Last November, I visited the Peak District with a few Lebanese friends for a weekend. I was keen to show them the best of what England has to offer, and rented out a quaint and comfortable cottage on Airbnb at the edge of the park just past Sheffield.
On Saturday, we headed out to Hope Valley for a walk. The circuit I found, downloadable on the OS maps app, is over 13 kilometres long, with 551 metres of ascent.
It remains a fairly gentle stroll, and is definitely recommended for a bigger group with various fitness levels.
The walk goes up gently from Castleton, a charming old village with a few pubs and restaurants, to reach the Great ridge that separates the Hope Valley from Edale in the North.
The ridge then goes through Mam Tor and Lose Hill, following a leisurely pace up and down the hills. Beware of the howling, cold wind once on the ridge – even on a sunny day. Once down from Lose Hill, the OS Map walks recommends a detour through farming land to the village of Hope and then back again to Castleton.
Some parts of the walk were crowded, especially as we were lucky enough to get good weather on the day. However, it was overall a perfect relaxing day out in the Peaks. The path was also great for trail running – if we had been a smaller group.
The next day, a few of us went to visit the Christmas market at Chatsworth, an English estate which is now open to the public.
Leo and I went running around Chatsworth instead– through beautiful gardens, forestland, and small waterfalls, before heading to a quintessentially British pub, The Packhorse Inn, where you can find everything you need after a cold run in the Peak district: ales, game, and a warming fire.