We set off for our next adventure at just after 4.00pm on Friday evening. As we crossed over the A1 we could see that the traffic was stationary so we cut across country and arrived at Upper Hurst Campsite at Hulme End at about 6.30pm. After booking in and selecting our pitch Richard quickly set up the barbecue and started cooking. We had brought sausages and burgers with us from Ancaster Butchers; they were delicious and were washed down perfectly with a bottle of red wine (of course!).
After a good nights sleep, only slightly disturbed by some geriatric revellers singing ‘Daisy, Daisy’ and ‘Pack up your troubles’, we had our customary breakfast burritos. We then unloaded our bikes and set off to Hulme End to pick up the beginning of the Manifold Way.
The Manifold Way is part of an old railway line and is reasonably easy riding. the weather was perfect and we reached the end of the trail at Waterhouses in good time. Unfortunately, there is not a cafe at the end of the trail so we decided to ride back to one we had passed earlier. This is when, for some inexplicable reason, I decided to throw myself off my bike and onto the main road. This caused a major shock to both Richard and the lorry driver, who was heading at speed down the hill. Richard hauled me out of the way and the driver managed to go around me. I was left with a bleeding knee and wounded pride. We cycled back to Lee House Farm Teashop and had a much needed cup of tea sat in the beautiful garden and enjoying the sunshine before resuming our journey back. The ride including the ride from the campsite to the Manifold Way was about 19 miles.
After some lunch at the campsite we set off to Hartington, a pretty village just over the border in Derbyshire. We bought some cheese from the Hartington Cheese Shop, including some Hartington Stilton, some Smoked Peakland White and some Swaledale Goats. We then popped over to Ashbourne, one of my favourite market towns and had a wander.
On Saturday evening we had arranged to meet some friends (and also Richard’s relations). Carole and Roger live locally and it was great to have the chance to meet and to catch up. We met at Manifold Inn in Hulme End. It was a lovely evening; good food, good wine and great company.
Sunday morning arrived after another good night’s sleep. The cooler temperature had obviously persuaded the revellers to curb their karaoke and have an early night. We had breakfast and loaded up the van and set off home. It had been another fantastic weekend.
The campsite was really good. Great facilities and not too big. The views in all directions were stunning and we had some interesting neighbours, some alpacas and some Jacob’s sheep. The journey time of two hours is perfect for a weekend trip and Staffordshire is one of our favourite parts of the country.