Travelling and writing are the twin passions of Matlock’s Helen Moat so it was inevitable that one day she would write a travel book.
The teacher began travel writing as a hobby by entering competitions and on winning a few such as The Telegraph newspaper’s Just Back feature she realised she not only really enjoyed it but was also actually quite good at it.
She plucked up the courage to pitch a book idea at the publishers of Bradt Travel Guides and they signed her up.
The result is Slow Travel: The Peak District Guide which has just been published.
“It’s allowed us to spend much of our free time in the outdoors: to cycle, walk and scramble on the edges; to be within touching distance of wildlife. There’s nothing to beat that. I thought I knew the Peak District fairly well when I started this book. As a family of music lovers we’d hunted out village festivals and tucked-away pubs with great music sessions.
“We’d spent many days poring over maps, translating contours, blue lines and blobs into fine waterside, dale and ridge walks.
“After 15 years of uncovering hidden vales and ravines I’ve realised you could live a lifetime in the Peak District and still not cover every bridleway, packhorse route or public footpath.
“Writing the book has allowed me to engage with the slow philosophy as never before; to look up, look down and catch the detail; to stand and stare and ponder; to wander down hidden dells or jitties. I’ve learned to stop and chat with strangers. It has been a life-enriching experience.”
We have three copies of the book to be won by readers who can answer this question: Which Derbyshire village claims The Cathedral In The Peak?
Email your answer with your name, address and contact telephone number to email@example.com or post it to 19 Nottingham Road, Belper, DE56 1JG by March 31.
The guide is available in local bookshops or can be ordered with a special 20 per cent discount on the Bradt Travel Guides website.
Visit http://www.bradtguides.com and enter the code ARTSBEAT to claim your discount.