Walking through History: Fortress Peak
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Hills & moorland
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Join our local leader, Paul, and uncover the ancient and medieval history of the Peak District National Park, on walks exploring this beautiful countryside.
- Experience a true insight into the area, with the help of our local leader, Paul
- Enjoy a series of beautiful walks in distinctly different areas of the Peak District National Park
- Discover the history of The Peak through its fortifications and settlements
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include full board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, plus evening activities
- Great walking: explore this stunning part of the UK in the company of our experienced local HF Holidays leader
- Accommodation: our Country House is equipped with all the essentials – a welcoming bar and relaxing lounge area, a drying rooming for your boots and kit, and comfortable en-suite rooms
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.
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 at no extra charge.
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 £10 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.
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.
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.
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.
This itinerary may be subject to change, depending on walking conditions during the week.
Monday: Arrival day
Tuesday: Fin Cop and Ball Cross
From Ashford in the Water and head to Fin Cop - the site of an Iron Age Hill Fort and scene of an alleged massacre, high above the dramatic Monsal Dale. From here we continue to Monsal Head one of the most impressive viewpoints in the Derbyshire Dales, where we look down on the iconic Monsal viaduct and across to the historic mills in Cressbrook and Litton dales.
Through Little and Great Longstone villages, we then pick up the Monsal Trail and ascend to Calton Pastures and the Hill Fort of Ball Cross, parts of which date back to Iron Age, Bronze Age and Neolithic times. We then descend Castle Hill into Bakewell, to find the 12thC Motte and Bailey earthworks there.
Plenty of time too, to sample some of Bakewell’s famous pudding at the end of our walk.
8 miles/13km with 1,220ft (380m) of ascent
Wednesday: High Wheeldon and Pilsbury Castle
Our first stop today is High Wheeldon, with its fantastic 360º panoram, where we seek out the secretive Fox Hole Cave. This is the site of the oldest human bones found in the Peak District. The cave is now managed by the National Trust and a guided tour can be arranged to fit in with the walk.
We continue via Earl Sterndale to Hitter Hill (site of 4 rock cut graves), then head to the Upper Dove Valley to Crowdicote and on to Pilsbury Castle (this is an excellent example of the defensive Motte and Bailey construction).
We cross the valley to Sheen Hill and continue along the ridge for views over the earthworks at Bank Top and Moat Hall, before descending to the pretty village of Hartington, and its tea rooms.
7 miles/11.5km with 850ft (260m) of ascent
Thursday: Navio, Mam Tor and Peveril
From the village of Bradwell in The Hope Valley, we stop to explore the the site of the Navio Roman Fort. We continue through Hope village to Lose Hill, where we learn about the battle to control The Valley. Our walk takes us onto the Great Ridge, with stunning views over Edale and Kinder Scout, before reaching Mam Tor – site of the famous Bronze Age and early Iron Age hillfort.
Our descent takes us across the top of The Winnats Pass and high above the head of the valley to end in Castleton, the site of the famous Norman fortress of Peveril Castle. Peveril Castle is now managed by English Heritage and is a splendid place to explore.
9 miles/14.5km with 1,880ft (580m) of ascent
The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in your holiday price.
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.
Our address: 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).
Paul has been leading Guided walking with HF Holidays since 2010 and is a native of Derbyshire where the ‘Fortress Peak’ walks take place. His knowledge and affection for the area will come across as you explore different areas of The Peak District in Britain’s first National Park. Paul finds the rich mixture of diverse flora and fauna, dramatic ever-changing landscapes, customs, history and industrial archaeology always offer new perspectives you can never tire of.
Aside from hillwalking, the pursuits of fellrunning, cycling, skiing and art offer Paul the perfect escape from the tribulations of following Derby County.
Dates & Prices
|Date||Description||Nights||Brochure price||Buy today for||Book|
|21 Jul 2017||DVWTH - Walking through history - Dovedale||4||£499.00||£459.00||Book Now|
|25 Sep 2017||DVWTH - Walking through history - Dovedale||4||£499.00||£459.00||Book Now|
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