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The Best of The Peak District

Walk the hilltops, dales and gorges of Britain's first National Park on this holiday exploring the highlights of the Peak District.

From£489

  • England

  • 4, 5 nights
  • Jun

    Jul

    Sep

    Oct

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 7320473205

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 5

Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.

The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.

Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • Walk the High Peak Trail
  • Admire panoramic views directly from the hotel
  • Discover the varied beauty of the Peak District on foot

The rippling waters of the River Dove cut through a steep sided limestone gorge. Strips of broad leaved woodland line the banks. Suddenly you emerge into grassland with sweeping views and dry stone walls, descending gently to the village of Ilam, with its ancient cross and tidy, flower filled gardens.

You can ascend the rocky precipice of High Tor on wooded paths above the Derwent Gorge. Or wander through the picturesque towns of Bakewell and Ashford-in-the-Water, take in the panoramic views from Monsal Head and encounter Britain’s industrial heritage all directly from our hotel at Cromford.

We will also walk on part of the High Peak Trail, an old railway line which closed in 1967. We may also walk along the Monsal Trail, and this old line forms the focal point of the classic view down Monsal Dale from Monsal Head. It is astonishing how a former major transport artery is now a tranquil haven for nature. South of here the railway has been preserved. It is possible to travel by steam train to Rowsley, before walking back through limestone country with impressive views over the dales.

The limestone White Peak area of the southern Peak District is an ideal base for a holiday at this moderate walking grade. You will be surrounded by beautiful limestone crags, valleys, streams and rivers. Panoramic views over fascinating countryside will be your reward to be enjoyed from the local high points you will reach.

The rugged beauty of this area is overwhelming and makes it a wonderful place to walk; rolling hills, tranquil dales, gorges, magnificent rock formations, evidence of a history which changed the world and some beautiful towns of honey coloured stone. 

NO Single Room Supplement - rooms without a supplement are subject to availability.

  • Half board en suite accommodation
  • All transport necessary to and from the walks
  • Services of a dedicated tour leader
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival Day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Independent arrival at the Willersley Castle Hotel in Cromford. Check in is available from 2pm. You will meet your tour leader and group members prior to dinner for a briefing and welcome. Dinner each evening is taken in the hotel restaurant at 7pm. 

Day 2

Millers Dale and the Monsal Trail to Bakewell

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200m

This is a good walk to start with, being the easiest walk of the holiday finishing in Bakewell where you can spend some time at the end of the day. Bakewell is a pleasant old town and has numerous tea-shops offering cream teas with the famous Bakewell Pudding. Along the way we will reach Monsal Head, a famous beauty spot with a magnificent view down Monsal Dale and up the Wye valley. The view is spectacular, with the river far below, winding through a steep-sided and often rocky valley. 

Day 3

Cromford, High Peak Trail, Bonsall & Matlock Bath

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

  • Distance

    12 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    365m

This is the longest walk of the week but we will have plenty of rest stops. We will walk from the hotel passing near Arkwrights Mill then walk beside the Cromford Canal to the beginning of the High Peak Trail. This former railway line was one of the steepest in the country. We stop for coffee at top (Middleton Top) shortly before leaving the Trail and walking north towards the tiny settlement of Ible and the larger village of Bonsall a former mining village, now the home of the ‘Hen Racing World Championship'. From Bonsall we descend through woods to Cromford for a chance to have afternoon tea or visit the shops, before returning to the hotel. 

Day 4

Cales Dale, Lathkill Dale and Youlgreave

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

  • Distance

    10.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    428m

A walk along some of the Peak District's finest White Peak limescale dales. Some sections are fairly narrow with steep rocky sides, follow riverside paths whilst others more open across rolling hill country.

Day 5

Beresford, Wolfscote and Dove Dales

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4.5 hours

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    150m

A minibus will take us to the pretty village of Hartington where you will have time to look around before crossing the fields to the famous River Dove, which marks the border between Derbyshire and Staffordshire. We will walk in both counties as we make our way through Wolfcote Dale to the junction with Biggin Dale and on towards Milldale for lunch. Whilst we stay beside the Dove after lunch, we enjoy a complete change of scenery as we pass caves and rocks with interesting names until we reach Lovers Leap from where we descend to cross the famous stepping stones and make our way across to Ilam Hall, a National Trust property offering refreshments and souvenirs. We then return to the hotel by minibus.

Day 6

Departure Day

Meals

Breakfast

Independent departure from the Willersley Castle Hotel after breakfast. Check out is by 10am. We hope you have had an enjoyable holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon. 

Departure dates for your selected tour

7th Jun 2020 - 12th Jun 2020 (5 Nights)

12th Jul 2020 - 17th Jul 2020 (5 Nights)

13th Sep 2020 - 18th Sep 2020 (5 Nights)

6th Jun 2021 - 11th Jun 2021 (5 Nights)

11th Jul 2021 - 16th Jul 2021 (5 Nights)

26th Sep 2021 - 1st Oct 2021 (5 Nights)

3rd Oct 2021 - 8th Oct 2021 (5 Nights)

Travel Details

Transport to and from the trailheads, if necessary, is included in the price of your holiday.

The Willersley Castle Hotel has plenty of guest car parking.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival Day

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

Independent arrival at the Willersley Castle Hotel in Cromford. Check in is available from 2pm. You will meet your tour leader and group members prior to dinner for a briefing and welcome. Dinner each evening is taken in the hotel restaurant at 7pm.

Day 2

Millers Dale and the Monsal Trail to Bakewell

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    200m

This is a good walk to start with, being the easiest walk of the holiday finishing in Bakewell where you can spend some time at the end of the day. Bakewell is a pleasant old town and has numerous tea-shops offering cream teas with the famous Bakewell Pudding. Along the way we will reach Monsal Head, a famous beauty spot with a magnificent view down Monsal Dale and up the Wye valley. The view is spectacular, with the river far below, winding through a steep-sided and often rocky valley.

Day 3

Cromford, High Peak Trail, Bonsall & Matlock Bath

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

  • Distance

    12 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    365m

This is the longest walk of the week but we will have plenty of rest stops. We will walk from the hotel passing near Arkwrights Mill then walk beside the Cromford Canal to the beginning of the High Peak Trail. This former railway line was one of the steepest in the country. We stop for coffee at top (Middleton Top) shortly before leaving the Trail and walking north towards the tiny settlement of Ible and the larger village of Bonsall a former mining village, now the home of the ‘Hen Racing World Championship'. From Bonsall we descend through woods to Cromford for a chance to have afternoon tea or visit the shops, before returning to the hotel.

Day 4

Cales Dale, Lathkill Dale and Youlgreave

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

  • Distance

    10.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    428m

A walk along some of the Peak District's finest White Peak limescale dales. Some sections are fairly narrow with steep rocky sides, follow riverside paths whilst others more open across rolling hill country.

Day 5

Departure Day

Meals

Breakfast

Independent departure from the Willersley Castle Hotel after breakfast. Check out is by 10am. We hope you have had an enjoyable holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon.

Departure dates for your selected tour

5th Oct 2020 - 9th Oct 2020 (4 Nights)

Travel Details

Transport to and from the trailheads, if necessary, is included in the price of your holiday.

The Willersley Castle Hotel has plenty of guest car parking.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Willersley Castle Hotel

You will stay at the three-star Willersley Castle Hotel, a 200 year old and recently refurbished Grade II listed building commissioned by the industrialist Sir Richard Arkwright, the man credited with inventing the modern factory system by automating cotton spinning.

The hotel stands in 60 acres of grounds just outside Cromford and sits on the slopes of Wild Cat Tor overlooking the River Derwent. Willersley Castle, a part of the Christian Guild Hotel Group, has leisure facilities including an indoor heated swimming pool, restaurant and lounges. Free Wi-Fi is available in the public rooms. 

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths and tracks on the walks each day are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground and some muddy fields depending on the weather at the time. Walks will last up to 7 hours including stops and will involve between 300m and 600m of cumulative ascent and descent and daily mileage between 9 and 12½ miles. The High Peak Trail walk is the longest walk of the holiday but it can be taken slowly as there are lots of stops along the way.

Walks & Excursions

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.

Tipping

Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Your Travel Details

To reach the hotel...

By car from the South: Take the M1 to junction 26 and follow the A610 towards Ripley. Follow the A610 until you reach the A6 and turn right. At Cromford turn right at the traffic lights and follow the road past the mill. The driveway of the hotel is immediately on the left after you cross over the bridge.

By car from the North: Take the M1 to junction 28 and follow the A38 towards Derby. Follow signs to Matlock via the A615. At the roundabout in Matlock turn left and follow the A6 through Matlock Bath to Cromford. Turn left at the traffic lights past the mill. The driveway of the hotel is immediately on the left after you cross over the bridge.

By rail: The nearest train station to the hotel is at Cromford. Trains are available on the Derby to Matlock line, however there are limited services on Sundays so please check before you travel. The hotel is a 10 minute walk from the station. If you require a taxi we advise you to pre-book as there is no telephone at Cromford station. (Matlock Taxis 01629 584195 or Maz Taxis 07598 161151).

By air: Nottingham East Midlands and Manchester airports are accessible by road and public transport.

You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the accommodation: www.rome2rio.com 

The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find the hotel. Details can be found at: www.theaa.co.uk and www.rac.co.uk 

Meeting your tour leader and fellow walkers: 

Please check the time of dinner (approximately 7pm) on arrival at the hotel, and aim to be in the lounge bar half an hour before dinner for an introduction to your leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to meet your walking companions.

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

Passport Information for United Kingdom

Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.

Meals

Accommodation is on a half board basis with buffet breakfasts and dinners taken at the hotel. Picnic lunches are not included.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks. 

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

National Trust & English Heritage

If you’re a member of either of these organisations don’t forget to bring your membership cards as this holiday may include sites relevant to these memberships or you may wish to visit any local sites on a free day should they be nearby.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Our intended walks are covered by the following map:

Ordnance Survey (1:25,000)
OL24 The Peak District White Peak area

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.

Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.

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