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The Best 2 Days in the Peak District: A Quick Guide to Derbyshire's Must-See Stops

Updated: May 22

The Peak District may seem like a lengthy journey, but once I mapped it out, it turned into an absolutely marvellous adventure. To discover a breath-taking destination, it's not always necessary to head for the most central or popular spots. This guide could be especially useful for those wishing to reduce travel time without sacrificing the depth and quality of the experience. Enjoy your adventures, friends!

But first, some important mentions:

As usual, I forgot my walking boots (it is my constant problem ahah! how I do it, I am not sure) but the weather allowed for my trusty trainers. However, walking boots, sturdy coats, and layers are essential if you intend to follow the trails precisely.

Accessibility is tricky around these locations, and making it the whole way around with prams, bicycles or wheelchairs would sadly not be possible. Having said that I've seen more grandparents and grandchildren on these walks, aided with walking sticks and proper equipment. Having said that, I have never seen so many narrow stiles ever, in my life. I am pretty sure that at some point, my knee got a little stuck and it was more of a climb through than a walk through.

We travelled early May, a great season for wildlife, lambs and little babies all around. This unfortunately meant that Pepper was strictly on a lead 90% of the time.

These walks felt like super safe, and even taking the less visited footpaths for a while felt absolutely do'able. The only solo walker downside (maybe even a plus) is that signal is rather questionable. So if you find yourself injured and in need of a rescue, strong signal is not something to rely on.

Accommodation wise, if you follow this guide precisely, you'd only need one night of stay, or possibly two maximum. Huge disclaimer, we stayed with my mum for that one night making the trip that bit more affordable.

So without further ado, here comes our full itinerary >>>

Day One - Dove Dale and Thorpe

5:00am - pack, quick coffee

6:00am - depart from East Hertfordshire, grab petrol

8:30am - quick stop for coffee and some breakie

9:30am - drive one more hour to the first destination Ilam National Trust Car park (Google maps location)

We got to the car park around 10:30am and already this early it was a popular location. The car park was £7 for non National Trust Members, but it's great to have had a toilet stop, ice cream, coffee and cake trucks (all the things you'd look for in a good car park ahaa!)

10:45am - we set off on our adventure, for a walk or hike around Dove Dale to Thorpe and back

This walk itself is around 8 miles and took us well a fair bit of time. The path is highlighted in yellow on the images below or can be located on the OS Map here.

Free OS Map Route

I've created the route we walked on You can follow this link or download the app on your phone free. You don't need to sign up to follow the route I have created, but signing up doesn't cost you anything and will enable you to save the routes you want to walk, free of charge. The difference with the paid version is that you will be able to see the Topographic map with all the paths labelled clearly, and will be able to plan your own routes (and more) which costs around £34 a year. But you can follow the route linked below completely free. Though as ever, a disclaimer, that since I've last visited this route, it is possible (as with any outdoor adventures) for it to have become not walkable , so please, do your own research too, and be prepared for all weather conditions, and to change your plans if needed:

A few interesting mentions:

(1) The Stepping Stones - though the river isn't very strong, the stones are rather wobbly, and at that point I wished I didn't have Pepper attached to me, as well as a camera ahah! And definitely wished for my walking boots and a walking stick to help the balance.

(2) You might find that from now on as you turn right and everyone else goes straight or left, the walk will become less crowded, but actually was so much more enjoyable from now.

(3) At this point I was really grateful for my Outdoor active App because the paths immediately around the farm were not particularly well labelled. However, the farmer has gone above and beyond to ensure that there are plenty of reasonable and safe alternative to get around the many moos on route through (4). The views across that stretch were absolutely magnificent by the way.

(5) Looks like a road, but it was safe and beautiful and super relaxing.

(6) and (7) Slightly busier roads but many people with children using safe paths nearby, it was a quick and reasonable walk back from the Pub to the Car park in Ilam near Dove Dale.

1:40pm - arrived at The Old Dog, where I had already booked us a table for lunch at 2pm, and having eaten the walk back was around 45 mins or so.

An absolutely incredible time, but one that called for a bath, dry shoes and a happy early night :)

Day Two - Wetton Hill

Oh boy, was this walk incredible!! But beware, on a beautiful sunny day, this one will be packed! If you are heading out this spring or summer, I cannot stress this enough, if you want to see nature, and lambs, and have an incredible time, head out early.

We got to the Wetton Mill Tea Room around 9:20am and hikers were already starting to gather but it was perfect. By some magical insight we decided to stop over for breakfast first because when we came back it was fully (I mean fully!) packed. Though it says online that the Café opens at 10am, it was already opened by the time we arrived (but don't take my word for it! it could have been an accident). Anyway, a sarnie, a cake and a coffee later, we decided to set off for a short little route of around 3 miles in total and tool around 1 hour and 30 minutes ish.

Though a fairly short route, we didn't really hit the busy-ness until arriving in the village of Wetton, where many hikers appear to like to start their route. At that point, an accidental mini detour down the path labelled in orange whilst I was blindly following other walkers and not paying attention to my map, ahah!

For more photos, ideas and adventures, please don't hesitate to visit @absoecolutely on Instagram!


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