Mick took a day off work yesterday and though the weather was supposed to be turning, we decided we'd still have a day out. I'm glad we didn't stay in because, even though there was a bit of wind about, it turned into a lovely day.
We set off in the car without a thought in our minds as to where we'd end up but as we got going we soon decided that we'd head down the M1 and visit my mum's county of birth, Derbyshire. We spent our tenth wedding anniversary in Matlock Bath and have never been back to the village since so we thought we'd start off here.
Matlock Bath was developed as one of the country's first tourist destinations. People have been coming here since the late 17th century when the spa waters were discovered but its heyday was in Victorian times when it became known as Little Switzerland by the poet, Lord Byron.
It's set in the gorge of the River Derwent and the main thoroughfare snakes along one side of the river. Along the other side is a riverside path known as Lovers' Walks.
As the sign tells us, Lovers' Walks is known to have been in existence prior to 1742. As well as the pathway by the side of the river, there's another along the cliff top, though we didn't venture there, my head for heights wouldn't allow that.
It was a really peaceful walk along the side of the river, we only passed a few people, though many of the shops in Matlock Bath were closed, many places only opening on weekends and bank holidays so I doubt they get a huge influx of visitors during the week.
There were boats for hire on the river, though again, closed on Friday. Not that we'd have hired one ourselves, we had Archie with us and though he has been on boats in the past, I'm not sure he'd have appreciated being in a small rowing boat.
You can see how steep the cliffs are which surround Matlock Bath. The Heights of Abraham is a tourist attraction which consists of a hilltop park accessed from the village by cable cars or a steep zigzag path.
There's so much greenery about at the moment.
I love this time of year when the foliage is all new, the colours really zing.
This goose stood and posed whilst I took his photo. He had a mate with him but she wasn't so brave.
Looking back from where we came, we crossed the river here and made our way back along the other side.
We only stayed for an hour as we wanted to visit some other places but we certainly enjoyed what we saw of Matlock Bath.
On our way to our next destination we came across a sign for Caudwell's Mill & Craft Centre so we decided to stop and take a look.
It's in a beautiful position, right by the river.
As we made our way to the mill, we passed a field full of gorgeous sheep and lambs.
This lamb stopped and watched Archie, though Archie wasn't at all interested in him.
Caudwell's Mill is a historic roller flour mill which is powered by water from the river Wye. The present mill was built in 1874 by John Caudwell but one or more mills have stood on the site for at least 400 years. You can take tours of the mill but we declined as we had Archie with us.
Also on the site is a shop selling flour, biscuits, ice-cream and other specialist foods, a gift shop and a cafe. There are also artisan craft workshops on the site, though some of these were closed yesterday.
We didn't stay long before we were on our way again. I'll tell you where we went afterwards in my next post.