Hiking in The Peak District

Sally-Jo Asser on 08 August 2021
I was asked by some great friends, ‘fancy a walking holiday in the Peak District?’. The last time I was in this area and indeed hiking was some 30 years ago as a late teen and I remembered it being a challenging hike then. Would I be able to hack it a 50??? Would I be able to keep up with the group mostly in their 30’s & 40’s….. only way to find out is to do it… so ‘YES’ came splurting out of my mouth!

We booked 3 nights in August. There are loads of accommodation options in the area, we opted some of us to stay at the Premier Inn, clean, modern, welcoming, in a good location on the outskirts of Buxton but easily accessible for an evening walk into town for drinks & supper. A couple of us stayed at The Palace Hotel Buxton, a period building of c1868, set in five acres of stunning landscaped gardens, centrally located and next to the train station, a grand looking hotel. You’d need to have a conversation with me to hear which hotel I’d prefer to stay in!!

Our first hike was Mam Tor & Hope an 8-miler which is one of the most famous walks in the Peak District, well and truly deserves a place on your Peak District bucket list! Starting in the valley at Castleton, ascending the 517metre peak of Mam Tor (Mother’s Hill.. and it was a mother of a hill!), along the ridges and descending into Hope for a refreshing pub stop…. of course…. continuing on through the lowlands back to Castleton.

Castleton is a great place to stay if you want to explore the surrounding countryside and there are many circular walks for you to try. Another place which can be very useful as a base for your Mam Tor exploration is Edale, from here Mam Tor is a beautiful (albeit steep) walk and it’s also the official start of the Pennine Way!

Our second walk, The Roaches and Lud’s Church, although shorter (7miles) was more challenging underfoot. The Roaches is an iconic Peak District destination, a rocky ridge that rises steeply to 505m, towering over the Tittesworth Reservoir.

Lud’s Church is one of the highlights of this walk, and my favourite of the weekend – an atmospheric, moss-covered chasm that hides plenty of secrets… too much history to write in this blog. The walls of the rock on either side stretch 18m up in the air, and are coated in sweet-smelling, vivid green moss - check out Lud's Church in My Videos. Lud’s Church offers the perfect contrast to the rocky, open ridge of the Roaches, and for a brief moment on your walk, will transport you to another world.

Buxton has many great places to eat and drink in the evening. I particularly enjoyed The Royal Oak a charming country pub in Hurdlow, 53Degrees@ Buxton Brewery Tap House with good food, service, atmosphere and The Old Sun Inn, a 17th century converted coaching inn with a great selection of gins.

Our itinerary didn’t allow time for further excursions on this trip but there is so much on offer in the area that you could easily fill a week long holiday. There are many more walks, Speedwell Cavern, Blue John Mines, Matlock, Bakewell, Leek the list goes on.

All in I spent £450 including, petrol (from West Sussex), accommodation, food & drink aplenty…. even a bit of clothes shopping!!! If this or another holiday like this is of interest to you then please get in touch to discuss. In the meantime, dust off your hiking boots and get practising.

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