It’s another Sunday with not a lot to do and for some, it’s usually a walk around the town centre with the same-old, same-old. It’s time for a change. So, We Love Peterborough decided to take a drive out and see where we could go that wasn’t very far but something new to do.

We piled into the car and decided to take a drive towards the Deepings umming and ahhing as to whether the Deepings were classed as being in the Peterborough region…. we decided that it was a ‘yes’, even if some parts of it are in Lincolnshire, but we diverted anyway. A suggestion was made to go to Peakirk Wildfowl Trust, but they had to be advised that it had closed ‘years’ ago. I have fond memories of seeing the flamingos there on a school trip. Sadly it closed in 2001.

So, we u-turned and took the bypass. On remembering other outings in our youth we recalled the ‘Hills and Hollows’ being round here, somewhere. So off we turned to go through Helpston.

It’s a nice long run and the roads are rarely busy, the sun was shining and it was a nice drive out. We passed over the railway line (thankfully one wasn’t coming for a 5 minute wait) and trundled passed what was the old Paper Mill and through the village. At the cross, we turned left  and passed the local pub the ‘Blue Bell’ for a view of John Clare’s Cottage. It’s a fairly large but cute, well-kept cottage that’s been drawn and painted and phot0graphed many-a-time no doubt, (even by me with my drawing book and pencils at a girl!) so I photographed it this time. It wasn’t open today, unfortunately, so we didn’t get the chance to wander in and look around. ( You can find details about visiting at – The Cottage is open Friday, Saturday and Monday. From October 1st the opening hours are 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Last entry to the Cottage 2 pm).

Off to find the Hills and Hollows then, so we continued on our way and made our way through some lovely wood areas and no traffic towards Stamford Road. We turned right and instantly came upon a Farm Shop and decided to have a nosey. Outside there were sheep in the field and a large sign to say that they sell their wheat to ‘Weetabix’ I was impressed. The name above the door is ‘Willow Brooks Farm Shop’ and next door is The Granary. The farm shop included a butchers area so there were plenty of meat products to choose from along with cheese, cakes, savouries, some jams and quite a few home-made frozen pies, etc. It wasn’t long before my husband had a large pork pie and a couple of scotch eggs in his hand.

We then made a visit to the Granary, next door, that looked inviting with tables and chairs through the glass french doors. Inside was warm and cosy with plenty of people already enjoying large Sunday breakfasts, coffees and more. Quite a few of the tables had a reserved sign on ready for lunchtime. It must be popular so we stayed for a bite to eat. Raspberry Lemonade and a piece of toasted plum loaf with butter which was devine. (It can be bought in the farm shop) Along with a sausage and bacon roll and a cup of tea. Both choices were delish. We noted the long list of Sunday offerings starting at £8.95 for  Sunday Roast dinner. We made a mental note that we would be back to try this another time.

Out we trundled for around 10 minutes and eventually we came upon a layby of which had enough room for 2 cars and a large sign with the ‘Hills & Holes’ writte on it. So all these years of calling them the ‘Hills and Hollows’ was wrong?! It’s a place I remember visiting many times as a child, running wild up and down, exhausting what energy was in me. It seemed a place that a lot of families went when the sun shone and mostly on Sunday afternoons. There were very few people here today. It was clear and sunny but still a little too muddy for normal shoe walking today.

Here’s a bit about the Hills and Holes:

The Reserve is situated in the village of Barnack, 11 km north west of Peterborough. The site is open all the year round and parking is available at several points close by, although visitors are encouraged to use the car park on Wittering Road. Cycle parking is also provided. The unique hummocky landscape of the Hills and Holes was created by quarrying for limestone.

Blocks of stone were transported on sleds to the river Welland and loaded on to barges which travelled down the river Nene and other fenland waterways. Most famously, stone from Barnack was used to build Peterborough and Ely Cathedrals. By the year 1500, all the useful stone had been removed, and the bare heaps of limestone rubble gradually became covered by the rich carpet of wild flowers that can be seen today. The limestone was originally formed in Jurassic Times. It is made from the remains of billions of tiny sea-creatures which lived in a warm shallow sea that covered this area 150 million years ago.

Note: Thankfully I did find that the area is often called the ‘Hills and Hollows’ by us locals. Both names are widely accepted although Hills and Holes is the ‘official’ name.

Our little trip was finished, we decided to go home for some lunch. But if you’re lost for something to do on a boring day but the sun’s out. Why not 1) take a trip to a farm shop and be surprised or 2) drive out with the kids to Barnack and enjoy some fun together. Don’t let them run too far though, there’s a vast area of hills and hollows out there!

#HappySundayIdeas #TakeTheKidsOut #FarmShops #DaysOut #JustDrive

WeLovePeterboroughAuthor posts

Avatar for WeLovePeterborough

Founder and owner

Comments are disabled.