Alien abductions and hen racing feature on Peak District Channel 5 show

A well-known Scottish comedian has poured praise on the Peak District in the latest instalment of her Channel 5 travel show.

Susan Calman, famous for her appearances in The Boss, Armchair Detectives and Great British Menu, visited the area in her iconic campervan as part of her “Grand Day Out” series.

During her trek, she ventured underground, traveled on trams, rode river rapids and soared to heady heights in one of Matlock Bath’s famous cable cars, as well as hearing stories of alien abductions and hen racing.

She said: “This is super exciting. I’m in the Peak District which already sounds fabulous because you are at the peak, aren’t you?

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“If I’m very, very honest, I’m not entirely clear what the Peak District is, so what better place to have an adventure than somewhere where you are not entirely sure where you are. I mean, it’s like a mystery.”

Susan beings in the Upper Derwent Valley in the Peak District National Park before bending round to Buxton, nibbling her way across to Bakewell and then moseying over to Matlock.

Ladybower Reservoir is the first famous Peak District site to be visited by Susan before she makes her way to Castleton and the Blue John Cavern.

Susan meets Tony Marsden, who has worked as a miner and a guide of the Blue John Cavern since he was 14. There she learns about the history of Blue John and how it got its name.

She said: “Clearly both beauty and treasure lie beneath this unassuming spot and I suspect there is more to discover back above ground.”

Next up was a visit to Heaton to see some spectacular views, taking part in a Segway safari through the countryside before moving on to Buxton.

She said: “I was there (Buxton) when I was on tour, but I didn’t get to spend a huge amount of time there so I can’t wait to go back and have a proper explore of the place because it was one of those places that when I got off the train I though ooooh, this is a bit lovely isn’t it.”

She described the architecture as “gorgeous” before making a b-line for the Buxton Crescent.

Keen to discover more of what the Peak District had to offer, Susan jumped back in her campervan and got back on the road, this time to Bakewell.

“It’s one of these places that looks really beautiful,” said Susan.

“Full of sweet little lanes, it’s best explored on foot. It would be rude not to investigate the delights of the famed Cherry Bakewell or Bakewell Tart.”

Stephen Craig, manager of The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop, tempts Susan into trying a Bakewell Pudding.

Speaking on the show, he said: “The Bakewell Pudding is more like a rich, gooey, velvety egg custard. It’s a very sexy pudding.

“Bakewell Puddings are actually from Bakewell whereas the Bakewell Tarts, they are not really anything to do with us.”

Up next was a trip to Ashford in the Water, before moving on to Crich and its iconic tramway museum.

She said: “Fun fact, I absolutely love trams, luckily for me, I’ve found myself somewhere that celebrates them.

“It’s a lovely place to explore, but I think the weather has other ideas. Best seek shelter.”

Peter Whitely has been driving trams at the site for 25 years.

Speaking on the show, he said: “We started here in 1959. Tramways were being closed down around that time. Everybody wanted to get rid of them, but it was important to preserve some of our history at the museum.

“I mean it is an expensive hobby for us. Some of them that we have restored recently, you’re talking several hundred thousand pounds.

“My father brought me here when I was young and I have been in love with the place ever since.”

Next was a pit-stop at the Barley Mow pub in Bonsall.

Collette Dewhurst, landlady said: “(Bonsall) It’s not as sleep as it looks Susan. It is actually rated the most likely place in Europe to be abducted by aliens.

“There was a lot of activity around 2000. I’ve never seen anything. I’d like to see something, it would be very exciting. I wondered if a lot of the sightings coincided with people leaving here after they have had seven per cent cider.”

Collette also tells stories of the Hen Racing World Championships that take place in Bonsall.

Up next was Matlock Bath as part of her journey across North Derbyshire.

After undertaking some tubing down the small rapids, Susan reached for the sky in the cable cars up to the Heights of Abraham.

She said: “Those cable cars are high up. I’m told its a steep but very gentle ascent to the summit.

“I’m not a huge fan of heights but this certainly beats a climb. Got a bit of a dry mouth happening here. I think this is why I am not a natural-born skier, because I understand cable cars are a large part of the skiing experience.

“Now I’m starting to acclimatise, the 360 degree view around the Derwent Valley is spectacular. You can see for miles. Wow.

“I think I might be one of the only people in the world who can get an adrenaline rush from a slow cable car ride, but honestly that was exciting. My adventure has definitely peaked.”

To remember her trip forever, Susan buys and sends herself a post card to put on her fridge to remember “how beautiful it was”.

She writes: “To Susan, remember how gorgeous it was in the Peak District. Love Susan.”

Summing up he trip she said: “In fact, absolutely everything about my trip to the Peak District has been worth writing home about.”

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