having spent months either sat in the library or working in the makeshift ‘office’ in the kitchen, the submission of my dissertation heralded the chance to escape from the city. don’t get me wrong, i love manchester. this city has become way more than just a home for me, it is part of my inspiration, and part of my drive to do as much as i do. though i am a country boy at heart. my parents live in a small village (one road, one post office, one shop, one school, two pubs) which is well placed for walks round reservoirs and whatnot. i love doing that kind of thing, getting out in the fresh air, going for a good walk, seeing some of the amazing scenery which is around, and enjoying a few local ales in the pub afterwards. with this in mind, a 40 minute train journey to edale seemed like the perfect idea.
first stop was a quick look around the moorland centre to check that all the routes we planned on covering were open. the moorland centre was developed by the moors for the future partenership, and is operated by the peak district national park authority. in eagerness to get on with the walk i didn’t take any photos, but it is a lovely little building, a really tasteful stone a glass arrangement with a living grass roof and a stunning waterfall running down the middle of it. i pressume that the water fall is related to waste water in the building, but haven’t found anything to confirm this. anyhow, it was a great place to start. i also picked up a leaflet for the national trust’s a year on the estate podcast – a great piece of new media work from the NT.
leaving the moorland centre we passed the church, through the village of edale, then around one of the pubs to head off into the peaks. rather than following the pennine way (edale is the start/end point of the cross pennine trail) we headed straight up into the hills, and enjoyed the views that came with taking on the ascent. being out in the countryside, with no emergency service sirens, nobody punching in codes to get into their buildings, no stereos pumping of r’n’b smashes, was amazing. i could hear birds singing, and not just some dirt covered pigeons. i could try and explain why it was so great, but instead i’ll let the pictures do the talking…
the best part of four hours were whiled away, before heading back to the starting point of the old nag’s head. this is a nice little pub, though i’ll admit that it didn’t have quite as much character as i’d hoped for. i had a pint of their signature ale, the 1577 – named after the year the pub was built. a cracking, malty, dark ale. it had a look of mild to it, but the flavour of something much more stouty. had it not been for a wasp that wouldn’t bugger off more beers may have been sampled.
instead, a wander back towards the train station and a swift drink in the rambler. whilst the rambler again suffered from a certain lack of character inside, the beer garden outside more than made up for this. rather than the car park setting of the nag’s head, the rambler has a number of benches in a nice field, with views out across the peaks. there was also the small matter of the chickens wandering around, and a very media savvy goat which posed as soon as i pulled my phone out near it.
and that’s that. less than an hour away from piccadilly station there is this lovely village, the ideal place to escape the city for a day. with a trust OS map already in the bag, return trips out to edale are definite.