and tough in character and refused to be deterred by the elements. Holding our smartphones in our hands we bravely ploughed ahead through the great Peak District countryside, stopping only to take photos of sheep and other wildlife, arriving safely at Chatsworth tired but happy, some three hours later.
There was just time for a final cup of coffee (and a few more selfies) before we finally got back on the coach for our trip back to Leeds.