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The Peak District, a place to relax, to escape, and enjoy long English countryside walks. As some people may know, it was Britain’s first National Park and the ‘breathing space’ for people who worked in the city and needed to escape the fast pace of urban life. You may think that visiting the countryside for the weekend can become repetitive, however, the Peak District consists of views that you cannot find anywhere else in England. Surrounded by spectacular scenery, curative spa waters, gushing rivers and wild woodland, you could be lost for hours exploring every inch of site. It is also a destination that can be visited all year round; from spring and summer when all the flowers are blossoming, to being met by snow covered mountain tops and ice frozen lakes.
Rich in history the Peak District was soon ‘discovered’ by writers and travellers seeking inspiration and something different. Many famous writers came here and used the epic views as inspiration for their work. The District was met by writers such as Jane Austin, Charlotte Bronte and Chatsworth, who wrote novels both in the Romantic and Gothic style.
There’s a variety of different things you can do and places to explore whilst visiting the Peak District. Why not visit Sheffield Botanical Gardens, where you are met by a large variety of different species of flowers and plants, or visit Treak Cliff Cavern, famous throughout the world for its unique and large deposits of Blue John stone, housing some of the most beautiful cave formations found in the UK. There so much to do however, and selected our favourite places to visit:
Ladybower Reservoir is a large Y-shaped reservoir in the Upper Derwent Valley, at the heart of the Peak District National Park. The reservoir was built between 1935 and 1943 and was officially opened by King George VI on 24th September 1945. The reservoir was constructed due to the heavy demand for water from industrial towns surrounding the Peak District. With its long, deep valley, high average rainfall and low population level, Ladybower was seen as an ideal location for the storage of water. Ladybower Reservoir is surrounded by stunning countryside with magnificent views of water, woodland and moorland. The area is a magnet for outdoor-lovers and there many circular walking and cycling routes nearby, plus stunning viewpoints such as Bamford Edge.
Snake Pass is a hill pass in the Derbyshire section of the Peak District, (cross the Pennines between Glossop and the Ladybower Reservoir at Ashopton). This is a popular path for travellers when coming to visit the Peak District, due to its stunning scenery and twisting roads. Be on the lookout straight away as one of the best views starts at the descent into Glossop from where you can see Manchester and beyond on a clear day. Be careful if you are travelling by car as it is quite dangerous, especially during the winter months.
One of our Gandys Ambassadors Amelia, travel enthusiast, writer and explorer discusses her experiences of travel, tips and Gandys:
WHAT DRIVES YOU TO EXPLORE AND TRAVEL?
I grew up travelling, we moved to a new house and country every four years and I was lucky enough to be brought up in, and travel to some of the most incredible locations in the world. Including;
Jamaica, Dubai, Cuba, Jordan and many others. Ever since then I have been driven to see as much as I possibly can. Travel is the most important thing to me and I thrive in different environments and discovering new cultures is always an amazing experience.
WHAT TRAVEL ESSENTIALS DO YOU BRING ON EVERY TRIP?
My travel essentials are pretty few. I have been living out of my van for the last year or so and it has made me really think about what I actually need. My Omni Charge portable charger, my camera and various lenses (including at least one film camera), comfy clothes to travel in and snacks... always snacks! In the UK my dog is the most important thing, my first and best adventure buddy, where possible I won’t leave her behind.
WHAT DID GANDYS STAND OUT FOR YOU?
I am always on the lookout for brands that look good and do good. The story behind Gandy’s both shocked and inspired me. I have a lot of respect for people who overcome their own hardships, and then push to help others who are in the same situation. Travel is one of the most eye opening and rewarding experiences and a brand that bases their work and products around adventure and helping others is one that I will always be drawn to.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU HAVE FOR SOMEONE NEW TO THE TRAVELLING SCENE?
Travelling is awesome! But naturally, there’s always going to be risk involved, no matter where in the world you are. My main advice would be research, research and more research. Whether it be a hiking holiday or planning a backpacking trip through some far-flung country. You cannot know enough about the place you are heading to. Respect is another vital piece of advice. Learn the basics of the country's native language, it shows you are willing to adapt to their culture and trying to show your appreciation for their hospitality. Another is dress code. Growing up in the middle east was a real insight into how much cultures differentiate and how vital it is to take this into account. What is ok in the western world can be deemed really offensive in other countries. This is all really serious, so my last piece of advice is to have fun, enjoy your trip. Take loads of photos but don’t forget to live in the moment and don’t take yourself too seriously.