Walking in the Peak District: 10 pubs, 10 miles, 10 hours

After climbing on Friday evening, we were up early for a 10 mile walk in the Peak District to celebrate 10 years of Will4Adventure. My OH was taught by Will when he was still a math teacher in a Sheffield school. He was probably one of the only teachers who got through to my OH and as a result, he has a lot of respect for Will. We have been on another one of Will’s free weekends (in fact, it was our 1st year anniversary) and they’re usually good fun. This one was no different.

After meeting up in Castleton, a very large group of excited walkers caught the bus to Monsall Head and had a large cooked breakfast (my second of the day).

Walking from Monsall Head to Litton. Photo: CanadianKate

Walking from Monsall Head to Litton. Photo: CanadianKate

After lining the stomach, we set off down the Monsall Head trail and towards Litton, where the first drink was in the Red Lion. I had a pint of Noggin Filler, which was a bit of an error as it was 5%! It tasted delicious though.

Walking towards Foolow from Litton. Photo: CanadianKate

It was but a short stumble down hill to the next pub, the Three Stags in Foolow. This pub has so many memories for me. It was where the Sussex Mountaineering Club used to camp and where many of my happiest memories of 2nd and 3rd year occurred. I used to love the long evenings spent in the pub with Jeff and Pat and their whippets, drinking Moonshine, Deception, or if brave, Lurcher. When it was very, very wet, Pat would dry our boots and clothing for us. Once, when only a couple of friends and I came up for the weekend in mid-January, she lent me a duvet because I was so cold (even though I had a down sleeping bag!).  It was also where I met my OH for the first time ever. He hates though, because of the dogs.

The pub hadn’t changed that much since I had last been there. I had a 1/2 pint of Deception, and enjoyed sitting in the back room of the pub – which really looks like it could have still been in the 19th Century. Alas, we had to move on.

The sun setting in the White Peak. Photo: CanadianKate

The next pub was in Great Hucklow, the Queen Anne. I abstained as I was still feeling the last 1 1/2 pints. We did partake in Phillipa’s excellent flapjack when Will offered it around.

There was bit of a break between the Queen Anne and the next pub. We walked to Bradwell across the fields and arrived at the Shoulder of Mutton. Here, I partook in mulled wine (very out of keeping, but I wanted something warm). It was already getting dark and people were playing pool in festive Christmas jumpers. I kinda wanted to chill out there as I was getting hungry and my feet were starting to get sore. However, after everyone finished their drinks (they had Farmers Blonde or Farmers Belgian Blue – which I really should have had), we moved on.

It wasn’t that far to the next pub. We stopped in at the White Hart Inn, also in Bradwell. This was not my favourite pub. It was clearly for locals and smelt damp. However, I think the beer was good. The OH and I abstained again, and watched the world go by while listening to the stories from other members of the pub crawl.

After a bit of a debate, we stopped by Ye Olde Bowling Green, also in Bradwell. This was one of my favourite pubs. It was warm, had an open fire, friendly bar staff and was very chilled out. However, we were only at pub #6 and the following three were in Hope.

It didn’t take long to walk to Hope, which was good as it was raining and dark. There is something beautiful about walking in the dark. I love the way the rain shines under through the beam, and how insular I feel in my waterproofs. It’s like I’m an island in the rain, and I enjoyed this part of the walk a lot.

We got to the Old Hall Hotel with time to spare. The OH and I changed out of our hiking boots and settled down for the meal. We were driving home, so the OH didn’t have any more to drink and I had a glass of red wine to go with my roast beef. After some excellent conversation with other members of the group, we said our goodbyes. I think the rest went on to the Cheshire Cheese in Hope and ended up in Castleton.

It was lovely to get out into the Peak District and do something a bit different from my usual run/climb/cycle. And, I discovered an excellent route to run – if I can work out the public transport or get my OH to drop me off!

For more information about Will4Adventure, please look at his website (here)

Some stats:

  • Beers consumed – 1 1/2 pints
  • Pubs attended – 7
  • Miles walked – about 10
  • Flapjack eaten – 1 (but so wanted more!)