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Mini Country Break

Posted in Personal Blog, and Photography Blog

I have just returned from a wonderful mini break in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. The journey was long and arduous ~ a whopping 14 miles from home!

I love where we live, with one foot in the city and one foot in the countryside. Our home lies just within the Derby city centre boundary ~ yet only a 5 minute walk from our house will find you in the middle of meadows and farmers fields.

Both myself and Dave really needed a break from the daily humdrum and so Dave volunteered to find somewhere not too far away from home. He found a great single story cottage in the countryside which was dog friendly and only realised how close to home it was when looking at directions on how to get there. Despite it only being a short drive away we still managed to get lost down the winding country lanes and junctions ~ thankfully we found our way after stopping to work out which lane went where. The cottage belongs to the owners of the farm and they have another holiday cottage to let adjoining ours, which has two stories as opposed to our single story one.

As we drove down the limestone drive we passed the farm house and came into the yard where we could see both cottages and a long building which was adjoining ours. Across the yard was another small cottage and round to the side stables.

As we approached the cottage the key was in the door ready for us to unlock and enter. Once inside we had a look around and were very impressed by the cleanliness and facilities available to us, the dogs approved too, especially enjoying the two enclosed garden areas. Whilst exploring the cottage I came across a folder with a mini history of how the cottage came about.

Apparently the farm dates back to 1700 and possibly even earlier than that ~ but only documented evidence found from 1700. It was a working farm until 1989 when the then dairy farmer retired and put the farm up for sale in 3 lots. These lots were; the farm house which was sold along with cottage buildings and 9 acres of land. The other two lots were once the original farm buildings used to house cattle and forage during the winter months ~ they were converted into two houses in 1991 and sold as privately owned accommodation. These 2 houses are the long building, divided in two, which runs at 90 degree to the holiday cottage we stayed in.

As well as the privately owned homes being converted in 1991 so were the two holiday cottages.Prior to conversion the ground floor of the two story farm cottage ~ which is the cottage next to ours ~ comprised of a coal/storage room, which may have been used as stables in the past, together with a walk through building, which gave access to the garden/orchard. The upper floor of the farm cottage was known as the cheese room and therefore presumed cheese was made and stored there. Although it is also known that the room was also used for apple storage. Dave decided against renting this cottage as the stairs to the upstairs rooms are very steep and he felt would be too much for me to navigate.

The cottage we stayed in which is adjacent to the above conversion was used as garaging, but originally housed ovens and may have been used for food storage too.

The farm, although not a working one, did have some animal residents ~ a vocal black and tan Jack Russell terrier called Frankie ~ who barked greetings each time it caught sight of our 2 terriers. A Springer Spaniel called Benny who introduced himself by trotting up to the dogs with a big stick in its mouth, covered in mud and energetically wagging it’s tail in greeting ~ the farm owners called him back before he was close enough to properly introduce himself. As well as the dogs were two horses called Lola and Amber who we were encouraged to visit to fuss and pet but not to feed.

The cottage..

Another resident was a visiting peacock, who was being fed by a gentleman living in another cottage opposite ours which we presume to be a family member of the farm owners.Sadly I tried but failed to photograph it because it ran away as soon as it saw me ~ note to self; learn to be more stealthy!

The horses, the black and white horse belongs to a friend of the farmer and is now stabled with the other two..

I also spied many birds diving and darting from the hedges onto the bird feeders but didn’t get the opportunity to photograph them much as it rained everyday but I did manage just a few.

The dogs enjoyed walks along country lanes but both myself and Dave wished we owned wellies because due to the recurring episodes of rain it was pretty muddy almost everywhere we went. We had a dog towel on the floor by the french doors into the garden to clean up the dogs paws before reaching the lounge area. With the aid of my crutches I was able to follow Dave and the dogs from a distance as he went ahead to allow the dogs to run back and forth ~ periodically waiting for me to catch up. I loved the empty space and breathing in deeply the clean fresh air ~ except for the fields where they were muck spreading.

Only  a short walk from the bottom of the driveway was a beautiful very simple church with gravestones around it and a bell tower housing two bells. The graves were cheerfully decorated by numerous daffodils which were blooming between them.

A little further on from the church was a dog friendly pub ~ which we intended to visit but somehow didn’t get round to doing.

Some of the flowers and scenery..

The cottage was surrounded by trees and fields ~ one tree even had a stream running beneath the centre of the trunk base, which was pretty cool.

In the lounge was a log burning fire, which took us some time to work out how to stay alight ~ once mastered it was lit daily and was a real treat. We decided there and then to get a fire pit for our garden because there’s nothing like sitting around a real fire.

Although our break was just from Monday afternoon to Friday morning I can honestly say it was the perfect spot for us to relax and replenish our batteries. Most of the time when not out with the dogs was spent just chilling and sleeping ~ which was definitely just what our bodies needed to prevent burn out.

If you haven’t visited the Derbyshire countryside I can highly recommend it to you as a beautiful, peaceful break with many walks and quaint villages to explore.

On our return home I had a phone call to say my varifocal glasses were ready for me to collect which was awesome! I think it’s going to take just a little time to get used to the various focal areas but I love them and can see so clearly with them.

As if that wasn’t enough my 12 foot U pillow was delivered, it was a bit of a game to get the pillow case on but worth it ~ it is exceptionally large and looks like a pair of legs randomly lying around. However, I’m now very well supported and my hips are very happy.


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