Thursday, April 28, 2005

Holiday Part 1 - North England

Hi folks, sorry I haven’t posted for a while! Lots to sort out after my hols. Bill and I were registered for the CAMRA AGM in Glasgow, so we thought we’d make a week of it by touring around the North of England and South Scotland as well, and hire a Ka to do so rather than take our very old VW Polo.
First we’d booked a very nice B&B in Fenny Bentley, called Cairn Grove. We booked a table at the Bentley Brook Hotel, a pub famous for its homebrewed ale, and had a nice meal there, which included chicken stuffed with black pudding. Next day we went walking in Dovedale. The walk started well, as the weather was sunny and the path easygoing. At Milldale Bridge we found a little snack bar, and ate a couple of pasties, which the local ducks were very interested in. We visited a couple of pubs in Alstonefield and Hopedale, then headed back along the top of Dovedale back to the B&B.
Then as we approached Ilam Heights, we were confronted by 2 fiercely barking dogs on the other side of a stile from us. The owner was there, calling them to come away, but the dogs took no notice. Bill climbed over anyway and we headed down the public footpath with the dogs still barking at us – then as I walked ahead I heard Bill give a yell! The Collie dog had bitten him on the leg, drawing blood. When the owner was confronted, he apologised, but Bill was angry and shaken. He was so put off that he lost the path back towards Fenny Bentley and we had to walk a much longer way through Ilam to get back. Then to cap it all it started to rain, and we both got soaked. Very glad to see our cosy B&B again!
In the evening we went to 2 pubs of character, the Black Horse in Hulland Ward, where due to staff shortages I had to pull our beer (but we were given it for free!) and the Barley Mow in Kirk Ireton, where beer is still served from gravity through a hatch.
Next stop was to visit our friends Ian and Kathryn in Manchester. Ian is a close friend of Bills from University, now a Methodist minister. It was strange to be walking down the street and hearing little old ladies greet Ian, thinking of him still as a ‘typical student’ At least he wasn’t wearing his dog collar - that would have been really be unnerving!! Ian took us to the Lowry Gallery which I enjoyed very much, then the boys went to see the War Museum whilst I slipped into the Lowry Designer Outlet Centre :-D Bought some surfer trousies for £5 from Trespass – bargain!
Kathryn joined us for a little while in the evening, she too seemed to be settling in well which was good to hear. We went out to Ian and Kathryn’s local pub for a meal, then back to the guest room at the (?) manse. Nice to have a huge house loaned to you by your bosses! Next morning off to Scotland as Ian had a funeral to take - not the best bit of the job I suppose.

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