Railway Walks - Dovedale


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Activity types:

  • Free WiFi
  • Hills & moorland
  • History
  • Meadows & hills


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Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Scenic walks exploring the history of the railways in Derbyshire, plus a journey on a heritage railway.

Holiday highlights

  •  Discover this stunning countryside through a handpicked selection of superb walks and train journey
  •  Enjoy a journey on the Ecclesbourne Valley heritage railway
  •  Walk the track bed of one of Briatins oldest standard gauge railways - The Cromford and High Peak
  •  Enjoy iconic views of Monsal Dale from the viaduct made famous in so many Midland Railways posters
  •  Walk through the Chee tunnels and visit the site of Millers Dale station

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: in the company of an experienced 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

In pictures...


HF Holidays' Peveril of the Peak in Dovedale

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

Classic Rooms
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee-making facilities 
• Single rooms available at no extra charge
Premium Rooms
• Check-in from 1:30pm
• 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
Family Rooms
• Check-in from 2:30pm
• 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 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.
 Take your fill from our famous self-service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

An example of Dovedale evening meal

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the bar

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.


Monday: Arrival day

After tea/coffee on arrival, we’ll take a short late afternoon walk from Peveril of the Peak to visit the nearby Tissington Trail (the walk will last approx 1hr). The Tissington Trail follows the line of the Ashbourne to Buxton railway line, opened by the London and North Western Railway in 1899. 

Tranquil scene on the Cromford CanalTuesday: Cromford and High Peak Railway

Our holiday starts properly with a visit to the famous Cromford and High Peak Railway. Originally surveyed as a canal to join the Cromford Canal and High Peak Canals, the route was in fact opened in 1825 as a horse pulled railway which adopted steam locomotives later in the 19th century.

In keeping with the original canal design, the route is largely flat but there a number of steep inclines between levels which were originally worked by stationary steam engines. Our route takes us down three of these inclines and past two of the original engine houses. At the junction with the Cromford Canal we plan to visit the original railway workshops before completing our walk on the tow path of the Cromford canal. 6½ miles (10½kms) with 680ft (210m) of ascent

Monsal Head viaductWednesday: Monsal Trail

Our walk starts in the deep limestone valley of the Derbyshire River Wye. We follow the river to Monsal Dale where we admire from below, the Midland Railway's Headstone Viaduct built in 1863, since made famous on a number of railway posters.  A path takes us on to the viaduct itself, now a walking and cycling route - the Monsal Trail.

A short climb form here takes us to the viewpoint at Monsal Head - where we stop for photographs and coffee. Returning to the viaduct we follow this old track bed of what had been the Midland Railways main line from London to Manchester, giving us superb views of this remote Derbyshire valley. Later we descend to river level to pass Cressbrook and Litton Mills, but then regain the track bed to arrive at the site of Millersdales Dale station and the Chee Tunnels before making our way to a final section of walk back on the river bank.  8 miles (13km) with 1,400ft (430m) of ascent

Train on the Eccclesbourne Valley RailwayThursday: Ecclesbourne Valley

Today our walk starts in the lower Ecclesbourne Valley and we follow the line of the restored Heritage line Ecclesbourne Valley Railway. We take a train (classic diesel multiple unit ) from Duffield station up the valley to the small village of Idridgehay where the station reflects the original Midland Railway architecture and livery.

From here where we climb up to the side of the valley to Alport Heights situated on the ancient Derbyshire Portway packhorse route. Here, the orientation table is a good place to spot features in the valley below as well as distant hills as far as the Welsh border on a good day!

Our descent to the market town of Wirksworth provides a chance to learn how the original plans to make this line part of the main Midland route to Manchester never came to fruition. We will have time at Wirksworth to explore the station and its exhibits and to visit the towns whos wealth was based on lead mining and still holds an annual Barmote Court to resolve mining disputes. 7 miles (11½km) with 650ft (200m) of ascent

The programme may be subject to change depending on weather conditions and on the 2017 railway timetables.

Monsal Head image credit VisitEngland/VisitPeakDistrict

Local area

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:

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. www.chatsworth.org

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. 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.

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. 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 to Dovedale

Our address is: The Peveril of the Peak, Thorpe, Dovedale, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2AW

How to get to us by train

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).

Get to us by Taxi

By taxi:

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.


By bus:

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

Driving to us

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 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.

 Travel by plane

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).


Alistair Clark

Alastair has been has been a leader with HF holidays since 2011 and has led groups on foot and by bike  across the UK, Europe and worldwide. However, he always enjoys returning to his home in the Derbyshire Dales where he says:  ' I am amazed that after 25 years living here there are still new wonderful little gems to discover.'

When not walking or biking Alastair does take out his canoe and he enjoys teaching adults and running his small consultancy.


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

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