Around this time of year, it all gets a bit hectic. Speed-buying presents, cramming as many parties in as possible, clients realising that Christmas holidays are around the corner and panicking accordingly. Somewhere along the line, you kind of forget to think, breathe a little.

For our Christmas do” this year we took in some proper North East Derbyshire institutions on a foggy, frosted, rain-whipped morning — proper clean your mind and lungs weather.

Grindleford, morning


We started the day off with breakfast at Grindleford Station Cafe. A legendarily grumpy outpost packed with more rules than , where there can be no changes to the Full English and mushrooms are verboten.

Café hours

After pints of tea, basking in the reassuring grease-miasma of fried slices and bacon, we headed out into National Trust land.

In various states of readiness — country-living Charles donned in all the wet-weather gear, James borrowed boots and I wore a coat that looks waterproof but is anything but — we took off into Padley Gorge.


Striding over frozen mulch, iced puddles and the occasional helpful stone staircase — all whilst being presented with the effortless Sublime of the Peak District — is a good way to freshen up your mind.


Stream, also

Hints of civilisation

The romanticism of the great outdoors dissipated a little when we reached the top in Fox House, fully exposed to the elements and windlashed with rain.

Open summit

We ended the walk at The Fox House, where we took on Christmas-style dinners, plenty of drink and the odd round of .


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