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Splendid afternoon on Folkestone Harbour Arm

The Inn Doors
Follow our progress here... a surprisingly sunny day, I thought there was supposed to be an extreme weather warning for today?

Started with lunch at Follies on the harbour arm, pizza for the boys and a pizza bread to share for us. Then on to second lunch at Dr Legumes, an amazing seitan burger for me and a massive salad for Clare, really really good. Then a walk up and down the old high street. Good grief the contrast between the nice bit of town where we were and suddenly being in the grim town centre really struck me today.

Went in the new micropub in Sandgate on the way home. There's a micropub in Sandgate! It's called the Inn Doors and it's where the Fancy Dress shop used to be. Looks good, had four beers on, plus a choice of cider and wine too. Best of luck to them I will be back as soon as I can.
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We went to Bakewell, The Peak District, Derbyshire

Here's my write up of our holiday 2015, to Bakewell in Derbyshire. Best way to get an impression of this is probably just take a look at the photos.

Lovely holiday so far. I'm starting to write this up on the second day, the boys are in bed and Clare is out for a drink with her Dad.

The drive up was dull, but hot. Lots of roadworks on the M1 meaning a bit of a plod up to Bakewell.

Our cottage, is great, proper cottagey. It's really old and has all the period features, but was renovated in 2000 or so, so it has all the features southern softies like us need, like fancy lighting and a wet room. Clare and I have the main bedroom with the en suite, then Jim has a room and Harry and Tommy are sharing one too. The rooms are big, it's a surprisingly big place. It's over at least four floors, with an open basement type area with a study and storage area, then two receptions on the ground floor both with open fires. From there we can go up one half staircase to the modern kitchen, or up a proper twisty staircase to two bedrooms and a bathroom, with sunken bath. Then up to our room at the top.

It's called Church Cottage, lots of pictures here. It's right opposite the church though the bells being run every fifteen minutes are not too loud. We're about one minute away from the centre of town too. Bakewell is nice, and there are loads of pubs, though it's very quiet after about 5pm.

Have tried out a few of the pubs already. We went in The Red Lion, mostly to get out of the rain on our first day. It's a nice enough pub with two bars, and we are probably going to eat there soon. That day we ate at H's Wine Bar. It was nice enough but my arrabiata was a bit dull. We took the boys home after diner and as Clare and Jim put them to bed I went out again, and Clare joined me. I started at The Queens Arms, then we went in another when Clare joined me, and then headed home.

Today, our second day, we've been to Gulliver's Kingdom, a theme park. Basically it is exactly the same as Disneyland. I am gently mocking, it's a bit dated, but it was spot on for the boys, a great day out for them. It was not too busy, so there were no queues for anything. Harry and Tommy went on loads of rides, that they loved, and not just tea cups and things. Harry had a few goes on a proper roller coaster, and even I went on one, that shot you up in the air and dropped you down again. Harry had a go with Mummy then decided he wanted to go on with. I tried to get out of it but couldn't let him down.

Harry and I also did the Nerf zone, much shooting fun, but it got a bit too rowdy in there, Harry got knocked over a couple of times, so we left early.

It started to rain towards the end of our trip to Gulliver's, and we stuck it out for a bit but were about ready to leave anyway. We had dinner in The Manners a splendid Robinsons pub. Parking is really bad, really tight at the cottage, especially in the big borrowed VW Sharan, so we used this as an excuse to leave the car at the pub and walk back. Maybe we'll do this every day...

On Monday we went to the Tramways museum. They have loads of working trams on a recreation of a bygone street, including a pub rebuilt brick by brick from its original home in Stoke-on-Trent. Did not have a drink here, we ate in the tearooms instead but I had a look inside. The downstairs bar seemed more like a cafe, but apparently they did do real ale, including their own special edition Mild, though probably in bottles only. Lots to see here, several old trams to ride up and down on, indoor and outdoor play areas, a big exhibition centre. Like the Beaulieu of trams. I drove to and from this place, we took all the country lanes up and down the hills avoiding the main road. And no problem getting back into the compact parking space back at the cottage! We stayed in this evening, Clare cooked dinner for us all and then Harry stayed up late and we played Newmarket until bed time.

I bought a bakewell tart today, from the bakery, oh yes says Harry I'll eat it he says. They only did big ones, he ate about one crumb and doesn't like it, and no-one else wants it either.

Went to Chatsworth today which was the focus of this trip for Jim. He and Clare went to the main house while I took the boys to Chatsworth farm and adventure playground. The play area was great, loads to do for them. The farm was farmy. Tommy liked the chickens. The interior and collections of the main house looked amazing from Clare's pictures, though it all seems a bit money grabby, extra charging for everything. After we went for lunch at the Wheatsheaf Arms. There are loads of pubs round here called the same thing for some reason, there are several Devonshire Arms for example. Not been in any of those yet. Anyway lunch at the Wheatsheaf was good, it's a huge Marston's pub with a good play area in the garden. Food was a bit basic, to be expected when it's such an extensive menu. Nice place though.

Tuesday Clare and I did a pub quiz back at the Queens. A much nicer pub than I though on my first visit. We came about fourth in the quiz, not good enough. Everyone in the quiz gets to buy a ticket for Play Your Cards Right though, seven cards to be turned over, if you get to the end you win the pot, if not it rolls over. It was won this night by a bit of a regular, he took over three hundred quid. Apparently the same guy had won over a hundred pounds at the Manners the night before. Play Your Cards Right is a theme round here, as we would find. We met some other quizzers, one said he might be at the next quiz, but also invited me to play snooker the following night at his club. I agreed, but was half thinking would I go, would I not. Spoiler: I did not.

Wednesday was a bit quiet really. We went walking mostly, at the Longshaw Estate, a National Trust property. The house there is private accomodation but it's all about the forest and the open areas. The boys liked looking for the boggart houses, and we took some good pictures.

Thursday we went to Matlock Bath and the The Heights Of Abraham. This is an old lead mine up on the hill, that is now caves you can go inside, and there's a cable car to take you up there. The visitor experience is really good here, lots of information, lots for the kids to play on. We took our own lunch to this one and battled the wasps slightly.

I learned one thing on this holiday, at Gullivers I think, I hope it's a true fact - wasps don't like mint. I'm going to get some more pots of mint about the place.

On the way back from the Heights of Abraham we called in at Haddon Hall too as it was so close to us. It's a spectacularly preserved medieval castle type thing, fabulous as a private house. Reminds me a bit of Lympne Castle. It's HHA and we have passes so we got in free, I'd go regularly if we were closer, a nice place to wander around and imagine you live there. We played traditional games in the garden. I think the only other visitors were planning a wedding there.

Thursday evening we were aiming at another quiz, and went for drinks and curry first. Had a couple at the Pointing Dog and Duck, very nice place on the river. Everyone calls it "the old Italian", as it was an Italian restaurant until rebranded a few years ago. Nice place, bit fancy really but they didn't mind me in there. There's a bridge over the river that the pub was on that was covered in padlocks. This is a lovely tradition, people leave one there, I think it's a tradition started in Paris.

Next to curry at the Urban Spoon. It smelled good and had good reviews, but was very disappointing. Not much choice, and though they said "we can do vegan", they had it on their menu, though first offered me fish and then cheese, they had no idea, shame. Clare's was ok, but not great. Food has generally not been good around here, not for me at least.

We did the quiz, and met up with the friend Dennis we'd made on Tuesday. And this night I won the quiz! It's an easy quiz, but you fill out your twenty five answers on a bingo card and then they call it at the end, if you got the answer right you can mark it off, so the more you got right the better your chances, and I was first to get a line. The prize was a voucher for the pub so we gave it to our new friend, who I suppose we'll never see again.

Friday we went to Edale, eventually. We drove around a lot, struggling a bit really. We found a park, and walked a bit and had an agreeable lunch at The Ramblers. A bit basic but nice enough. I had some Weston's cider that took the edge off it. Clare and her dad have gone out tonight, I made a FABULOUS dinner with some veg I bought from a local outside the pub, and am watching Ripper Street.

Home now, not a bad drive back.
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Inflatable Queen up for grabs

All the Inflatable members of Queen from the 1986 Wembley concert are up for sale along with others including Pink Floyd.
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How do you lose a train?

Train full of nazi gold possibly found in Poland.

I might get a metal detector.
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Paul Clarke's blog - I work and live in Seabrook near Folkestone, Kent. married to Clare and father to Harry and Tommy, I am a web dev, and I do js, nodejs, php, and ruby. I like pubbing, restaurants, home automation and other diy jiggery-pokery, history, genealogy, TV, popbitch, squirrels, pirates ☠, lego, and time travel...