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Mythical adventures and magical beauty — Peak District hikes

Dan Hobson

Mythical adventures and magical beauty — Peak District hikes

Hiking Collection by Dan Hobson

14

Tours

55:11 h

119 mi

15,375 ft

Tranquil dales and gritstone escarpments, rugged moors and wildflower meadows, crystalline rivers and fragrant woodlands, heavenly hilltops and chocolate-box villages – the Peak District truly is one of the most treasured natural landscapes in Britain.

The national park is broadly divided into two parts. The wilder Dark Peak to the north is dominated by gritstone edges and moorland, while the White Peak in the south is renowned for its limestone dales, hay meadows and wildflower-rich grasslands.

The cherished landscapes are interspersed with ancient ceremonial sites, world-famous stately homes, vast Victorian viaducts and twinkling reservoirs. Drystone walls and mature hedgerows line the pretty patchwork countryside. Wildlife thrives in the varied habitats.

The Peak District was the UK’s first national park. It was designated in 1951, almost two decades after a mass trespass on Kinder Scout paved the way for our right to hike unhindered today.

Covering an area of 542 square miles (1,403 km² ), the Peak District is surrounded by the vast conurbations of Manchester and Sheffield, with Nottingham and Derby both nearby. Several large towns are within easy reach of the national park, making it a Garden of Eden for so many people.

The Peak District will always have a special place in my heart. I grew up within the national park and have many fond childhood memories. My grandparents (and later uncles) were shepherds on the remote hills in the upper Dove Valley. In my adult life, exploring these wonderful landscapes on hikes, trail runs and bike rides has become a real passion.

In this Collection, I reveal some of my favourite hikes in the Peak District. This is by no means a definitive list. However, the majority of the national park's most treasured places are included here, plus a few lesser-known destinations. The hikes are broadly arranged from easy to difficult. Some of the toughest hikes have alternative Tours in the descriptions. All in all, there’s something for all ages, abilities and timeframes here.

Many of the hikes start in places that you can reach via public transport. However, a car is generally the easiest way to get around and each Tour starts from either a car park or a place where roadside parking is available.

You can enjoy these Tours at all times of year and each season brings its own unique character. I recommend sturdy footwear and waterproofs no matter what season, as well as sunscreen. While most of these hikes have pit-stop opportunities, always pack enough water and food to sustain yourself.

Finally, if you try any of these Tours, be sure to let me know. I’d love to hear any feedback.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Eyam ‘plague village’ — Peak District hikes

    Easy
    01:35
    3.37 mi
    2.1 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    In the summer of 1665, the Black Death came to the village of Eyam in a package of materials from London. Soon after the outbreak, residents decided to quarantine themselves – a brave decision that ultimately stopped the disease from spreading beyond the village.

    

    This leisurely loop takes you to historic

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Easy
    01:48
    3.91 mi
    2.2 mph
    500 ft
    500 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A set of rocks that hero Robin Hood leapt across, an ancient stone circle, an unusual hermit’s cave, breathtaking views and idyllic countryside – this action-packed hike is perfect for the whole family.

    

    The route starts from the peaceful village of Elton. Whilst there isn’t a car park, sensible roadside

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  • Easy
    01:53
    4.30 mi
    2.3 mph
    450 ft
    100 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This hike explores the historic market town of Bakewell and heads along a former railway line to Monsal Head, where one of the finest views in the Peak District awaits. Suitable for all abilities and young children, this is a great little jaunt that’s packed with interest.

    

    From the car park, hike into

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  • Intermediate
    02:24
    5.04 mi
    2.1 mph
    725 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Dovedale is one of the most popular spots in the Peak District for families to revel in nature.

    

    And for good reason. The idyllic nature reserve has crystal clear water to splash in, iconic river stepping stones to skip over, ancient caves to explore, plus internationally-important ash woodlands, grasslands

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  • Intermediate
    03:22
    6.91 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Mam Tor is a Peak District legend. Known as the ‘shivering mountain’ due to its tendency for movement and landslides, the folkloric hill sits on the White Peak and Dark Peak boundary. Expect photogenic views, poetic topography and classic hiking throughout this Tour.

    

    From the car park, follow the main

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  • Intermediate
    03:43
    8.03 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,000 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the honeypot idyll of Monsal Dale to the wildlife haven of Deep Dale, via patchwork farmland, pretty villages, fragrant woodlands and medieval bridges – this Tour is as varied as it is beautiful.

    

    The hike begins at the honesty-box car park in Ashford. Climb out of the village into pretty farmland

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  • Intermediate
    04:20
    9.74 mi
    2.2 mph
    875 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Rugged moors and gritstone escarpments, wildflower meadows and lazy riversides, characterful villages and fragrant woodlands – this Tour showcases the spectacular variety of Peak District hikes.

    

    The gritstone escarpment that forms Baslow Edge, Curbar Edge and Froggatt Edge is one of the most iconic spots

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  • Intermediate
    04:45
    10.8 mi
    2.3 mph
    875 ft
    875 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Lathkill Dale and Bradford Dale are among the prettiest in the Peak District. Boasting clear rivers, idyllic waterside meadows, abundant wildlife, tranquil woodlands and even opportunity for a wild swim, you can expect a real slice of rural idyll on this Tour.

    

    Head left out of the car park and take the

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  • Intermediate
    04:09
    9.12 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,000 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Myths, legends and magical beauty all combine on this hike, which explores the ancient ceremonial sites of Robin Hood’s Stride and Stanton Moor. You also take in lower Lathkill Dale plus idyllic countryside around Haddon Hall.

    

    The Tour starts from the traditional village of Birchover. Whilst there isn

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  • Intermediate
    03:42
    7.63 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,225 ft
    1,225 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Parkhouse and Chrome are some of the most distinctive hills in the Peak District. Instantly recognisable for their dragon’s back-like appearance, these exhilarating ridges boast jaw-dropping panoramas and an unforgettable hiking experience.

    

    This loop takes you over these two iconic hills, whilst bagging

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  • Intermediate
    04:12
    8.49 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,525 ft
    1,525 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Kinder Scout is one of the most iconic places in the Peak District. The highest point in the national park and the location of the mass trespass in 1932, which paved the way for our right to explore the countryside today, this moorland plateau is as historic as it is beautiful.

    

    Tours here are always

    by Dan Hobson

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  • Difficult
    06:15
    13.8 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,475 ft
    1,475 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A stately home standing proudly on the horizon. The River Derwent meandering gently through meadows. Picturesque parkland separated by ancient hedgerows, dry-stone walls, chocolate-box villages and pockets of woodland – hikes around the Chatsworth Estate are always a refined step back in time.

    

    People

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  • Difficult
    06:35
    14.4 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,650 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This loop reveals the splendour of the southern Peak District. Combining Dovedale, Milldale, Wolfscote Dale and Hall Dale, this idyllic Tour boasts crystal-clear waterways, iconic rock formations, abundant wildlife and breathtaking views.

    

    From the National Trust car park, head right along the lane and

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  • Difficult
    06:29
    13.2 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,300 ft
    2,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The scenery around Ladybower can change in a heartbeat. From glassy lakeside to gritstone escarpment, wild moorland to gentle farmland, pine woodlands to deciduous copses, breathtaking hilltops to sheltered valleys – the variation is utterly intoxicating.

    

    This challenging loop takes you to some prized

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Questions and Comments

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    14
  • Distance
    119 mi
  • Duration
    55:11 h
  • Elevation
    15,375 ft

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