Travelling in the Peak District: The Princess Bride Tour
(blog post by Tania S. our newest teenage author)
We even visited some of the places mentioned in the post "Camping "here & there" in the Peak District". We were very excited to find out that The Princess Bride was filmed here. On the last day of our trip we took the opportunity to take part on a “Princess Bride” Tour, visiting sites around the park which were used as filming locations.
Now, we all know The Princess Bride, the 1987 American fantasy (and gets 98% on Rotten Tomates), adventure, romantic, action, comedy cult film, feasibly one of the best movies ever filmed – okay, I’m biased. I’ve watched it…. ten times? – but you would be forgiven for thinking it was filmed on a plethora of Hollywood film sets far away in California. However, you would be mistaken.
Having been picked up from our hotel by the tour guide at 10am, we travelled first to the site of Fezzik and The Man In Black’s fight. (You know, the one with the rocks and the boulders and the slight strangling?)
Not only did we find the exact rocks on which they stood, the walk there was also enjoyable. (Top Tip - Any prospective travellers should wear trainers/walking shoes and walking-friendly trousers.)
Turning around and walking a little further into the undergrowth, we found the view of the opening shot of the movie, with Buttercup’s farm right in front of us. (Looks more like an unused shed at the moment but that’s what imagination is for right?) With the sun above us, this seemed like a perfect place for a picnic. But it was only a couple hours since breakfast so we moved on.
The next short car trip brought us to Haddon Hall, also known as Prince Humperdinck’s Castle. Inside we learnt more about the history of the building and the Manners family, who still live in the back half of the house. After a small snack at the café at the front, we moved on to go up onto the moors.
It was here that the great weather of the morning forsook us. Battling (very slight) wind and rain, we traversed across some large boulders, remnants from the age when Britain was covered by a tropical sea, and reached an iron age fort. Looking back we could see where Buttercup and The Man in Black ran, fleeing from the Prince.
Our trip to the Peak district coincided with the 3-week “purplification (my word)” of the heather, so we looked down across a lovely purplish moor. Pictures taken and the trip back up to the car completed, we went back down the hill to Castleton, which we were told was the home of Blue John jewellery. Blue John is a type of stone that is found in the Peak district.
Unfortunately, the rain became heavier, so we hurried to the back of the village past an 11th century castle – it was called Peveril Castle, which seems like a Harry Potter reference, but I think he was an illegitimate son of William the Conqueror – to the foot of a steep hill which we knew all too well.
Can you guess it?
I’ll give you a clue…
AS YOU WIIIIIIIIIIISHHHHHHHHH
Yes, we had reached that part of the movie. Despite the rain, we managed to recreate the shot of Buttercup and Wesley at the bottom of the hill.
By the time we reached the car again, however, I resembled a drowned rat, and had to stop to pick up a hot drink before heading back home.
All in all, it was a very successful tour. Our guide, Mark, a local man from the area, was full of facts that only a few would know, and was able to take us to a good number of spots. (His repertoire of tours also expands to Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre, for the less sophisticated travellers). :)
Thanks for reading,