The Hope Valley is one of the best-loved parts of the Peak District National Park, boasting some of the finest views and most picturesque villages in the region. This unique area is home to renowned Peak District walks, such as Mam Tor and the Great Ridge, and the winding Winnats Pass road - arguably one of the most photographed roads in the UK!
Other gems you can find in the Hope Valley include the villages of Castleton, well-loved for its show caverns and hilltop Norman fort; Eyam, the famous 'Plague Village'; Hathersage, a popular centre for lovers of outdoor pursuits; and Edale, a tiny village at the start/end of the UK's first and most famous long distance walking path - the Pennine Way.
Standing high on a hill above Castleton, the imposing ruins of Peveril Castle are a must-see for history buffs. As one of England’s oldest Norman fortresses, it was mentioned in the Domesday survey and a climb to the top is rewarded with panoramic views of the village below.
The village of Castleton itself is a great village to visit in the Hope Valley, not least because of its wonderful traditional pubs. Castleton is most famous as the only place in the world where the rare Blue John stone can be found. Take a tour of the famous show caverns to see where Blue John is mined, then buy unique gifts or jewellery made from the previous stone at one of the local shops.
Hathersage is the largest village in the Hope Valley and is a great place to catch a bite to eat, with great local cafes and restaurants. It is also a place with great literary connections; it's believe that Charlotte Bronte, shortly before writing Jane Eyre, visited the village and it’s said that places such as North Lees Hall were massive influences on the novel.
Eyam, also known as the ‘Plague Village’ has an interesting history, as well as quaint cottages and beautiful surrounding countryside. A great place to start is the parish church of St. Lawrence, which has an amazing eighth-century Celtic cross in the church yard. Next you can visit and read about some of the famous plague cottages, and then onto Eyam Hall.
This is a great place in the Peak District accessible by train, as the Hope Valley Line runs from Sheffield to Manchester, the journey of which is one of the most scenic imaginable!