A short break in the Peak District: Cromford and Edale

With a couple of days’ leave slotted in at the last minute we decided to make the most of it and head up to the Peak District! It also coincided with Laura’s birthday so an even better reason to enjoy a short break in this beautiful part of England.

DAY 1: AFTERNOON IN CROMFORD

We had booked a bed & breakfast in a small village to the south of the Peak District National Park which meant a fairly short drive from home of just over 2 hours. Having set off on the Thursday morning we headed straight for Cromford, a small Derbyshire village which looked a lovely place to stop and have lunch.

Lunch in Arkwright’s Cafe

We found a large car park (with card payment) next to the entrance to Cromford Mill and made a beeline for Arkwright’s Cafe, the first cafe we came across! There is a great deal of outside seating but thankfully, in temperatures of about 4 degrees, we located a table inside next to the radiator! They have a good selection and we would recommend the vegan curry pasty.

Arkwrights Cafe is named after Richard Arkwright, an 18th century inventor from the early days of the industrial revolution. Arkwight built Cromford Mill as a cotton mill which made use of the water to power the spinning frames.

There are a number of antique shops and a visitor centre where you can learn much more about the history of the Cromford Mill heritage site.

Cromford Mill Cheese Shop

Cromford Mill Cheese Shop sells a wide range of artisan cheeses and gifts.

Just across the road is Cromford Meadows Canal where you can walk along the old canal tow path for several miles through the scenic Derwent Valley.

Cromford Canal

The historic Cromford canal was engineered almost 200 years ago as the first stage of a link towards Manchester.

Cromford Canal

DAY 2: KINDER SCOUT CIRCULAR TREK FROM EDALE

Our full day (Friday) was spent exerting ourselves with an 8 mile circular trek which began in the car park at Edale. Please note that this car park doesn’t take a card payment so you will need £6 in cash to park your car. Thankfully if you don’t have enough change you could also download the PayByPhone parking app instead.

The Penny Pot Cafe

Just across the road from the car park is the Penny Pot Cafe which is ideal for a hot drink and for stocking up with delicious ‘hikers flapjack’. This is also next to Edale Station so convenient for anyone arriving by train. We were given a handy leaflet which clearly sets out 3 different Edale walking routes.

Edale

Having been prepared and already downloaded a route from OS Maps we made our way under the railway bridge, through Edale village with the church to our left until we came to the Old Nags Head. Opposite the pub is a campsite where we have stayed at least 4 times previously so we were familiar with the start of this walk.

From there we took the track behind the pub, through a gate on the right and across a wooden bridge where we began our ascent towards Kinder Scout.

The first part of the walk was relatively straightforward as we followed the footpath upwards through the valley.

Footpath with the river to our left
Random Christmas tree

A scenic place for a coffee and snack!

Spectacular views across the valley opening up as we ascended.

The path became trickier as we climbed higher, especially near to the river. This involved some scrambling up and over the rocks!

At the top of Kinder Scout Plateau

Following the final push we arrived at Kinder Scout Plateau, the highest point of the Peak District and Derbyshire at 636 m. Once on the plateau the terrain is fairly flat although in places there is no path and you need to clamber over rocks and across peat bogs!

Kinder Scout moorland

There are many footpaths and routes across Kinder Scout and even though we’ve been there several times, it would be very easy to get lost, especially in poor weather conditions. The hiking is graded as ‘hard to moderate’ and isn’t recommended for inexperienced walkers as even in the summer, the weather can be turn rubbish. We found this during our first visit in August 2014 when we experienced freezing hail at the top! Today the weather was good and we were thankful to have the safety net of the OS Maps app to follow!

Footpath over the inky peat bogs
Checking out another spot for a snack

OS Maps app is brilliant until your phone runs out of battery. I stupidly had forgotten to pack my mini charger and about 70% of the way round, my mobile died. At this point we did actually have to revert to plan B, the physical map just to check we were heading back on the right path! And plan C, a quick recap of the helpful leaflet given to us in the Penny Pot cafe.

Our descent took us down Jacobs Ladder which is one of the well known routes between Edale and Kinder Scout and is part of the Pennine Way, one of the UK’s most famous long distance walking trails.

Ancient packhorse bridge

The 17th Century stone packhorse bridge is at the foot of Jacobs Ladder. From here it is another couple of miles along the Pennine Way past Lee House Farm to Upper Booth.

We finished our hike with a drink in the Old Nag’s Head, a pub we’ve frequented several times especially when staying in the campsite opposite.

Each time we do this trek or a similar variation we have a new and exciting experience in dramatic scenery. A previous Kinder blog post focusses on the wonderful mini adventures you can have even in a day trip. We did a similar route on that occasion but that was in July when the weather was hot!

We were also pleased that we had navigated this trek ourselves for the first time – we previously only done this as part of a small group with one or more experienced leaders!

Accommodation

We stayed for 2 nights in the Horse & Jockey at Wessington. The room was modern and spacious with a welcome hot and powerful shower. The staff were super helpful and friendly and the evening meal was so good on the Thursday evening, we booked again for the Friday. They had a good range of vegetarian and vegan options and on both evenings, the restaurant was packed – always a good sign!

2 comments

  1. What a fabulous trip and even better walk. Must have been such a great walk up to Kinder Scout Plateau, the views were stunning. Visited the Peak District a few times but really need to go back. Great photos.

    Liked by 1 person

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