With a lovely wedding invite taking us from our home in Glasgow, Scotland all the way down to Tunbridge Wells in the south of England, we needed a stop off point to break up the 8 hour journey. We spotted an opportunity to visit the Peak District but with only a few hours to spare how much can you really see?
The hotel we picked for our overnight stop was actually a 40 minute drive from the Peak District on the outskirts of Sheffield. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately depending on how you look at it, our super budget hotel did not really providing much comfort and so we were both awake very early for a day exploring the natural wonders of the local region.
With quite limited time and a further 4-5 hours of drive ahead of us we picked out two of the most popular attractions in the Peak District to get a feel for the place and hopefully some awesome views. Our first stop of the day was Stanage Edge. With our trusty sat nav and following instructions we found online we managed to get ourselves in the rough area of Stanage Edge easy enough, with the ridge clearly visible from the road, but trying to find our chosen parking site and walking route proved a lot more difficult. As we quickly learned, signage in the Peak District is pretty much non existent and so it was nothing more than sheer luck that we came across the car park we were looking for which remained hidden even until the entrance.
We left the car and began our route up the ridge on what turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. It’s an easy ascent and then a little bit of a scrabble on the path we’d chosen leading from Hollin Bank car park up to Stanage Edge but definitely worth the view when you get to the top.
We spend a bit of time on the Stanage Ridge before finding another route down which proved a bit of a mistake as we got rather lost among the overgrown fens but be did eventually make it back to our original path and back to the car.
Our second climb of the day was Mam Tor which isn’t too far a drive from Stanage Edge but, by accident, we managed to time our journey to coincide with the Tour of Britain cycle event and ended up parked up at the side of the road to let the race go through. It’s always nice to get a free show and I’m sure the spectators who had been standing at the side of the road all day awaiting their arrival would think us very lucky to come across it right on cue just by chance.
We are not stopped for long before we’re off again and onward to Mam Tor. Now this is deemed thee biggest attraction and most popular thing to do in the Peak District so, of course, there are no signs. None. We were quite perplexed by this phenomenon. Surely you want to advertise your tourist attractions? Despite our research before hand, we still got lost again but did eventually find the right road and again another hidden car park which we almost missed.
After a quick lunch at the bottom, we were refueled enough to begin our wander up Mam Tor which, despite it being a weekday, was quite busy with walkers. We find it another easy walk up and some more exceptional views from the top to boot. It had gotten quite windy by this point so was quite difficult to stand still at the top of Mam Tor but we did enjoy the views all around and were a bit disappointed that we didn’t have time to do more of the ridge walk before we had to head back.
The Peak District seems a lovely place and clearly has lots of opportunities to explore but from our experience you really need to rely on those grid references when trying to find landmarks and attractions. Even when you do your homework don’t be surprised if you get a little lost on those quaint country routes!
Have you climbed Mam Tor or Stanage Ridge? Where else would you recommend for those short on time in the Peak District?
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