That's what it felt like! We decided to make the most of having a car and went for a drive in the Peak District. It was a stunning day.
The first place of interest we passed was Froghall. We saw a canal as we approached a bridge. We quickly turned off the road and parked the car to check it out.... the end of the Caldon Canal. It was a fascinating little stretch we walked with a massive old industrial site full of ruins on one side and a rather steep slope on the other with a derelict building which we'd love to turn into our own "grand design".
Next came Hartington, a very picturesque little village that is obviously a favoured weekend getaway for many people. It was buzzing with folk checking out the shops, and ramblers walking through. There was a lovely little cheese shop and the buildings were amazing. We ate our lunch sitting on a bench beside the village pond.
We were aiming for Chatsworth which we'd discovered the day before wouldn't be open but thought it might be worth a drive anyway. On the way we passed a sign for Arbour Low - a 6000 stone circle. We turned off to check it out. The circle was on private land and it was strange for us to walk through someone's farm to visit it. Perched up on a hill it was incredibly windy and bitterly cold. Back in the car it took a while to defrost!
We visited the Chatsworth farm shop and bought a few goodies for dinner and then drove on. The first sighting of Chatsworth was amazing. What an enormous building it is and what a setting! Absolutely stunning. Unfortunately the only parking anywhere near was in a carpark charging 3 quid but with the day wearing on we decided not to pay to park for such a short visit. We took a few photos from the side of the road, negotiated the sheep that were wandering freely all over the place, and cheekily parked the car at the village of Edensor for a quick wander around the village. It was like a picture perfect postcard.
We drove back to the marina with our spirits lifted. Driving around such beautiful countryside on a crisp sunny day was just what we needed.
We packed up some more things that Mick would take back home and then Carol and Barry came over to share our cheese and cracker dinner. We'll miss them when we all move on. With Mick going back to Australia for 7 weeks, then Barry and Carol going to Thailand on Wednesday for a month and planning to set out cruising when they return, we won't all be together again unless... until.... we meet up on "the cut".