Peak District Staycation

Hope Valley Peak District

Peak District National Park

Lovely view across the Hope Valley. Well worth the climb to the top

Whether you call it a staycation or a holiday – for the last week in June, my husband and I booked a lovely cottage in the Hope Valley, Peak District National Park.

Hope Valley is about 30 minutes West of Sheffield and about a 45 minute drive East of Manchester. Or if you live in Wiltshire like me, then it’s about a 4 hour drive North.

Hope Valley gives access to some fabulous walking such as the Pennine Way, Kinder Scout and Mam Tor for fabulous views. The area is also very popular for climbers, with great climbing and easy access to areas such as Stannage Edge.

We found a cottage in the village of Bradwell to stay in for the week. It was incredibly peaceful, had lots of character with everything you could need for a week’s holiday.

Exploring the Peak District

Our week flew by – and we alternated walking days, with days out to nearby National Trust properties. The plan was to use the cottage as a base to explore the region a little bit further, having had 2 previous holidays in the Hope Valley.

Hardwick Hall National Trust

Hardwick Hall

Hardwick Hall was great to explore, especially those who love Tudor History.

Our first National Trust property, was a short drive back towards Sheffield to visit Hardwick Hall. We are both members of the National Trust – so during a week’s holiday we usually look to get the most out of our annual membership. Harwick Hall is described as “English interpretation of Italian Renaissance Architecture” and has a lovely house to explore, gardens and café where I was able to get a tasty gluten free salad.

Grindleford Station Cafe

Tuesday was a walking day. Well, I say a walking day, but we were on holiday as well (remember). So the theme of the walk centred around Grindleford Café. A fabulous independent café set in an old train station waiting room, serving tea and bacon sandwiches, as well as plates of chips. It is cash only, so if you do visit, remember to take some cash.

My husband had set his heart of a bacon butty, so we parked the car a not too challenging few miles up the road at Longshaw Estate (another National Trust carpark) and followed a route to Grindleford Café down via Padley Gorge.

Padley Gorge Peak District

Padley Gorge is a lovely varied walk with the added bonus of a cafe.

I settled for a plateful of chips (order the small portion) while my husband tucked into his bacon bap. We then had the uphill walk for the return to the car – but there are so many walks and routes around the Padley Gorge that you never need to retrace your steps.

 Longshaw Estate National Trust

Longshaw Estate can be combined with walks around Padley Gorge, owned by the National Trust so you are guaranteed a tea shop!

Grindleford Station – is still an open train station, so you can even incorporate the train into your walks if you fancy a longer walk along the Hope Valley.


Our next outing was to Bakewell, in search of two things. One was a gift for the pet sitter at home, and the other was to find our favourite shop serving Bakewell Tarts – or Bakewell Puddings as we ended up buying. There are many shops in Bakewell claiming to be the original Bakewell Pudding shop, so I will leave you to find your favourite.

Monsal Head and Trail

Monsal Trail Tunnel

Monsal Trail Tunnel. I have to admit these tunnels do scare me.

We took our Bakewell Puddings up to Monsal Head, which is a disused viaduct and fabulous viewpoint to eat our puddings from. The Monsal Trail, is a 8.5 mile long disused railway line starting in Bakewell, and is now a trail, so an absolutely fabulous area to explore on foot or bike. We squeezed in a 6 mile hike to burn off our puddings in the afternoon.

Lyme National Trust

Lyme National Trust

Lyme National Trust.

Feeling the need for an easier day, the following day, we headed to another National Trust property. This time we visited Lyme National Trust. We spent the whole day there exploring the house, a 17 acre garden and some of the estate walks. It’s a personal choice, but between Hardwick Hall and Lyme, Lyme was my favourite and really did capture me all day.

Mam Tor 

Mam Tor Peak District National Park

Mam Tor - 360 degree views.

For our final day in the Hope Valley we really couldn’t resist returning to Mam Tor. It has easy access and parking – and fabulous views across to Kinder Scout and down the valley.

I absolutely loved my week in the Hope Valley. There is so much to do, in the way of outdoor activities as well as the caverns to explore on a rainy day. I can’t wait to go back and explore some more.

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