Pennine Way: A week of classic Peak District day walks from Edale

From the idyllic base of Edale – gateway to the Pennine Way – follow a series of circular and linear walks through the Peak District National Park. Experience the contrasting geology of the Dark and the White Peak and climb iconic Kinder Scout, following in the footsteps of campaigners who fought for the right to roam across these pristine landscapes.

A relaxed introduction to the landscapes of the Pennine Way, where guests explore the ridges and valleys of the Peak District National Park on foot before returning to base every night.

This is very much the English style of country walking, offering a wide range of different circular and linear walks to extend or vary the itinerary.

Follow in the footsteps of the access campaigners who staged the famous Mass Trespass across the lonely plateau of Kinder Scout in 1932 and pay tribute to their legacy by walking a couple of miles of the route that their campaign helped to create.

Discover the unique geology of the Peak District on a linear walk from the millstone grit of the Dark Peak to the limestone of the White Peak above historic Castleton. Climb up to the keep of the Norman castle then head underground to explore the enchanting caverns where Blue John stone is still mined. Take an exhilarating walk along the Great Ridge – one of the Peak District’s most iconic walks – then enjoy the lively atmosphere in friendly walker’s pubs after a big day out on the hill.

Tour Overview

The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.

Distance

30km

Number of Days

5

Grade

Moderate

Theme

History

Landscape Type

High Hills & Moorland

Pennine Way: A week of classic Peak District day walks from Edale

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Itinerary

A short itinerary offering a flavour of walking in the Peak District – including historic routes on the opening section of the Pennine Way and the location of the Mass Trespass on Kinder Scout. There’s plenty of downtime built into the relaxed schedule to explore the many visitor attractions in the area and the selection of walks can easily extended to vary the itinerary.

Day 1 - Edale

Arrive at Edale or Hope by train after a scenic rail journey from Sheffield (35mins), Manchester (45mins) or Manchester airport (1hr 25mins). Check into accommodation and enjoy a short walk on the valley floor to familiarise yourselves with the lie of the land. To the north lies the lonely massif of Kinder Scout, to the south – over the Great Ridge – lies the limestone of the White Peak.

Day 2 - Castleton and the Hope Valley

Ascend the Great Ridge to Hollins Cross then climb to the summit of Mam Tor – the ‘shivering mountain’ at the head of the Hope Valley. Descend via the Blue John Caverns of Treak Cliff to Castleton, where you’ll find a wide selection of pubs and inns for lunch. In the afternoon, climb to the Norman Keep of Peveril Castle to admire the views down the valley before returning to Edale via bus to Hope then train. 7.3km /4.5 miles

Day 3 - On the Trail of the Mass Trespass

Follow the circular route up the ‘old’ line of the Pennine Way onto Kinder Scout, returning to Edale via the ‘new’ path of Jacob’s Ladder – named after a local drover who used this steep short cut whilst his stock followed the longer drovers’ track. The ‘Mass Trespass’ took place here in 1932 to protest against the limited access to the countryside for factory workers wanting to escape the smoke of the factories and enjoy the fresh air up on the hills. Their protests precipitated the establishment of the UK’s National Parks and the creation of the Pennine Way in 1965. This is the route as marked on the map below. 12.1km / 7.5 miles

Day 4 - Hope Village and Win Hill

Take the train to Hope then follow a circular walk up Win Hill for far-reaching view of the reservoirs to the north. Lower level options are available – including the scenic Heritage Route along the River Derwent to Hathersage. Spend the afternoon exploring Hope or Hathersage – thought to provide the fictional backdrop to Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre and maybe take a dip in the outdoor swimming pool. Return by train to Edale. 10.8km / 6.7 miles

Day 5 - Edale

Free for more walking or further exploration of the Peak District. Tideswell, whose elegant church is known as the ‘cathedral of the peak’, the plague village of Eyam and the splendour of Chatsworth House are all within an hour’s bus ride of Edale or Hope. The Limestone Way climbs up through a steep-sided canyon onto the chalk plateau above Castleton, or, for another iconic High Peak experience on foot, catch the train to Bamford and walk along the exposed edges beneath Great Tor.

Accommodation

Edale has a choice of B&Bs, Youth Hostel or campsite while further down the valley, the larger village of Hope has more options.

Travel

Air / rail

Fly into Manchester or Leeds. Train to Sheffield. Edale train station from Sheffield (35mins), Manchester (45mins) or Manchester airport (1hr 25mins). Eurostar to London St Pancras, then train from Kings Cross Station to Leeds (1hr 40 minutes).

Ferry

Ferry to Hull, then M62 to edge of Manchester and A6 to Chapel-en-le-Frith and on wards to Edale.

Advice

This itinerary will appeal to those who take a more relaxed approach to their walking – although some steep ascents over rugged terrain are involved. Good footwear and waterproofs will be required year-round, but walkers with a reasonable level of fitness will easily complete all these routes. Longer routes for more ambitious hikers are readily accessible.

Food & Drink

Options are broadly limited to local pubs, inns and cafes in the villages but detours to the larger towns offer more choice. A wide range of traditional ales is usually found on the bars of most of the pubs in Edale or the Hope Valley, with an emphasis on refreshing golden or pale ales. Hope and Castleton have a wider range of places to eat and Hathersage (20 mins by train) offers a good selection of restaurants, pubs and cafes.

Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise

The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.

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