Day 1 - 4 Oct 2021
Content: If you love nature and cute little villages with cobbled streets, this is the perfect place. And even if you don’t drive, like me, it’s still super easy to get to most places by public transport and on a budget.
Day 1 - 4 Oct 2021
Content: The first day, I arrived in Sheffield by train from Leicester around 11am and I decided to go to Bakewell which is a market town famous for its Bakewell Pudding as well as its picturesque location and nature surroundings.
Content: When I arrived, I was surprised at how busy it was for a Monday. I walked around for a bit, visited the Visitor Centre and then started walking along the river towards Hassop Station.
Content: It took about 30 minutes to walk there and there was a footpath along the road. I rented a bike so I could follow the Monsal Trail and it cost £15 for 2 hours or £19 for 4 hours. Apart from the bike hire, there was also a cafe with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, and a lovely gift shop as well. There were also a lot of picnic benches so you can take your own lunch. The traffic free trail started right next to the bike shop and it’s about 8 miles long. There were people cycling both directions, and a lot of people walking on the trail as well.
Content: I rode the bike back to the hire centre, and then walked back to the village. I went into the famous Original Bakewell Pudding Shop but they had run out of vegan options unfortunately. I walked around a bit more, took photos and then took the bus back to Sheffield.
Day 1 - 4 Oct 2021
Content: I chose Sheffield as a base as you can easily access the national park from there. I usually stay in hostels when I travel alone but I couldn't seem to find any in Sheffield for the day I was going. However, I found an affordable hotel in a lovely neighbourhood near the city centre. The hotel is called Jonas and it was £45 per night for a room with a private bathroom. The receptionist was really polite and friendly and the room was clean and comfortable.
Day 2 - 5 Oct 2021
Content: The next morning I woke up around 7am and took the first bus to Castleton around 7:55. Castleton is a beautiful village on the western side of the Hope Valley in the Peak District National Park. It’s one of the most popular places to visit in the area and there are a lot of things to do and see. I got bus 272 from “Ecclesall Road/Junction Road” bus stop which was about a 10-minute walk from the hotel. However, you can get the bus from Sheffield Interchange if it’s closer to where you are staying. The journey took about an hour and the ticket cost £5 for a day ticket. And again, the views were stunning on the way there. I always love to sit in the front seat at the top of the bus. There are buses to Castleton every 1-2 hours depending on the time of day and the last one back is at 22:30 but this might change depending on when you go.
Content: When I got there, there was no one around as it was still 9am and none of the shops were open either. This was the perfect opportunity for me to set up my tripod and take photos and videos in this picturesque village. I fell in love with it. The little stone houses, cobbled streets and bright green hills in the backdrop.
Day 2 - 5 Oct 2021
Content: After walking around for a bit and taking tons of photos, I walked to Winnats Pass which took about 15 minutes on a straight road with a footpath. It was stunning. The photos really don’t do it justice.
Content: Right next to it, it was the start of the Mam Tor trail. One of the most popular walks in the area, and I’m not surprised why as the views were beautiful. As it had rained during the night, everything was muddy and it was quite slippery so make sure you wear steady shoes. I sat on a rock and had some lunch which I had bought from Sainbsburys in the morning before the bus. I had a soft pretzel, a pack of cut up fruit, and chocolate covered almonds.
Day 2 - 5 Oct 2021
Content: After that, I did something completely outside my comfort zone. Everyone who knows me, knows that I am very claustrophobic. But somehow I found myself signing up for a boat tour in a cave, at the Speedwell Cavern which was just at the entry of Winnats Pass. The ticket cost £16 per person and booking online is recommended as they sell out fast. However, I decided at the last minute and asked at the gift shop if they had something available, and luckily they had a slot an hour from then. I walked around and took loads of photos with my tripod and then made my way back to the gift shop.
Content: When I got there, the tour guide welcomed the group, about 15 of us, and gave us hard hats to wear. Masks also had to be worn. We went down a lot of stairs and got to the little wooden boat. Once we got on it, the tour guide explained some health and safety guidelines and off we went. We went through a very narrow tunnel so we had to keep ducking down, and the tour guide told us about the history and stories of the cave and the old mine. Going through the narrow tunnel took about 20 minutes, and then we got off in the centre of the cave where we stayed for about 25 minutes. The guide gave us some more information about it and then gave us time to look around and take photos. Then we hopped on the boat and went back. I was really surprised with myself that I wasn't too scared and didn’t feel too claustrophobic. However, my legs were shaking a bit while in the centre cave and then after the tour for a few hours. But I did enjoy it and I am proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort zone and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is visiting Castleton.
Content: After the cavern, I walked back to the village and went into the Visitor Centre. I looked around the gift shop as they had some lovely souvenirs, and there was also a little museum as well which was very interesting.
Day 2 - 5 Oct 2021
Content: After that, I decided to walk to the next village, Hope. There is a public footpath that you can follow which takes you to Hope Village and goes through fields of sheep. It took me about 40 minutes to walk and I enjoyed every minute of it as the views were beautiful and it was just so peaceful.
Content: Once I got there, I went to a lovely cafe called The Grasshopper Cafe, and sat out in their garden. They had loads of vegan options which was one of the reasons I chose to go there. I ordered a warm chocolate and nut banana bread topped with vegan yogurt fruit coulis and granola, a butterbean and spinach sausage roll, and a decaf oat latte. The staff were really friendly and everything tasted amazing.
Day 3 - 6 Oct 2021
Content: Two cities that I really wanted to visit were Liverpool and Manchester so my partner and I decided to go for two days. We took the coach from Coventry to Birmingham Bus Station which took about an hour and we had about half an hour to explore a bit of the centre. Then we took the coach from there to Liverpool which took about 2,5 hours.
Content: When we arrived in Liverpool, we went straight to Mathew Street where the Beatles Museum is. The entry cost £15 per person (or £10 if you are a student). You can find more information about the museum, including prices and opening times on their website.
Content: We then walked down to the waterfront where we took the views and had a stroll around the little shops at Albert Dock. We had a local beer at Turncoat Bar’s patio while we enjoyed the sunshine and watched the paddle boarders go by.
Content: We had dinner at an all-you-can-eat Pan Asian buffet at Bon Pan in Clayton Square and it was amazing. There were plenty of vegan options and everything tasted great.
Content: After dinner we headed towards our accommodation and stopped at an Irish pub called The Liffey Bar where they had live music. While we were there, a lovely man sat down next to us and told us about his job as a magician. He was kind enough to show us some magic tricks with his cards which was fun.
Content: We stayed in the International Inn which was £50 a night for 2 people and it was about a 15-minute walk to the city centre. Usually you can find loads of cheap stays in Liverpool, however, as I mentioned earlier, because of the festival going on that weekend, the prices were a little higher than usual.
Day 4 - 7 Oct 2021
Content: The journey to Manchester took about an hour. When we arrived, we spent a few hours at the shops in Arndale shopping centre. I particularly enjoyed looking around the food court in Harvey Nichols and the view from there was lovely. We also visited Central Perk from the “Friends” television show in Primark.
Content: While we were walking around the city centre, looking at all the street murals, we came across the Manchester Food and Drink Festival. There are many different food and drink stalls including a few vegan ones. I treated myself to some vegan chocolate from Cocoa & Bloom and they were so pretty! I had the pina colada one, a dark chocolate and blueberry, and a millionaire’s shortbread and they tasted incredible. We also played a throwing game where we won a free beer from Sixes Cricket Club which was just down the street from the festival.
Content: After exploring Manchester for a few more hours, we went to V Rev, a 100% vegan diner on Edge Street. I got the banoffee milkshake and then we got the jumbo hot dog topped with mac n cheese and bacon, the chicken burger, and baconnaise fries to share. The staff were friendly and the food was delicious.
Content: In the evening, we walked through China Town, and headed to the bus station where we got the coach back to Birmingham and then to Leicester.
Day 5 - 8 Oct 2021
Content: I went to Leicester for the day and absolutely loved it. You can get to Leicester by bus or train from most places in England as it is well connected.
Content: Situated in the All Saints Church in Leicester City Centre, “Van Gogh - The Immersive Experience” is a 360 degree exhibition which showcases the artist’s life and art in a unique sound and light show. The tickets cost £13 or £11 for students and at the end of the exhibition you can do a VR experience of the artist’s life in Arles, for an extra £3.
Content: I then went to Prana, an 100% vegan cafe where I did some work on my laptop for a few hours. I had a matcha latte and a vegan chocolate log cake. It was soo tasty.
Content: After that, I wondered around the Old Town of Leicester and learned about the city’s history through the many attractions such as the King Richard III Visitor Centre, Guildhall, Leicester Cathedral, and Castle Gardens. This area is also famous for the discovery of King Richard III in a car park.
Day 6 - 9 Oct 2021
Content: The next day, I spent the day in Hinckley, a small market town in Leicestershire.
Content: I walked to the Triumph Factory Visitor Experience where I did an immersive tour and learned about the journey of each motorcycle, from the initial concept to the final manufacturing. It’s a great way to learn about the company and its culture as well as see some of the famous motorcycles such as the one featuring in the latest James Bond film No Time to Die. The guided factory tour is £20 per person and must be booked in advance. The exhibition is free to visit and you can also enjoy a coffee and cake at the cafe. You can get there by taking bus 158 from Leicester Bus Station to “Beaumont Avenue “ bus stop and then it’s about a 20-minute walk to the factory.
Content: After the Triumph Factory, I walked back into the town centre and sat at a cafe called Stockwells where I had a chai latte with oat milk. I did some work for a couple of hours.
Content: After that, I walked around the town a bit more.