We decided that the first bank holiday weekend would be a good time to get out of London and go hiking in the Peaks district. Starting from Matlock Bath, we hiked 47km over two days, finishing off in Castleton.
Compared to hiking in New Zealand, hiking in this part of the UK was a lot less hilly, meaning that you could cover a great deal more ground in a day. All the same, 27 KM on the second day was quite a long haul.
Although the Peaks District is a national park, it was funny that it had farms, villages and highways running through it. This meant that a lot of the walk was over rolling countryside, rather than through bush as it would be at home. That said, there were some relatively beautiful dales which we walked up on the second day. It also meant that we could stay overnight in villages along the way and ensure our bags were light, not having to carry tents, sleeping bags and cooking paraphernalia.
We stayed the first night in Over-hadden, dining at the exclusive local pub and staying at an excellent apartment type place.
I guess the other major highlight of the trip was the finish - and not just because we were starting to get a bit buggered! - the hike finished by dropping down a really steep valley, overlooked by a quite dramatic castle. After we walked down the valley we came out in Castleton to the tune of a band of bagpipes and a parade - which I was convinced was in our honour!
Another fun weekend, even though I had a bit of a cold most of the way through the walk...