The Solitary Rambler

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Filmed July to August 2006
Post-production completed 2nd February 2008
Running time 65 minutes
In 1986 I travelled to the  Peak District  on a one week walking holiday staying in Youth Hostels each night.  It was the first time I had ventured so far away from home on my own and was, therefore, quite a thrill for me at that time.  I was completely blown away with the beautiful landscape of the Peak, which was like nothing I had ever seen before. 20 years later I re-walk exactly the same route I had done during that week’s holiday back in 1986 in an attempt to rediscover the beauty of the Peak District and to bring back my personal memories of the places along the way.....
Filmed in the counties of  Derbyshire Staffordshire  and  Cheshire . Locations include  Buxton , Chee Dale,  Mam Tor Edale Tideswell Monsal Dale Bakewell Chatsworth Lathkill Dale Youlgreave Dovedale Hartington Three Shires Head  and the  Goyt Valley . This is the first film in the  Peak District .
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Background and production details
It was during my teenage years when I regularly went out on my own travelling around by bus and on foot in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean. In the autumn of 1985 I joined the  Youth Hostels Association  as it meant I could affordably stay for several days in my favourite places where I wanted to spend more time walking.

In 1986 at the age of 19 I finally broke the mould and started to go much further afield than the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean.  I spent endless evenings at home browsing though my YHA membership guidebook, which listed all the Youth Hostels in England and Wales, trying to decide which region I wanted to spend a walking holiday.  I looked at the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, North Wales, Cornwall and many other areas that I never been to before and knew I could visit so easily now that I was a member of the YHA.

Eventually, I decided on the  Peak District . There was no particular reason for choosing this area, a family member just happened to mention at the time that it was meant to be a really beautiful part of the country.  So I bought a map covering the area and in conjunction with my YHA guidebook I planned a route where I could walk from one Youth Hostel to the next over a week’s stay.

At the end of March 1986 I packed my rucksack and caught the train from Bristol Temple Meads to Stockport, from where I needed get a connecting train to  Buxton  in  Derbyshire .  I was bowled over by the scenery as the train left Stockport and entered the Peak District.  It was so exciting for me as this was the very first time I had come away for a walking holiday so far away from anywhere I had ever been before on my own.  During the week I spent in the Peak District I kept a diary of the walks I did each day, the hostels I stayed in each evening and the people I met during my travels in the area.

Nearly 17 years later I became a resident of the Peak District, when I moved to the area at the beginning of 2003 and it was the best choice in life I think I ever made.  I still marvel now at how lovely this area is when I walk out of my front door.

It was inevitable that I was going to make at least one film of “The Solitary Rambler” in the Peak District now that I was living there.  After having wrapped up all the stories I wanted to do around the Forest of Dean and other areas I looked to making my first film in the Peak.  I decided to make this new story based on the places I visited during my holiday back in 1986, so I dug out my diary I had written at the time and listed the places I wanted to film from it.


Towards the end of July 2006 I took a few days off work and went out to start the filming all over the Peak District, following much of the route I had walked back in 1986.  It took me a lot longer to do than I had originally thought, but I managed to complete it all after about 7 days of filming.  I also recorded some interior scenes in my home in Matlock where I talked mainly about my memories of each of the Youth Hostels I had stayed in.

Like the previous few “Solitary Rambler” films this new story features no other cast members apart from me, but I couldn’t see any other way of doing this as I wanted this film to be an introduction to the Peak District.  Therefore, “Preamble in Peak” serves as an interesting story to introduce the audience to a completely new area in the UK where I have not previously filmed, as well as being the first of several films to be set in the wonderful Peak District.


Around the time when I made my first visit to the Peak District in 1986 I composed two tunes, the first being the song entitled "Song of the Peaks" and the second being the instrumental tune called "A Romp Through the Peak District". I would, therefore, be using these two tunes as the main themes throughout the first film of "The Solitary Rambler" to take place in the Peak.

In 1986 I also composed a theme in my head whilst I was walking along the  Monsal Trail  between  Little Longstone  and  Bakewell , which although never got recorded at the time it eventually evolved into a complete song in 2003 called "Private Sanctum". Another piece of unrecorded music I hummed in my head was whilst walking from  Three Shires Head  to Gradbach. This never evolved into anything more than a short theme, but along with the aforementioned three songs it was essential music to record as my soundtrack for "Preamble in Peak".

New title sequence

"Preamble in Peak" marks a new beginning for the series, so I felt it would be a good idea to update the opening title sequence and accompanying music. As the series will mainly be set in the Peak District I wanted a new title sequence that would show key locations within this area. Therefore, I decided to shoot a few additional scenes in the Peak as well as using many of the shots from "Preamble in Peak" for the new opening titles. I also recorded a new version of the main theme from "The Solitary Rambler".

Writing credit

Bob Morgan is my pseudonym for this story and again, the name comes from my family. I will use this pseudonym from now on for all succeeding films.
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