16 / 26

When I was sixteen, I went on a Geography field trip to The Peak District to look at rocks and hills and shit. Boring. Dull. Yawn. It was wet and miserable and there were no boys (I went to an all girls school) and we were staying in a youth hostel. I mean, WTF?

When we pulled up to the youth hostel, I remember thinking this isn't what a youth hostel looks like...

Ilam Hall. It's pretty amazing and gothic like. Steeped in history with lots of stories and drama behind it. I was immediately under it's spell. Yep, at 16 years old, something other than boys had my attention.

I don't remember a lot about the trip other than the places we visited in Derbyshire. Dovedale, the stepping stones, Ashbourne. Such beauty. And I remember being called a geek for my interest in the outdoors.

But I was so in love with the place that three years later I went back for a mini holiday. And again the year after that. And again and again and again....

Here is my visit at 26.

Beautiful views.

The famous stepping stones.

Ilam is one of the most peaceful places I've ever visited. Here, time stops. It's definitely somewhere I'll continue to bring Lilian and I hope it becomes as special to her as it is to me.

Who'd have thought ten years ago I'd still be in love with a place?

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