Away Days – Day Three

10 08 2011


It has turned out that the Travel Lodge hotel that I booked online is situated perfectly what what we wanted to do whilst we were away.

Today trip was about 30 minutes out to Bolsover Castle. Castles are featuring rather a lot on this trip but when you have English Heritage membership you may as well use it right? Especially when you have a son that wants to be a knight!

Of the sites we have visited over the last few days this is my favourite. A lovely building built in the 1500’s, a large section of the castle is in ruins but make amazing atmospheric photos (will link up my Flickr feed when I get home).

Following on from Bolsover we spent some time in Chesterfield, we needed to buy some shirts for my sisters wedding on Friday for me and Oliver.

Its a larger town than I thought with many modern cafes and shops and don’t forget the wonky spire!

We wrapped the day off with a trip to Derby for a decent restaurant, but again this was only about a 30 minute drive.

More tomorrow from the final ‘away day’ before the wedding.


Away Days – Day Two

10 08 2011


Going have to write twice today as I didn’t get around to posting yesterday.

Day 2 of our short break started with an hour drive to the fantastic Peak District town of Castleton. I had previously visited the town as a child as part of a geography field trip, needless to say I remembered very little!

The main focus of our trip was to visit Peverel Castle, set high up on the hill overlooking the town. Not much of the original castle remains but it does offer spectacular views of the valley below and is a great site for a picnic on a nice summers day.

The walk up to the castle is not for those out of shape or with a heart condition however as it is a bit of a climb up a zigzag path.

The town itself is full of quaint tea rooms and gift shops. Those gift shops are packed full of jewellery and decorative piece featuring the local Blue John Stone.

This rare and expensive stone is a form of fluor-spar that is native to the hills around Castleton. It is still mined today and taken into the town for polishing and working into jewellery.

The name is thought to have derived from the French bleu et jaune (meaning blue and yellow), the stone used to be worked in France and so the locals mis-translated the meaning.

We took a guided tour into Blue John Caverns which is where the stone is still mined in winter. The tour lasts about 30-40 minutes and is conducted by a knowledgable guide, the one we had is still a miner. 

It is reasonably priced and worth a visit for the look at the caverns underground.

All-in-all an enjoyable day out with the family.

Away Days – Day One

8 08 2011


Got a few days away with my family before my sisters wedding. Getting away is difficult sometimes when running your own business but the days you can get are precious.

We started our break back in my home town of Kenilworth, I spent all of my school days here, met my first girlfriend, had my first kiss etc… it is also the place where my parents still live.

My wife and I like to give our son some ownership of his holiday so it was his choice to go to Kenilworth Castle.

It’s an amazing place even though the majority of the castle was knocked down during the civil war. It was a royalist stronghold so we targeted by the round heads.

We are members of English Heritage so get in to all their sites for free. During summer holidays they also put on some great activities for free, for kids. Today our son really enjoyed a free Fencing lesson.

Anyway, will give you another update tomorrow.

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