Months of hot summer weather had created a very dry showground but all of that changed today. Torrential rail turned the showground and camping grounds into a mudbath. Hope things have dried up by Tuesday.
Sunday lunch in Chris and Alison’s van was a great way to spend the wet day… Delicious roast.
Thursday was the official opening day of this five day event – the 50th anniversary of the show – 520 full size steam engines in total on site but the official record stated only 472 as some of the engines were not rideable. This is still a new world record. The weather was generally ok for the first three days with Saturday being the pick of the bunch. It wasn’t as warm as much of the summer but just about acceptable. The weather for Sunday looks a little more ominous…
GDSF Saturday – beautiful weather / view across the camping grounds.
The quietest area to grab some food and drink (especially some exquisite cider) was the Food Hall area. To be honest, there’s no shortage of street food (of varying quality) throughout the entire Steam Fair.
A summary of the first few days is documented in the many pictures below.
We are en-route to the Great Dorset Steam Fair. An event highly recommended by our next door neighbours and some friends we met out in Spain (Chris and Alison).
We arrived at Summerlands Camping and Caravanning site following about a 2 hour drive from North Hampshire. The campsite is located south of Salisbury and close to the A354, which will be the route of our short journey to the Steam Fair tomorrow.
Summerlands Caravan and Camping site
This is a lovely site with a small and pristinely kept toilet block consisting of two toilets and a shower in both the Mens and Ladies sections.
Summerlands Shower block
This is our last piece of civilisation before the show. The view from our van is stunning.
Summerlands – view from our van…
Our friends (due to the height of their “horsebox”) are parked up in the rally field.
Dinner was at the Fox and Goose, Coombe Bissett. Very good pub grub.
Monday morning and a prompt start to Bakewell with Paul and Andrea. It was market day and the town and car parks were heaving. So too were the cafes so having failed to find somewhere for a coffee and bite to eat, we headed to the supermarket and purchased our “picnic kit”.
We then found a wonderful spot alongside the River Wye to enjoy our ham and cheese rolls, followed by Bakewell tart.
After the impromptu picnic we headed up to the “All Saints Parish” church in Bakewell.
All Saints Parish Church, Bakewell
On our way back to the car, we couldn’t help but admire the multitude of large fish in the river. Apparently a mixture of Brown and Rainbow trout with many specimens looking to be around 20lbs in weight.
We had hoped to stop at a nice country pub on the way back but everywhere was closed. In the end, we headed into Ashbourne and sat outside an inn on the market square. Unusually the pub had a pool table free to use. Sadly my pool wasn’t quite up to the professional standards required to beat Paul…
It’s been a considerable time since mining was a core activity in this part of the world but maybe a couple of icons remain. One seems to be a local estate agent – Scargill and co – any relation perhaps?
The other is the Miners Arms at Carsington village and Wednesday night is steak night. The steak was magnificent – we all had the filet – and very keenly priced.
If you are in this part of the world on a Wednesday evening, pay the Miners Arms a visit.
It might seem a little extreme to cycle a 37 mile round trip to the pub for lunch but whilst the Ploughmans lunch at the Royal Oak was exceptional, the bike ride was truly spectacular.
The Royal Oak, Hurdlow
Leaving the CMC site at Carsington Water, we headed clockwise around Britain’s newest reservoir, Carsington Water, opened by the Queen in 1992.
At the village of Carsington we left the cycle path and headed north to the HIgh Peak trail.
The High Peak Railway line first opened in 1831 and was mainly designed to carry minerals and goods between Cromford Canal and the Peak Forest Canal. Following the closure of the line, the Peak District National Park bought the route in 1971 and turned it into a traffic free trail for walkers and cyclists.
The High Peak Trail runs for 17 miles from Dowlow (53.2059°N 1.8349°W) near Buxton to High Peak Junction at Cromford (53.1004°N 1.5354°W).
High Peak cycle ride…
The evening was spent at the Barley Mow pub, Kirk Ireton. It is still owned by the same elderly couple but much of the day-to-day operations are carried out by their daughter. We chatted to both Jen and her father Tony, who’s still as bright as a button!