Focus on Light at Dovedale

Derbyshire Dales


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Activity types:

  • Hills & moorland
  • Meadows & hills
  • Rural peace

Holiday overview

  • Learn how to capture the best light of the day
  • Our professional photography leader will guide and encourage
  • Share inspiration and exchange ideas
  • Gain knowledge to continue your photography at home

Holiday Highlights:

Calling all keen and aspiring landscape photographers. Offering the best in both classic and unexpected shoot locations, your expert leader will encourage you to capture your personal response to the landscape in the best light of the day. This holiday goes the extra mile with sunrise outings and after-dinner excursions to lake, coastal or mountain vistas. Suitable for complete beginners to advanced photographers.

Great Reasons to Join Us

  • Great value: all prices include full-board en-suite accommodation, transport to photography locations and tuition from our expert leader
  • Accommodation: enjoy high-quality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
  • 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 3-star Visit Britain Guest AccommodationWalter Scott, it offers excellent facilities and is surrounded by extensive grounds.


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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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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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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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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Arrival day Monday:
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.

Tuesday: Landscape Photography Secrets.
We begin this morning with tuition that discloses some of the professional secrets of landscape photography. Later this afternoon we stroll to Dove Dale, which offers an opportunity for the more energetic of us to ascend Thorpe Cloud.  Derek rounds our day up an informal assessment and constructive critique back at the Peveril of the Peak. 

Wednesday: The Roaches
There are many fine locations within the Peak District and The Roaches and Hen Cloud are up there with the very best. We spend our day searching for photo-opportunities by walking the ridge from Roach End to Upper Hulme, skirting Hen Cloud. If conditions are favourable we shall remain for a sunset.  After dinner, we enjoy an in-depth review of our progress.

Thursday: From Limestone to Gritstone.
Castleton borders the Dark Peak where limestone gives way to gritstone, providing the photographer with breathtaking landscapes of high photographic interest. Peveril Castle and Mam Tor are within our sights, but to break our journey we stop en route at the jagged rock features of Curbar Edge, overlooking the more tranquil and verdant Derwent Valley.

Departure day: depart after a leisurely breakfast

What to bring

  • Your camera and other essential accessories
  • memory card or memory stick
  • battery and charger
  • Your camera’s instruction manual (especially if you are a beginner, and because even your leader hasn’t memorised every digital camera menu settings!)
  • waterproof clothing and outdoor footwear, ideally walking boots
  • bag or bags for your camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch, water, etc
  • Notebook and pencil (pencils work better in the rain!)

Optional items (remember you will have to carry some of these):

  • Spare memory cards
  • Spare camera battery
  • Spare camera (you never know)
  • Small selection of lenses: wide angle, telephoto, macro, for example
  • Filters: neutral density and graduated, polarising
  • Laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday)
  • Memory stick or CD for storing images
  • Tripod or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one
  • Camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer

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 and fountainChatsworth 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.

Historic tram passing under a bridgeCrich 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.




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. or

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.

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.

Mine Train rollercoaster at Alton TowersAlton Towers
The huge Alton Towers theme park is only 30 minutes' drive away and is a very popular option for families.



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

Haddon Hall
A fortified medieval manor house, dating from the 12th century. Haddon Hall is located near Bakewell, about 45 minutes' drive away.

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.


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 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


Derek Forss

Derek has been leading Photographic Holidays for HF Holidays since 1995. In addition to providing clear and straightforward explanations (for beginners and the more experienced) of photo-techniques that are devoid of gobbledegook, he also has an in-depth understanding of the British countryside; essential for teaching wide-ranging aspects of landscape and architecture photography.


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


  • 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

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