We had some free time on Friday so we set out not quite knowing where we were going but the car has its way of taking the road towards Frogall, Ipstones and out to Hartington. From here it was anybody's guess as to where we would end up. We did need to buy some bread making flour so decided to head towards Bakewell and Rowsley.
We'd made a flask of coffee and some biscuits for elevenses so we decided to stop at the village of Over Haddon for a break and a short walk down into Lathkill Dale.
It was a very still, overcast day but the birds were singing in the trees as we wandered down to the river. We saw quite a few blackbirds, chaffinch and a robin or two as well as pheasants taking their morning stoll across the road.
The lichens and mosses on the walls and barn roof were so green against the grey of the stones and slates. The River Lathkill rises just below the village of Monyash and flows through the valley towards Haddon Hall where it joins with the River Wye. Every year for the past few years we have had great intentions of re-visiting Haddon Hall but have never made it. The last time we visited we took Mum and Dad; sadly now both long gone.This year we intend to get there! I think it is my favourite of Derbyshire's famous houses. Hardwick Hall, which is close to the village we lived in when I was a child, comes a close second.
The river seemed quite full and was moving at quite a rate, swirling and eddying against the banks. We saw a dipper bobbing up and down on stones in the river. Sorry no birdy photos - my camera isn't good for close-ups. There were lots of lovely snowdrops growing on the river bank.
After a gentle stroll it was time to head back up the hill to the car park and continue our journey towards Bakewell and Rowsley where we bought bags of flour at Caudwell's mill. More of this journey later!