Walking heaven through the Peak District...
FoodSome provided. Details below
Difficulty LevelsMultiple options available
1 - 3
For this trip we’re in the heart of the Peak District National Park, where brooding hills, wild moorland, idyllic valleys, tranquil backwaters and perfectly pleasant pubs all make for a cracking break away.
The beauty of the Peak District is not just its landscape but also the fact that it’s easily accessible from cities such as Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester which makes the location ideal for a quick trip into walking heartland or a first foray into the world of Large Outdoors.
In a nutshell:
- Enjoy a respite from the busy norm of life by relaxing in the surroundings of Castleton, a pretty village in the Hope Valley.
- Get in your stride with our group walks in the company of expert guides.
- Explore the beautiful surroundings whether it’s the view from a hill or the intriguing wonderland of stalagmites and stalactites during a trip into the caves
- Tuck into fine food in the company of like-minded people.
Dates & Prices:
- Friday 15th – Sunday 17th February 2019.
- Friday 10th – Sunday 12th May.
At the head of the Hope Valley, the village of Castleton nestles in to the lee of some of the Peak District’s most famous hills including Mam Tor, Kinder Scout and Win Hill.
Not long after arriving at Castleton (any time after 5pm) you’ll find you succumb to its charms, helped by a good dose of fine mountain air as you walk towards your mansion for the weekend, the grandeur of YHA Losehill Hall.
As soon you step through the door of the Mews section of the hall our Large Outdoors host will be there to greet you, no doubt thrusting a cup of tea in your hand while guiding you towards the rest of the group to make the introductions.
The lounge area soon comes alive with the sounds of mingling as guests settle in and gravitate towards the comfy seating on offer.
Some also take the opportunity to soak up a bit more fresh air with a walk through the village, and a quick stop-off at one of the pubs before returning for dinner, lovingly prepared by us!
After dinner we go through the plans for the weekend ahead, which include setting out the walking options – usually a longer route as well as a shorter, easier one – plus the equipment you’ll need for the days ahead.
You can then mull over which option you’d like to do the following day while enjoying a nightcap.
After breakfast, we lay out the ingredients for you to make your own packed lunches – everything from cheese and tuna through to fruit, snacks and crisps. Please note, there’s always plenty so don’t hold back!
Having checked the weather forecast we then confirm the plans for the day and separate into groups depending on the walking options chosen. All the walks are close by but some may require a short drive into the next valley.
To give you an idea, here are some sample walks:
Kinder Scout – Starting from the Vale of Edale, we’ll head up to the highest point in the Peak District, Kinder Scout, via the dramatic path up Jacob’s Ladder. From here we continue along the edge of the plateau to the waterfall of the Kinder Downfall, before following the path across the heart of the bog to the southern edge. We can walk along the southern edge for as long as the group wants before dropping back down into Edale. This will be the longer of the walks on this day, and walkers should expect to be out until at least 4pm.
Mam Tor – A shorter walk will go straight from Castleton to the charismatic hill of Mam Tor, which is famous for the Bronze and Iron Age hillforts which once stood on the summit, and for the frequent landslides that fall from its sides. The remains of the abandoned road on its eastern side can be seen easily during the walk up. From the summit we’ll continue along the Great Ridge towards Lose Hill, and there are many places along here we can drop down back into the valley and return to Castleton if we feel like cutting it short.
Stanage Edge – Another option for a walk of middling difficulty would be to do a loop from the village of Hathersage, including a traverse along the scarp of Stanage Edge, famous as a climbing destination but which includes a good path that alternates between the top and the base of the Edge. Views from here down over the rest of the Peak District are second to none, as it stands apart from the main hills and so gains from an impressive panorama.
Alternative options – There are many public paths that run through the Hope Valley and up the minor gullies coming down from the moor, which you can explore at a leisurely pace before heading to one of the excellent cafés or pubs the valley has to offer. There are also several show caves and caverns near Castleton, as well as the medieval Peveril Castle.
How many walk options are offered?
On each of our weekends we aim to offer two or more walk options each day, so you have a choice of a harder or easier day out. However, this is not always possible. On weekends where there is a small group, instead of cancelling the weekend, we will all head out on the same walk. This walk will be planned so that everyone can have a good day out, with the aim being a social group exploration of the local countryside.
Late afternoon onwards
Once back at base, there is plenty of opportunity to freshen up and spend a bit of free-and-easy time whether it’s simply lounging around with a drink in-hand listening to tales of the day’s adventures or heading out to one of the nearby pubs for a pre-dinner pint.
The draw of good food soon brings the group back together for the evening meal back at the Mews where you are, of course, welcome to bring your own alcohol.
As with Saturday, there will be two guided options, a longer and a shorter walk, into some more beautiful spots of the Peak District. For instance:
Derwent Edge – Sitting above the upper reaches of the Ladybower and Derwent Reservoirs lies Derwent Edge, another of the Peak’s fantastic scarps, crowned on top by brooding gritstone outcrops. This walk will traverse the edge from Ashopton, following the paths up and along the tops and then down to the reservoir-side via Back Tor and Lost Lad. Once we reach the reservoir, we turn back south and walk the paths and tracks along its banks back to Ashopton. This walk benefits from seeing the wild uplands and the forested lowlands, and admiring the enormous engineering feat of the reservoirs.
Win Hill – Similar to the longer walk, today’s shorter walk heads up to Win Hill, at the southern edge of the Ladybower Reservoir, before heading along the ridge of Hope Brink and dropping down to the reservoir in the Woodlands Valley. From here the trail turns back on itself and returns to the start via the waterside track. The chance to walk both on the hillside and in the woods makes this an excellent short walk, and you’ll finish near the dramatic main dam of the Ladybower.
Those on the shorter walk can expect to finish at around 1pm, whereupon we head to a local pub for a farewell lunch (NB this meal is not included in the trip price).
Meanwhile those on the longer route will enjoy another full day out, returning around 4pm for a final meal in a local cafe before heading home.
A bit about the area
The Dark Peak
Once the bottom of a shallow sea, the limestone of the Peak District’s northern valleys are strewn with fossils. These correspond sharply with the famous gritstone moors that make the Peak one of Britain’s most popular walking and climbing locations. The Dark Peak, the northern half of the Peak District, gets its name from the Millstone grit, and the black bog that covers many of its summits. This bog can be explored by a large number of paths that will leave you marvelling at its unique ecology and geology.
Alongside the famous moors are the hills surrounding the Vale of Edale and the Hope Valley, most notably the ridge that runs between Mam Tor and Lose Hill. Beyond Kinder Scout lies the bog of Bleaklow, and over in the west near the Ladybower Reservoir stand the impressive scarps of Stanage Edge and Derwent Edge.
Good to know:
We have the exclusive hire of Castleton Mews, a separate building in the grounds of Castleton Losehill Hall, a huge gothic Victorian mansion that has recently been totally renovated. The Mews has a great social space, and sits within easy reach of the village of Castleton, as well as the hills that surround it.
- 2 nights hostel accommodation, please note bedding is supplied but you will need a towel
- 2 days of guided day walks – please note any excursions or other extra activities will incur an additional charge.
- Welcome meal on the Friday plus Saturday night evening meal. Breakfast on Saturday and Sunday and then a packed lunch for Saturday.
- As well as meals, we also provide a variety of complimentary soft drinks and beverages – tea & coffee which includes herbal, fruit and decaffeinated options and fruit squashes.
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What our members have to say...
“I didn’t really know what to expect on my first ever walking holiday and wasn’t very prepared if truth be known – lesson to all read the essential kit list especially waterproofs! It was great fun and what a lovely group of supportive and encouraging people, especially Gareth who did a great job looking after us all. I must admit at times I found it a bit challenging but what a great sense of achievement when we reached the top of the mountains (hills) I will definitely do this again.ElizabethMember Since 2016
My first Large Outdoors and (Ulster & the Giant's Causeway Walking Weekend) Irish experience was absolutely fantastic. Everything was organised perfectly and Gareth is a joy to be around. I loved every minute and will definitely book myself onto another trip. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocomeVanessaMember Since 2018
Well, for a non-walker it was certainly challenging but my word was it exhilarating! The feeling of achievement after every day, was just fabulous. The group we went with were all strangers on day one, but firm friends by the end of the week. The comradery on some of the tougher walks, helped me to the top…..and wow what views. Anyone thinking of doing it - don’t worry….just go for it!ClaireMember Since 2016