Our younger son lives in Sheffield so we arranged to go Christmas Shopping (with a difference) together today. We met up at The Ladybower Inn then headed to a small car park beside the upper part of Ladybower Reservoir in the Derbyshire Peak District National Park.
There are good paths along the edge of the ‘lake’ and there’s a visitor centre and cafe and other facilities at the northern end of the reservoir.
A Selection of Dam Busters Books in the Visitors Centre
From there it’s a bit of a climb up to the Upper Derwent Reservoir where the ‘Dam Busters’ trained and practiced their low level flying during the Second World War.
The Upper Derwent Reservoir
Note the Derwent Dam (very loud!) in the background
“Derwent reservoir was used by the RAF’s Dambusters to practise their low level flying techniques during 1943, in preparation for delivering Barnes Wallis’ famous ‘bouncing bombs’ to German dams. Located in the West Tower of the Derwent Valley Dam is the Derwent Dam (617 Squadron) Museum which houses a collection of memorabilia dedicated to the famous Dams Raid carried out by 617 “Dambusters” Squadron.
Dam Buster’s Memorial
It includes photographs and other material covering all aspects of the Dams Raid, including details of the training flights carried out by 617 Squadron over the Derwent Dam and material relating to the film “The Dambusters” starring Richard Todd as Guy Gibson, made in 1954. There is also an example of the famous “Bouncing Bomb”, which forms the centrepiece of the museum’s display. Opening times are 10.00am to 4.00pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays only.”
[from http://www.derbyshireuk.net/derwentvalley_reservoirs.html website]
The Museum is housed in the West Tower
The museum was closed as our visit was on a Saturday but definitely worth a return visit. We climbed up to the see the West Tower and were intrigued to see a memorial to a loyal dog nearby.
The Memorial to faithful Tip
Our walk continued on the eastern side of the reservoir past a National Trust owned farm but only too soon it was time to turn back to the cars. N often runs right round Ladybower: a total of 11km including the additional 2 km to and from the car park at the Ladybower Inn. But the days are short at this time of year and we hadn’t even started our shopping.
Old House Farm
So, back at the cars we headed for Hathersage and the lovely Country Shop at David Mellor’s Round Building. I also recommend the Cafe where we had fresh warm soup and chunky bread for our late lunch. There’s also a Design Museum showcasing David Mellor’s work within the building.
The David Mellor Design Museum (yes, those are his traffic lights!) and Café
By 4 o’clock it was dark and time to head back up the M1 to Leeds. Yesterday the weather was icy and freezing cold (-3C) but with typical British contrariness today the temperature hit 8C. I’m glad I was able to make the journey without any hitches. It was well worth the trip. I hope the recipients enjoy their gifts. We certainly enjoyed shopping for them!!