We enjoyed a rather cold and strenuous bicycle ride in the Peak District this past weekend. We took 5 hours to complete the 40km loop around Hathersage, which included steep ascends and descents, climbing 1000m in altitude, cycling over muddy fields and grassy descents, and just about everything we had anticipated – plus some!
In the end, once our ears were defrosted and the Grand National was run, we all enjoyed a hot shower, drink and food in the evening, and shared a proud sense of accomplishment.
The main feature which makes the Peak District so attractive, along with many other parts of rural Britain, is the fact that there is very little forest which would otherwise hide the rough landscape, or prevent it from becoming such a rugged thing. Most of it is bare of trees, or at least not featuring dense and large forested areas. The pretty hills are covered with grass and shrubs (and sheep) instead, exposing the rocky and rough-edged mountains.
A quick Internet search reveals that, indeed, the whole of Britain once was covered with forests which grew after the last ice age, and being gradually but efficiently diminished by the vast demand for fuel, building material and timber for many other applications by the Romans.
So, now we know one more thing the Romans did for us: chopped down all the trees.
Not sure if I should be angry or grateful for it.
- Julia Bradbury Launches New Friends of the Peak District Website (uk.prweb.com)
- The 50 Best walking holidays (independent.co.uk)
- Grand National photo-finish marred by deaths (independent.co.uk)
- “Late Afternoon on the Moorland” – Peak District, United Kingdom – Les Wilcockson – Featured Photographer (photobotos.com)