Astronomy in the Peak District
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Meadows & hills
Start making sense of the night sky with absorbing talks and practical sessions looking at galaxies, stars, the moon and planets, comets, meteors and asteroids. In the evenings we hope to view Uranus, the double star Albireo and the Andromeda galaxy. We'll also visit Jodrell Bank Observatory and marvel at the giant Lovell Telescope.
- Morning talks and discussions from your expert leader
- Free afternoons to explore the local area independently
- Discover and view objects in the night sky each evening
Great reasons to join us:
- Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation and tuition from an expert leader
- Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at the Peveril of the Peak
- Expert leaders: all our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
- Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a relaxed and friendly environment
The Peveril of the Peak occupies a wonderful position in the village of Thorpe, less than a mile from the famous stepping stones at the entrance to the Dove Dale gorge. Named after the novel by Sir Walter Scott, it offers excellent facilities and is surrounded by extensive grounds.
Choose your room
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• Tea and coffee making facilities
• Single rooms available at no extra charge
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
|• Excellent boot and drying rooms
• Reception area and lounge on the ground floor
• Newly refurbished dining room and a bar
• Function room and additional bar upstairs
• Free WiFi available in some public rooms
• Range of board games and books
|• Extensive grounds with a patio and garden with wide ranging views of countryside
• Famous stepping stones at the base of Dove Dale, less than a mile away through a footpath that is linked to the car park
• Tissington Trail is also nearby
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
Monday: Arrival day
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. We invite everyone to afternoon tea at 4pm. This is the first occasion when everyone meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday.
Tuesday: The origin of the Universe
This morning we cover topics including theories of the origin of the Universe and the formation of galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters. Later this evening (weather permitting), we’ll observe the night sky from the grounds of the Country House.
Wednesday: Stars, black holes, pulsars and quasars
Topics covered this morning will include stars (with particular emphasis on the Sun), black holes, pulsars, and quasars. Weather permitting we will also try to observe sunspots. This evening we’ll observe the night sky once again.
Thursday: Planets, comets and asteroids – and the possible fate of the Universe!
This morning we learn about the planets, comets, and asteroids. We’ll also discuss the possible fates of the Universe! After lunch we visit Jodrell Bank and on our return later this evening, we enjoy some time observing the night sky.
During our holiday there may also be the possibility of observing the International Space Station.
Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast
What to bring
- Please bring warm outdoor clothing, as the best nights for astronomy can be cold
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread is essential
- A telescope (if you have one) and binoculars
- A torch
If you’d like to do some reading, Star Maps for Beginners by IM Levitt and RK Marshall is recommended
Discover the Peak District
The Peveril of the Peak occupies a wonderfully peaceful location in the village of Thorpe, and is surrounded by the rolling countryside of the Derbyshire Dales.
The nearest facilities are in the small town of Ashbourne, about 3 miles away. Here you’ll find a full range of shops plus supermarkets, banks, chemists, pubs and cafés.
During your stay you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:
One of the natural wonders of the Peak District, the spectacular limestone valley of Dove Dale is less than 1 mile from The Peveril of the Peak – just follow the footpath signs from the car park.
Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth House is one of Britain’s most visited stately homes, which sits at the heart of a huge estate. Throughout the house there are fine displays of furniture, silver, tapestries, porcelain and paintings. The formal gardens cover 105 acres and include fountains, sculptures and a maze. Chatsworth is around 50 minutes' drive from The Peveril of the Peak. www.chatsworth.org
Crich Tramways Village
Located near the village of Crich, about 45 minutes' drive away, the National Tramway Museum has an impressive collection of vintage trams which run on a recreated historic street. www.tramway.co.uk
The Regency spa town of Buxton is about 19 miles from the Peveril of the Peak. Two key attractions are the town’s opera house, and Poole’s Cavern show cave. www.poolescavern.co.uk or www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk
The popular village of Castleton is an excellent starting point for walks in the ‘Dark Peak’; just under an hour's drive away. Nearby are four extensive show caves: Peak Cavern, Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern. www.castleton.co.uk/caverns
Home to the famous ‘Bakewell Pudding’, this is one of the most attractive small towns in the national park. Bakewell is around 35 minutes' drive away.
The huge Alton Towers theme park is only 30 minutes' drive away and is a very popular option for families. www.altontowers.com
This historic mill, dating from 1771, is a World Heritage Site, about 35 minutes' drive away. www.cromfordmill.co.uk
A fortified medieval manor house, dating from the 12th century. Haddon Hall is located near Bakewell, about 45 minutes' drive away. www.haddonhall.co.uk
The Tissington Trail is just half a mile away from The Peveril of the Peak. This offers 13 miles of traffic-free cycling along a disused railway line and connects with the 17 mile High Peak Trail. Cycle hire is available nearby.
Travel to Dovedale
Our address is: The Peveril of the Peak, Thorpe, Dovedale, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2AW
The nearest railway stations are Buxton or Derby. For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
The 19 mile journey from Buxton railway station takes approximately 35 minutes; the 17 mile journey from Derby takes approx 40 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £31 per taxi. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Peveril of the Peak Manager.
There is a limited bus service to Thorpe village. From Buxton take the 442 bus service to Ashbourne, then change to the 101 bus to Thorpe village. From Derby station take the SW1 service to Ashbourne and then the 101 bus. From Thorpe village it is a 500 metre walk along Wintercroft Lane to the Peveril of the Peak. For bus times see www.traveline.info
From the south leave the M1 at junction 24 and head to Ashbourne via the A50 and A515. Continue north on the A515 heading towards Buxton. 1 mile north of Ashbourne turn left, signposted to Thorpe, Dovedale and Ilam. After a further 2 miles the road bends sharply left by the New Dog pub. The Peveril of the Peak lies ahead at the bottom of the hill. Look out for the sign.
From Buxton take the A515 south towards Ashbourne. After 17 miles turn right at a crossroads, following signs to Thorpe, Ilam and Dovedale. After 1 mile turn right by the New Dog pub. The Peveril of the Peak lies ahead at the bottom of the hill. Look out for the sign.
From the west leave the M6 at junction 15 and head via the A50, Cheadle (A521) and Oakamoor (A5417) to the A52. At the junction of the A52 and the A523 take the minor road signposted to Ilam. After 1½ miles turn left and descend the hill. Cross the bridge at Ilam, turn right and follow the road up a steep hill and onwards through Dovedale and Thorpe village. The Peveril of the Peak is on the left hand side at the end of the village.
Travelling from overseas
Dovedale is located in the centre of the UK, with a number of airport options.
East Midlands Airport is about 30 miles away - this is served by short-haul European flights. If you're flying here we'd recommend pre-booking a taxi direct to the Peveril of the Peak - cost about £60.
London Luton Airport has lots of low-cost European flights. From here take the shuttle bus to Luton Airport Parkway station, then on by train to Derby with 1 change at Leicester. Allow 1 hour 50 minutes to Derby - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times. Complete your journey by taxi (see above).
Manchester Airport has a much wider range of long-haul flights. There are trains every hour from the airport to Buxton with one change at Manchester Piccadilly. Allow 1 hour 40 minutes to Buxton - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times. Complete your journey by taxi (see above).
Flying to London Heathrow Airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow 3 hours to reach Derby. From Heathrow first take the Piccadilly line Underground train to London St Pancras. From here take a train to direct to Derby - see www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times. Complete your journey by taxi (see above).
Steve has been leading Natural World and Walking holidays for HF Holidays for over 26 years. His main interests include wildlife, astronomy and geology, and he manages a small nature reserve in Lancaster. Steve is also a keen natural history photographer and his photos have been published in the BBC Wildlife Magazine, The Guardian, and local publications.
Steve has led numerous tours from our Worldwide Journeys range including holidays in the Caribbean, New Zealand, Canada, South America, South Africa and Asia, as well as many of our European destinations.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person