Edale is a walkers’ paradise and the start (or end) of the pennine way. Historically it is a significant place for ramblers as the first mass trespass took place on Kinder Scout the moorland to the north of the village. According to the Kinder Trespass website this act of civil disobedience was one of the most successful in British history and led to the establishment of the Pennine way, the National parks and the C.R.O.W. Act of 2000.
The choices of where to roam are virtually endless but to give you some guidance we like the following.
To get a good feel for the area you can take the path opposite the gate to the barns and walk around the ‘bowl’. This involves climbing up the Nab, on up to Ringing Roger and then bearing left along the edge of the plateau. Keep bearing left and you will come back down into the village by the Nag’s Head. The walk takes 2-3 hours.
To reach Kinder Scout, the open moorland north of Edale, head up the pennine way which starts opposite the Nags Head pub.
If you prefer a gentler pace along the valley take the path across the river behind the Nags Head towards Ollerbrook, or in the opposite direction (bearing left off the Pennine Way shortly after it starts) to get to Upper Booth at the head of the valley.
On the other side of the valley from Edale you will see a pass cutting a notch into the ridge. There is parking just below the summit of Mam Tor and an easy and consistently beautiful walk is along the top of the ridge to the outskirts of Hope. If you have two cars you can park one at the Cheshire Cheese pub in Hope and take the other to Mam Tor and walk down to the pub. To give you an idea of difficulty we have done this walk with a five year old whinge-free.
If it is hot there is a beautiful Lido in Hathersage near the train station. It is heated during the summer months. Details here: http://www.hathersageswimmingpool.co.uk
The Ladybooth Equestrian centre only 10 minutes drive away offers trekking and lessons.
On rainy days there are lots of local museum and playcentre options. They are all listed on http://www.dayoutwiththekids.co.uk/things-to-do/edale
The village has its own school and heartily gets into the spirit of the significant dates on a child’s calendar. It is well worth visiting on Bonfire night, Halloween and during the run-up to Christmas. The village holds a brilliant summer fete and stages its own (in)famous pantomime. For village events try http://www.edalevillagehall.org.uk and also http://www.edale-valley.co.uk
On the outskirts of Castleton there are several limestone caverns with organised tours. Speedwell is the most popular and involves boats and underground streams.
To reach Castleton from Edale go back through the village and under the bridge by the station. Turn right on the main road and follow it up the far side of the valley and over the top at Mam Tor. Take a left in the next door valley and then left again at the sign for Castleton and Hope. This road takes you down the very dramatic Winnats Pass into Castleton.
Within 30 mins drive
Peveril Castle in Castleton is only a short drive from Edale ( see the section on Caverns for directions to Castleton). The castle is very small but is situated in a spectacular position on the edge of a gorge called ‘The Devil’s Arse’ above Castleton. The grounds of the castle are a great place for a picnic; a good outing for small children.
Buxton is a spa town about 30 mins drive from Edale (see directions from the South West). The Duke of Devonshire invested heavily in the late 18th C, building the Buxton Crescent in imitation of Bath and the town boomed briefly in the 19th C when the railways arrived. Sites include the Opera House, Pavilion Gardens and various museums.
Eyam Plague Village is a well preserved 17th C village with many fine houses. The moor above Eyam is home to various bronze age remains. Eyam can be reached easily from Grindleford (see directions from London).
Further afield : 60 mins drive
There are three very famous stately homes within an hour’s drive of Edale: Chatsworth, Hardwick Hall and Haddon Hall. All are well worth a visit.
Chatsworth is on the way back to the M1, near Baslow (see directions from London).
Hardwick Hall is signposted from Junction 29 of the M1 (see directions from London).
Haddon Hall is just South East of Bakewell, off the A6.
Bolsover Castle is a grand 17th C ‘toy keep’ built on the site of a medieval castle, housing many luxurious staterooms. To get there follow the directions from London in reverse and head for the M1 at Junction 29a, the castle is on the other side of the motorway from Chesterfield.
Please note that kitchens in the area tend to close at 9 so you should allow for this when booking.
Listing from close to distant:
Cooper’s Cafe serves an excellent full English breakfast. It is next to the village shop.
The Edale woodfired Pizza company run by our nearest neighbour Mike sells a mouthwatering selection at the weekend, just a few yards from the main gate to the barns.
The Nag’s Head and Rambler Inn in Edale itself serve basic pub grub and good beer.
The Cheshire Cheese on the outskirts of Hope serves classic pub food and is a welcome destination after the walk from Mam Tor.
The Castle Pub in Castleton and the Poachers Arms in Hope both have a good atmosphere and decent food.
Losehill House (01433 621 219) – http://www.losehillhouse.co.uk/
A hotel just outside Hope on the Edale side. Coming from Edale turn sharp right up Losehill Lane soon after crossing the narrow bridge on the outskirts of Hope. If you reach the Cheshire Cheese you have gone too far. The restaurant serves smart food, £40 per head without wine for a four course dinner.
Hathersage Social Club (01433 650203) – http://hathersagesocialclub.com/
A kitchen, bar and cinema on Station Road in Hathersage (see directions from London), about 20 mins drive from Edale. It is not open every day – lunch Thurs-Sun and in the evening when they put on an event. Best thing is to check the events calendar on their website. The food is eclectic and excellent; small set menus of two or three courses. Upstairs there is a big screen and a good selection of toys.
The Devonshire Arms, Beeley (01629 733259) – http://www.devonshirebeeley.co.uk/
A classic gastropub and brasserie in a small village beyond Chatsworth, about 40mins drive from Edale. Well cooked modern British gastropub food, about £30 per head without wine.
There is a small village shop next to Cooper’s Cafe in Edale, this has basic supplies.
Hope is the nearest place to do any proper shopping – it has a mini market (Spar) on the corner where you turn up to Edale, just beyond the Spar is a greengrocer and on the Edale road close to the turning is Watson’s butcher/farm shop. Both the greengrocer and butcher are excellent.
If you need a supermarket there is a Morrisons in Chapel-en-le-Frith and a Waitrose in Buxton. Chapel is about a 15min drive and Buxton about 25mins. There is also a decent deli in Chapel, on the main road before the supermarket (it also sells flowers, which you might notice first).
TO REMEMBER YOUR STAY
Lisa Daniels, a gifted local photographer offers guided walks and takes family portraits in the great outdoors. For a look at her portfolio go to her website – http://www.lisadanielsphotography.co.uk