Image: Approaching Hope from Castleton along the back lane.The Hope Valley in the Peak District marks the dividing line between the White Peak and the Dark Peak areas. The White Peak is so called because the geology is based on limestone which gives the rock outcrops a whitish grey appearance. The Dark peak geology is that of the hard sandstone known as gritstone which is a much darker rock. The local stone houses reflect the underlying geology with warm brown colours where the gritstone has been used and grey where limestone was the building material.

Hope, which gives its name to the whole valley, lies half way along at the confluence of the River Noe and Peakshole Water. Hope is a great centre for anyone staying in the Hope Valley there is easy access to the rest of the Peak District (at most, a 1 hour drive unless you drive really slowly or get stuck behind a tractor!) plus shops, restaurants, outdoor activities and gear shops, tea rooms, pubs, B&B, hotels, self-catering cottages etc.

Image: Mountain biking in Derbyshire, Hope Cross.

If you park by the Blue John mine at the top of the old road, you can take in the size of the Hope Valley in one grand vista. The valley is a broad 'U' shape and extensively farmed. The main towns are Castleton and Hope.

On the left, as you look down the valley from the remnants of the old road, stands the only real ridge of the Peak District, running from Mam Tor to Lose Hill. This is a very popular walk, easily accessible and so has worn badly. In response to this, the Peak District National Park authority have paved a lot of it, nevertheless, it is still a worthwhile outing if you are interested in walking. Even if you go no further than the summit of Mam Tor, with its hill fort, you experience extensive views in all directions. To the north, the brooding mass of Kinder Scout, to the west, the moorlands of the High Peak, to the east the Hope valley and to the south the limestone plateau of the White Peak.

On the right lies the northern edge of the Limestone plateau and the town of Castleton. The area if well known for the mining of Blue John, a mineral that is unique to the Peak District. The mines are now show caves.

The road on which you are standing as you take in the Hope Valley vista used to be the main road from Sheffield over to Chapel-en-le-Frith. The authorities finally gave up on it in the late 1970s and decided to let it slide into oblivion as it was impossible to prevent it without spending a small fortune. For the amount of traffic it just wasn't worth doing. The reason it is slowly heading downhill is that it is built on shale. Shale is a friable rock which is poorly consolidated and so before the days of tarmac, it was easy to maintain as you just needed to do a bit of digging to sort out the parts that has slipped away. With a tarmac road, it's a whole different ballgame ... The whole of the front face of Mam Tor is shale and is gradually slipping downwards under the inexorable pull of gravity, into the Hope Valley below.

I remember my Dad taking us to Castleton in the 60s and instead of using the main road beneath Mam Tor, The Shivering Mountain, we went up Winnatts Pass instead, which at the time was a narrow minor road (but didn't all dad's take the scenic route rather than the main road?) and much more exciting than the main road. To a youngster, the sides of Winnatts Pass seemed Alpine in scale! Following the decision to let the original road do what it wanted, Winnatts Pass was then resurfaced and widened. OK, it is still a tad narrow but it is well maintained and allows you to drive out of the top end of the Hope Valley.

Geologically the area is very interesting and important. It is one of those rare places where you can find the rocks and reefs of an ancient sea bed preserved more or less as it was when it was under the sea. The reason Winnatts Pass is stable is because it is on limestone which gives a solid base. The pass itself is thought to have been carved out at the time the limestone was deposited rather than by more recent erosional activity. Please see the geology section of this site for more information. At the bottom end of the road, just before you come to the part that is no longer passable, you can see the remains of the Odin mine. Don't be fooled, the cave that you see is not the mine. We say stay out of the mine and caves unless you are with a specialist guide (or are an experienced caver of course), the inside of the cave is like being in a giant's throat, but with mud instead of saliva! It's horrible, it's slippery and it's filthy.

The other main town of the Hope Valley is Castleton, a real tourist honeypot. One of the reasons that Castleton is so popular is that it is close to the various blue john mines, close to the intriguingly names Devil's Arse, has the ruins of Peveril Castle, Mam Tor with its Hill Fort and hang gliding and parapenting and plenty of walking, mountain biking and natural history. Castleton gets very busy and is very much geared up for the tourist. If you like a place with lots of people, then Castleton is a good place to stay. But don't expect peace and tranquility!

The Romans have left their mark on the Hope Valley area. About a mile away from Hope itself lies the earthworks of their fort, Navio. This is sited at Brough and is thought to be a base used to protect Roman lead mining interests in the Peak District.

Walks in the Hope Valley.

There are long walks and short strolls to be had from both Hope and Castleton. From Castleton, you can take a stroll up and back down Cavedale (in wet conditions the rocks can be quite slippery) below Peveril Castle. Please note that there are some road sections which will be very busy with traffic at Peak times. Also there is rough ground to cover so bear in mind the mobility of your party.

The Cavedale walk can be extended to make a complete circuit that comes back down the old Mam Tor road or even over the summit of Mam Tor and back down to Castleton via Hollins Cross. Or head up to Hollins Cross from Castleton and wander along the ridge between the Hope Valley and the Edale Valley enjoying the extensive views over the Derbyshire countryside.

From Hope you can trundle along to Navio and back along country lanes. Or head up to Hope Cross and back via the western slopes of Win Hill. I have added a few possibilities to the Interactive Ordnance Survey map below for those of you who don't have the time (or maybe the inclination) to sort out routes for yourselves:


There are millions (well OK, probably just hundreds though it seems like millions!!) of walking books aimed at the Peak District, for example I found these on Amazon:


Accommodation in the nearby area.

Thumbnail: cottage sleeping 4 in the Peak District.

Cherry Tree Cottage, Self-Catering, Castleton - NW of the Peak District sleeps 2,3,4

Cherry Tree Cottage in Castleton is a cosy 18th century cottage situated at the heart of Castleton giving easy access to ... More information or visit Cherry Tree Cottage web site..

Thumbnail: Self catering holiday cottage for up to 6 in Grindleford, Derbshire..

Bank Cottage, Self-Catering, Grindleford - NE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4,5.6

This delightful holiday cottage, one of a row, has been totally refurbished, yet retains the original character. Situated in an elevated position ... More information or visit Bank Cottage web site..

Thumbnail: Hope self-catering, Winhill View Cottage.

The Old Hall Barn Cottages - Winhill View Cottage, Self-Catering, Hope - NE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4

Barn conversion conveniently situated in the heart of the Peak District in the village of Hope ... More information or visit The Old Hall Barn Cottages - Winhill View Cottage web site..

Thumbnail: Hope self-catering.

The Old Hall Barn Cottages - The Old Hall Barn, Self-Catering, Hope - NE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4

Barn conversion conveniently situated in the heart of the Peak District in the village of Hope ... More information or visit The Old Hall Barn Cottages - The Old Hall Barn web site..

Thumbnail: Self catering holiday cottage for 2.

Glider View Cottage, Self-Catering, Little Hucklow - NW of the Peak District sleeps 1 or 2

Rural tranquility for two in the heart of the Peak District National Park ... More information or visit Glider View Cottage web site..

Peak District B&B, hathersage, Derbyshire

Cannon Croft, B&B, Hathersage - NE of the Peak District

Situated in the village of Hathersage, close to some of the wildest and picturesque areas of the Peak District ... More information or visit Cannon Croft web site..

Image: Bed and Breakfast in Derbyshire's Hope Valley, near to Castleton or Edale.

Old Hall Hotel, B and B Hope - NW of the Peak District

The Old Hall Hotel offers good pub food and a comfortable night's sleep in the heart of the Peak District ... More information or visit Old Hall Hotel web site..
Special Offer: 55 for a room when booking 2 nights or more (Sun to Thur only).

Thumbnail: Peak District hotel accommodation, Derbyshire, Losehill House.

Losehill House Hotel & Spa, B&B, Hotel, Hope - NW of the Peak District

A gem of a Peak District hotel, along a leafy lane, nestled into the hillside, peaceful and quiet location ... More information or visit Losehill House Hotel & Spa web site..

Thumbnail: Victoria Lodge, Buxton, large self-catering holiday accommodation.

Victoria Lodge, Self-Catering, Buxton - NW of the Peak District sleeps 4 to 16

A large property in the spa town of Buxton, Derbyshire ... More information or visit Victoria Lodge web site..

Thumbnail: Self catering cottage, Derbyshire Peak District.

The Coach House, Self-Catering, Chapel-en-le-Frith - NE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4,

3 star graded character coach house conversion in a fabulous setting, close to Buxton and Castleton ... More information or visit The Coach House web site..

Thumbnail: Peak District Hotel Accommodation, Derbyshire - Fern Cottage, Castleton.

Fern Cottage, B&B, Hotel, Castleton - SE of the Peak District

A stone built bed and breakfast in the heart of the tourist town of Castleton ... More information or visit Fern Cottage web site..

Thumbnail: Poppies Court, Earl Sterndale. Luxury family holiday cottage to let in the Peak District of Derbyshire.

Jericho Farm - Poppies Court, Self-Catering, Earl Sterndale, Buxton - NW of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4

These quality and characterful barn conversions are set in striking "White Peak" scenery and each enjoys one of the most breathtaking views in the Peak Park, across to the jagged and dramatic ... More information or visit Jericho Farm - Poppies Court web site..

Thumbnail: Bank Top Hathersage cottage, Derbyshire Peak District holiday cottage to let.

Bank Top Cottage, Self-Catering, Hathersage - NE of the Peak District Sleeps 2,3,4

This pretty, detached holiday cottage stands in the oldest part of Hathersage with lovely views over gently undulating hills ... More information or visit Bank Top Cottage web site..

Thumbnail: Callow Barn, self-catering luxury with view of the Hope Valley.

Callow Barn, Self-Catering, Hathersage - NE of the Peak District sleeps 4,5,6,7,8

Converted barn with views of the superb Hope Valley from virtually all rooms ... More information or visit Callow Barn web site..

Total number of accommodation listings: 14


Hope Valley - Derbyshire Attraction

Walking and cycling in the Peak District, near Mam Tor and Castleton.

Hope, famous for its cement works, is a popular place with tourists as it has a nice church, tea shops, souvenir shops and outdoor shops. It is a popular place to start several walks and bike rides, especially to Win Hill and along the floor of the Hope Valley.

Contact us by email or by phone 0114 360 1004

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