the peak district | Derwent Dam + Reservoir

It was one of the places we'd not yet visited but had spoken about doing so (or rather, I'd spoken about with great appreciation for the photographs I'd often scrolled through, taken from the heavily-frequented-for-an-obvious-reason, high-above-the-reservoir - we happened not to get there, but witnessed from afar - spot), which is why, when he typed the words to me, asking 'Where?' in my response-to-his-question enthusiasm, 'Ladybower-way' tripped off my fingertips.

Settling into the car seats, layers auto-removed at the surprise strength of the evening sun. Phone out, maps on it open, we navigated our way out along familiar roads - ring, A, country - taking a right after Snake Road bridge and driving, for a mile-or-two, before turning into, and around in, the Visitor centre (our minds changed by the if-you-park-here charges), barely heading back the way we'd come to a pull-in others were making (most probably for similarly chosen reasons) use of, all of us out and ready for warm-the-skin evening sun.


Emerging beside the Twin Turrets of Derwent Dam, we marvelled at their tower-above, castle-esque dominance, over-taking two adults-and-children - the latter racing each other on their bikes - in our eagerness to start our way up the first of (many) hills. With (quite possibly Ashopton, but don't hold me to it...) viaduct for company, our footsteps traced the alongside-the-water path up and into Derwent Lane's residential area, where neighbours chatted - nodding a 'Hello!' as we passed - and dogs barked, and laundry wafted-dry on out-for-the-sun washing lines. A split-decision made at a fork in the road, we take a left over a heavy metal gate, and - to start - through long green grasses (gratitude felt for my welly-clad feet) and alongside a beautiful (forever drawn to) stone wall, every-so-often offering between-them holes that beckoned peeking-through, promising a view-and-a-half come opportunity presented.

We pause frequently to catch raggedy, working-hard breath, turning to take in our surroundings, scanning the scenes with excitement to see how much had changed from our last done-so moment, before running our hands once more along the wall, watching our way to the top of one path. Up and up, past made-before turnings and over - we're in the countryside now - turnstiles, meeting yet more fields of brush-our-knees grasses (that I softly sink into, quiet-of-movement, to capture the moments and sneaky images of M) surrounded at all time by (always eerily-echoing) bleating, skit-about sheep, their lambs watching warily beneath softly-rounded bellies, and from behind randomly-strewn rocks.

Summit reached, and after a conversation had about the marvel of nature upon which we were all-senses feasting -  feet turning, eyes catching points up, and points down - we begin to follow the steep-green, back-to-earth-once-more angle, M running - as always - as fast as he could (and here-and-there not quite missing a loose stone, stumbling over it's wobbly mass) down and away, me calling for him not to go too far (ever-panicked, 'don't leave me here!' instincts kicking in), and finding him crouched behind a wall (ready and waiting to jump out at me with a 'boo!'). Down, down, down, we go, heavy footsteps plodding at an angle most un-natural, houses appearing (a just-about-seen farmhouse to our left glanced at once, twice), paths decorated by tangled overgrowth, rocky earth underfoot, humans-be-here territory - recognised by the hums of a television, the waft of from-chimney smoke, and a red 'I wonder who exactly uses this, and how far they have to travel to do so?' post box - marking the start of our back to-the-car (and reality, once more) steps.