Our parkrun this weekend was a big celebration for Iona’s 11th birthday, reaching this significant milestone in the parkrun world on the actual parkrunday! We headed to Buxton to celebrate with a weekend of camping planned and to run Pavilion Gardens parkrun.

Watch the video of our adventure at Pavilion Gardens parkrun, Buxton

Arriving the night before, we camped just on the outskirts of Buxton at Lime Tree Park campsite (highly recommended). With the tent pitched, we headed into Buxton to get takeaway pizza. We came back with a bonus pizza—four instead of the three we’d ordered!

The following morning, we loaded up the car with cakes to share with parkrunners and volunteers at the finish and drove the short distance to Pavilion Gardens. Jim Vidler and Lara were waiting for us when we arrived, joining us to celebrate Iona’s birthday. The weather hadn’t received the celebration memo—it was raining—but it didn’t dampen our spirits. After a shoutout for Iona in the briefing, we were off. Due to a “little” rollerblading accident, it was a parkwalk for Iona; running is currently forbidden until her buckle fracture heals! But walking gave us plenty of opportunities to savor the delights of the beautiful park.

Buxton Well Dressing Festival

Once we’d all finished and enjoyed a slice or two of cake (and sold a few of our parkrun tourism badges), we headed into Buxton to the recommended “Cafe at the Green Pavilion” for a delicious breakfast at this lovely, quirky, and relaxed café.

Then, a stroll around Buxton, particularly to take a look at the Buxton Well Dressing Festival, where the wells were decorated with some amazing murals created from flower petals—incredible.

Next, we took a jaunt over the hills (by car!) to Bollington Wharf to visit our favorite YouTubers, “Holly the Cafe Boat.” We enjoyed some of their delicious cake and coffee and had a good natter!

The Vidlers headed home from here, while we headed back over the hills through stormy skies to Buxton and had a chance to explore my new favorite charity shop dedicated to outdoor gear.

Dukes Drive ViaductBack at the campsite, Ewan and I went on a little exploration to take a close look at Dukes Drive Viaduct, which towers over our campsite. Built to carry the train from Buxton to Ashbourne, it now serves as a goods line. In the fields beneath, sheep and ponies were grazing, quite unfazed by our presence.

On our final night in the tent, we were soothed to sleep by the sound of rain pattering on the canvas. In the morning, we tried to pack the car during the dry spells between showers. On our way home, we stopped off briefly to explore High Peak Books and to enjoy dinner at the George and Dragon in Ashbourne. It was a great weekend of adventure and a fabulous time celebrating Iona’s 11th birthday.