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If You Can’t Make The Olympics

Our Friend Trevor sailing on Carsington

We’ve had a wonderful royal birthday, we’ve had the Silver Jubilee and now we have the 2012 Olympics. What a year for the British! And people who have never shown the slightest interest in sport of any sort now turn out to be secret rowers or divers who in spite of amazing natural aptitude never quite made it but are wafting lyrically and knowledgably about the various events and hint at all the what might have beens, if only….

In spite of all the dire warnings about ghastly traffic and crowd problems our ‘children’ in London say that so far the city itself seems incredibly quiet (and at least two of the people who might have swelled the crowds are staying here, in hiding, in Tom’s Barn, so maybe that explains it).

Meanwhile, for those that are fired by the current enthusiasm, we can’t exactly offer you Olympic venues here in Parwich and locally. However, in spite of this, there is plenty of scope for physical activity apart from the obvious walking and cycling. In the village itself there are two excellent tennis courts, with floodlights if you want to play at night, which can be hired for a small hourly sum. You’d need to ring Karen Wigley on 01335 390 253 to book. At the weekend they may be quite busy but there’d probably be some spare slots and lots during the week.

And talking of tennis, to digress for a moment, I have had a reminder on my online calendar for weeks to let me know that today, 1st August is the day one can order an entry form for the Public Ballot for Wimbledon next year. I have sent off for ours already and am hoping that 2013 will prove lucky for us. We have got tickets a number of times, but not recently. It is always a wonderful day out, and even if you get an early date, who knows, you may well be watching the eventual winner.

And back to our future guests, for those who may be wanting to do something more physical slightly further afield, there is a good if relatively small leisure centre in Ashbourne and you will find information on the website about all the local sport facilities – from squash and tennis courts to swimming pools and bowling greens!

At Carsington, which is about five or six miles from here one can hire bikes (ordinary and electric), go canoing, sailing, windsurfing or simply walking round the lake where there are hides for birdwatching. The Sailing Club website is here and the Carsington Water Sports centre .

Carsington is good for all ages, because those that don’t fancy being too active can potter by the water or have something to eat or drink in the restaurant overlooking the water. There are little shops there including a very good RSPB one, and an educational centre which our young grandson thinks is wonderful – it goes into childishly pleasing detail about the history and content of sewers and there is a collection of things like mobile phones and false teeth that have been flushed down local loos!

At Tissington you can go pony trekking and if you want something more demanding, try the Haddon House riding stables at Over Haddon for hacking and tuition.

If you’d like to consider fishing (an activity of a different sort). If you’ve never fished but fancy learning, how about trying a day’s fly-fishing tuition? (This is second hand information, from non-fishers so do your own research before committing!).

There’s golf, too of course – see here for a list of golf courses in the area and finally – how about an ‘extreme sport’? You could always consider hang gliding or parachuting although don’t say we recommend it.

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