The panel today was made up of members of the Scone Blogger's family. This wasn't their first rodeo and their standards seem to have gone up during the COVID hiatus: there was a minor complaint from one member who claimed that all of her fruit was in the bottom half of her scone. This was overruled by everyone else. But we all agreed that the tea room itself was lovely with friendly, helpful staff.
We then set off to see what Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak had to offer. I was completing my Peak District trilogy today, having visited Kinder, Edale and the Dark Peak in June 2019 and Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors in January 2018. You'd probably assume that I would have been prepared, but no - I was still tottering around with a handbag and a pair of trainers while sturdy booted rucksackers strode past me. I think we have established that I will never learn.
So here's what we discovered:
- This area of the Peak District National Park is known as the White Peak Estate
- It's situated in the central and southern part of the Peak District, while the Dark Peak covers the north-east-west area
- The White Peak Estate contains Ilam Park and the valley of Dovedale as well as other valleys
- Ilam Park contains Ilam Hall, the Italian Gardens and the tea room
- Ilam Hall was built between 1821-1826. It is currently a youth hostel and you can stay there for just £15 a night! Bargain!
- There's a very nice walk from Ilam to Dovedale - you can either walk across the fields and hop over one small stile, or head up a hill and go the long way. We won't dwell here on the option we chose. Let's just say that we came back the less arduous way.
- The stepping stones across the River Dove are quite easy to negotiate (I didn't negotiate them)
Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak: 5 out of 5
Scone: 5 out of 5
The wind: 5 out of 5 for being the wind but 0 out of 5 for stopping scone production