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Thriller writer seeking peace in the Peaks

Wheeldon Trees Cottages recently played host to a thriller writer seeking peace in the Peaks. His review literally blew us away. We can’t wait to read the novel.

When the words won’t flow

Writer’s block is a terrible curse for any budding author. Words won’t flow and the writer will find anything and everything more interesting or important in order to avoid sitting down and stringing together a few sentences.

When it descended on me, I would often be found vacuuming the carpets, polishing the furniture, or hanging out the washing. My wife has become a big fan of my periods of procrastination as she knows our home will be spotless.

It was during just such a period that I decided drastic action was required if I wanted to ever complete the crime thriller I’ve been working on for more than two years.

I’d read about other authors who had taken themselves away to writing retreats, sometimes with fantastic results. It seems that a change of routine, and perhaps a view of cows and countryside, can unblock the creative flow quicker than Mr Muscle clears sinks.

Senokot for the brain

I guess the fresh air and bucolic bliss combine to act like some sort of Senokot for the brain.

So, I arrived at Wheeldon Trees Cottages, at Earl Sterndale near Buxton, armed with a laptop, a notebook, and great expectations. I was flying solo, with just my four-pawed friend for company, so I had booked a dog-friendly cottage. It was well equipped and had plenty of room for three adults.

After taking a turn off the A515, a pleasant drive through the fields and hills brings you to this little piece of Peak paradise.

As you arrive at Wheeldon you are greeted by husband and wife team Steve and Hazel who have carefully and stylishly crafted this high class rural retreat of nine cosy cottages and a fabulous farmhouse.

A welcome tote bag packed with goodies such as cookies, eggs, locally blended coffee and tea bags, plus a bottle of wine, is a lovely touch. In the fridge you’ll find a slab of butter and some milk for that much-needed cuppa after a long journey.

Wonderfully warm welcome

Wheeldon ushers you in with a wonderfully warm welcome and the views of the surrounding hills and valleys are something to behold, whatever the weather.

Situated at the foot of High Wheeldon, keen walkers are spoilt for choice with plenty of routes direct from your doorstep. You’ll find a collection of recommended walks in the information book supplied, all laminated so you can take them with you in all weathers.

I enjoyed several walks but chose not to wander too far as my furry companion is getting too old for the long treks we used to enjoy. We took a stroll down the road to the centre of Earl Sterndale, coming back uphill along a public footpath across lovely National Trust land.

Bookstore trip

After working up an appetite we took a short drive to the High Peak Bookstore and Café where I enjoyed a very tasty sandwich and my pedigree chum appreciated the free dog biscuits. The café serves a wide selection of dishes, including plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. But be warned – it is extremely popular even on days when you might expect it to be quiet, so be prepared to queue for a table for a short while. It’s worth the wait.

The next day we walked down the hill and this time took a left turn to Crowdefoot, which sits on the border of Derbyshire and the Staffordshire Moorlands. The views are simply sensational and, in the centre of the small village, the Pack Horse Inn serves hearty food and a selection of real ales.

A little further on you will find the larger village of Longnor, which has three pubs, two cafes, a chip shop and a post office.

Thermal spa town

Further afield, the rather special thermal spa town of Buxton is just a 10 minute drive away, while the pretty town of Bakewell, situated on the banks of the River Wye, is a 20 minute drive. Fifteen minutes along the road to Ashbourne you’ll find picturebook pretty Tissington, where you can join the famous trail.

For cyclists, part of the national cycle network begins just a few yards away from the entrance to Wheeldon. Steve and Hazel have very generously supplied electric bikes which are free to use. The extra bit of ooomph provided by the battery will suit those who enjoy the freedom of cycling but are perhaps not as fit as they once were.

This is a magical location that provides a huge portion of food for the soul. It turns out it can also inspire authors suffering a bad case of writer’s block. I left for home with an even deeper love of the Peak District and 10,000 words closer to completing my crime thriller.

Perfect cottages when travelling alone

If you’re a budding thriller writer seeking peace in the Peaks we have two cottages which are perfect. Ollerenshaw Cottage is dog-friendly and has recently undergone a luxurious makeover. You’ll find a brand-new kitchen, flooring, redecoration and a vintage-style bathroom with a bath and over shower. The cottage is dog-friendly. Over the courtyard, Walker’s Rest is all on one level. It features a large bedroom with a super king bed and an open-plan living kitchen, dining and living room.  The bathroom has both a bath and a walk-in shower. Both cottages have private terraces.

In addition to great accommodation, we offer free EV charging, free electric bikes, an honesty shop and amazing views in our 12 acres of Peak District National Park. Above all else, luxurious Derbyshire cottages. What’s more, Wheeldon Trees is packed full of amenities and is currently in the running for the Peak District and Derbyshire Tourism Awards‘ best self-catering accommodation.

Want to know more? Click here to view our availability.