There are so many things to do in Edale and the surrounding area, so we’ve put together a list of our top reasons to visit the village to help you decide what not to miss.
Edale in the Peak District is generally referred to as a village, but it’s actually a small collection of hamlets, or ‘booths’ - tiny settlements which originated where livestock keepers used to shelter. It lies in an idyllic location in the shadow of Kinder Scout at the end of the scenic Hope Valley. What Edale lacks in size, it certainly makes up for in character, with the friendly community welcoming outdoorsy visitors all year round.
In recent years, it has had reason to celebrate, being a finalist in the 2017 Channel 4 ‘Village of the Year’ competition and regional winner in the 2019 Times’ ‘Best Place to Live’ poll. A good place to live makes an excellent destination for a holiday and there’s no disputing the fact that Edale is one of the top places to visit in the Peak District. We have a selection of Edale holiday cottages which are definately worth checking out!
Walking, walking and more walking
Ramblers rejoice! Edale is one of the best bases in the Peak District for accessing a fantastic array of walks and hikes to suit all abilities. With a spiderweb of routes radiating out from its heart, you’ll never be short of new ground to cover. Here are some of our favourites…
The Pennine Way – Edale to Crowden
Edale is the official start of the Pennine Way, so you can literally pull on your walking boots and set out from the front door of your holiday cottage. The first section of the trail which leads out of Edale from the Old Nags Head pub starts quite leisurely, with some spectacular views (some behind you, so remember to turn around!), but after a few miles, Jacob's Ladder offers up the first section of challenging terrain. Choose between the steep path to get the heart pumping or opt for the zigzag route which requires slightly less effort, while covering more ground.
The trail crosses Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District, which has an ethereal, other-worldly feel about it, smattered with heather, gritstone and peat groughs (channels). In a day, it’s possible to walk the 16 miles from Edale to Crowden, which throws in the added challenge of Bleaklow Head, just when you were patting yourself on the back for conquering Kinder Scout.
- Distance: 16.5 miles
- Level: Challenging
Using Edale as your base, you can drive to pick up various points of the beginning stretch of the 268-mile Pennine Way, exploring the ‘backbone of England’ and returning to your Edale holiday cottage to relive your adventures and enjoy a well-earned rest!
Upper Booth and Barber Booth circular walk
At 3.4 miles, this relatively short walk can be completed in a couple of hours, making it the perfect option if you’ve just arrived, or are looking to take things a bit easier after a few days of exertion! Starting from the station, it follows the beginning of the Pennine Way to Upper Booth and then leisurely down to Barber Booth to return back to Edale along the railway line through the valley.
- Distance: 3.4 miles
- Level: Easy
Mam Tor and Rushup Edge circular walk
If you’ve already undertaken the challenge of Kinder Scout, you’ll notice that the terrain is very different and much more forgiving over this side of the valley, where the views are no less rewarding. Climbing up to the highest point, the Lord’s Seat (Rushup Edge), the trail offers breathtaking panoramas. It descends via the Chapel Gate path and on through scenic woods and farmland into Edale.
- Distance: 7 miles
- Level: Moderate
For more ideas, check out our guide sharing 10 fantastic Peak District walks.
Education and learning
Edale has a charming visitor centre ‘The Moorland Centre’ which provides a national focus for moorland research and an inspirational experience for visitors to the Peak District National Park. The building itself is fabulous, reflecting the environmentally friendly objectives with its sedum turf roof and energy-saving ground-source heat pump. Here you can find all the information you need to be able to explore the area and make the most of your stay.
You can find out all about the national park, hill safety, attractions, public transport and events nearby. There are also interactive exhibitions for all ages which are educational and interesting, and a shop stocking maps, kit and outdoor clothing for those who like a bit of retail therapy.
This is a nice place to pop to either before or after your excursion, resting the legs with a coffee or an ice cream on the sunny days. The dogs are welcome too!
Stay in gorgeous Edale holiday cottages
When deciding on where to stay, it’s nice to know there are plenty of options. We have many charming self-catering cottages in Edale which can offer a lovely base to explore from. Whether you decide to spend the time out walking from the cottage, relaxing in the sunny garden, or travelling further afield, we are confident we have a cottage that will suit you. Here are some feature holiday homes, but don’t forget to check out our full range of Edale accommodation too.
This compact and cosy cottage has been beautifully designed to provide a quirky base for you to explore from. Enjoying a peaceful and rural location you can be assured privacy and lovely scenery throughout your stay.
Within easy reach of the local pub, grocery and coffee shop, you have enough to keep you going in close proximity, but you are within easy reach of Buxton which is a larger spa town with shops, restaurants and a theatre/opera house.
- Sleeps 2, dogs welcome
- Storage for bikes
- Plenty of walks from the doorstep
- Romantic wood burner in the bedroom, perfect to snuggle up in front of
This cottage would be a nice spot for a small family, or two friends to come and enjoy the lovely area of Edale and surrounding villages. With hillside walks right on your doorstep you can be at one with nature and it is within easy reach of pretty Castleton and many other nearby attractions. This setting also lends itself well to quiet walks where the little ones can discover all the wildlife and nature that surrounds them.
The living area has two large comfy sofas which nestle around a wood burner, making this a cosy spot for those who are off cooking duty. There is a nice big dining room table which everyone can sit around for a home-cooked meal and the galley kitchen is equipped with everything you are going to need.
- Sleeps 4
- Ample off-road parking
- Recently renovated detached stone cottage in picturesque rural valley location
- An array of shops, pubs and cafes to explore in nearby Chapel-en-le-Frith
A group get-together in The Edge – a large countryside house
This is a really lovely, spacious cottage with a quirky layout, and it is one of four properties available in this location so you could hire out a couple/all to accommodate more people. The surrounding landscape presents many outdoor activities to keep you all entertained and being close to Buxton means there are options for days exploring this historic spa town too.
The open-plan living area is where most of the socialising will happen, with a kitchen/dining area downstairs complete with mezzanine level – here you will find a snug. Put the music on and chill while the chefs cook up an evening storm. The main living room is a nice place for book time, TV nights or a tipple after a long day out. The bedrooms are top notch too!
- Sleeps 8, 2 dogs welcome
- Ideal for groups
- Horses and alpacas grazing in the paddocks nearby
- Fun activities close by include parascending and climbing
Now we have shown you some of the lovely accommodation options, let’s have a look at some attractions that are located close by and that all offer something different and fun for your family or group…
Attractions for all in Edale
Explore a famous cavern
This area in the Peak District is home to two amazing caverns that are famous throughout the world for their unique and large deposits of Blue John Stone. This is a rare, semiprecious mineral found only at one location in the whole world – here! These caves are also home to the most beautiful cave formations found in the UK.
Treak Cliff Cavern: Here you can take a guided tour of the caves where you will be able to admire the depths and forms of the cave. You can also try the new experience where you can go prospecting on the soil heap to find your own stone, polish it and craft it into something you can take home. Location: S33 8WP (1.9 miles from Edale station)
Blue John Cavern: This is said to be the finest cave that can be seen by the general public in Western Europe. It is home to eight of the 14 known varieties of Blue John stone and the mineral has been mined here for centuries. The Blue John Cavern is steeped in history and old mining equipment is on view inside the cavern, and you will be amazed by the stalactites, stalagmites and huge caverns. Location: S33 8WA (1.8 miles from Edale Station)
Upper Derwent Valley
Often referred to as Derbyshire’s Lake District, the Upper Derwent Valley is known for its majestic reservoirs, beautiful scenery and wild, open spaces that many travel to for peace and relaxation. The area is home to three large dams called Ladybower, Derwent and Howden. Derwent Reservoir is the closest one to Edale and it offers lovely walking and cycling routes which will keep you busy for hours.
Look out for:
There are lots of hidden spots for picnics and with the surrounding nature and wildlife, there is lots to see. Location: S33 0BB (3.8 miles from Edale Station)
Fancy doing something to give you more of an adrenaline rush? Abseiling Derbyshire offers a unique setting for this jaw-dropping activity, one of which is an old railway bridge where you hang 70 feet over the River Wye and abseil down hoping you reach the bottom safely! Supported and guided by experts, you and your friends or family will have a great day out here. Location: ST10 2LY (7.9 miles from Edale)
Hopefully, this guide has given you a nice taster of the area and a good idea of what there is to do in Edale. From lovely walks to gentle days out, you will be spoilt for choice. Closely linked to the villages and towns of Hope, Buxton, Castleton and Bamford you can hop around as you please to find the best places to eat and drink in the Peak District too!
We hope you enjoyed our property features; we have plenty more to suit family holidays, dog-friendly holidays and romantic breaks away!