The Peak District National Park is one of the countries favourite places to walk, and there’s a good reason for it too. Known for its incredible landscapes, challenging hikes and warm hospitality, this area of the UK is a must-visit for any outdoor adventurers.
I spent a lot of time in the UK in 2020 and one of my favourite trips was walking part of the Pennine Way in the Peak District National Park over a weekend. We stayed in the town of Buxton and ventured out to walk various parts of the Pennine Way in this region over the weekend.
Weekend Itinerary Overview
In case you are also looking to head off on the same adventure, I have pulled together a 3-day itinerary for walking The Pennine Way in the Peak District. Our stops included starting in Edale and heading up Jacob’s Ladder to Kinder Scout, before heading on to Bakewell for tarts and pub lunches and The Hope Valley, and then on to Castleton for walking up to Mam Tor to Lose Hill.
- Length: Three days
- Walks from 9km to 14km (3 hours to 6 hours)
- Easy/moderate walks with low-level difficulty
- Expect lots of moorland, rolling hills and picturesque villages and towns
- Includes where to stay in the Peak District
- And the best places to eat in the Peak District
- Map: OS Explorer OL1
FOR MORE: Walks and hikes with National Trail.
The Pennine Way
Walking in the Peak District
This Peak District is the official starting point of the Pennine Way, the oldest and most iconic National Trail which offers a rugged taste of Northern England – stretching from the Peak District to the Scottish Borders. It’s over 268 miles long and can take weeks to complete!
The Pennine Way starts in the idyllic village of Edale, and you are immediately thrust into its second-longest ascent of the whole route, up Kinder Scout.
It is here at the infamous plateau where, in 1932, around 500 walkers mass trespassed to secure access rights to open country, an act that leads to the national park’s subsequent creation. How amazing is that?!
Day 1 // Walking The Pennine Way
Walk the Kinder Scout Circular
On the first day, the morning consists of the most popular Peak District walk: Kinder Scout Circular.
Kinder Scout and Edale Walk is an 8-mile loop trail located near Castleton, Derbyshire, England that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. This is one of the most popular Peak District circular walks, starting from Edale, via Jacob’s Ladder, following some of the Pennine Way, up to Kinder Scout and across the Woolpacks!
As the highest point in the Peak District, Kinder Scout is one of the most challenging places to walks in the Peak District but offers those that take on the challenge some of the most unforgettable views.
The kinder scout walk offers some of the most rewarding walks in the Peak District, where you’ll encounter gentle streams, steep rocks, peat fields and the waterfall, Kinder Downfall. Walk highlights include Pennine Way, Jacobs Ladder, Woolpacks, Kinder Low, Kinder Downfall, and finally Edale.
The signage is good from either of the starting points, and you will find this most of the route. From the car park, you head out the top of the road, along an old tarmac road, on route to Jacob’s Ladder. It’s here you will pass over some small bridges before starting at the bottom of the ladder and then you climb!
For the full route, I took last summer, check out my Walks from Edale: Kinder Scout Circular
Once you’ve descended into Edale, make sure you stop by the Old Nag’s Head – a walkers’ institution – for some food and a drink, before heading either back to your accommodation or not to nearby Hope or Pootle.
You can stay locally in Edale at hotels such as The Rambler Inn, Edale Gathering, Losehill House Hotel & Spa or the Stonecroft Guesthouse.
Day 2 // Walking The Pennine Way
Explore Bakewell and climb Curbar Gap
For your second day in the Peak District, you should start your morning in the iconic town of Bakewell. Well-known for their Bakewell Tarts I would skip breakfast and indulge in a tart mid-morning, whilst you wander around the town admiring its honey-stone cottages, boutique shops and riverside pubs.
Stop by the original Bakewell tart shop, aptly named The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop.
Heading to the South coast for a staycation? Plan a walk along the South West Coastal Path.
Once you’ve explored, jump in the car and it’s time to get walking again. This hike is known as the Curbar Edge walk, which starts at Curbar Gap car park and is around 7 miles long. You will need around 4 hours to complete this walk, but the views are so worth it. From the summit, you can see the Derwent Valley and beyond.
The walk begins at Curbar Gap car park and you then head along the road until you reach the layby. Upon reaching here, there is a path heading in the direction of Curbar Gap, which you follow until you come to a fork in the path, of which you go left up towards Curbar Edge.
It’s an amazing walk with incredible views and is a great midday walk to enjoy with family and friends.
If you have more time before the sun sets, you could then head a few miles down the road to the famous Chatsworth House, one of England’s finest stately homes. There are more than 25 rooms are open to exploring, including the regal State Rooms, the Sculpture Gallery, and outside, you can find the 105 acres of woodland, ponds and water features.
You can then stay locally in Bakewell at hotels such as The Rutland Arms Hotel, The Peacock, Bagshaw Hall or The H Boutique Hotel.
Day 3 // Walking The Pennine Way
Precious Castleton and the Shivering Mountain
On your third day in the Peak District, I would recommend heading over to the picture-perfect village of Castleton and the surrounding areas. The best walk-in Castleton is from Mam Tor to Lose Hill which gives adventurers the most amazing views across the Peaks and Edale and the Hope Valley.
Also known as the ‘Shivering Mountain’, Mam Tor is a 517m high hill near Castleton in the High Peak of Derbyshire. The ascent of Mam Tor is a relatively short walk and can be completed within 1-2 hours.
You start the route at Mam Nick car park, and climb the steps at the top of the car park and follow the path alongside the road to a small gate and National Trust sign.
Go through the gate and then climb the stone steps until the ground begins to level out. Around half an hour later of walking you will reach the trig point, and from here you follow the flagstone path north along the ridge until it gets noticeably steeper. It is here you reach the summit of Mam Tor.
Then once you traversed your way back down to Castleton, you could stop for a lunch at The George, which is located just next to another attraction here, Peveril Castle.
Castleton is a beautiful village situated at the head of the Hope Valley and is famous for its show caves, history, and the iconic road Winnats Pass. Once you’ve finished lunch I’d recommend having a wander around the village.
Top Tip: Make sure you go and see the only place on earth where the rare, semi-precious mineral Blue John is found at the Treak Cliff Cavern!
Where to stay in the Peak District
The Peak District and surrounding countryside have a variety of options, from hotels to family-run B&Bs.
- Edale Gathering, Edale (https://edalegathering.com/) – Glamping haven with four luxurious tented safari lodges and a Victorian shooting lodge on a private upland farm near Kinder Scout.
- Losehill House Hotel & Spa, Edale (https://www.losehillhouse.co.uk/grafene-restaurant) – Luxe four-star retreat in the heart of the Hope Valley, with dramatic countryside views.
- The Old Nags Head, Edale – Great traditional pub; walkers’ HQ and the unofficial start point of the Pennine Way.
- Devonshire Arms at Beeley (https://devonshirehotels.co.uk/devonshire-arms-beeley/) – Cosy 18th-century inn on the edge of the Chatsworth Estate.
- The George, Castleton – Pub with rooms in the shadow of Peveril Castle.
- Yorkshire Bridge Inn, Bamford – Family-owned multi-award-winning inn, a short walk from Ladybower Reservoir.
Where to Eat and Drink in the Peak District
- The Old Nag’s Head, Edale – Pub at the start of the Pennine Way serving great local ales.
- Losehill House Hotel & Spa, Edale – Luxe four-star retreat in the heart of the Hope Valley; fresh seasonal produce served in the double AA rosette-awarded Grafene restaurant.
- Jolly’s, Curbar Gap car park – Hot drinks and homemade refreshments to takeaway, served from a vintage van.
- Devonshire Arms at Beeley – Cosy 18th-century inn on the edge of the Chatsworth Estate; dishes use seasonal ingredients, largely sourced from the estate.
- The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop, Bakewell – Fresh produce (including classic puddings) to takeaway plus characterful first-floor restaurant serving platters and afternoon teas.
- The George, Castleton – Tasty pub food in the shadow of Peveril Castle.
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