The Swallows Nest in Monyash, Derbyshire was our home last weekend. A chance to get away and explore the Peak District, a beautiful area of the UK, which is just an hours' drive from our home in Staffordshire. Weary from the rain we arrived to find our tiny luxury B & B the perfect bolthole.
Vintage G-plan furniture (this painted drinks station plus a sideboard and mirror), a muted palette of coastal colours and the luxury of underfloor heating; at every turn this tiny space thrilled me.
This pudding from this deli had the shortest pastry we've ever tasted.
We also bought a Derbyshire pasty to fuel our afternoon's walk through Lathkill Dale. We certainly needed the energy as it was much hillier than we'd anticipated. Lathkill Dale is just minutes away from where we stayed and one of the country's finest limestone valleys. Its sharp sides encase clear streams, mossy rocks, woodlands, grasslands and evidence of lead mining. It's part of the Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve and every climb gave us breathtaking views and every descent unveiled a new wonder. The sky, landscape and wild flowers were stunning.
We had directions for a route with instructions such as 'continue over the next 5 stiles'. Along the way we saw fields dotted with wild orchids and dandelions.
Down in the valley we saw banks of cowslips, bluebells, campion and wood anemones.
We finished our walk on the opposite side of the dale where sheep and a lone horse silhouetted the skyline. This reminded us of a scene from Poldark.
The village was very peaceful and luckily had a thriving pub just opposite the village green which we ate at both evenings.
Our host Suzanne at the B & B was very relaxed and friendly delivering our breakfasts through the hatch from her adjoining barn (Swallow Barn) in pjs. How clever is that. A self-contained B & B with a serving hatch. There was plenty of chat about families, interior design and future plans. Oh, and here's Suzanne's chocolate cake that greeted us on arrival. My wasitline is just recovering a week later.
I loved our bedroom window.
We had plans to visit Chatsworth House on Sunday but were drawn back to Lathkill Dale instead. This time we drove to Over Haddon to start our walk and saw more of the river Lathkill. It's full of character with weirs and gorgeous crystal clear water.
This dreamy house was nestled deep in the valley. Imagine living here. Further on we were mesmerised by large ripples in the water which led us to spot a trout which you may just be able to make out.
These are my last views of Lathkill Dale. Add warm sunlight, birdsong and gentle gurgling water. Is it any wonder we were reluctant to leave. I'm so glad we chose a nature break instead of a city break.