The north end of the Peak District is made up of the expansive Hope Valley. It is a large, wide valley running from the east to west along the boundary consisting of the gritstone moors and edges of the 'Dark Peak', to the limestone outcrops and deep cut dales of the 'White Peak'.
Best known for its choice of world class treks it’s immensely popular with walkers of all abilities and stamina. The Hope Valley region is also a haven for outdoor sports enthusiasts like bikers, cavers, potholers, pony trekkers, hang-gliders, and rock climbers, as well as for the more relaxed activities of landscape artists and photographers, anglers and birdwatchers.
Hang gliding and caving
Now a launch pad for hang-gliders, Mam Tor, a.k.a the 'Shivering Mountain' dominates the valley from its head. It was once the home of Iron Age people whose fort can still be seen near the summit of Mam Tor.
Winnats Pass is in the High Peak area of the English county of Derbyshire. It lies to the west of the village of Castleton, in the National Trust's High Peak Estate. The road winds through a cleft, surrounded by towering limestone pinnacles. The pass was once thought to have originated as a giant collapsed cavern; however, a more recent explanation is that it was a ravine between the coral reefs that originally formed the limestone. The area is full of potholes and old lead mines, the source of the unique and attractive Blue John stone. Blue John is turned into jewellery in Castleton's craft shops. A local legend is that Winnats Pass is haunted, so ghost hunters beware. It also features in the Tour of the Peak Cycle Race each autumn.
Walk the Pennine Way
A walk from Mam Tor to Losehill along the ridge dividing the Hope and Edale valleys gives unrivalled views in both directions. From here the walker can descend into Hope - the central village of the valley, with its fine church and Saxon cross.
Edale is the next valley north of Hope Valley, a great centre for walkers, pony trekkers and campers. Edale also lies at the southerly end of the Pennine Way. See our accompanying guide for more details about the sights and activities you can enjoy along the Pennine Way.
The three rivers flow through the Hope Valley and Edale. Peak Water, rising from Peak Cavern and flowing to Hope; the River Noe, rising on Kinder Scout near Edale; and the River Derwent, rising on Howden Moor before flowing through a series of massive reservoirs on its way to meet the Noe at Bamford, north of Foolow.
Visit Little John's grave
Hathersage, the largest village at the north end of the Peak District has a swimming pool, and a church that is famous for brass rubbings. It’s also the rumoured site of Robin Hood’s good friend Little John's grave. Nearby Stanage Edge is a test training ground for rock-climbers of all abilities.
Read our blog about Top five things to do in the Peak District. We have some lovely cottages throughout the Hope Valley, including in villages like Hathersage. View our full portfolio of cottages here.