What a wonderful weekend we had, celebrating Lucy’s birthday in Alstonefield in the Peak District. The Peak District is an upland area, mainly in Derbyshire but it also straddles several other counties such as Staffordshire. It is approximately 150 miles North West of London.
We stayed in the pretty village of Alstonefield where most of the cottages and houses are made of stone.
Three of us stayed in the apartment above the old post office and two stayed in the B&B at Alstonefield Manor.The apartment was a sweet little place, well decorated and furnished, extremely peaceful and with its own little secluded courtyard.
We all enjoyed a delicious dinner in The George on Friday night, which we booked after Gini and I did a recce here in May.
I had the Cornish Sea Bass followed by this fantastic cheese board. It was a very enjoyable evening. This is Alstonefield Manor where Gini and Sally stayed. The apartment and B&B are owned by the same people so we were able to join them for breakfast. We took tea outside on the lawn and enjoyed the sunshine. When breakfast was ready we adjourned to the dining room where I ate fresh fruit with yogurt and granola. Followed by a full English which was served with a traditional Derbyshire oat pancake. Followed by toast and marmalade. Plus vats of tea and coffee. Alstonefield Manor is definitely one of the best B&Bs I have ever been to. The owners, Jo and Rob, are very friendly and hospitable. The buildings are gorgeous and all the rooms are furnished and decorated to a very high standard. Everyone staying here eats together round the large table. You could eat in one of the spaces outside but we ate with everyone else in the large dining room. There’s Jo, telling us stories about the local area and recommending good walks. This is the view from the drawing room guests can use, across the lawn. The area beside the backdoor. The fresh flowers in our bathroom. We set off on a walk from Alstonefield to Hartington and back, a circular route of about 7 miles. We were blessed with fine sunny weather. Not too hot and just a gentle breeze which made it perfect walking weather. The Peak District is hilly! Much of the land here is used for grazing sheep or cattle and fields and farms are divided by stone walls which rise and fall with the undulations of the land. We hiked down a steep hill to a river which then formed a long and level walking route. The first of many wooden bridges we walked across. Gypsy Bank Bridge. Look at this beautiful scenery. Thanks to Gini’s map reading skills we made it to Hartington without getting lost once. Hartington was another charming stone built village. We stopped to share a pie we had been recommended to try by Jo and to have a coffee. Back on the track beside the river for the homeward leg of the walk. This was the final part of the walk, a long hike up this hill where we were rewarded with this lovely view. The fields were full of buttercups so everything appeared golden. Nearly back to Alstonefield. When we got back to the B&B we enjoyed a lovely afternoon tea on the lawn. We had some of Jo’s homemade cinnamon scones and then some regular scones with homemade strawberry jam which was all delicious. For the evening we had ordered some seafood platters from Waitrose Entertaining. We chilled the wine and champagne in the fridge and ordered the food to come between 6 and 8 pm. It was delivered on platters, chilled and ready to eat. Very easy, delicious and superb quality. We spent the evening sitting on the lawn drinking champagne – way to go! And what a lovely way to celebrate Lucy’s birthday and midsummer, the longest day. We sat outside until 10:30pm and it was still quite light when we adjourned inside. On Sunday we feasted on another breakfast in the B&B and then headed off to Tissington, another beautiful village in the Peak District.
This is a traditional sweet shop. Full of jars of sweets. One of the wells in Tissington. Tissington Hall. After a coffee and a stroll around the village we bade our farewells and drove home. It was a wonderful weekend. We were so lucky with the weather which made it quite perfect. I enjoyed the walking and feel inspired to do more walking around home. Happy birthday again Lucy, thank you Gini for researching and booking the accommodation and thank you Sally for organising the food and all of us. It was great and I can’t wait for the next weekend away with you all.
If you have never been to the Peak District before then I highly recommend it and I also recommend the place we stayed in; Alstonefield Manor B&B and a trip to The George for dinner makes for one very relaxing weekend. Check out the reviews of Alstonefield Manor on Tripadvisor and do yourself a favour and book a weekend away.