Thursday 9 April 2015

The Peak District - Arrival & Wander around Leek

Please don't let the title of this post confuse or irritate you!!  I know that Leek is not, technically, in The Peak District, but that is where we were staying, so I've gone with it to keep consistency with my post titles.  Please bear with me.

It was our first cottage holiday of the year and we were both really looking forward to it. We were staying in a cottage just outside of Butterton in the Peak District.

Considering I had spent most of Thursday packing and getting ready to go away we had a very slow start on the Friday. By the time the car was packed, the bikes were on and we were ready to head off it was 11.00am. 

We had decided that we would visit Sudbury Hall and the National Trust museum of Childhood on the way. It's somewhere we've passed loads of times when visiting the Peak District but we've never actually managed to stop and have a look round. You can read more about our visit here

It was then a quick visit to Morrisons in Leek to stock up on provisions to see us through the week, before finally making our way to Swainsley Farm, where we were staying on one of their barn conversions. 

First impressions were very good and you can read more about the cottage and our thoughts during our stay in my holiday cottage review post here

We were soon unpacked and settled in for the night with a very easy, chuck it in the oven, tea, hoping that the good weather would continue for the rest of our stay, though the forecast did not look promising. In fact it looked like it was rain all the way. 

We had a very slow get up to wet, wild and windy weather on Saturday morning/  We took our time and had a very late and indulgent breakfast. We'd managed to get some Staffordshire oatcakes from the supermarket, which we love but can't get at home, even though we live in Staffordshire.  

We had these stuffed with cheese and mushrooms, with sausages and baked beans on the side. That should definitely see us through till tea time, which was to be our favourite ... Abruzzi lamb, which was already bubbling away in the slow cooker. Clearly one of us had been up a bit earlier and you'll all know it won't have been me. 

As the weather was pretty miserable we decided to head into Leek and have a wander around the market and the shops. 

This ended up being a very good move. By the time we were parked up the rain had pretty much stopped and we had a really good wander around the town without getting wet at all. We started off in Bibelot, a very nice moochy craft and haberdashery type shop, with plenty of Cath Kidston thrown In for good measure. 

We then headed to the market square which was full of antique and second hand stalls selling all kinds of bits and pieces. We had a good look, but nothing took our fancy, before heading into the traditional Butter Market for another mooch about. 
After that it was up the high street, past the second gold post box we have ever seen, to a really lovely little shopping arcade, which was full of craft and hand made shops and a particularly well stocked wool shop, where I couldn't resist making a purchase.
It was then up to the war memorial for the first cache of the holiday, which was to be our one and only for the day, before heading, via the church, for a tea room for a quick drink and a read of the paper. 
It was then time to make our way back to The Haybarn, which thankfully was a far more bearable temperature to yesterday. Mmmmmmmm, the Abruzzi smelt good too. 

All in all a very pleasant afternoon out. Leek is definitely worth a visit.

We got back just in time. Within 10 minutes the rain was lashing down again.

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