Driving North for Mountains, More Churches, and Football

On Boxing day, we drove to Hathersage, a village in the Peak District. (And can I just say here I think Hathersage is one of the prettiest place names ever?) We’d planned to visit an old friend who lives there, but she went to Scotland for Christmas, and by the time we learned of the conflict, we had other engagements we couldn’t change.

Because Hathersage is a pretty village and the Peak District is beyond pretty, we decided to go anyway to hike one of the trails.

On our way, we stopped in Chesterfield to check out St. Mary and All Saints, the church with a leaning spire. Someone once told me it’s looking for a virgin, and it must not have found one yet because it’s still leaning. Apparently there are many fanciful stories about why it leans. The reality, of course, is it was built with unseasoned wood which twisted as it dried. That was back in the 13th and 14th centuries, and it’s still standing, so maybe a leaning, twisted steeple isn’t such a big deal.

Continuing on, we came to Hathersage, and when I call the Peaks “beyond pretty,” here’s what I mean. Below are photos from our hike up Stanage Edge, as featured in the Keira Knightley version of “Pride and Prejudice.”

Stanage Edge

After this hike, we felt a lot of sympathy for the camera people on “Pride and Prejudice!”

We could see for miles.

I’m not sure which version of these views I prefer so I’m sharing both.

You can probably tell we are up fairly high, and I have a fear of heights so I stayed further back from the edge than the other three. And there’s no way I’d go over it like this climber, especially since it was quite a windy day!

Also, his rope looked mighty thin!

As the sun began to set, it became time to leave.

After our hike/climb, we were ravenous and ready for a wonderful meal at The Scotsman’s Pack where The Engineer and I were treated in honor of our 30th anniversary by Darling Daughter and Darling Daughter’s Partner. Thanks to them for a delicious dinner!

The next morning, we walked up the steep hill to St. Michael and All Angels. Naturally, in a place with a name like the “Peak District,” you’re pretty much always either going up a hill or down one.

Here’s the view from the top.

Inside the church.

On the way back down the hill, we came across an elderly woman with a walker heading in the same direction, a scary prospect. We were so worried she would lose control and go tumbling that we escorted her down, but I do wonder what she does when there’s no one around to help.

Once she was safely on level ground, we found the car and pointed to Manchester where DD and DDP were catching a train to Edinburgh. The Engineer and I continued to Burnley where we watched a football game in the pissing down rain.

It was great to be at a game instead of watching it on the telly, especially since our seats were sheltered from the rain.

I do have to say however, they had the worst excuses for mascots I’ve ever seen.

I guess they are supposed to be bees, but the costumes were sort of a football uniform with a bee head. They didn’t generate any excitement either; one of them spent most of his time laying on the ground on his side, and all I could think of was how wet he was probably getting.

Next, we went to Liverpool to tour Anfield, home of “my” football team. It’s almost impossible to get tickets to a game, but this was the next best thing.

Even without the Beatles connection, Liverpool is quite a city, with lots of free museums and an attractive dockland area.

Below is a Liver Bird, symbol of the city.

And I have no idea what these buildings were; I just liked the way one was reflected in the other.

The following day, we were welcomed to Wrexham where we stayed in an AirBnB old coach house — tiny but cozy!

We went there solely to see the Wrexham FC football club and buy an Aviation Gin Wrexham FC shirt, but enjoyed a delightful stay at the Coach House and also had a delicious Indian meal. Being there also gave us the chance to see the Pontcysyllte Aquaduct, built in 1805 and still in use. I’d learned about the aquaduct from Atlas Obscura and knew The Engineer would like it.

Of course I didn’t walk across it — way too high — but he did.

The aquaduct was designed to also be used for recreation, with room for narrow boats to cross. To our delight, one did so while we were there.

Later, a friend of ours, an avid kayaker and stand up paddleboarder, told us people also paddleboard across. Yikes!

We continued to Conwy, getting a little lost on the way, and arriving in time to see the castle, have some delicious fish and chips, and head back to Wrexham for our second night.

Icons of Britain that aren’t so common anymorer — Red phone box and post box

Conwy street with castle at the end.

Look for our saga to continue soon!

6 thoughts on “Driving North for Mountains, More Churches, and Football

    • Yes, I always feel like I’m going to fall. Sometimes I can’t even watch others going close to an edge. Yes, we did have a good trip. So unusual for everything to go smoothly. I accept that fact as the anomaly it is without expecting future journeys to be similar. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

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