A Spa Town and Snow

If there’s one lesson we learned while travelling in Arizona in our RV, it was to avoid areas of high elevation in the winter.  The higher you go, the colder it gets.  We don’t pack up and leave Canada for 5 months each winter in search of cold and snow, I’ll tell you (especially not when we were living in, essentially, a tin can with facilities).

Lessons learned can be soon forgotten.

As we approached the lovely town of Buxton last week, our friend announced, “Buxton is the highest town in the UK.”  Wait.  What?  Highest as in elevation?  In February?  You have got to be kidding me.  In retrospect, I suppose we might have made the connection, seeing as Buxton is “the gateway to the Peak District National Park” (known for, you know, peaks), but we just hadn’t thought that one through.
image

No worries, we checked in to our B&B, the Roseleigh, overlooking the pretty Pavilion Gardens.  If we craned our necks a little, we could actually see one of the park’s little lakes, the water fowl, and the expanses of lawn from our window.  Of course, we were looking through the single pane window that let in just enough cool air to add to our special connection with nature.

image

image

We spent the rest of the afternoon exploring the park, the historic buildings downtown, and sampling the water at St. Anne’s Well.  I’m not sure about the healing properties of the warm spring water that flows freely for the residents of Buxton (according to an Act of Parliament) but you can’t ignore the water’s historic importance.
image

The spring was the key feature that lead to this town eventually growing to over 20,000. As far back as the Romans, people have believed the waters had restorative properties and, eventually, a spa town developed.  Buxton Hall was built for the Earl of Shrewsbury in 1572.  Bath houses with spa facilities, a theatre, a hospital, and shops were added.  Presto! This little town became very fashionable and has been a tourist destination ever since.

In addition to the springs and access to the National Park, Buxton is also home to Poole’s Cavern.  We have toured a few of these underground marvels (including the breath-taking Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, and Kartchner Caverns in Arizona), and they are truly fascinating and, usually, quite warm.  Naturally, we decided we’d rather climb an additional 400 feet or so up Grin Low to Solomon’s Temple. This website will tell you (in addition to some very interesting history) that the tower has no practical purpose, but everyone knows you visit it for stunning views of the surrounding area.
image

image

After climbing these 64 steps (about 5 flights), we could feel our little hearts beating.  It’s easy to tell that it’s been 2 years since we were hiking the mountains of Arizona on a regular basis.
image

While these roots made very handy footholds, I actually offered a silent apology to the trees for trampling on their feet.  I don’t suppose all of our hiking boots are doing the poor things any good.
image

image

Witness the joy we felt as we reached the top and the snow swirled around us.  We were also gleefully aware that the snow was quickly hiding our foot steps, and the fog was making it hard to see where we had just come from.
image

image

We made it.  Our destination: Solomon’s Temple.

Now, to climb up and enjoy the views.  Of course, by this point, we were happy just to see the damned tower.  The promise of seeing for 50 miles had now been reduced to nothing more than a cruel joke.

image

image

Ah, the wonder and natural beauty of the Peak District.  What a fantastic activity for this wintry morning, ladies! Let’s look out from the other side of the tower for another spectacular view!
image

On the plus side, there were very few other people trekking up the hill on that morning! We had this practically all to ourselves.  The fog blanketed us in peace and quiet, making the experience truly beautiful and a bit surreal.

All was not lost, the next morning was cold and almost sunny (given the options of a British winter, we prefer this weather combo to snow or rain with heavy clouds). Good weather is best spent outdoors putting feet to pavement and checking out the rest of the town, starting with another stroll through the park.
image

 

image

 

image

It’s always good to know where one can find good stabling when selecting the perfect public house.

By now, you know that I’m not likely to visit an historic town without paying my respects to those who were there long before I was.

image

image

 

On this cheerful note, I will mention that we have relocated.  We had a fabulous couple of months with the 3 kitties in Heysham, and to be honest, it’s always a little hard to leave.  We really get attached to our furry friends, but are lucky to have been invited to look after a new little character.  For more on this, please check out the updated “Where am I now?” page.

Stay tuned for more adventures!

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “A Spa Town and Snow

  1. But you did get to leave the peak and see green grass at the end of the day. Nice. So lush looking there.

    Super warm here too. Was standing at the bus station yesterday (in my short fuschia jacket) with bare hands. In February. It is supposed to go to plus 3 this afternoon. A pretty easy winter here this year.

    Spain – fantastic.

    When do you two fly home to Canada?

    Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone.

    Like

  2. We continue our travels until April 14. We need to get home in time to start seeds for the garden.

    Nice that you’re enjoying such a mild winter.

    Like

  3. I love Buxton! Spent many up to no good moments here in my teens, living in the Peak District …somehow the views were lost on me then.
    Really great photos Leah!!

    Like

  4. Fascinated by 5 Floors of Books, and assuming that the basement and attic count. Tell me you at least went in. Honestly, if I ever won the lottery I’d buy myself a narrow elderly Diagon Alley-ish building that leans 6 degrees to port and open a book shop. I’d fit it out with a fireplace, several cats, wing chairs and afternoon tea for regulars. I’d have an entire section on the occult and wear a ratty cardigan with patched elbows and I wouldn’t give a shit if the shop made any money or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. For some reason, I couldn’t just reply to your post, but it is letting me reply to Sue’s comment. Oh well, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your posts. Your descriptions of the places are great and I love your pictures. I am traveling vicariously through you to places I know that I will never be able to see in person. Thank you.

    Like

  6. Not at the top of my list of things to do with my lottery win, but I would certainly visit your store!

    If I had had more time, I would have gone in. I knew I would need an hour or two. At least I thought of you as we walked past.

    Like

  7. The view from the temple was … different that what one would hope for. On the other hand you had the place for yourself which is a great thing. I hope you had a good hot cuppa after your walk?!

    Like

  8. Thank you. Yes, the view. Ha ha. This would be a perfect example of why we generally prefer what we call ‘slow travel’ – spend a lot more time in a location, so we can pick the best time for certain experiences. If I’d had a few more days in Buxton, I certainly would have done indoors things that day, and saved the tower for a sunny afternoon. Oh well. Make the most of it. It was still a beautiful morning.

    Like

  9. You had me giggling throughout. Can’t say I’ve been THERE and done that, but definitely done that. As for the anvil building and the fallen cross, well, I thought we had crooked buildings and sliding land in San Francisco, but those have quite shifted.

    Like

  10. It’s surprising more things are sliding around and falling to ruin, considering how old things are here. At home, we think a 100 year old house old. Ha! That’s nothing.

    Like

Please jump in with a comment, a question, or a suggestion. I'd love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s