A few weeks ago I went on a little road trip to Matlock, Derbyshire. A short 45 minute drive away, it always blows my mind how close the Peak District and Derbyshire is to me here in Stoke on Trent. Stoke is a lot greener as a city than you’d imagine, and you’re never more than 10 minutes walk away from a field or two. I’m quite used to driving around country lanes, and in 7 years of driving I have only been on a motorway once! Alas, driving through all the windy country lanes to somewhere you’re not 100% sure about the location of can still prove a little bit difficult, and not quite knowing which awkward turn off I needed, the Garmin Sat Nav* came in very handy indeed. When Tesco Compare
asked me to review the Garmin Nuvi 50 Sat Nav I almost said no as I have never used a ‘real’ sat nav before, as I tend to use an app called ‘Waze’ on my phone. But alas, it does seem a little safer to use a real sat nav instead of an app my phone… But saying that, Waze is the best navigation tool you will EVER use on a smartphone, I swear. I would love to find the person who ruined Google Maps and made it the most frustrating way to navigate anything ever and just SHAKE THEM SO HARD. Why does it do that thing where it tells you you are going one way, then jumps the little dot to 2 miles down the road? WHY?!?! It makes me irrationally angry, but then I just use Waze and I can find my way and am ETA within seconds and it’s not let me down at all so far! Alas, when you’re using your smart phone as a sat nav though it can throw up a few problems: 1. The screen is a bit small 2. It’s awkward to keep looking at it unless you have a proper holder 3. My phone gets REALLY hot 4. My 3G keeps conking out (especially in really green areas) and 5. Because my phone needs an upgrade it means that now if I run two things at once (like Waze and I get a message through) it just crashes and shows me nothing. THIS is where a REAL Sat Nav comes in handy though…
I thought for the first time out using the sat nav I would head to somewhere vaguely familiar which I didn’t know completely the right route for; hence why I chose Matlock. I’ve been before but never driven, so I knew I’d recognise things along the way. Such as the amazing ‘Housey House’ shop in Leek, which appears to be the place to go if you’re after a zoo of stone and wooden animals…. We managed to get to Matlock with no hiccups along the way, the Garmin Sat Nav
is clear enough to follow, even for me, with the concentration span of a goldfish. It even does this fancy pants thing of doing a ‘split screen’ when you’re coming up to one of those weird junctions where you ”keep left, bare right and carry straight on” all in the same instruction.
Now, if you’ve never been to Matlock it’s kind of hard to describe the weird ‘League of Gentlemen’ like atmosphere the little place is reminiscent of. It makes you think you’re in a seaside town, with dozens of fish and chip shops, yet is nowhere near the sea. It also has weird attractions such as the Hologram ‘museum’ (which is basically just a room of holograms from the 1980’s) and a Petrifying Well…All under one roof for only £2.90. Now, that’s not to be sniffed at either, as it just might be the most hilarious and awe-inspiring place I have ever visited for such a bargain price, haha. We did appear to have visited a little off season, as most of the shops and eateries closed at 2pm, which was a bit of a shame so we ended up just grabbing fish and chips at one of the only cafes which were still open. For some reason Matlock is ALWAYS full of bikers too, no matter what time or day or month you go, there are always so many of them lined up and down the main road! I’m not 100% sure why they do this, but they do, and it’s kind of weird to see them all lined up every time you visit… Unless it’s just the same biker locals who live there and meet daily or something?! Who knows, as I said – it’s all VERY League of Gentlemen round those parts!
Matlock is worse a little road trip in the summer if you’re not a million miles away, but you just need to remember to not get your hopes up! It’s charm is in the weirdness, and it certainly does have a lot of weird charm. Overall the adventure was a success though, thanks to my handy new Sat Nav, and it made it so much more easier and safer than trying to balance my phone somewhere on my dashboard to follow Waze. As I said, the screen is so simple making the route easy to follow with a no frills navigation screen and you simply pop a post code in to find your destination. Thank you Tesco Compare for making my non-motorway-driving adventures endlessly easier!!