Spring Birds of the Peak District Holiday
Join our expert leader birdwatching in varied Peak District habitats
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Hills & moorland
Meadows & hills
Explore varied habitats of the Peak District, including dales, woodland and moorland. In addition to common species, we'll search for local breeding specialities such as Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Dipper and Common Sandpiper. We'll walk up to 6 miles (9.5km) each day. Suitable for any level of experience, with no prior knowledge required.
- Enjoy birdwatching in a small sociable group setting
- Leisurely walks with regular stops to watch birds
- Our expert leader will guide you around the best sites
- Flexible itineraries will take into account prevailing weather conditions and any reported sightings
- High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
- Guidance from a knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, to ensure you get the most from your holiday
- All essential transport on a comfortable, good-quality mini-coach or other mode of transport, e.g. boat
- Entrance fees to venues included as part of your holiday’s itinerary
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.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplement to upgrade to 'Better' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At the house
|All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
√ Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our optional evening activities.
All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.
You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards (better rooms from 1pm). Please join us for afternoon tea. This is the first occasion when everyone in the country house meets together – an opportunity to meet your leader and fellow guests, and find out more about your holiday. After tea (at around 5pm) you are invited to a short walk into Dovedale for about an hour, weather permitting.
On our Natural World holidays we spend most of the day outdoors, exploring by mini-coach or on foot, walking up to 6 miles (9.5km) each day, stopping to to look for a variety of birds on our way.
Evenings will be spent relaxing in the lounge after dinner, reviewing the days’ activity and compiling a log of each day’s sightings. We will confirm identification by using videos and books. We will listen to bird song recordings to try and ‘fix’ the songs of species we have heard during the day.
Lathkill Dale and Chatsworth Park
After a hearty breakfast our day begins at Over Haddon, where we walk through Lathkill Dale hoping to see resident and migrant breeding birds including Warblers and Redstart. This afternoon we’ll drive to Chatsworth Park where we’ll walk along the river looking for Common Sandpiper and Sand Martin. A lovely start to our holiday.
Padley Gorge and local moorland
Armed with our tasty picnic lunches, we first head off into the Dark Peak to Padley Gorge where among the woodland birds we hope to see are Pied Flycatcher and Warblers. Afterwards we take a short drive to search for birds breeding on moorland.
River Dove and Carsington Water
This morning we walk along the River Dove, where among the variety of birds we hope to see are Dippers. Afterwards we drive to Carsington Water where we watch birds using the open water. A perfect finale to this wonderful holiday.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.
What to bring
- Outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs
- Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread is essential
- A telescope (if you have one) and binoculars (essential)
- Thermos flask (optional)
- Recommended guide (optional) - The New Mitchell Beazley Birdwatcher’s Pocket Guide
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 route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
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 £32 per taxi from Derby or £42 from Buxton. 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 bus service as far as Ashbourne, about 3 miles from our country house. From Buxton take the 442 service or from Derby catch the SW1 service. For bus times see www.travelineeastmidlands.co.uk
From Ashbourne complete your journey by taxi, or use the Derbyshire Connect service. This service must be prebooked at least 48 hours in advance by calling 01335 342 951
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 Old 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. After 1 mile turn right by the Old 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.
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).
Chris lives in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire and is currently Secretary of Huddersfield Bird Watchers Club. He has been a Walking Leader for HF Holidays since 1999 and has led birdwatching holidays since 2004. He is also a volunteer guide for RSPB at Snettisham and Titchwell in Norfolk.
Chris was very friendly and knowledgeable and my knowledge of the subject is much improved following this holiday. I wouldn't hesitate to go on another holiday led by Chris.
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
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person