Roachside Cottage

Part of the living landscape of the Roaches

Peak District National Park - Upper Hulme, Nr Leek ST13 8UB

Yesterday (Sunday) was a lovely day up on the Roaches.

The sun brought out zillions of visitors and the parking bays were full almost all day. This inevitably brings with it the litter which our species seems to leave a trail of, wheresoever they roam. I can cope with the occasional tissue which dropped from some person's pocket. I can deal with the corner of the plastic chocolate wrapper which fluttered away on the breeze when someone tried to open it with gloves on.

What mystifies me when I, along with many other volunteers, collect all this crap from the roadside, is; what sort of human behaviour results in the deposition of the wrappers from an entire giant family pack of Asda Onion Rings, both inner and outer packets, in the grass at Roach Road? What sort of sad, dimwitted moron buys a Chinese takeaway, eats barely anything from it, then launches it through the car window accompanied by two plastic bottles, three quarters full of Coke, Fanta or whatever? Takeaways, supermarket packet snacks and Coke - fodder for the lower eschelons of our society, where they can plough the money they don't have into profits for the large corporations who exploit their diminished decision-making capacity?

Rant ends.

It's been an expensive week, this week. A tankful of heating oil, two boxes of new light bulbs and more bedding & sundries, so that we are ready for guests when they arrive next week and (at my daughter's suggestion) some toddler plates and cutlery so we are prepared for people with young families. The week culminated in the precautionary emptying of the septic tank. Thank goodness for my precautionary vision - beneath the lid lurked a giant "fatberg" exactly the same shape as the inside of the raw sewage chamber. Well done to John Howe, the septic tank man (Number One for Number Twos), who dealt with the monster without fear or fuss. He also retrieved the non-fuctioning submersible pump and discovered a vacant space where the air compressor should be! The joys of home ownership....a couple of tasty little jobs for me to get stuck into.

One of the delights of staying here at Roachside Cottage is meeting so many visitors to The Roaches - about 50% of passers by ask about the cottage and if I live here. Sadly for me, Roachside has a national park planning restriction which means it can't be used as a residential dwelling; just a holiday cottage. However, during maintenance and decorating, I do get opportunity to be "in residence" (perhaps I should have a flagpole and raise my personal standard when I'm here, like HMQ). One chap I met today told me about his own holiday cottage and I couldn't help hunting out his website to see how good the competition was. My word it was slick! has a way to develop yet, even to come close. The site even had, not one, but two webcams! I'd love to have a webcam at Roachside, looking out over the valley and Tittesworth Water to the faint shadow of The Wrekin, 45 miles distant. Or looking northwest through the Dane Valley gap to the Cheshire plain beyond. It won't happen of course - the nearest telephone line is half a mile away! Crikey, mains electricity and water only got here 5 years ago.......
Saturday, we had an appointment in Leek with the osteopath (yes, I'm in constant pain, it's agony, but I'm a man, I can bear these difficulties - I've witnessed childbirth you know!). Whatever, we arrived about half an hour early and decided to have a quick plod around the Saturday antiques market in the square - always lots of stalls with all sorts of bewildering bricabrac. No sooner had we turned the corner into the square and the heavens let loose with an absolutely torrential cloudburst. Stallholders were frantically gathering up their valuable antiques (this is when you can spot which are the real valuable things!) and diving for shelter under their tarpaulin covers. We were back to the car in less than three minutes - soaked to the skin. A couple of hours later, we'd shifted a couple of cups of coffee in Hotel Rudyard, while we read the news on the i-phone which miraculously connects to the Wi-Fi of every hostelry for miles. By now, we'd dried out a fair bit, so we had a wander along the lakeside and back to the station cafe for a couple of lunchtime oatcakes with bacon & cheese. Down came another deluge and we were soaked again. Later in the afternoon, it happened yet again while we were heading over the back of Hen Cloud for an afternoon "snifter" at The Rock Inn. We've been caught out in rain squalls twice today and I've now run out of dry underwear, so we have to go home and do some laundry. Some Peak District weekends are like that. Pity the Duke of Edinburgh's teenagers who slogged past last night and who are camped in the field below Hen Cloud - some DoE awards are hard-won, believe me!

Found these reviews last night. They relate to holidays taken when the previous owner; Erica (bless her), was running the show here. I'm very grateful that she really made the place what it is. We have hardly changed anything - just a lick of paint here and there, using the same tasteful colour scheme. After all, what is said in these reviews is exactly what convinced us to buy the place and we hope to make it even more enjoyable.....

Mrs Rebecca Middleton, Chulmleigh, ‐ 1 Jun 2016

"The cottage is in a beautiful location with stunning views."

Miss Genia Gorna, St. Leonards-on-Sea, ‐ 1 Dec 2015

"The cottage was warm, comfortable, spacious and well-equipped to a high standard, with modern furnishings. It had superbly comfortable beds and lovely bed linen and towels. It was in an idyllic position, as described, with great countryside views, lovely for walking. It was quiet too. All in all a great choice, and would highly recommend. We absolutely loved it, the property was beautiful; very comfortable, warm, cosy, and spacious, ideal for walking and a fab family location, we'll be back! Thank you. We've stayed in many places round here but this was the best."

Mr Stuart Hayler, Pulborough, West Sussex

"The cottage was beautiful and in a great location. We enjoyed the cosiness of the cottage and even with three children it had plenty of room and was well equipped. We will definitely be looking to come back."

Mr Tom Randall, London,

"Had stunning views, the cottage was fantastic and had a great deal of information regarding the surrounding area."

Mrs Doreen Bayley, Haarlem, The Netherlands

"A perfect holiday in the best cottage we've ever had. Beautiful views!"

Mrs Susan Downey, Andover, Hampshire

"The Cottage was warm and cosy, just what was needed for a week in March. The scenery was outstanding even on the snowy day we had. The cottage is ideally situated for walking nearby and going further afield. It was a good base."

Mr Anthony Evans, Newcastle, Staffordshire

"Very warm and cosy and absolutely stunning views over Tittesworth Lake."

Mr Paul Fortey, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

"If you are looking for a cottage in the Peak District that is romantic, remote and of a high standard then this is for you. We arrived on a damp and windy Thursday afternoon and as soon as we opened the door we knew we had booked a beautiful cottage. The whole of the cottage was immaculately clean, well presented and had the added bonus of underfloor heating throughout, which will keep you warm. The owner was very helpful and has provided plenty of literature for things to do in the area. The cottage is situated in a remote, rural location with plenty of walks on the doorstep and not far from either Leek or Buxton. We totally switched off and relaxed during our stay and would return in a heartbeat. If you are looking for a cottage that you can escape the stresses and strains of life then book this cottage, you will not be disappointed."

Ms Laura Cockett, Liverpool, Merseyside

"Beautiful remote location, stunning views. The cottage has been beautifully renovated and is very warm and comfortable. We hope to go back and will be recommending it to friends!"

Mr Stuart Grey, Brough,

"We had a wonderful holiday. The Cottage was excellent and the views were spectacular. Could not have wished for more."

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