Category Archives: High Peak

Buxton Veg & Fruit Co-op

From talking with other families, it’s easy to get stuck in a meals rut having the same food, week on week. You end up cooking the same ‘go to’ meals – ours are tomato pasta; sausages and veg; and Thai chicken curry. They’re yummy – but we were looking to mix it up a bit! I was looking around for inspiration when I heard of a local service that has helped us try new recipes (meals listed below), increased our veg and fruit intake, saved us money AND it supports a not-for-profit community group.

Bright Opportunities is a group for adults with learning difficulties living in the High Peak, located in Buxton. They offer a day service, with educational, leisure and development activities. A few years ago, Buxton Vegetable and Fruit Co-operative was set up to provide an affordable way for the local community to have fruit and veg. They involved Bright Opportunities to organise buying the seasonal produce in bulk from a local wholesaler, sorting it into bags and collecting the money – helping develop the adults’ life skills.

You can buy a bag at a time, here’s what we had the last two weeks (the money saving is impressive):


Two weeks of veg and fruit

And the cooking? Well, we’ve used this fruit and veg in:

* slow cooker beef stroganoff
* cabbage with onion and bacon
* leek and potato soup
* slow cooker stuffed apples
* roasted veg with humous and couscous

Yummmm roasted veg

And of course, as veg on the side with our favourite meal – sausages!

Each bag costs just £3 – bargain! As a quick calculation, the bags we’ve had so far were worth about £7 – £9 so it’s a huge saving. All the fruit and veg lasted well, the potatoes just took more cleaning than we’re used to.

I loved that having the bag of fruit and veg encouraged us to try new food and it’s good to know it also supports a local community group.

The bags are available every Thursday from around Buxton (United Reformed Church Hardwick Square, Residents of Fairfield Association, SureStart Fairfield and Buxton Volunteer Centre), to reserve your bag get in touch with one of the collection centres or contact them via their Facebook page.

I’m off to make some healthy vegetable soup!


Michelle x


Peak District Mining Experience

Last weekend we had visitors to Buxton, my sister and her family with two young boys. With a wet weekend forecast we were on the hunt for indoor activities, but unfortunately quite a few are closed this time of year. After a hunt through some tourist brochures we came across an advert for Peak District Mining Experience – open, indoors and suitable for kids, result!


We were terribly organised and made a packed lunch the night before so turned up at 1120 so we could have some grub before the midday tour. When we arrived we paid for the tour / museum and asked if there was anywhere we could have some food before heading to the mine. We were gruffly told no, there were 24 cafés down the road or sit on seats outside. We had a look around outdoors, but as it was raining we instead went back inside and asked if the children could share the table they had for drinks. The member of staff didn’t reply, but the other people at the table were more than welcoming.

Whilst my sister let her children eat, I used the outside toilets to change baby E. Not a pleasant experience 😦 It was cold, the changing unit was filthy and, as I often find, no strap so I worried about her wriggling off.

Once E was changed we headed back to the museum where we were handed a dustpan and brush to sweep up the crumbs the children had made! It felt as if the member of staff was going out of her way to make us feel uncomfortable, the adults before us who had dropped crumbs on the floor hadn’t been asked to sweep up…

Housework done, it was off to the mine!

The mine is the otherwise of the road to the museum, up a steep path. On arrival we were told that when we brought the tickets we should have been advised it was wet underfoot, lots of talking (the guide seemed put off by some other children who were starting to fidget) and lots of crouching down to get through tunnels. Nope, we hadn’t been told anything but felt we could probably cope! Anyway, I had it lucky, hubby was the one carrying baby E – with hard hat for safety 🙂


The tour guide was a nice enough chap, stopping at various points and giving info. on how mining used to be carried out – I’m surprised anyone survived, a horrendois job – or how much gold was still in the hills. Quite a lot apparently! But excavation would destroy the local area so thankfully that wasn’t allowed, but this information made my nephews even more keen to try out the panning at the end!


The weather had been quite wet the last few days so it was also wet in the mine, our feet and jeans got quite muddy. Mental note – wear wellies next time!


The tour round the mine was just the right length to keep a group of small children engaged and we didn’t have to walk too far. It was tricky in places bending down and walking through tunnels – well it was for the adults but not the walking children! There were a few of us carrying children and this was tricky, it would have been helpful if we had been advised of this when booking our tickets.

When we came out there was the option for panning for gold, I declined but my nephews were very keen so we left them in the cold and walked back to the museum.

After the slight disappointment around the tour, the museum was an eye opener. There was so much to see including real artifacts, films to watch, tunnels to crawl through, pictures to see, text to read… it is fantastic! There was mining equipment that had been dug up from the depths of the ground and was on display, such a lot to see.

Once back from panning, my nephews enjoyed crawling through all the tunnels. There was a digger to sit in and lots to do – they had a lovely time!


Overall with the museum experience as well, we enjoyed our visit. The initial attitude of staff and lack of information did taint the visit, but the explorative and engaging offer from the museum won us over. Not a bad trip for a rainy afternoon in the Peaks.

Thanks for reading, here’s to our next adventure!

Getting to know people: NCT High Peak

This is the third county in which we’ve lived since we’ve been parents and I have to admit it’s the first time I’ve ventured into the world of NCT. I heard a lot about the National Childbirth Trust before baby E was born but as we weren’t staying in the area where I was pregnant there didn’t seem much point in getting involved.

When I knew we were moving to Buxton I searched online for info. about local parenting groups and NCT High Peak came up time and time again. They’ve got a brilliant Facebook group which tells you about upcoming events, a detailed regular newsletter and loads of activities for parents to be, mums, babies, toddlers and even dads!

Before moving to Buxton I was able to sign up and join events so I knew we had a few things to look forward to. Also, by stalking reading conversations online I started to learn some other mums’ names and faces.

The first time I met the NCT branch co-ordinators (Lauren and Kate) face to face was at a charity event at the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton. Embarrassingly they recognised my photo from Facebook (my excuse is that boobing leaves you with one free hand for social networking), but they were very welcoming and I was even more encouraged to attend some get togethers.

So, last week, pram primed and with my best ‘I’ve actually brushed my hair this morning’ look we rocked up to the monthly Baby Express at Pizza Express in Buxton… and then halted. Pizza Express looked very closed, the meet up was from 10.30 but its opening hours showed from 11.30. A bit confused, I walked around for 5 minutes and then knocked on the door as E needed a feed. Phew, apparently people were likely to come but it was often late starting! Here’s an amusing pic of my first meet up with other mums 😉

An empty restaurant
Billy no mates!

We didn’t have to wait too long, just gone 11 other mums and a mum to be arrived and I had a lovely time feeding E and drinking the free coffee. I used the time to ask loads of questions about the area, the most useful information being that some garages store your summer or winter tyres when the other ones are on your car. When in my new job, I’ll have a daily commute to Derby to deal with so will probably need winter tyres.

Group of pushchairs
We were in the right place!

This week we ventured to the bi-monthly Bumps, Babes and Beyond coffee morning hosted by the Alison Park Hotel. We ended up being quite late, but were made to feel incredibly welcome. After a free caffeine hit to give me strength (and there was cake too), I plumped myself down to some mums and got chatting.

The half hour wizzed by and I was really pleased we made it, even if it was just towards the end and I didn’t win the raffle!

I’ve enjoyed both the NCT meet ups, it’s just a shame we can’t go to anymore before I start work. But I do hope to drop into some on days off and I might even be able to persuade hubby to go to some. They also run social events so I’m looking forward to leaving E at home and meeting other local mums. And hubby will be getting out and meeting dads at the dad social events.

In summary: the High Peak NCT group are a lovely lot, I’ve only scratched the surface of the activities on offer and feel confident about meeting other mums through them. The Facebook group means I can keep in touch even when I’m not attending. How I wish we’d moved up here earlier!