Peak District National Park(23 Posts)
We are planning to spend 4 days visiting the Peak District in August this year. We're not familiar with the area but want to introduce our 2 dds to the delights of hills and caves...... we're not exactly blessed with either in Hampshire!!! We'll be travelling on a very tight budget and are considering staying in Y.H.A. family rooms. Have any of you done this with young children? ( Ours are 6 & 7). Do any of you know any welcoming Y.H.A. hostels in this area? I have had a look at the Y.H.A.website but just wondered about the MN personal view! Also, any recommendations for suitable places to visit; we all love history,animals and the great outdoors!
my own home...grew up there, it's fab. Caves in Castleton are pretty good (though have to admit it's along time since I ;ve been there;)Chatsworth is beautiful - the house and gardens are probably limited interest to kids but there is a small farm with a great adventure playground; Chatsworth farmshop is great for treating yourself to some local produce (expensive though). When i was little I would get taken to the cattle market at Bakewell - which was a real old-fashioned market, with all the noises and smells and pretty baby animals(on their way to slaughter...) and farmers with their their trousers held up by string. all that's gone now, but I believe the new market has some sort of visitor centre which is probably a sanitised version, which might be of interest. (it's probably got a website, what are things coming to...).It's a pretty market town anyway, on the river, and you really ought to go to the Pudding Shop; lots of short and easy walking along the river Derwent, or you can go for slightly wilder walks on the moors - Froggatt Edge, Stannage. You'd need to go to a visitor centre for maps I would think (I think there's one in bakewell) A great place for a picnic with kids is Padley Gorge - just below Fox House on the road to Grindleford. It;s up on the moors at about the tree line so not bleak, and it's a lovely stream for paddling in. can be quite busy on a summery day but busy with the type of nice families who come and have picnics and paddle, iyswim, so it's still lovely (and busy is relative anyway) can't help with hostels. I'm sure you'll have a great time.
can recommend these books
We have the Lake District one - very good for involving the kids !
Surely there must be some more Northern lasses out there?!!!!!
Well yes, but thewomanwhothoughtshewasahat has done such a good job I can't think what else you'd squeeze in to a 4 day trip!
Don't know anything about youth hostels other than that there's one at Castleton. Sorry.
how old are the girls ?
For easy walking or cycling the old railway trails are good. And the walks along the river dales are good - DoveDale, and Lathkill Dale, Bradford Dale.
Eyam has a Youth Hostel, and so does Edale I think.
One of our favourite areas to visit - must have been there 10 times in as many years.
Thanks, guys! Really helpful advice. I'll keep you informed.
Not sure what the interiors are like as it's a few years since I've been but both Ilam and Hartington youth hostels are in lovely settings. Ilam is in a parkland with beautiful sweeping drive and riverside walks it is a picture box village, we often go and picnic by the river on summer afternoons. There is loads to do round here. Although it may initially seem a little brash Matlock Bath is quite pleasant to stroll around in th early evening when many places have closed down. There are amusement arcades etc but it does have a traditional holiday feel to it.
Carsington Water offers cycling, canoeing, outdoor / indoor playareas and many walks.
The dales around the pretty village of Alstonefield (with a great pub The George) are typical riverside dales walks. I could go on for ages, I suggest doing a google on some of these places and others and then fire away with any questions you have to see if the places you like the look of are any good.
I've thought of a few more ideas: Hathersage has a lovely 1930's outdoor swimming pool, it has a bandstand, lawned area and wooden changing cubicles, check opening times though. Bakewell has a nice public pool if the weather isn't great.
Caudwell Mill, near Bakewell is great for a lunch stop with delicious wholesome food and a great craft shop - I love shopping there.
We stayed here last November.
Lovely warm and welcoming, not forgetting really really cheap compared to the rest of the places we had looked at... Can't remember exactly but it might have been £150 for 4 nights in November, but that was the big place that sleeps 6 - don't know if that helps?
The farm itself is situated in the middle of dairy/beef farming, they have sheep, and within the farmyard itself they have their dogs, Buddy and Jack, a whole load of hens and ducks (you can buy freshly laid eggs for 50p half dozen), rabbits and 2 peacocks. The lane up the farm track is covered in bilberries in season.
Not far from Castleton to have a look at the caves.
Oh, thought I would mention (given your nickname) that they do accept dogs (even my miserable old scrote of a dog, who got on really well with their dogs, the neighbouring farmers dogs and their litter of puppies and all their mates when they broke into our place
Thewomanwhothoughtshewasahat has come up with some great ideas, and second Chatsworth for a great venue, but if you need an inside day duen to bad weather, Magna on the outskirts of Sheffield diverts our 2 every time.
I live 20 minutes from the edge of the Peak District - some gorgeous countryside.
Eyam is great for history (village that lost most of it's residents to the plague). Biking along the Tissington trail (you can hire). Bakewell, Hartington, Castleton , lovely villages, Buxton & Matlock for somewhere a bit bigger. Chatsworth House and Gardens......
Doglover, just as a rider to the excellent advice on here...
I find the Peak district unbelievably crowded especially in the summer.
Rceall a walk in Lathkill Dale (near Bakewell) where all we saw was zero birds (as ds1 would say) and loads of other walkers, all admiring me carrying baby in the backpack.
But then I am used to the empty empty North York Moors. Don't want to rain on yr parade and I'm sure you'll have a great time, I just don't want you to be disappointed; if you hit Castleton, Dovedale, Edale etc on a sunny weekend a lot of other people will have had to same idea.
sorry that post is a bit strong. I mean it's not unbelievable how crowded it is, after all it is totally beautiful.
Just be prepared to see a lot of other people, but as hatty there says, they are nice walkery family type people so that's fine really.
I agree with Clary that the Peak district can be very busy in the summer and on nice weekends. It is in the middle of the huge cities - Manchester, Birmingham, Derby, Sheffield - and northerners really seem to like to get out and about on their feet and bikes at the weekends (much more so than southerners in my experience).
Dove Dale in particular is not nice when it is heaving with people.
If your kids are like mine, you will be up and out early so that will help.
Another good place is the Ladybower reservoir area in the north, and Carsington reservoir in the south.
And the Tram museum in the south east corner (can't remember the place)
Hartington Youth Hostel is lovely, in fact most of the hostels along the White Peak Walk are nice. As others have said, it will be busy in August, parking is the biggest problem so definitely worth getting to places like Chatsworth early if you're driving. Chatsworth has an adventure playground (at least it used to) if the kids get bored with caves. Would recommend the Tissington Trail, in fact we'll probably be out there too if the weather's nice as we're moving up to Sheffield in June!
hmmm. tbh I think those of you who think the peak district is crowded are treading the tourist paths. Dovedale and Lathkill dale are notorious. I would never go there on a lovely summer day. They are real tourist magnets. You can however, park in Grindleford on a glorious summer day and walk either through the woods to Froggat, stopping at the lovely little pool half way for a paddle, or walk along the river to Hathersage (also stopping for paddling, I;m a big paddling fan me, can you tell?)and you will see only a handful of people. same would apply for most walks round that area. the two dales and Bakewell are the most touristy places and are generally to be avoided if you seek solitude(I haven't been to either the dales since I was about 8).
We stayed in a family room at Edale last year- can really recommend it; dirt cheap, spacious, ensuite toilet/shower, bunkbeds (which my kids adored). It's quite an old fashioned sort of hostel, but really exciting for the littlies. Lovely walk over to Castleton too, glorious views for not much effort.
There is one at Castleton and Castleton is good for caves (and has nice pubs!) and Peveril Castle too.
Bakewell is lovely. The second post from thewoman ... says it all really. Its on our doorstep and its lovely.
Just a quick update on our plans. We've booked a 3 night stay at Hartington Youth Hostel during August. First choice was Castleton Y.H. but this is already fully booked! Hartington looks good though; very plush compared to the youth hostels that I remember from years ago! Thanks for all your tips about the Peak District.... any more will always come in handy
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