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from £469
Walk the hilltops, dales and gorges of Britain’s first National Park on this holiday exploring the highlight of the Peak District.

Guided Walking Holidays - The Best of the Peak District

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.

During your time in the Peak District, you can ascend the rocky precipice of High Tor on wooded paths above the Derwent Gorge. 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, directly from our hotel in Cromford.

Walk on part of the High Peak Trail, an old railway line which closed in 1967, and possibly walk along the Monsal Trail, which 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 (paid locally).

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. 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.

NO Single Room Supplement. Please note that sole occupancy rooms without supplements are subject to availability.

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 holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Half board en suite accommodation.
      All transport necessary to and from the walks.
      Services of a dedicated tour leader.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

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.

This departure: Grade 5

  1. Day 1

    Independent arrival at the Willersley Castle Hotel in Cromford. Check in at the hotel is from 2pm. 

  2. Day 2

    Millers Dale and the Monsal Trail to Bakewell. 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.

  3. Day 3

    Cromford, High Peak Trail, Bonsall & Matlock Bath. 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.

  4. Day 4

    Cales Dale, Lathkill Dale and Youlgreave. 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.

  5. Day 5

    Beresford, Wolfscote and Dove Dales. 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.

  6. Day 6

    Independent departure from the Willersley Castle Hotel after breakfast. We hope you have enjoyed your holiday and look forward to welcoming you on another soon. 

Travel Details

Transport to and from the trailheads, if necessary, is included.

Willersley Castle has plenty of guest car parking.

Trip Map

See where this holiday travels to.

The map will be available soon...

Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

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 and also a restaurant. Free Wifi is available in the public rooms.