June 11 Peak District (Bakewell)

As we mentioned in our previous post we were on a week’s walking holiday with HF Holidays http://www.hfholidays.co.uk which meant lots of great walks with great scenery. However we were being led on guided walks, with fixed routes and fixed itineraries, so it was very difficult to grab caches on route. (It takes possibly 5 minutes per cache, if you allow time to find the cache, including exposing any stickoflage, opening the cache, finding appropriate page in the log to sign, closing the cache and rebuilding the hiding place) Clearly this is impossible to do if you are in a large group of non-cachers! We did look as we went about – notably for tell-tale cacher’s paths, but the nearest we came was a search for 4 caches in a Buxton park.. however torrential rain intervened so this was abandoned.

We stayed near the River Dove and its Stepping Stones

We stayed near the River Dove and its Stepping Stones

We did however have a non-walking day. We chose to spend it around Bakewell where we visited Haddon Hall, a village exhibiting its annual Well Dressing (Cressbrook), and another preparing for its forthcoming week of Well Dressing (Ashford-in-the-Water). We also selected 4 caches in Bakewell to attempt.

The first was a Surprise View. Planted above Bakewell but on a busy road – a break on the trees meant Bakewell was visible but only for those on foot, as many drivers zoomed by and missed it. A simple magnetic nano, but an impressive view.

Bakewell Below!

Bakewell Below!

Then a DNF. Somewhere in a small copse was another cache (“The Den”). We searched high and low, up and down a muddy slope, with not-quite-the right-footwear to no avail. Still cache 3 sounded good… it had been nominated as a ‘favourite cache’ over 50 times.

The cache was in a private garden adjacent to a very well stocked shop (groceries, footballs, air gun pellets, ice creams etc…..). The cache was named “Bathtime at Arkwrights”.. and we assumed the Arkwrights was based on the well stocked shop in the BBC comedy “Open All Hours”, and we also assumed the bathtime related to the bath tub just visible in an adjacent garden. But.. we were told not to undertake the cache if the shopkeeper was visible at the front entrance. He wasn’t … but a gang of schoolkids were. GZ was in sight but impossible to reach… We returned twice later in the day.. and each time GZ could not be reached because of the schoolkids.. So a DNA (Did Not attempt) rather than a DNF.

Our last cache – a simple Church micro. As usual make note of dates/phone numbers to derive a set a co-ordinates for the final cache position. This time we had to count empty stone coffins too!

So a day off from our formal walking break, and a couple of caches with some surprises thrown in!

PS If you are not sure what Well Dressing is – its a custom of many Peak District villages to ‘bless’ the wells for giving water. Each dressing – generally a 6ft x 4ft display is totally made from natural sources e.g leaves, flowers, melon pips etc. There is normally at least one village ‘blessing’ its wells most weeks during the Summer – well worth hunting out!

One of the Cressbrook Well Dressings

One of the Cressbrook Well Dressings

Constructing the Ashford-in-the-Water Well Dressing

Constructing the Ashford-in-the-Water Well Dressing

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