Our little girls had their Trunkis packed and were making their way south on an adventure to Bewilderwood with their grandparents. We had a date day to ourselves as a bit of a break for my good lady from the stresses of frontline working during the lockdown. We could have gone anywhere, within reason.
Most couples would head into town for cocktails for a date day but not us, I know how to treat a lady. I said dress comfortable I'm taking you out and don't worry about lunch I've sorted it. Sandwiches made, no expense spared, ham on a nice seeded batch, as many drinks bottles as we owned filled and we were on our way heading down the A38 to Leek.
The drive was very scenic through the quaint villages and vast open landscapes. The last mile of road was winding up to the walking start point. We tried all the public parking but with British folks new found love for open space obviously these were already taken. Luckily a local field was open to park for a very reasonable cost of £2 with an honesty box policy in the form of car.
We headed up the road and through a stile, not entirely sure of the route, we followed the path up the hill to get the lay of the land. My orienteering skills learnt on residential 25 years ago at Hathersage came flooding back to me, I was like a bloodhound. We weren't completely alone, with climbers practising on the rock faces and hikers up and down the paths it gave us the confidence we were in the right place.
The sun wasn't beating down but it was still pretty warm, with every photo opportunity came a drinks break. With both dogs off the lead, we continued up and over the Roaches to a perfect picnic spot overlooking the county.
Up and down we continued to where a road cut across the path and a perfectly placed ice cream van sat. Not to be a complete scrooge I grabbed us both refreshments. As I headed over to a shady spot where Laura was sat with the dogs, I muttered in a true British way "He had his wrong mask on the robbing b*stard, £12 for 2 ice creams and a small slush" (let me add they were waffle cones just incase they rocketed in price since the start of lockdown) I get he may have missed a bit of custom over lockdown but add it to my total was criminal. This was a little awkward an hour later on the return leg when we passed the very same Ice Cream van and I stopped for a bottle of H20.
Tired legs were starting to show but we still had a good walk ahead to reach Lud's Church, we started the decline deep into a wooded area. At the end of the path, the ground just drops away with big stepping stones into a deep crevasse, the humidity and temperature instantly change. It's a slow climb down as each rock is covered in wet and slippery moss. We slowly walked through taking our time to take it all in and climbed back out an equally slippery route, not ideal for young children.
Retracing our steps we laboured up and down dale taking in the panoramic views in all directions as we edged closer to the car. The dogs were happy to get into the boot for a well-deserved rest, with achy legs we sat on the bumper reflecting on a perfect date day.
Lovely that. I’ve walked Lud’s Church too. Slipped at the end of the walk and ended up waist down in the river. Happy days 🤣