Derbyshire Dales Discovery Tour

Valleys & Villages of the Derbyshire Dales

Code: DVHCR

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Activity types:

  • History
  • Meadows & hills
  • Rural peace
From £365.00 - 3 to 7 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

Our Discovery Tours really get into the heart of the  countryside. These are sightseeing tours by minibus, visiting places not normally reached by a full-sized coach. Small groups and friendly leaders make this a great way to enjoy Britain at its best.

This holiday is set in the White Peak, with its beautiful limestone scenery. We shall be exploring a wide variety of scenery including the Dark Peak in the north, tranquil river valleys, and picturesque, isolated villages and market towns.

Holiday highlights:

  • The small market town of Bakewell, where as a treat you could sample a piece of its famous ‘pudding’ 
  • Castleton, a picturesque Peak village sitting below ruined Peveril Castle, with its nearby caverns, and of course famous for the local Blue John stone
  • The superb ‘Palace of the Peak’ - Chatsworth House and gardens -  the stately home of the Dukes of Devonshire
  • The fascinating 'plague' village of Eyam

Great reasons to join us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, plus five full-day mini-coach tours, with plenty of stops at places of interest and short walks of up to 1½ miles
  • Knowledgeable leader: learn more about the history and landscapes of the Peak District from your knowlegeable leader
  • Accommodation: stay at our Country House, the Peveril of the Peak at Dovedale
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together and relax together

Accommodation

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 3-star Visit Britain Guest AccommodationWalter Scott, it offers excellent facilities and is surrounded by extensive grounds.

Bedrooms

The Peveril of the Peak has 45 en-suite bedrooms, all located in the main building.

Our classic bedrooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night.

You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium bedroom. Premium rooms are available at just £5 extra per person per night.    

If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family bedrooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

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Facilities

All our Country Houses are tailored to walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.

On the ground floor there is a large reception area and lounge, a newly refurbished dining room and a bar.

Upstairs there is a large function room and additional bar. This is a very flexible space that can be used for dancing, or as a very comfortable room for many leisure activity holidays.

Free WiFi is available in some public rooms.  There is also a range of board games and books.

The Peveril of the Peak has extensive grounds with an attractive patio and garden with wide-ranging views of the surrounding countryside.

A footpath leads directly from the car park to the famous stepping stones at the base of Dove Dale, less than a mile away. Also nearby is the Tissington Trail, an old railway line that is now a traffic-free route for walkers and cyclists.

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Food

All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. Maybe enjoy a lighter option of fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, go for porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or select something in between.

Choose from our famous self-select picnic lunches - everything you need to keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.     

Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).   

The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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Evening

Guided Walking: enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk talk about the local area from a visiting speaker or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.

Leisure Activities: many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Family holidays: our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.

Self-Guided Walking: there may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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Itinerary

During your Discovery Tour you will have the opportunity to visit many fascinating places of interest. The following is a suggested programme, but your HF Holidays' leader may adjust it at their discretion, taking into account factors such as weather, local opening times or the wishes of the group.

Friday: Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.

Saturday: Medieval delights

We start our holiday with a short walk along the idyllic River Dove to view the stepping stones below Thorpe Cloud. A short drive brings us to the pseudo-alpine village of Ilam. We then take a gentle walk through the wooded grounds of Ilam Hall before travelling to Haddon Hall, arguably the best preserved medieval fortified manor house in the country with some stunning medieval and Elizabethan interiors, and small but exquisite gardens.

Sunday: Dambusters & the Plague

We head north to Castleton, famous for its Blue John stone, before continuing to the Derwent Dams, immortalized by The Dambusters. The afternoon will be spent in the plague village of Eyam with the option of visiting the National Trust Hall and Craft Centre before a return journey through several attractive Peak District villages and spectacular view points.

Monday: Free day

A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the Country House.

Tuesday: The Palace of the Peak

After spending the morning in the bustling market town of Bakewell, famous for its Bakewell Puddings, we make the short journey to Chatsworth House. Known as ‘The Palace of the Peak’ it is the ancestral home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and is one of the most spectacular palaces in Britain, if not Europe. We will also visit the attractive estate village of Edensor.

Wednesday: Wells, Sudbury and Ashbourne

We start today with a gentle stroll around the well-dressing village of Tissington. Well-dressing is an ancient custom growing in popularity and your holiday may include a visit to one of these beautiful floral displays. We then visit Sudbury Hall, which contains the Museum of Childhood. This is one of the most delightful National Trust properties in the country. We then enjoy time in the picturesque market town of Ashbourne.

Thursday: Mills & Canals

After visiting the Sherwood Foresters memorial, a tribute to WWI soldiers killed in Ireland, we can enjoy a delightful walk along the Cromford Canal. We visit Arkwright’s historic mill at Cromford, a World Heritage site and the cradle of the Industrial Revolution for the textile industry world-wide.

Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

For maximum flexibility, admissions are not included; please remember to bring your National Trust or English Heritage cards if you have them. Otherwise please allow up to £80 for entrances (there may be concessionary and group discounts which may reduce this price).

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.

Local area

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:

Dove Dale
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.

Chatsworth House
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

Buxton
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

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

Castleton
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

Bakewell
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.

Alton Towers
The huge Alton Towers theme park is only 30 minutes' drive away and is a very popular option for families. www.altontowers.com

Cromford Mill
This historic mill, dating from 1771, is a World Heritage Site, about 35 minutes' drive away. www.cromfordmill.co.uk

Haddon Hall
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

Tissington Trail
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

The Peveril of the Peak, Thorpe, Dovedale, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2AW

By train: 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).

By taxi: The 19 mile journey from Buxton railway station takes approximately 35 minutes; the 17 mile journey from Derby takes approx 40 minutes. Taxis cost approx £30 per taxi. Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. We recommend pre-booking your taxi and the taxi company will arrange shared taxis wherever possible. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Peveril of the Peak Manager.

By car: 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, Ilam and Dovedale. 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.

A large car park is available in the grounds with free parking. 

To help you plan your journey, use www.traveline.info

Leaders

Frances Carroll

Frances has been an enthusiastic student of English literature since primary school when a Mrs Darling sparked her interest! She has lived a very itinerant life with extended periods in the US and India. She worked as a fundraiser for third world charities for many years and travelled widely with them. 

Many years ago, she was involved in running a small theatre and even occasionally appeared on stage. Now she works as a Blue Badge guide, concentrating on literary tours and religious themes. As well as going to the iconic, obvious sites, she tries to include lesser known places and to entertain visitors with stories about the many people who are associated with an area - kings and queens, local legends, artists and writers.

She is also a keen hiker and tries to find routes that will allow her to visit some sort of literary shrine.

Steve Bullen

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.

 

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
29 Jun 2016, 8:15 p.m.

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I have written a comment in the place I thought most appropriate and will not go to the trouble of writing it anywhere else.

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I was on the Discovery tour which I enjoyed very much. I have one suggestion if you run this tour again which is not to have the longest distance on the Sunday. There were several cycle races en route which gave rise to many closed roads and diversions. I felt very sorry for the driver who had to cope with all the changes
27 Jun 2016, 7:39 a.m.

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9 Oct 2015, 7:28 p.m.

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Good programs with Discovery Tours. Meals are very good but TOO LATE at 7:15 or 7:30.

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Some wasted time but in general venues were worthwhile.
26 Aug 2015, 5:24 p.m.

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They didn't tell me when I booked that they no longer take the balance from your account automatically
1 Oct 2014, 11:34 a.m.

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I think the holidays are very expensive . I think that being on your own you are penalised.

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I think a lot of work needs doing to the property. I heard that you haven't bought the house yet ado perhaps it shouldn't be used until you decide if you are going to buy. I thought the trips were good.
3 Sep 2014, 6:07 p.m.

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Most enjoyable holiday, my third one this year with HF.

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Wonderful place to visit and great places to see.
27 Aug 2014, 3:09 p.m.

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good overall standard of accommodation,food and friendkly staff.

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An excellent holiday, interesting and at a good pace.
27 Aug 2014, 1 p.m.

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Staff members were unfailingly helpful and cheerful, setting the scene for a relaxed and pleasant holiday

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Overall the holiday was most enjoyable - perhaps (because of my age) I found 3 different places of interest every day somewhat challenging,
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20 Jul 2014, 3:10 a.m.

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Accommodation adequate and comfortable - all that is required.

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Food disappointing. Too ambitious. Good British food cooked well is what walkers need, not "fancy" trying to be nouvelle cuisine.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
12 May 2017 DVHCR - Discovery Tour - Dovedale 3 £365.00 £365.00 Book Now
12 May 2017 DVHCR - Discovery Tour - Dovedale 7 £855.00 £805.00 Special Early Booking offer - £50.00 off pp Book Now
15 May 2017 DVHCR - Discovery Tour - Dovedale 4 £505.00 £505.00 Book Now
8 Sep 2017 DVHCR - Discovery Tour - Dovedale 3 £365.00 £365.00 Book Now
8 Sep 2017 DVHCR - Discovery Tour - Dovedale 7 £855.00 £805.00 Special Early Booking offer - £50.00 off pp Book Now
11 Sep 2017 DVHCR - Discovery Tour - Dovedale 4 £505.00 £505.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person