We managed to go away this weekend for a flying visit over the border into deepest Derbyshire. It's a beautiful county if you love little woods, rivers, fields and 'curvy' landscapes - which we do. It's fertile and rich in history, too - ancient history with its sacred springs and more recent with its scattering of medieval, Tudor and Georgian houses, of which Chatsworth and Haddon Hall are two of the more famous.
We stayed (technically just over the county boundary in Staffordshire) at Mayfield Hall, where we had a room with a four poster - very comfortable and very high! - and a date of '1608' over the fireplace.
We roamed a little - to the pretty village of Tissington, with its holy wells that are dressed with flowers each spring, its ancient church and handsome hall. There was a craft fair on in the village hall, so of course the cash came out for fancy soaps, woodwork and a small framed print.
Otherwise we chilled out - watched the swifts, wandered the local paths and nipped into Ashbourne in the rain to have a look round and tuck away a tasty Chinese lunch.
I'm certainly looking at Derbyshire now as a setting for one of my novels!