The 6th Edition Your everyday, everything for Eroica Britannia Today 17th Sep. 2021
The Britannia Times
Sara Boccaccini MeadowsPublished on 11th. April 2017
We've long been entranced by the magic of the Peak District and the amazing people who tell its story through different ways.
Supporting Rural Diversification
The Eroica Britannia team have long made the Peak District and surrounding areas our home, our training ground and as we enter into our fourth year of Eroica Britannia - it is the beautiful base and willing host for our Great British Adventure and this exciting international event for a weekend of pure British eccentricity, passion, style and cycling.
This year Eroica Britannia has moved into a new location, Friden Grange. Moving away from a conventional 'showground' Eroica Britannia are proud to be supporting a local farm by taking over 100 acres of farmland. and investing heavily into the infrastructure of the site to make it festival-worthy, providing the farm estate a new income source for years to come.
Friden Grange is a glorious expanse of green fields and beautiful woodlands which will form the back-drop for tens of thousands of visitors and will form the start and finish line for the World famous Ride on Sunday 18th June. It allows us a real luxury in terms of space, surrounds, views and grants true roaming rights over 100 acres of unspoilt grasslands and gives us room and flexibility to camp, park and glamp and really enjoy the magic of the great outdoors!
Inspirational Peak People
We're entranced by the magic of the Peak District and the amazing people who tell its story through different ways. Over the next few weeks we're going to be catching up with some incredible people whose work allows us to touch, feel, see and be inspired by this wonderful area. As we press the go button on our countdown to June we hope their stories and passion for the area will inspire you to some along for the ride.
Don't forget we are offering a FREE night's camping on Thursday 15th June and we can't encourage you enough to come a day early, jump on your bike and strike out with your family on the trails and go adventure!
The Great Outdoors, Cycling & dips in streams
Sara Boccaccini Meadows is a textile designer and illustrator living in Brooklyn, NYC, originally from the Peak District, England. She takes inspiration from nature and the tiny details in her everyday surroundings to create unique and quirky prints and illustrations. She works with a variety of medias including watercolour, gouache, markers and fine line pens and starts her design process by making small studies in her sketchbook or journal. We are fascinated by the detail, tones and story behind her work and delighted that Sara has very kindly allowed us to show you a special 'Peak' piece which captures some of the most magical roaming experiences of her favourite places.
Eroica Britannia is set in your homelands of the glorious Peak District where are your favourite areas or places and why?
"I guess I'm slightly biased growing up in the village of Hathersage, I love the area and settings of my hometown and the peaks that surround it. Stanage Edge overlooks Hathersage and is visible from my old bedroom window, we used to rock climb the crags and picnic in Robin Hoods cave as children. The views are stunning and a walk along the top always helps clear my head and find new inspiration."
Our World famous Ride covers a 3 route tour of the Peak District with riders choosing 25, 55 or 100 miles - for the whole way the hedgerows are brimming with British wildflowers and the traffic free trails that our Rider adventure on are overflowing with bird and animal life - what are your favourite British Summertime wild flowers and which ones do you love to illustrate the most?
"When I've been away for a while coming home feels like I've won the lottery with the selection of wildflowers covering the roadsides and fields. Cow Parsley, Rhodedenrums and Foxglove clover have to be the most interesting to draw. I love going on walks and sketching, photographing and collecting new florals to take home and start designing."
Many of our Riders and Festival visitors travel from global locations - Europe, American, Japan, Australia how would you sum up a Summer's Day in the Peak District and what sights, smells and sounds do you look forward to when you return from the States back home?
"A Summer's Day in the Peak District usually starts with a long walk, the fresh smell of morning dew is so refreshing after being in the city. One of my favourites is Hathersage to Grindleford along the Derwent River. It's magical listening to the gushing water on your right and the lush greenery surrounding the woodland and fields. Ferns, wild garlic and huge moss covered boulders are some of my highlights. There's always lots of berries to be collected and eaten during the summer months and there's nothing better than foraging your own snacks- many blackberry bushes can be found on this walk. The goal is to reach Grindleford Station cafe for a no frills chip butty and mug of hot tea. If I'm feeling lazy after that i'll get the next train back to Hathersage or if the day is hot and long then i'd head to Padley Gorge for a dip in the stream."
WE LOVE YOUR BOTANICAL JOURNAL, CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE MORE ABOUT HOW YOU DISCOVER AND DOCUMENT THE PEAK DISTRICT TREASURES THAT FEATURE IN YOUR SKETCHBOOK?
"I started my Botanical Journal at the beginning of 2016 as a way to document all the green areas I love to visit. One of my favourite in the Peak District is Chatsworth House, especially the garden. There's so much exploring to do, i could spend a whole day drawing in the victorian greenhouse or wandering through the maze. The house is spectacular and there's all sorts of delicious treats in the farm shop. I like to document interesting details from a place or area, this might be a plant, tree or statue in the garden. I use watercolour, gouche, copic markers and then fine pen to add details. It's become a useful tool for recording memories and I often look back on my drawings for print inspiration to develop further."
THIS YEAR, EROICA BRITANNIA HAS A NEW HOME, FRIDEN GRANGE - WHICH HAS 100 ACRES OF BIG SKIES, LUSH GRASSLANDS AND AN IMPRESSIVE WOODLAND WHICH WILL BE HOME TO OUR 3-DAY FESTIVAL DO YOU NATURALLY GRAVITATE TOWARDS THE OPEN GRASSLANDS OR THE WOODLANDS FOR INSPIRATION?
"I'm a huge fan of woodland flora and fauna, there's much more variety than on the open fields. Mushrooms, ferns, bluebells and wild garlic are a few treasures I love to hunt. Although it's nice to get a balance as woodland can feel slightly gloomy on a wet day."
WHEN YOU'RE AT HOME IN THE PEAKS DO YOU TRAVEL BY BIKE AND IF SO WHERE DO YOU/WOULD YOU ADVENTURE?
"My family love to cycle! Growing up we would often spend our weekends adventuring on one of the Peak District biking trails. Derwent Reservoir has a brilliant route all the way around- a virtually traffic free road and part mountain bike trail. Halfway round this route there's a picturesque swimming hole at Slippery Stones, ideal for a picnic and swim."
FOR SOME LOCAL INTEL FOR US TO PASS ONTO OUR VISITORS - THE RIDE IS KNOWN FOR ITS 'FEAST STOPS' AT SOME OF THE PRETTIEST VILLAGES AND LOCATIONS IN THE AREA, WHERE RIDERS STOP TO FEAST ON LOCAL FOOD AND DRINKS, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR TOP TIP FOR A TRUE TASTE OF THE PEAK DISTRICT?
"Oh I have so many! Here's a select few, Bakewell Pudding- a must for any visit to Bakewell. Hope Valley Ice Cream - located at a farm on the hills above Hathersage. Bradfield Brewery - a great micro Brewery with a range of local beers, Stanage Millstone Cheese - Handmade from a local herd of Hathersage cows."
WE HAVE SUPER COOL HEADLINERS ON THE MAIN STAGE THIS YEAR, ABC AND NORMAN JAY MBE, BOTH MARTIN FRY FROM ABC AND NORMAN JAY ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR ICONIC SENSE OF STYLE...IF YOU WERE PRODUCING PRINTED TEXTILES FOR THEM TO WEAR - WHAT PATTERNS WOULD YOU DESIGN AND WHY?
"I designed a pocket scarf with Sheffield based brand, Mamnick last year. The design based on foliage from the Peaks has quite a traditional yet modern feel. I think both Norman Jay MBE and Martin Fry would rock one of these pocket scarf designs!"