England, Life of adventure, Road Trips, Travel

Roadtrip – Surrey to Nth Yorkshire Pt 1

Another sunny day in Surrey.  It was also the day we had finished another housesit our 31st through Trusted Housesitters.

Best of all we had a few days free.   To roam as we please.

It was time to hit the road, to our first destination:


Donchester 6 (1)_edited

Heading out the gate we turned right in the direction of Dorchester-on-Thames, for no particular reason other than it was on the way, we saw the sign and thought, “Why not?”.  We could have ventured over to Oxford, then remembered we have visited there once before, though not once to Donchester.  So, it was a no-brainer, Dorchester-on-Thames it was to be, to stretch the legs and gawk at even more buildings and an abbey.  Which by the way are worth the time to find that hard to acquire car space alongside the road to stop and explore this small town on the way to somewhere.

Donchester on Thames 4_edited

The whiff from masses of scented wispy wisteria flowers growing proudly amongst old snarly wood was beautiful.  It had a relaxing effect on me as we passed the numerous buildings covered with said wisteria.  Unlike the Squire who had an ungraceful sneezing fit.



It wasn’t a long stretch of road between our first stop to our last one for the day.  Which brought us to Dunchurch village to rest our head on a fluffy pillow and a mattress not so fluffy, in a room within an ancient building which happens to be a pub called Dun Cow.

Dun Cow – The Dun Cow is named after a local myth. Legend has it that the Dun Cow was a “monstrous beast four yards high and six yards long” which provided milk to the locals. A witch made it go on a murderous rampage until it was slain by Guy, Earl of Warwick. In 1605, the Gunpowder Plotters also stayed in Dunchurch.

Once we had sorted out a different room due to a significant water stain on the ceiling, which no one seemed to know anything was wrong with the room.  Really?  The staff and manager were excellent about it, and we got an upgrade.  We were happy.  Time to check out this historic village named Dunchurch.

Dunchurch _edited


I wonder how many of you realised that a man called Guy Fawkes lived here?  Well, he did.  In a lovely posh looking house, though I have a feeling that it has had one or two spruce ups with a paintbrush.  That is one of the historic buildings another is where we are staying, and the other is The Thatched Cottage Restaurant [yes it does have a Thatched roof].  With the last one being The Green Man [where did these names come from?] Pub, which has a connection to Guy Fawkes in the form of a secret tunnel which leads to his house where Mr. Fawkes hid some explosives.

Sherwood Forest

Sherwood Forest_edited

Set in Nottinghamshire this royal forest is famous for its historical association with the legend of Robin Hood.

What fascinated us was that it has been wooded since the end of the Ice Age which is backed up by pollen sampling cores.  This National Nature Reserve encompasses 423.2 hectares, surrounding the village of Edwinstowe, the site of Thoresby Hall.

It was one forest if we chose to we could somewhat standstill with only the sound of our breathing and that of nature taking theirs.

It was indeed a mostly quiet space, not even the twang of a bow or an arrow whistling by could be heard, just the chirping birds, the rustling of leaves and moving branches as squirrels move quickly like a bolt of lightning. 

As with most things in life, it didn’t last.  The chatter of people behind us broke our peace.  Oh well, the silence was grand while it continued.  We began chatting as we waved the girls past us, as they seemed to be in more of a hurry than us.

After yesterday’s walk through Sherwood Forest, we awoke after a good sleep and an eagerness to see a part of the UK we had yet to explore.

The Peak District

On arising we soon discovered our happy smiley face sunny days had come to an end. We had a cold wind and cloud with no rain accompany us through the Peak District.  Though the weather wasn’t great for sun hats and sunscreen, it was favourable for long walks without getting overheated.  With that in mind, we set out to explore, for us, a new part of the UK.

Here are a few of the places we stopped at to enjoy the scenery.




This area reminded us so much of Clyde in the South Island of New Zealand.  Both places lost land and a part of a town/s due to the formation of a dam.  It was the beginning of a long day of a few places we wanted to explore which meant we only ventured for a short walk along the lake.

To read more about Ladybower’s lost towns go here.

Chapel en le Frith

chapel en le frith 3_edited

We enjoyed strolling through this vibrant and busy village.  Had to laugh as we were standing alone muttering to ourselves what was the name of where we were, it suddenly escaped us, and a local passing by replied and said he was trying to forget where he was.  What a funny man, we thought as we wandered off in the opposite direction.  Wondering why he would want to forget living in such a picturesque countryside village.  Each to their own as the saying goes.


Passed through quicker than we anticipated due to not finding a carpark when we did it was too isolated for our liking as we had all our luggage and more importantly our computers in the car!  Looked intriguing and noted for a return trip some time down the line.


Hope Valley walk_edited

The gateway to many walks around the countryside.  Enjoyed the quietness of our walk here, though not the wind whistling past my ears! We ventured around to Mam Tor which enlightened us on a breed of cows we have never set our eyes on before that day.  Must say they were rather cute with their motley woolly coat. Check out my Instagram to view said the cow.



I was enthralled with the many blossom trees scattered alongside the attractive stone buildings. To be honest, the trees in the UK are beautiful in spring and autumn and very plentiful in this part of the world!   As we walked up to see the castle, it was the day that they decided to close the gate for some tree chopping exercise, which we thought somewhat inconvenient for us!.


Didn’t they know we were arriving that afternoon?

Hope Valley and Town


What is not to like about a town with a gentle name such as “Hope”?  We found it amicable, not much that we could see wrong with it on our short visit.  Though I am sure, the locals could find a few things to point out.

The Hope Valley is outstanding and definitely worth a visit to walk its many hills and valley.

Next stopNorth Yorkshire, Part 2.  Which will be arriving soon to a computer near you.



42 thoughts on “Roadtrip – Surrey to Nth Yorkshire Pt 1”

  1. Some very lovely very English looking ‘postcards’ here Suzanne. I love the thatch under the horse chestnut tree in Dunchurch. I haven’t really explored Oxfordshire or the Home Counties at all. But when I worked in Sheffield I was able to escape into the Peak District for long lunches on occasions. A most beautiful part of the country. You must be in Chichester now? Another lovely area.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Jude, we always seem to find new places worth a visit on our journeys up North. The Peak District is lovely, enjoyed wandering around the small villages. Each place has something worse seeing, some more than others. It’s the unspoilt countryside of the area that is priceless!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an epic road trip, Suzanne! You saw a lot. I love the story about you standing on the street trying to remember the name of the town and the local walking by saying he wished he could forget where he was. So funny. You have some beautiful photos here, especially the stained glass windows in Dorchester-on-Thames and the cherry blossoms 🌸. I’ll link this to my next “on journey” post in June. Thanks for participating! Look forward to reading the second half of the trip. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Cathy. We have had quite a few amusing conversations with locals, especially in supermarkets 🙂


        1. Thanks, Cathy. At the moment I am having a break from a different encounter – the lawnmower 🙂


  3. What a lovely post and visit to North Yorkshire. The church windows are beautiful and I do love cherry trees and wisteria! Fabulous photography Suzanne. The whole of Yorkshire has some beautiful towns, villages and scenery, but we are being treated to some amazing weather at the moment too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sam. Our golden weather finished a couple of days ago. The temperatures dropped by half!! Not too worry it is supposed to return by next week 🌞 Good time to catch up on travel plans etc. There are some lovely villages around the area.


    1. Anabel, The Peak District is a gorgeous part of the UK. I love the small villages. So pretty!!


        1. We are in North Yorkshire until the 31st then it’s Devon for a week visiting. Then housesitting in Chichester for nearly a month. The well dressing season sounds interesting.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. It was good Janis, blew a few cobwebs out and we were ready for a bit of relax before the next one starts. Wonderful weather, well apart from the last two days. Lots of walking!

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  4. What a lovely meander. I lived very close to Dorchester for many years. The Abbey is a delight but the best pub of all run by an extremely eccentric ex wing-commander of the Royal Airforce who served good ales and wines and cooked wonderful truly British delights like HotPot and Beef Stew and Mutton and Pearl Barley casserole, Shepherds, Cottage and fish pies has gone now. I spent my honeymoon second time around in the Peak District and got poisoned by a Bakewell Pudding (never a tart if you want to speak of it authentically in it’s native area) and my mother-in-law’s maiden name was Duncalf (Scottish) ….. as ever your pictures and ramblings are a delight and since you are on familiar turf bring memories flooding back. Thank you, Suzanne 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are most welcome, Osyth. Bakewell I remember those not tarts very well!! Nothing like a good stew, us kiwi kids were brought on those. Look how well we turned out 🙂 Thanks for sharing your interesting knowledge of the area, Oysth. Brilliant!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find it hard to resist eulogizing on my home turf … and you are right – nothing beats a good stew and your Kiwi kith and kin do seem to be pretty good evidence of their value!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, to be honest, I am sure it came from the Motherland! No doubt economics had a lot to do with what we ate. Stews went a long way with a large family.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Your photos bring back so many memories as we used to holiday in Castleton and Hope regularly. Fantastic walking country all around there. Congrats on 31 house sits too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the information April. It’s the first time we have come across a Pub named after The Green Man. A bringer of good will? As people must think it is something positive or else they surely wouldn’t use it to name a pub.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, that could be a positive association for a pub especially in rural areas. Thanks for the link April, very information

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