Unit 65 - The Peak District

Unit 65 - The Peak District


You know the world of English is a fun and exciting place to be. I’m so glad you could join me for another lesson.

Hi everybody, this is Misterduncan in England, how are you today? Are you okay? I hope so! Are you happy? I hope so!

As you can see I’m out and about once more. This time I’m roaming the Peak District, in Derbyshire, to take a look at English village life and the surrounding countryside in this beautiful rural area and you are very welcome to join me.

Village Life Around…

The Peak District

The Peak District is an upland area, situated in central and northern England. It covers an area of over 500 square miles, sweeping across the regions of northern Derbyshire, Staffordshire, as well as parts of Cheshire and Greater Manchester.

The area was the first national park to be created in the British Isles. This status is an important one as it means that the area must be kept well maintained and most importantly of all, unspoilt by any future modern development.

Despite its name, the Peak District has virtually no sharp edged mountain tops. Most of the high ground consists of rounded hills, some topped with grit stone escarpments, known in this area as the ‘edges’.

Along these edges, you can enjoy some of the most breathtaking and glorious views of the surrounding area. This is the view from Curber Edge, overlooking the Derwent Valley. A good example of the escarpments that the Peak District is famous for.

You can walk for miles along the tops of these formations. Or if you are one of those people who wants to try something a little more daring, or do things the hard way, you can try climbing up the side of the rocky face, using a rope. Needless to say, I decided to walk up.

Village life is often seen in a positive way as simple, tranquil, serene, laid back, calm and peaceful. When people think of England, they will most likely think of a quaint little village, cream tea and scones, cricket being played on the local green.

A calm and sleepy idyll where life moves at a much slower pace, than say a large town or city. In essence, village life is often seen as typically English in every way.  So what would you expect to see in a typical village?  Most English villages tend to have similar distinctive features.

Usually there is just one main road running through the middle of the village, with much smaller ones branching off it. Originally they would have been narrow lanes, often consisting of nothing more than simple dirt tracks. Of course in the past, only horses and small carts were used as transportation, while many people simply walked, so they tended to be quite narrow.

Where the main road meets the centre of the village is usually the focal point of the area. This is where you will find all the local amenities or services.   A butcher shop, selling all the locally produced meat. And let us not forget the all-important village post office.

Near the centre of the typical village, you will usually find a large area of grass or a field. This is where the locals hold their village festivals and fetes. Such an event is usually seen as the highlight of the village year. Tents and marquees are erected. Hand-made cakes are sold. Contests take place.

Farmers will show off their prize stock and even members of the local brass band will make an appearance and put on a performance. Sports such as cricket and traditional folk dancing may also take place on the village green.

Normally near the centre of a village there will be a notice board. Displaying all the forthcoming local events and any other important information concerning the area

Of course no village would be complete without its own parish church. The word ‘parish’ simply means community. The first small parish churches were constructed in England over thirteen hundred years ago, a long time before the much lager and more distinctive English cathedrals were built. Originally, the village church would have been the hub of all the local activity in the area.

Besides the obvious religious ceremonies such as the marrying of couples and the burying of the dead, many people saw the parish church as a meeting place. It was somewhere to chat and catch up with all the local village news.

Needless to say, there are many wonderful sights to be seen here in the Peak District. This is Monsal Dale. Situated near the centre of the peaks. Looking out over this area, you can see many things, including the high (Headstone) viaduct, which used to carry the sream railway from Derby to Manchester. The tracks that used to run along here have long since gone.

Nowadays you can walk or cycle along a stretch of where the track was. This is called the Monsal Trail. The viaduct itself passes straight across the River Wye.

While most large towns do not come within the Peak District boundary, there are some which do. The bustling town of Bakewell is just such a place. The town is very popular with tourists, who come here in their droves to sample its famous ‘Bakewell Tart’ and ‘Bakewell Pudding’. Just the thing to eat, along with a refreshing cup of tea.
Mmmm scrumptious!

There are many interesting places to visit in the Peak District. This is Derwent Revervoir, one of three such revervoirs in the area. Each one having its own dam. The other two being Howden Reservoir and Ladybower Reservoir. Together they form one of the largest man-made areas of water in Europe.

2011 has proved to be a very dry year here in England, as you can see here from this view. The area I’m walking along here should in fact be underwater. Instead of walking, I should be swimming. This is Dovedale, one of the most well-known parts of the Peak District.

Hundreds of tourists visits here each year to take in the scenery. This is Thorpe Cloud, one of many famous landmarks here at Dovedale. The most well-known being the stepping stones, which look harder to cross than they actually are. Although care is still needed.

I used to visit Dovedale quite a lot as a child. I have fond memories of this place. While we are on the subject of water, it is worth mentioning the local wells, which still can be found in many small English villages, such as this one in the village of Tissington. Each year this well is decorated with flowers in a tradition that dates right back to the “Black Death” in the 14th century.

Another common feature found in most villages is of course the local public house, or pub. Many of these buildings are very old, with some of them dating back to over three hundred years ago. Over the years, the quaint image of the English village has undergone many changes. These days the peace and quite often associated with these places, has been replaced by the thunderous clatter and roar of the motor car, van, bus and lorry.

In some instances, small local shops have been replaced with large supermarket chains.
Village fetes and festivals are rarely held and many parish churches have fallen into disrepair. But not all doom and gloom. Thankfully there are still places where you can escape to for a taste of what many see as the quintessential English way of life, such as here, in and around the scenic Peak District- in rural Derbyshire.

Before we finish, let’s take one last look at some of the beautiful sights we have seen today.
I hope you have enjoyed today’s lesson, taking a look around the Peak District, in Derbyshire and that you will join me again for another lesson very soon.

This is MisterDuncan in England, saying thank you for watching me, teaching you and of course…ta- ta for now

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Sentence explanation:

1.Each year this well is decorated with flowers in a tradition that dates right back to the “Black Death” in the 14th century.

Well (N): Giếng nước

Decorate: Trang trí, trang hoàng. is decorated: đang dùng ở thể bị động (to be + P2): được trang trí

Tradition: truyền thống, phong tục. In a tradition: theo một truyền thống.

Date back to + a particular time: Được bắt đầu, xuất hiện, thuộc vào một thời điểm cụ thể trong quá khứ. Eg: "This story dates back 200 years" (Câu chuyện này đã ra đời cách đây 200 năm)

Black Death: Cái chết đen là tên gọi của một đại dịch (dịch hạch)xảy ra ở châu Á và châu Âu trong thế kỷ 14, giết chết 30 đến 60% dân số châu Âu vào năm 1400.

=> Hằng năm, giếng lại được trang trí những bông hoa tươi thắm theo một tục lệ bắt nguồn từ thời kỳ “Cái chết đen” vào thế kỷ 14.

2. Village fetes and festivals are rarely held and many parish churches have fallen into disrepair. But not all doom and gloom.

Fete: Ngày lễ thánh, hội hè, tết = Festival

Rarely: (adv): hiếm khi.

Parish: giáo xứ.

Fall into something: Rơi vào tình trạng như thế nào. Fall into disrepair: rơi vào tình trạng bị bỏ quên/ không được sửa chữa.

Doom and gloom: U tối, mờ mịt (đen vs bóng). Come on, it's not all doom and gloom, if we make a real effort we could still win.(Thôi nào, không phải quá tồi tệ như thế đâu, nếu chúng ta cố gắng thực sự chúng ta vẫn có thể chiến thắng.)

=> Các lễ hội của làng cũng ít khi được tổ chức nữa, nhà thờ giáo xứ không còn được trùng tu. Nhưng không phải tất cả đều u tối như thế.

3. Farmers will show off their prize stock and even members of the local brass band will make an appearance and put on a performance.

Show off: Phơi bày ra, phô trương, trưng bày.

Brass band: Là nhóm nhạc mà chơi các nhạc cụ bằng đồng.

Put in /Make an appearance: Xuất hiện, tham dự một thời gian ngắn

Put on a performance: sắp xếp, biểu diễn một chương trình, một màn biểu diễn.

=> Nông dân sẽ trưng bày thành tựu của họ và thậm chí những thành viên của nhóm thổi kèn đồng sẽ xuất hiện và biểu diễn vài tiệt mục.

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