From Hathersage, I headed westward along the Hope Road, beside the River Derwent, past the village of Hope (the inspiration for the one in Nelson, New Zealand?) to the village of Castleton.
Castleton is dominated by the remains of Peveril Castle and by a low mountain called Mam Tor, meaning mother hill, as it keeps giving off small hills by way of a slow landslide that has been working for centuries. Very strange. There is a long walk along a local ridgeline that goes up and over Mam Tor, and this is one of the most popular hikes in the Peak District. However, I did not do it as I was going to do another one called Kinder Scout.
There seem to be lots of caves in the Castleton area.
From Castleton, I headed out through the scenic Winnats Pass and the Blue John Cavern into the lovely valley called Edale.
This area is very much like the Shire out of The Lord of the Rings, complete with a turf-roofed information centre.
From Edale Road, which runs along the middle of the valley, you head up a dead-end side road called Marys Lane, past the Rambler Inn, to where most of the actual village of Edale is hidden away.
Around four kilometres along the Pennine Way, you get to a place called Jacob’s Ladder, from where a steep path branches off into the hills of Kinder Scout. You get to Jacob’s Ladder after crossing an old stone packhorse bridge.
The Kinder Scout hike took me about seven hours. Again, stunning! Really enjoyable, and I recommend it for families.
Here’s a video I made, of Castleton, Peveril Castle and Kinder Scout. It’s just short, but it includes a quick glimpse of the mountain called Mam Tor and, through a tree, Stanage Edge (“where I was yesterday”) at the other end of the Hope Valley from Castleton. Just before those words, you can see Castleton village (it’s in the thumbnail as well). I spot “another cavern” on the hillside (there are lots of caves in this valley) and end up on Kinder Scout.
The best times to visit the Peak District are during the week, as it gets a bit packed out at weekends.
A really useful website, which includes an app, is visitpeakdistrict.com/.
You don’t need a car to visit the Peak District, as there is a railway line that runs through from Manchester to Sheffield.
The website for the Peak District National Park is https://www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/. It includes a full list of campsites and camping and cabin prices and facilities.
I find that WikiCamps UK is an excellent camping app more generally. You can also join the UK Camping and Caravanning Club for rates that start from 45 UK Pounds a year. They give major discounts on camping.
A lot of the popular walks are signposted across the UK, but in the national parks, surprisingly enough, they hardly seem to be signposted at all. This is quite a different state of affairs from the way things are in New Zealand. To avoid getting lost, this makes it even more advisable to purchase detailed topographical maps, which in Britain are called Ordnance Survey Maps.
Here is a website that describes the relevant Ordnance Survey Maps for the Peak district: peakdistrictwalks.net/peak-district-maps/.
(I got a walking guide which wasn’t as good but gave me an idea.)
I also find the AllTrails app to be very useful, as always. It can be used offline.
There is a really good camping store in Britain called Go Outdoors. It has everything at really reasonable prices. I got a big bottle of gas for 9 pounds and also bought a tent and everything else I needed, including winter clothes for the hills.
For weather, I was using the Meteor app, but apparently, the BBC is a bit more reliable.
Lastly, the Waze app helps you to find free carparks.
My next post will be about Sheffield!
Subscribe to our mailing list to receive free giveaways!