May 2023

May 2023 – Yourgreave (Peak District)

The 19th to 22nd May saw the pheasants up sticks and migrate to Derbyshire for a long weekend. Two teams (Alpha & Delta) set off on Friday with the advanced party arriving around midday at the chosen roosting spot of Lowfield Farm. Despite challenging driving conditions getting to the site, spirits rose once a pheasant totem was spotted. After a bit of to and fro with the erudite “Dave” & Co, Alpha team decamped to Bakewell to sample the local delights of the Red Lion (4 stars) and await the arrival of Delta team. Delta team took the scenic route to the rendezvous, turning up several hours later than expected to the sight of Alpha preening their feathers in the hot tub. Soon the hot tub was full, pecking order determined in rooms and provisions unpacked. Young Jaggard was dispatched to gauge walking conditions and general distances before being rounded up in time for Rajas Indian Restaurant (4.4 stars) in Bakewell. Fully fed, pheasants decamped to base camp for an evening debrief, hydration and forward planning session. Day 2 saw the pheasants tackle the “The Warm Up” leaving base camp on foot in a southerly direction where they encountered the first run in with their nemesis of the moo variety, providing an early challenge. Weather along the way was excellent and despite the hills and Robin Hood’s Stride, all pheasants arrived safely at The Bulls Head (4.5 stars).

Refreshed with cheesy chips & a few sherbets the pheasants set out on what was to become known as “The Pheasant Killer” with strict instructions from Tim to be back at base camp for the Forest v. Arsenal game. Following a fast start & shortcut along the riverbank, the walk soon took its toll as a steep climb materialised. After a continuous uphill grind the pheasants were teased with a sight of basecamp. On the descent home, unbeknown to the pheasants, our nemesis made the most of a break in the pheasant ranks to cause chaos. Scattered to the four  winds and forced to think on their feet, the pheasants, battered and bruised finally limped into basecamp in time to see Forest win 1-0. The day was capped off with a return to the The Bulls Head for evening meal with a cheeky additional walk back to the vehicle to finish the night.

Sunday saw the Pheasants shuffle into Bakewell for the “Last Man Standing” with the elder pheasant taking up residence in The Wheatsheaf (4 stars) to provide mission control and keep an eye on the Leeds game. The pheasants finished the day with a mix of cuisine, foot blisters and several bottles which needed polishing off while making the most of the hot tub. Monday saw Alpha & Delta team have a last catch up in the Ashbourne Gingerbread Shop (4.2 stars) before heading back to Cambridgeshire with numerous tales to recount at future gatherings.