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Derbyshire Dales: Spontaneous Travels


Active Member
A different kind of recommendation!

It was a sunny day with the promise of continuing fine weather and I was reloading the van after it has returned from the dealer to have various rattles and squeaks fixed under warranty.
Many years ago a good friend of mine wrote a song about the Derbyshire Dales called “My Derbyshire” which is posted on You Tube.

When he died a year or so ago, I promised myself that I would visit the places mentioned in the song and raise a glass ( or two) to his memory.
The song was playing while I was putting things back in the van and I was reminded that this was still on my “to do” list.
Unlike the words in the song, we are lucky to no longer have to work from nine until five or have to wait until the weekend to get away.
One of the main reasons we bought our campervan was to be able to get up and go more or less anywhere for a day or two at the drop of a hat, in addition to more “organised” longer journeys.
There is no time like the present ! After suggesting to my wife we had a quick snack, threw in our sleeping gear, rucksacks, walking kit, a change of clothes and a box of food and drink.
Calling the camp site en route,the drive along the Wye valley and the M50 is relaxing and enjoyable until we realise the price of a casual attitude to route planning is that we have hit the midlands in the rush hour.
I decide to occupy myself in the stop / start traffic by playing with (getting familiar with) the active distance control (Distronic). Wife grumbles that my driving has become jerky and I am braking too much so I turn it off and drive normally - was she giving me back handed complement or the automatic gearbox? Certainly not the Distronic.

During the journey I have noticed that the passenger seat is still creaking and the awning still rattles. So there is yet another visit to Mercedes on the horizon.

We arrive in Edale just as it’s getting dark. The site has a slight slope. I didn’t bother to pack the levelling ramps but it’s not an issue.
Straight to the pub (The Old Nag’s Head) a decent meal washed down with several pints and some wine.
Next morning we awaken to a cloudless sky, have a light breakfast, pack the rucksacks ( including iPod and rather bulky headphones) and set off
There is the smell of bacon cooking in the cafe on the way out.
Arghhh! We missed a trick there!
We head along the Pennine Way and pick up Jacob’s Ladder for the ascent up to Kinder Scout and we eventually arrive at the trig point after a few detours to admire the distant views from on the craggy outcrops.
We put on the headphones in turn listen to “My Derbyshire” in thoughtful contemplation. Then eat our rolls and drink a “toast” - mug of rose.

Without getting too morbid we head across Kinder Scout to the Downfall before making our way back by a different and less comfortable route.
A shower and a glass of wine in the evening sun followed by a less energetic stroll and meal and more beer in the pub.
Back to the van for a good night’s sleep disturbed only by lowing cows, and the passing of trains and aircraft.

Up early in sunshine and cool mist. Grab our promised bacon sandwich in the cafe and on our way home through the glorious Dales. This time by a more thought out route avoiding motorways and weekend traffic.

Lathkildale (mentioned in the song) is still on “the list” for another spur of the moment trip.

Posted to remind us that it’s the experiences and memories that our campervans facilitate that makes them worthwhile - irrespective of their make, age, or irritations - in my case an outing to remember a good friend and rattles that Mercedes still have to resolve!

Unfortunately, it has rained almost every day since returning and I wrote this on a wet and windy weekend when I was planning to go to the Highlands End 2019 meet. I saw the weather forecast and chickened out. Well done those who braved braved the weather. Let’s hope it is better for the next time.
Paul Cardiff

Paul Cardiff

VIP Member
Nice write up, which site did you stay at?


Active Member
We stayed at Coopers (Farm) Campsite. It is the only site in Edale that takes campervans and is ideally placed for a few days hiking at the start of the Pennine Way or Kinder Scout.
Importantly it’s close to a pub with good food and a cafe for breakfast etc.
Read the Tripadviser reviews to get an idea of what to expect.