In June of last year I travelled to the Peak District in the UK for three weeks, by myself. It was the best gift I could have given myself. Three full weeks of sleeping in, hiking, exploring, enjoying nature, sleeping in a little hobbit-cottage with grass on the roof. I enjoy travelling alone as I tend to worry too much about others needs when going on vacation with family or friends.
As I had such an amazing time then I booked the same little hobbit-cottage again. Two full weeks of sleeping in, hiking and enjoying nature is something I’ve looked forward to for many weeks now.
I was honoured to write an article about my last visit for Flow Magazine. They published a special about travelling and alongside my story, I also made some drawings. You can buy the special here, if you like.
For now, I would just like to show you some photos of my wonderful vacation!
Arriving at Manchester Picadilly to take the little train to Glossop, where a comfy bed was waiting for me.
I couldn’t get over the wonderful light in this little town, just on the edge of the Peak District. Whilst I was there, it hadn’t rained for three weeks and there were fires on the hills.
One of my favourite cities is Manchester. Up north of England lies this beautiful city with its red bricks and rough edges. It’s a big city but for some reason it doesn’t feel that way. It has a nice, homy touch to it for me. My favourite part of the city is the Northern Quarter which is filled with lovely shops and nice places to eat. Another thing I love about Manchester (or MCR, as locals will call it) is one of my dearest friends Emma Reynolds. She’s the reason I first travelled to this city.
My favourite places in Manchester:
Fig + Sparrow is another great place to enjoy a cup of tea and they sell lovely cards too.
Fred Aldous to stock up on beautiful stationery and to get your photo taken in an old photobooth!
CassArt for all the art supplies.
Oklahoma to get some quirky gifts for friends and family.
Travelling Man is your stop for comics!
Paperchase to get some funny cards (they also sell mine there!)
Waterstones when the city gets too much for you and you need some peace and quiet amongst books.
Manchester Craft and Design Center to buy products from the makers.
Magma for the best magazines and a great selection of books.
Food and drinks
Teacup Kitchen for a brilliant tea and scone with clotted cream, and do try their rainbow cake!
Home Sweet Home for a delicious lunch and the best milkshakes.
Bundobust for great Indian food.
Pot Kettle Black for a great coffee.
Rudy’s for the best pizza I have ever tasted.
Pieminister for the most delicious pies, a proper British dish.
Common to have a drink in the evening.
Albert Square Chop House to get the best English breakfast.
John Rylands Library if you’re in a Harry Potter mood.
When I’m there next week I want to try out some new coffee places!
Macclesfield: Treacle Market
One of the things I absolutely loved was taking the train to Macclesfield, a town with lovely shops, good coffee (go to Monocle Deli) and the wonderful Treacle Market.
A market in the heart of the town with amazing products made by locals. I enjoyed myself pretty much a full day here!
Famous for its puddings, the lady I rented my cottage from took me to this town to get some fresh cakes and have a gander on the market.
And of course as a bit Jane Austen fan, I had to see Chatsworth House, where the 2005 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice was filmed.
Back to Glossop
This was my home for three weeks. I had a lovely daily routine of waking up around 8 AM, eating breakfast (preferably crumpets with salted butter), reading books or watching Netflix, or going for a hike, going for coffees, visiting second hand book shops, more hikes, preparing meals for myself and more sleep. There is an Aldi in town which sells my favourite tea cakes, Cadbury chocolate and PG tips. What more could I need?
What I’ve learnt
I need time to myself to relax and recharge my battery. Going on a solo-trip you get confronted very much with yourself, which is absolutely a good thing. I really started to understand what I need and what I want. I also got a bit more confidence. I know what I can do and I’m not insecure about that but I’ve learnt I can do even more than I thought.
During my trip I realised that it’s not solely illustration I want to do. I want to tell stories in words and pictures. So I was really pleased when Flow Magazine wanted me to do an article about my trip. I created the illustrations myself and also did the photography. It was like a new beginning for me. You can read it here!
Also, don’t go to the UK without buying a Whippy ice cream with a chocolate flake. Your trip is not complete without it.
I hope you enjoyed this post!
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All text and images © Marloes De Vries