The Peak Venues Blog

Planning a Walking Weekend

The Peak District offers some of the best walking terrains for all levels of ability, which is why it's one of the best places to visit for a walking weekend in the UK.

If you're thinking of a walking weekend break in the UK and want an abundance of weekend walks to choose from, from dog friendly walks in the Peak District, walks with some Peak District pubs along the way, long, short or circular walks, then the Peak District has something to suit you all!

We have put together some of our top tips to help you make the most of your walking weekend in the Peak District with Dog Friendly accommodation available too!  

Choose where in the Peak District you want to walk

There’s no better place to go walking than in the beautiful picturesque Peak District. With its spectacular variety of scenery and routes, from steep sided limestone dales to the dramatic high moorlands, and with over 555 miles of public footpaths in the Peak District with walking trails for all abilities, there really is something for everyone.

Start with choosing a good walking route, suitable for you and your group, consider the abilities of all and then choose a Peak Venues property nearby for that bit of luxury to complete your walking weekend break.  Our properties are the perfect place to relax and unwind after hours of doing some of the best walks in the Peak District.

See a list of some of the best Peak District walks with some pubs to visit along the way also below:

Mam Tor Kinder/Castleton/Edale/Hope

A classic circular walk is Mam Tor in The Peak District and if you’re staying in one of our nearby Peak Venues properties such as The Derwent or Hugh Cottage then you're in a great location to explore this walk.

The walk itself is all about the views, so a clear day is a real must for you to truly appreciate the astounding views from the top of Mam Tor. As the Peak District weather can be so unpredictable you may find it helpful to check out our Weather Blog and Packing List Blog for some advise before setting off.

From the top of Mam Tor you'll be able to see across the Edale Valley and the over to the Derwent Moors. If you don’t fancy the up-hill trek, then you could also just enjoy the summit of Mam Tor as there is an easily accessible walk from the car park.

You can still look out over the beautiful Winnats pass and catch a glimpse of Blue John Cavern which is home to 8 of the 14 known varieties of Blue John stone (see our Caving Page for more information).  It’s a great walk for kids, being a moderate 2 hour (3 miles) walk as well as a dog friendly route, so bring along your 4 legged friend too.

Below Kinder Scout is another moderate but quite an adventurous scenic family walk 

Follow the famous scenic Snake Path through the sheltered tree lined avenues around Hayfield, before climbing up to the heather moors surrounding Kinder, including a bridge to cross and stream crossing on ‘slippery stones’.   

Kinder moorland walk is a bit more of a moderate, challenging route so not ideal if you’re only looking for a saunter. You'll want to leave the car behind on this exhilarating walk that starts from Edale train station and takes you high up on the windswept, scenic Kinder plateau.  Part of the moor, at 636 metres above sea level, is the highest point in the Peak District, Derbyshire and the highest point in the East Midlands.

If you’re lucky to be at the top of Kinder Scout in excellent weather conditions the city of Manchester and the Greater Manchester area can be seen, as well as Winter Hill near Bolton, and the mountains of Snowdonia in North Wales, a real breath taking, magnificent view.   

A fabulous walk to take in many of the Peak District habitats is a exhilarating walk at Derwent Valley. The walk leads you alongside the impressive Ladybower Reservoir, through farmland and emerges high on the moors with amazing views of the Derwent Valley, and if you're lucky you could spot some local wildlife.

There is a more gentle, circular Ladybower Reservoir walk that's more accessible and pram friendly.  With well-surfaced paths all the way round making it a great walk for families looking for a longer Peak District walk with a pram or easily accessible. 

The Roaches/Chrome Hill/Parkhouse Hill

Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill are 2 classic Peak District hills that you definitely need to add to your walking bucket list! This short circular walk has impressive views both on the approach and from the summit of the 2 hills. If you’re lucky you might even spot a dragon.

Chrome Hill is known as the Dragon’s Back of the Peak District. The route takes you up to Parkhouse Hill which includes a short scramble section to reach the ridgeline of the hill, so make sure you are wearing suitable footwear. From Hollinsclough village in Staffordshire, you head across fields, with Chrome Hill in your sights at the beginning and end of the approach.

The route takes you along the length of Chrome Hill for the complete experience! From the top of the hill you continue down the other side to the road. Then it’s up the short, but enjoyable scramble section to Parkhouse Hill summit before descending down and looping back towards the village of  Hollinsclough. 

This is an ideal walk if you're staying in our nearby properties, Lapwing Barns, Rose Cottage, or at our Hurdlow Grange Site.

The Edges

9 Edges Walk is a challenge to hike along 9 different edges in the Peak District and a great walk if your staying in our properties Edge Cottage, Top Shippon or Shippon Barn.

It’s a fantastic long-distance walk in the National Park, taking in some wonderful views along the way. You can set yourself a challenge to walk or even run the route, or take your time and have a lovely day out in the Peak District. 

The Edges: Derwent Edge, Stanage Edge, Upper Burbage Edge, Lower Burbage Edge, Froggatt Edge, Curbar Edge, Baslow Edge, Gardom’s Edge, Birchen Edge 

The Edges route begins at Ladybower Reservoir from Fairholmes car park, past the Derwent Dam then up to Lost Lad and Back Tor, the start of Derwent Edge. From here you continue on to Stanage Edge, completing the 2 longest edges first.

Next is Upper and Lower Burbage, 2 separate edges, before heading via the Longshaw Estate and onto edge number 5 – Froggatt Edge, the next 2 are beautifully linked with fantastic views to admire and from here you have completed Curbar Edge then Baslow Edge. And finally, it’s another transition through a beautiful woods to the final 2 edges Gardom’s and Birchen Edge. The last edge is just over 1 km from the trig point to the car park, then you have completed all the edges!

Cressbrook Dale and Peter's Stone

Cressbrook Dale and Peter's Stone walks are in the White Peak area of the Peak District, this adventure walk starts outside the village of Litton and a great property to stay in is Dale House in Litton or Holborn Cottage for easy access of this area, walking left just past the church in the village and following the lane out of the village.  It turns off right where there's a stone stile over the wall, look carefully for this as it can easily be missed.

Taking you across the fields to the tree line and cross into the woods on the side of Cressbrook Dale. The path through the woods can be a bit wet and muddy so ensure you have the correct footwear on, then follow the path all the way down to Cressbrook village where the path enters the village and continues just around the corner. 

From Cressbrook down to Litton Mill is around 1.2km and once in Litton Mill the path along the river does go through people's properties. There is a permissive footpath leading through a gate and through a small residential complex. Simply follow the path and respect the privacy of the residents as you go along. The path leads out of a little village and onto the river bank.

There's plenty of signage at the start of the path along the river and at various points along it reminding walkers that this is also a permissive footpath and to be respectful of the wildlife and the surroundings. You can refer to the Countryside Code for more information.

The walk along the river Wye is extremely beautiful, with the rocks up the sides of the dale and the trees and the sunlight reflecting on the water, it makes this a somewhat magical area. Follow the river through the dale and the path leads back round to meet up with the bottom of Cressbrook village at the mill and from there follow the road up into Cressbrook Dale. 

The road bends sharply upwards to the left and the footpath carries on in a straight line off the bend, leading off into the trees of Cressbrook Dale. The path through the trees is about 1.2km stroll before the trees open up to part of the Derbyshire Dales Nature Reserve.

This part of Cressbrook Dale particularly seems unreal as it's so incredibly beautiful with its green sides of the dale speckled with light grey limestone and Tansley winding away mysteriously back towards Litton village.  Walk about 1km through the dale and you'll get to Peter’s Stone on your right. It is a little bit of a scramble to the top, but the glorious surrounding landscape makes it all worth while. 

When you've taken in all the beautiful surrounds and start heading back down you can just carry along the last bit of the route and back up to the car. You can walk all the way to the end of the dale and then double back onto the path that leads up to Mires lane, or there is a path that leads up onto the path to Mires lane shortly after Peter’s Stone, which does cut about 500m off the total route length.

A real treat of a walk which is definitely one of our favourites of the Peak District and this would be the ideal walking break trail for taking in the most the Peak District and its natural beauty has to offer.

Monsal Trail

The Monsal Trail is a great walk for all, a traffic free route for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users through some of the Peak District's most spectacular limestone dales. The trail runs along the former Midland Railway line for 8.5 miles between Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale and Coombs Road, at Bakewell. To avoid tourist crowds during the busy summer months, we recommend starting the Monsal Trail hike at the Monsal Trail End on the edge of Bakewell.

If you're staying in our properties near the Bakewell area such as Cliff House, Applehoe, Thornbridge Lodge, Rowdale Barns and Rowdale Farmhouse then you are in the perfect position to explore this delightful trail. From this trail end you can view one of the original railway viaducts, which are tunnels running underneath the ground and have since been turned into walking, biking and horse riding paths. Each tunnel is about 400 m long and lit during daylight hours.

Just before the Coombs Viaduct, ascend a series of shorts steps or the cycle slipway to your left up onto the Monsal Trail. The route itself is flat and very well defined, making it suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and bicycles. 

You can take this trail at your own pace and really take in the beautiful surrounds over Water-cum-Jolly Dale, a picturesque dale close to Cressbrook Mill. This dale was undiscovered since the closing of the railway line in 1968, but is now open to the public to enjoy, which we are so very grateful for! Follow the trail north for 3.1 km.

At the beginning to your left you'll see some spectacular views of charming Bakewell town. After a lovely, scenic saunter you will reach Hassop Station Cafe and shop which sits just off the trail.  Which is the perfect place for a post-walk stop for a refreshment and snack. With a large sun terrace fronting the Monsal Trail for those glorious sunny days and outside dining with a covered seating area and Wendy houses to keep the little ones entertained, and any dogs (and walkers) dry! There's also a great cycle hire shop, and book and gift shop.

You can take a break here (recommended) before turning around and following the trail back to the Monsal Trail end.

Manifold Way/Ashbourne

The Manifold Way is a (mostly) traffic-free trail that runs for 8 miles through the Staffordshire Peak District between Hulme End in the north and Waterhouses in the south.  It follows the course of the River Manifold through the Manifold Valley, and the valley of its tributary river, the River Hamps. 

If you're staying in our Redhurst Barn or Green Man properties you are in an ideal spot to explore this trail.

The name ‘Manifold’ comes from the ‘many folds’ of the river, as it meanders along the valley floor. Fascinatingly, the River Manifold disappears underground via sinkholes south of Wetton Mill and only reappears in the grounds of Ilam Hall, approximately 5 miles away which is a surprise to most. The River Hamps also flows underground through a series of caves and subterranean passages. 

The Manifold Way is the perfect route for walking, cycling and riding as it is tarmacked with a well-maintained surface, which also makes it ideal for wheelchair users and those with prams or pushchairs. It passes through the most stunning White Peak countryside, distinguished by its towering limestone hills, flourishing woodland and meadows dotted with wildflowers.

Please note that the Manifold Way joins a single track B-road south of Ecton for approximately a mile, so it is not entirely traffic-free. 

Other Walks

For an easy walk for all the family and for leisurely strollers, the Edale Circular Walk is perfect. An easy walking route through vast, open fields and along parts of the Pennine Way, following streams and stone flagged paths through the Vale of Edale. You’ll find the Penny Pot Café between Edale train station and the main Edale car park where can indulge in a after walk snack and refreshing cold drinks.   

Manifold Valley: Wetton to Ilam walk is a moderately, challenging 10 mile walk starting at Ilam Park offering far-reaching views. This Peak District walk visits two contrasting valleys. The Manifold valley is quiet and unassuming whereas Dovedale is usually busy and full of life. The route starts from the attractive village of Ilam and visits Wetton and Stanshope during the walk.  

Ilam Park to the stepping stones in Dovedale walk is a popular moderate route, with loads of points of interest along the way. The famous Peak District stepping stones are a very popular attraction,  so it can get quite busy during the warmer months due to its beautiful surrounds and plentiful grassed areas making it a great spot for families to enjoy picnics and a laze about, but it's definitely worth a visit while in the Peak District.

Accessible routes in The Peak District

Miles Without Stiles 

Discover some of the Peak District’s most accessible routes through the Miles without Stiles guide, with some of the finest landscapes, the routes are well-surfaced, free from stiles, steps and narrow gates and are suitable for people of all fitness levels and those with limited mobility, including wheelchair users, families with pushchairs and the visually impaired. 

Supporting your health in the Peak District is important to us, and there are free monthly walks supported by the Peak District Foundation Peak Park Health walks to help those who are less able to enjoy walks and experiences on offer, through poor health or disability or low income. 

Plan the right walking routes for you

It's important to plan ahead with your walking days out in the Peak District. You need to consider your group and choose walking trails suitable for all of you, so you’ll need to look at how challenging each routes are whether it be, easy, pretty challenging or quite difficult and if the routes are accessible for the people in your group, so you have to consider everyone when planning the right Peak District walk.

It also depends, if you have any seasoned walkers or beginners in your group too, or less mobile people, and also if you’re 4 legged friends are joining you on your walk.

Planning all this ahead will enable you to choose the best walking route for you, and your group and make it a more enjoyable day out for all.  

Pick a qualified guide

If you are new to the Peak District and want to experience the best walks without fear of getting lost then hire a guide for the best personalised private guided walks, ideal for tailoring routes to suit the abilities of your group, great for individuals, couples, families, corporate groups or clubs! 

One of the best qualified guides in the Peak District is Emily Taylor  (AKA @trigsandteeth on Instagram!) is a Hill and Moorland Leader based in Glossop at the edge of the Dark Peak. She aims to inspire other women to learn the many benefits of exploring in the outdoors and is passionate about sharing her love for adventure

Check Out Emilys latest walks

Alternatively of the simplest ways to find a qualified walking guide is to head to get in touch with My Peak Event.

Plan your grub

It's important to pack all the essentials for your walks (you can see our Walking Packing List Blog for advice), and what's more important than keeping hydrated and energy-fuelled with some high-energy, carb-based snacks!  You should also think about what to eat before a morning walk, and what to have as a recovery drink or snack, especially if you're planning on tackling a more difficult, strenuous route.  

If making your own packed lunch (especially if you're with a large group) sounds like too much hassle then our sister company My Peak Event can provide you with all you need for the perfect lunch.

With a delicious and perfectly balanced handmade lunch, (using local ingredients where ever possible) delivered in individual brown paper bags and grease-proof wrapping, ready to be taken out into the wilds of the Peaks or alternatively they can bring it to you on your hike. If they can reach you by road, they will find you! 

You could also grab some local produce from the many sandwich/deli shops in the Peak District on the way.  Grasshopper Cafe located in Hope is ideal for your pre-walk snacks up to Mam Tor, or enjoy a post walk treat with a hot roast pork sandwich with all the trimmings!  

If you're exploring around the Hathersage area there is Colemans Deli, with picnic boxes available to order, and based in Bradwell you have The Bakehouse who have many snacks available from hot or cold foods and sweet treats! Grab yourself some energy fuelled snacks on your way up to Bamford Edge,  Win Hill or Mam Tor. (Don't forget to pack your waterproof folded picnic mat, see our Packing List.)

Lambton Larder in Bakewell is a great place to pick up a sandwich, coffee and pastries if you are basing your walk around the Bakewell area. Pig and Pepper on the High Street in Buxton is also a great place for picking up some treats for a packed lunch.

Wear the right footwear and clothing

Wearing proper walking shoes is an essential element in maintaining the correct walking technique, as well as preventing injury to yourself. Without the correct, fitted walking shoes, you are likely to hurt yourself, making you more prone to suffer further and more severe injuries in the future and even annoying blisters.  

If you haven’t got the appropriate footwear then there are plenty of places in the Peak District you could purchase some good quality walking shoes from and try on for the best fit. If you're in Bakewell head to the Cotswold Outdoor Shop, probably the best outdoor shop in the Peak District with over 50 years of boot fitting experience and 4 level 2 boot fitters. 

With experienced climbers on staff, they can offer their expertise and also offer kit talks for clubs preparing for expeditions and projects to get advice on your clothing and equipment which would be very informative for beginner walkers especially.  

Head over to our Peak District Packing List too for further recommendations of what to wear and pack for a walking day out in the Peaks.  

Follow the Countryside Code

It's important to understand your rights and responsibilities while visiting the Peak District, and the Countryside Code is in place to encourage visitors to respect, protect and enjoy to great outdoors,  as we are all passionate about protecting the natural environment of the Peak District.  

The Countryside Code  

We do suggest where possible to always use designated car parks and if this is not possible to always park responsibly, ensuring that you no not obstruct access for local residents and emergency vehicles. 

Make Memories - Don't forget your camera!

Of course this day in age, what's a trip away anywhere without taking a snap on your phone or camera to capture the moment to remember! 

Plan your post walk pit stop

After your long day of walking in the Peaks you’ll be ready for a post walk delicious meal, after all you’ve earnt it!  

There are many local pubs to choose from whereever you may be in the Peak District. Our sister pub The Royal Oak is ideal to stop off directly off the High Peak Trail, which stretches for 17 miles, and the Tissington Trail, which joins the High Peak Trail at Parsley Hay and runs for 13 miles to the market town of Ashbourne.  With its cosy country pub feel and open fires, it’s the ideal place to put up your feet and relax your tired legs. 

Alternatively just across the A515 is the newly refurbished Bull I' Th' Thorn Pub and Pizzeria where you will find hand stretched authentic Italian pizzas alongside classic pub dishes - something for everyone! 

The Yonderman Café is a great place to visit for a post-walk snack or meal (or indeed a pre-walk brekkie).  Situated not far from the Monsal Trail route. They are a licensed café offering a wide selection of breakfast and lunch items. All their cakes are homemade and they serve great coffee from Buxton Roastery, beers and local ales, wines and soft drinks, a great choice for everyone!

If you're staying at our property Dale House you are situated near a great circular 4.5 mile walk starting in Litton and incorporating some of the Peak District’s prettiest dales including Water-cum-Jolly Dale.  The walk takes you by the river Wye and passes by Cressbrook and Litton Mills. You’ll find The Red Lion pub, in Litton, for an excellent post walk meal. 

Published on June 10, 2023 in activities Inspiration