Greenlaning in the Peak District
Next week we are off to Iceland for 2 weeks of adventure driving the internal un-tarmac roads of the interior. Whilst we are used to driving the Defender off-road we wanted to put the off-road trailer through its paces, and make sure we understand its limitations. So we chose to explore the Peak District on our way to dropping the car and trailer at the dockside at Immingham.
We use Total Off-Road magazine to find our routes, and this trip was step 60 – 113 in the December 2015 Roadbook, near Buxton. We camped the night before at Walbrook House. A basic campsite in a lovely out of the way location. We found it very wet underfoot as there had been torrential rain the day before. Our visit was spoiled by a large group who played music very loud and very late, but to be fair many of our fellow campers were return visitors, so I think that we did not find this site at its best.
The Peak District was lovely. Typically open farmland or even Moorland with sheep and cattle in fields delineated by endless dry-stone walls. Verges were colourful with wild Geranium and Foxgloves.
But there were also some lovely wooded areas. This picture shows the typical surface – lots of lose rocks. Good practice for the Iceland lava flows! Some parts of the route were very steep, and I was glad that we were going downhill…. until we got to step 105 a little after Monsal Head – looked innocent enough in the roadbook, but we found it extremely steep. Every trip we take there is always one thing that really tests us and leaves us feeling glad to be alive and that we have done something that stretched us that day. Well this track was it for this trip! At several points I didn’t think we’d make it, but eventually we made it to the top.
The second night we stayed at Stocking Farm campsite. Again a basic site but in a fantastic location next to the mill stream at Culver in the Hope Valley. Lovely views from the site itself, a public footpath from the site and a pub and local shops an easy walking distance. The very friendly owner even leant us a bucket to wash all the mud off the car!