Saturday, 26 March 2011

Not Quite Peveril Castle

The ruin of the nearly 950 year old Peveril Castle sits high atop a hill, a steep climb from the town below. 

The weather has been glorious all week, so we planned a visit to Peveril Castle in the Peak district for today. Mark and I have been members of English Heritage for nearly ten years, but haven't really taken advantage of our membership in recent years. We thought it was high time we took the Podlings to see some proper castles and figured they couldn't do much damage since they are already ruins! We are also members of the National Trust, but the thought of taking the Podlings to stately homes filled with priceless antiques is somewhat more daunting. Our National Trust visits will be limited to countryside and gardens for a few more years we feel!

It was clearly much colder when we woke up this morning, but we filled our picnic hamper and Thermos and arranged to meet Mark's parents in Castleton in the afternoon. The thirty mile drive to Castleton is beautiful, taking us across the Staffordshire moors and the Peak District National Park. What took us by surprise was quite how high the castle sits above the town. You have to park in the town and walk quite a way up a very steep hill to get to the castle and it looked somewhat daunting. We got there quite late in the afternoon and we knew that by the time we made it up the steep climb the castle would be closed. We decided to save the castle for another (hopefully warmer) day.

We turned back to the town and were grateful to be able to shelter from the cold in the delightful visitor centre, which has a charming little museum attached. The Podlings really enjoyed the museum, so now we plan to take them to some larger museums. As an aside, I can't wait until they are old enough to take to London to see all the wonderful museums and art galleries there. I spent many happy hours wandering around the National Gallery and the British Museum as a postgraduate student.

After we finished looking round the visitor centre, we went back to the car for the picnic. It was so cold, we decided to serve the food from the boot and eat it inside the car. We were so grateful for the Thermos we filled this morning! Tom and Lily fed some bread to a couple of ducks they found nearby and then we said goodbye to Mark's parents and headed home. We will definitely return to Castleton and Peveril castle, but we will be waiting for some warmer weather methinks!
 The fact that it was freezing cold didn't mean that Emma kept her hat on for very long. I guess all that hair keeps her head warm enough!
 Lily 'hang-gliding'. Castleton Visitor Centre had part of a hang-glider suspended above some aerial video footage of the Peak District. Lily loved this and we had trouble tearing her away from it. I hope she never wants to try it for real!

The Podlings think it is never too cold for ice-cream! As you can see, Emma takes ice-cream very seriously!

Mark making the hot drinks for what is quite possibly the coldest picnic we have ever had! He is wearing his flat cap, which he then proceeded to spend a couple of minutes searching for before we pointed out he was wearing it!

Sheltering in the car in cowardly fashion! It was bitterly, bitterly cold!


Father's Grace Ministries said...

How exciting to have all this history so close! Things aren't so old over here. I love hearing about the U.K. as my late Grandfather was British. Maybe our family will get there one day- I love English history!
Bless you

Paula said...

We are very fortunate. I am always staggered at the age of some of these ruins. I'm sure that nothing we build today will last nearly 1000 years!

I hope your family make it to our shores one day. It is a long trek for you, but if you love history it would be worth the journey (of course I'm biased!).

Best regards,

Fi said...

We took Simon and Sophie to the Natural History museum last time we were in London visiting Jason's parents. I was really impressed with how much Simon seemed to get out of it, and Sophie was happy to be in the pushchair and look around for most of the day. I'd definitely recommend it as a starting point with kids as it is interactive (more so than the British Museum). I suspect the Science museum is the same. Glad you had a fun, if rather cold, day!