It’s not always possible to escape abroad for holidays and actually there are beautiful places close to you that don’t require flights. People fall into a trap of thinking that places within easy reach are less worthy visiting that the ones thousand miles away. Like in that saying the grass is greener on the other site. I promise you that each of you has an unique and amazing place to explore within easy reach from your home!
I enjoy city vibes but with time passing by each year, I fall stronger in love with nature escapes. Tranquillity in such escapes is so rewarding and enriching since the daily work lifestyles are nothing less than a professional race. So this weekend was dedicated to hiking holidays in Peak District (England) with incredible views!
Summer is great time to explore England’s National parks due to higher chance of sunny weather. However, it also coincides with school holidays and thus it will be harder to rent a place with lower price for a night sleep. If you are not bothered about sunrays, plan a visit in spring or autumn outside school and bank holidays.
If you have a tent, than staying at a campsite will be the cheapest option. Many campsites have shower and toilet facilities and are located close to popular hiking sites. Book in advance not to be disappointed! I strongly advice against just going and trying to find a campsite on the day, especially in the summer. All campsites that we passed this weekend were FULLY booked. You actually need to books months in advance for a place in popular campsites.
If you are not a fan of spending the night in a sleeping bag, then YHA (Youth Hotel Association) will be a choice for low cost and good quality accommodation. They are located close to main visiting sites and offer from private to shared rooms. We stayed there while visiting Lake District (England) and would use them again. They are very popular and thus book them in advance to get the place and type of room you want.
If you want something more special and can spend a bit more on accommodation, try renting a COTTAGE. We rented a lovely cottage through AirBnB for a group of 4. It just added special touch to our countryside visit.
All these accommodation options come with self-catering facilities and that makes the trip cheaper too. Other standard accommodation options are as usual- B&B, hotel, quest houses...
One weekend is nowhere near enough to explore the Natural Park. It has many old small villages, pubs, tearooms and most importantly lots and lost of hiking routes!
Our cottage was located in the Hope Valley, so the hidden Swallet Waterfall was just 20min drive from us. It is very close to the road but cannot be seen from the roadside so you will need to go to the bottom of the waterfall. The falling water stream was very small when we visited it. Please note that the land is privately owned. There is no parking too, so you need to park at Eyam or Follow and walk (approx. 20min). From the waterfall we went to the Bakewell village for a walk and evening dinner.
Saturday was the main day. We have planned to do the Kinder Scout circuit walk. Kinder Scout is the highest peak in Peak District and Midlands. I use information from HappyHiker website for our walks. Her directions are very detailed, with photos, easy to follow and have printable versions of routes. Parking at Edale is £5 for 10hours and has toilet facilities.
It was a good walk, good 6 hours! It started at Edale and over the plateau of the Kinder Scout to Jacob's ladder, which required quite a bit of energy. The top of Jacob's ladder with the view of the Kinder Scout plateau was a great spot for a short break. From there we went towards the Kinder Downfall expecting to see a strong and energetic waterfall as it was the 30metre drop and the biggest waterfall in the Peak District. To our slight disappointment it was quite dry and more like a trickle.
The trickiest part of the walk was from the Kinder Downfall to the Pym Chair. The footpath was unusual (almost non-existent really) and boggy. Make sure your shoes are waterproof! We thought we were lost but carried on upstream and finally reached the Pym Chair.
The last leg of the walk downwards to the Crowden Clough and back to Edale via the Upper Booth. We finished our walk with a celebratory drink at the Old Nags Head Pub. 6hours, 26.5km were done and dusted!
On our way back home on Sunday, we visited Chestnut Centre Otter, Owl and Wildlife sanctuary. Ideal place for families. If going there, visit during feeding times as animals will come out from their hiding places.