When your head’s a bit all over the place, it’s nice to escape the real world and bring it back to basics. A last-minute suggestion from Lorna to fulfil a bucket-list stomp, sleep and swim at Mermaid’s Pool in the Peak District was the perfect remedy.
We parked at the foot of Kinder Reservoir and waded through the open access land beyond Oaken Clough. There was bog, deep fernery, slippy peat and bilberries on tap. We clambered face-first and on our bums gripping the heather for a cushion if it all got a bit risky. It was beautiful: the light, the grouse laughing at our every move, the gentle breeze waving through the bracken, the squelch of dicey dance with every step we took.
There is a land within a northern climeThe Mermaid’s Pool by Henry Kirke (1869)
Where many a mountain reaches to the clouds,
That rest their billowy fleeces on its head.
And roll adown its rugged, storm-rent side.
At the foot of such a mountain in this land
There lies a pool, dark and mysterious,
Shadowed by blackened rocks, and sedges drear…