Wednesday, 2 January 2013

New Year's Day Walk

Pride and Prejudice Stanage Edge

There is little joy in England during winter. 

Perhaps, if there had been a blanket of snow to cover the bleak and dreary landscape outside our window, I would have felt a little cheered up. But as expected, we had to make do with a sky who loves playing hide and seek with the sun and occasionally splashing out drizzling rain to those amongst us who cannot escape to warmer places. 

During the last day of the year, I finally cried out to John to take me out of the cold and somber walls of the old Victorian terrace that was my prison for the last two weeks, thanks to my job letting us 'work from home'. So on New Year's Day, with a weather forecast of sunny spells and a double digit temperature, we headed off to the Peak District. 

There are countless walking paths in the national park but we decided to conquer Stanage Edge, a rather impressive gritstone escarpment situated on the moors north of Hathersage. I have previously begged my husband to take me there (with no success) so that I can stand on the rock where Keira Knightley stood during a sweeping panoramic scene in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Of course, I'm rather embarrassed to admit that now. 

We started off from the car park right at the bottom of the stone edges and it was a short climb to the top. On a bright summer day it would have been an easy ascent but with the strong winds trying to knock us off, it wasn't a pleasant one. 

This has not deterred a lot of people from doing the walk, in fact, there were already walking groups and families ahead of us with children as young as three jumping from one rock to the other as they marched towards the end of the 6-kilometer long plateau. 

We loitered behind, taking on the views and snapping photos using a less sophisticated point-and-shoot camera, our Christmas present to ourselves, which did not have disappointing results. This frequent stopping meant that we had to turn around halfway through as the weather condition started deteriorating. 

The trek down was easier and halfway through, we captured a rainbow as it began to fade. Moments later when we were already in the car, rain poured like there was no tomorrow. 

The British weather is not the best in the world but at least it teaches us to be grateful for the little joys in life ~ a bit of sunshine, a glimpse of a rainbow, a 10-degree temperature ~ because they don't come often, not at the same time. 

Stanage Edge
Peak District

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