Tag Archives: Matlock

Rehabilitation near Riber…

Looking after Gran has kept me mightily busy this week, in fact today is the first time I have had chance to blog now I am happy all my chores are done, ha, ha. So while I will catch up properly with you all over the weekend (when I am back home for a bit) I thought I would leave you with the view that we have had this week of Riber Castle from Grans house.

Riber 1Stunning isn’t it? Hope you are all well? Been up to much? Reading anything good

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An Enchanted Walk in One of Derbyshire’s Secret Places…

As I am off to see Granny Savidge Reads in hospital today, she has been there for about fifteen weeks now bless her, I thought that I would share some pictures from the last visit we had back in August. My home town of Matlock Bath and Matlock are some of my favourite places to go back to because it was so fairytale like for me as a child and when I went on this most recent trip I took The Beard to see one of the still rather unknown hidden gems of Derbyshire.

First though, as we went there that weekend too, I will just remind you all of my childhood home that sits on Mason Hill in Matlock Bath which will illustrate just how magical a place it was (made all the more so as my Granddad, Bongy, would make up magical tales about the area), see for yourselves.

Being surrounded by trees and with the owners of The Heights of Abraham allowing me to use the park, its caves, secret hiding places etc as my own playground (as they were our neighbours) it did feel like being in a Grimm tale, without the tragic ending. When my grandparents sold it I was distraught but just down the road from my Grans new house (I say new she has been there for years) is somewhere that appeals to me even more as an adult. It is the spooky, and oh so well hidden, ruins of Lumsdale Mills.

The Bone Mill, pictured above is possibly my favourite of them all as it has something a little Blair Witch like about it and even when the sun is shining it remains rather ethereal because of all the trees that surround it. This is from the 16th century and from its name you can guess what it was used for, however just the name ‘Bone Mill’ makes me think of a good grisly murder story or horror novel (maybe it could inspire me to write one, who knows), the oldest however is the old Paint Mill…

As you walk through from the first to the fifth mill you also walk alongside one of the most beautiful set of waterfalls (please don’t let my most strange attire that morning distract you from the natural beauty in the picture, ha).

The waterfalls descend along with you the whole way, though I am rather annoyed that I couldn’t get a picture that truly does them justice.

These were of course used for both the water mill and the flour mill which you reach when you get to the very bottom.

What is amazing about it is the silence that hits you when you are there. We walked through it at about 9am and we only met one other man and his dog who we had a lovely chat with and who said ‘no one knows this is here, and we kind of like it like that.’ Oops. What is nice is that the Arkwright Society have recently taken over the spot and while it won’t be restored they are going to ‘freeze’ it so that it remains just like this forever. Well apart from throwing in a few things like handrails by the paths to make it safe. Indeed you must walk all the way up you came down but with even the pathways looking beautiful you don’t mind. You feel you are trapped in some other-worldly time. Its quite special.

Oh and watch out as you ascend on your way back for this…

This is the Wishing Stone, and it too has many tales and local legends centred round it! One of which is that if you touch it and wish, whatever you wish may come true. The Beard has a go but alas he turned around and I was still there. Ha! Anyway I thought as I was off to Derbyshire today I would share some of it with you. I will send Gran your best wishes as ever and report back on how she is doing.

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The Murder Spots of Matlock with Special Guest Ray Robinson

Now if you are thinking that I have gone completely off my rocker then do bear with me. This isn’t as weird a post as it may sound and if you are after pictures of the gorgeous English countryside then today’s post should be up your street, as should it if you like the slightly spooky/creepy side of it too. You see last weekend I found myself on the Transpeak from Manchester and through the sunny countryside…

Off to my home town of Matlock, unusually not for a weekend with Granny Savidge Reads but to stay with my aunty who lives on the opposite side of the valley. I was also off to meet an author and possibly make a new pal, though I am so not good at first meetings. Anyway I was back in my home town, where by randomness the author Ray Robinson (and International Man of Mystery – he wasn’t even in his own Fiction Uncovered interview video, so I have labelled him so) has been staying. How did I know this? Well after I reviewed his novel ‘Forgetting Zoe’, Ray emailed me to say thanks (lovely when authors do this, yet slightly weird as you forget they might read what you wrote) and to ask me, being from the Peaks, I knew Matlock because he is researching a character and a murder scene setting there. So we agreed that when I was next in town I should say hello and help him hunt possible murder spots. This meant, as it was in my brain, that everywhere became a possible murder spot, like the normally idyllic park we call ‘The Whitworth’…

The old Peak Trail, only used for a steam engine for tourists, suddenly started to look like something out of one of those American Southern Gothic novels, especially in the unusual sunshine…

Especially with the spooky old carriages down a rather spooky path…

In fact it became a game of ‘where’s a good murder spot’ with my aunty, two cousins (aged 10 and 7 – what am I doing to their minds) and I all weekend. A walk up the never-ending hill to Riber Castle supplied a great view of the whole area…

And also the old ruins of a castle (which isn’t as old as it looks and is becoming swanky flats no one normal could afford) which could make a perfect setting…

Eventually myself and the international man of mystery and writer Ray Robinson met up and went for a long walk through the dales so we could chat, hunt a few possible murder sites out and pop to a pub or two. I did manage to get a picture of a glimpse of the author and man of mystery at one random old derelict house by the River Derwent, please excuse the graffiti…

We also had a random toilet stop in a place that looked like it could have come straight out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre…

And then a creepy old Psycho like house where someone was collecting lots of books in the dark recesses of their abode. It was a really creepy old building…

In the end we set down in a pub, well a few pubs actually to chat about books, publishing, our childhoods, inane sillyness and more. The only thing was we both had one too many of these (I’m so not the professional I should be)…

So what did I learn about this author for you, well after hours and hours of nattering away I’m afraid the only things specific to the blog I learned were that Ray’s favourite word is ‘elbow’ (I am not sure if they are his favourite band though) and that his favourite book is ‘Underworld’ by Don Delillo which I have never tried because its huge and looks a bit too, erm, intellectual for me. Maybe I should give it a whirl? I know I should have done better, I didn’t even get my copies of his books signed, I did bring you all some nice photos though and had a lovely lot of hours, which flew by, just nattering away and laughing a lot what more could you ask for of a weekend away back in your hometown?

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