Reconnaissance trip to Ashbourne, Derbyshire

Derbyshire Countryside

My Father and Mother in-law are turning seventy this year, and so in connection with this the extended family are planning a meet up in late spring to celebrate the occasion. The intention is for everyone to congregate at a campsite just north of Ashbourne in Derbyshire.

Family members currently live in both the north and south of the UK and therefore Derbyshire seemed like a sensible, central location for us all to meet. Apart from the mutual proximity benefit for family members, it is also a very beautiful, interesting place to host a party.

The in-laws decided it would be a good idea to take a trip up to Ashbourne today (Sunday 20th January 2014), to evaluate the proposed site and surrounding area for suitability of the event. I also decided it would not be a bad idea and quite a pleasant thing to join them for the day. So my Wife and I accompanied by our two boys, decided to tag along in our own car. We all live in Cambridgeshire so any opportunity to escape the hill deficient landscape of East Anglia is a welcome change.

We agreed to meet in Ashbourne market place and from this point we then proceeded a little further north to the campsite of choice which in this instance is called Rivendale. Unfortunately upon arrival it was clear that the site wasn’t open, however, we did at least manage a peripheral scan of the grounds and facilities from the entrance with no objections noted.

We then took a short drive back towards the south to a layby next to the Tissington trail. Upon leaving the warmth of the car it was noticeable the differential in temperature, only four degrees centigrade in the fresh air, however the scenery more than compensated for the initial discomfort.

The first part of the trail was rather wet and muddy in places, but we persevered with the worst of it until we reached the river and headed towards Mill dale. The intention was to earmark the trail as a potential activity for the family to undertake during the celebration weekend and it looked like a good candidate.

Even on a winters day Derbyshire is a great destination. The undulating landscape is the default feature of the area. It is a walker’s paradise, something I relish due to habitually walking back at home. It is one activity that not only serves as a physical health benefit, it also provides adequate distraction from daily woes and this is particularly poignant in the Derbyshire setting.

The day trip to Ashbourne made a pleasant change to the normal winter weekend routine and we enjoyed the spontaneity of the trip, something we can easily neglect and probably should practice a little more often.

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