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Pretty villages, spectacular countryside and open moors

From £40pp to £165pp
Book your experience
Available dates:
  • Duration

    2 Nights
  • Accommodation

    Hostel
  • Food

    Some provided. Details below
  • Difficulty Levels

    Multiple walk options available See itinerary below
    for more details

The Peak District is the heart of England. Made up of raised moor and the hills surrounding them, the Dark Peak in the north of the National Park is where we’ll be spending the weekend, making new friends and having a great time in the fresh air! Easily accessible from all the northern cities, the Peak District has that perfect mix of wilderness and accessibility which makes for a great first trip.

Based in Castleton, a village at the head of the Hope Valley, we’ll have perfect access to many of the Dark Peak’s most famous hills, including Mam Tor, Kinder Scout, and Win Hill. There will also be plenty of opportunity to explore the village of Castleton and perhaps take a tour round one of the nearby caves.

As usual with our walking weekends the emphasis is on having great days out with a friendly bunch of people, and then relaxing in the hostel with good fresh food.

In a nutshell:

  • Explore some of the most famous hills in Britain, including Kinder Scout, where the fight for our access to the countryside reached a climax more than 80 years ago.
  • Relax in the beautiful villages of Castleton and Hope, or explore one of the nearby caves if you feel like a day without walking.
  • All meals provided from Friday night to Sunday morning, so you can concentrate on getting the most out of the weekend.
  • Knowledgeable walking guides will lead you and the group on a choice of walks in the area.

Peak District

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 it 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. Whether it’s to these hills you choose to go, or you head for a wander through the idyllic valleys, you’ll soon be captivated by the Peak District, as so many have before.

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Itinerary

Friday

You can start arriving at the hostel from 5pm where your Large Outdoors host will be there to greet you and introduce you to your other walking companions. Dinner will be served at 8pm so until then you are free to take a walk through Castleton and perhaps investigate the pubs, or relax in the lounge with a cup of tea.

After dinner we’ll go through the plans for the weekend ahead, including giving you at least two walking options for the next day, a longer and a shorter route. We’ll also talk a bit about the area, weather, equipment needed and facilities. You have until the next morning to decide on the walk, so there’s no rush.

After dinner we serve up a cheese board with crackers and chutney and then you’re free to head out with your new companions or savour the delights of the hostel.

Peak District

Saturday

After our sit-down breakfast at 8am, we’ll lay out the packed lunch ingredients and you can set about making sandwiches for the day. There is also plenty of fruit, snacks and crisps to take so don’t worry about being hungry!

The plans for the day will then be confirmed and we’ll separate into groups depending on which walks have been chosen. There may be a short drive in the morning, but it will probably just be into the next valley as everything is very close. Possible walks include:

  • Kinder Scout
    3

    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
    2

    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
    2

    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
    2

    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

When both groups are back from their walks, the time is yours to relax, head to the pub for a drink, or stay chatting about your day in the lounge. We’ll be serving up dinner at around 7.30pm, so don’t eat too much in those cafés!

After dinner we’ll go over the plans for Sunday and brief you about weather and walking routes.

Peak District

Sunday

After breakfast at 8am, it’s time to pack up and leave the hostel, and get into groups for the Sunday walk. As with Saturday, there’ll be two options, a longer and a shorter walk, both guided and both out to see some great parts of the Dark Peak. Walk options include:

  • Derwent Edge
    2

    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
    2

    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.

Both walks will aim to finish at around 1pm, when the groups will meet up for a farewell lunch in a local pub. This usually finishes at 3pm and then it’s time to say our goodbyes and savour the memories and friendships made over the weekend. Of course if you want to stay and look around the villages for the afternoon then you’re more than welcome to!

Peak District

Our Base:

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.

Arrivals:

You are welcome to arrive any time from 5pm onwards and settle in before we serve an evening meal at about 8pm. Please let us know if you intend arriving after 10pm.

Food Provided:

For this weekend we provide the following meals: evening meals on both Friday and Saturday, breakfasts, and a packed lunch for Saturday’s walk.

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.

We do not supply alcohol but you are welcome to bring your own.

Accommodation:

This is offered on a single sex shared room basis. The venue also has a limited number of twin rooms. All bedding is provided but please don’t forget your towel.

Please note we are unable to accept dogs on this weekend, with the exception of registered guided dogs which are welcome on all of our trips. 

If you have further questions please view our FAQ’s page or email the main Large Outdoors office.

Venue Address:

Castleton YHA
Castleton
Hope Valley
S33 8WB

Get Directions
Losehill Hall
Castleton
Hope Valley
S33 8WB
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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.
    test5647
    Elizabeth
    Member 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. #toldallmyfriendstheyhavetocome
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    Vanessa
    Member 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!
    test455
    Claire
    Member Since 2016
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