Parts & Accessories

Visiting the Peak District and Derbyshire Dales

04th August 2020 | Dan Trudgian
There is something quite exciting about the run up to the holiday. Packing the caravan, choosing clothing and forgetting most of the fridge food on the day of travel. In fact, one special holiday started just like this. This holiday in question, was to the Peak District and the Derbyshire Dales.
Winnats Pass

Our base for this holiday is the town of Buxton, where we camped at Grin Low a former quarry just on the edge of town. For a small town there is plenty to do. Lots to see and experience, but sadly as I write this article, much of the cultural attractions such as the Opera house remain closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. However, the big pull for visiting this region is the endless landscapes and wide selection of things to do. So, in this article I will list out some attractions that are worth the visit whilst taking into consideration social distancing rules.

If you are based in Buxton, there are 2 lovely attractions right on your door step at the Buxton Country Park. Firstly, above ground and to take in some wonderful views, take a walk up towards Buxton’s very own folly, Solomon’s Temple. It is great for dog owners and for the keen photographer the summit is fabulous for panoramic views.

On a clear weather day, you can see Mam Tor at Castleton and Kinder Scout which is the highest point in Derbyshire and the Peak district. The Tower was built in 1896 by Solomon Mycock and has absolutely zero practical use what so ever. However, during construction an archaeological dig did unearth several Bronze age skeletons along with some Roman artefacts.

Solomon's Temple - Buxton's own folly

Pooles Cavern is almost directly beneath the Solomon’s Temple. The cave system is just over 300 meters in length and includes several chambers each with unique formations and stories about their creation. The cavern is a 2 million-year-old naturally formed limescale cave that has been designated a site of special scientific interest.

The caves re-opened on 20th July, if you are interested you will need to book tickets, but they are worth the visit. From our experience these caves are very accessible and easy to navigate. Find out more about the current reopening information here.

I previously mentioned Mam Tor and this is a great location for even more cavern exploration. These caverns are where you can find Blue John, a semi-precious stone found only in the Blue John Cavern and the Treak Cliff cavern. The stone is a purple / blue colour that emits incredible colours when illuminated and was very popular in the 19th century due to its banded colours.

The cave systems are a little more restricted and not so accessible for those with limited mobility, however the drive to Castleton is a specular one, especially if you manage to drive down Winnats Pass and Arthurs Way. Regardless of the cavern you choose to visit there are plenty of activities for children to do, and the option to spend a few pounds in the gift shop.

Check out the Caverns before heading off for updates on COVID-19 restrictions and opening times.

Poole's Cavern

On the odd day that you don’t need to take shelter from the rain, there are some great walks to take in. One we thoroughly enjoyed was the Padley Gorge walk.

If you have young children this walk is ideal, the going is easy and take just a couple of hours to complete.

The walk starts from the Longshaw Estate visitor centre, where parking is free for National Trust members. The walk meanders through the estate finally ends at Grindleford where you can refresh yourself with a cup of tea and watch the trains at the nearby station. The walk is ideal for dogs, though be mindful of the roads that run parallel to the route and also be aware of livestock in the adjoining fields, so it’s best to keep the dog on a lead.

The Peak District and Derbyshire Dales offer many walks and here are just a few that are worthy a visit – weather dependant of course.

Padley Gorge Walk

There is so much to do in the Peak district and Derbyshire Dales that this article could go on and on, however there are a few just a few noteworthy mentions:

Go Ape – Buxton

In the same location as the Poole Caverns in Buxton, this is a great activity to climb trees, overcome your fears of heights and have amazing fun.

Matlock Bath

A great day out, the town has quite a few things to do, but one of the notable attractions is the dog friendly Heights of Abraham and the trip on the cable car.

Bakewell

Home to the Bakewell tart, this town is a perfect place to stop and explore.

I hope that this post has wetted your appetite for the Peak district and Derbyshire Dales.