June 2006 Club Members visit The Peak District.
The trip up to the Peaks was planned to avoid Motorways, which, apart from a little of the M40 was A and B roads. The distance to Buxton (where we stayed www.roseleighhotel.co.uk) is about 220 miles, we covered 830 miles in total.

Well worth looking at the following website if you plan to visit the Peaks. Quote from www.visitpeakdistrict.com
“Get away to it all... Right in the heart of England the Peak District includes the first National Park in Britain. You will also find Chatsworth and Alton Towers, the starting point of the Pennine Way long distance footpath and home to such nationally known products as Buxton Mineral Water, Hartington Stilton and the delicious Bakewell Pudding. Great places to visit, magnificent scenery and a host of things to do whilst staying in your favourite style of accommodation, the Peak District has something to offer everyone”.

The trip was a Wednesday to Sunday stay in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District which offers visitors a very diverse range of countryside.
Not noted for its lakes, the Peak District has an abundance of water in the form of reservoirs dams and rivers running throughout the area.





Ladybower and the Derwent Dams - the Upper Valley of the Derwent is a deep valley surrounded by gritstone edges and dominated by three great reservoirs, constructed by the Derwent Valley Water Board primarily to provide water for Sheffield.
The upper two dams, Howden and Derwent, were constructed between 1901 and 1916 and they were such a large undertaking that a village called Birchinlee was constructed in the upper valley to house the workers and a narrow-gauge railway was built between Howden Dam and the Midland Railway at Bamford. Traces of both these may still be seen. The dams were opened by King George V in 1916. Another claim to fame for the Derwent reservoirs is their association with the ‘Dambuster’ squadron of the RAF, for they used the Derwent to practise for their famous raid on the Ruhr dams. Since then this event has been regularly commemorated in the Derwent valley with fly-pasts of old bombers and aerial displays.www.cressbrook.co.uk/hopev/ladybwr.htm

Day one of the visit started wet, so we visited Poole Cavern. Quote from the webside “Poole’s Cavern is a 2 million year old, natural limestone cave situated in the beautiful woodland of Buxton Country Park in Derbyshire and has been visited for 5,000 years since Neolithic tribes first used it’s chambers as shelter. The cave has been known as ‘The First Wonder of the Peak’ since the 1600s and recently celebrated its 150th anniversary as an official showcave and tourist attraction. Modern visitors enter the cavern in comfort through easilly accessible, illuminated chambers, with guided tours leaving every 20 minutes from the visitor centre”. www.poolescavern.co.uk

There are a number of Caverns in the Peak District mainly located in and around Castleton www.cressbrook.co.uk/hopev/castletn.htm
The Castleton Caverns comprise of The Blue John Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern, Speedwell Cavern (all clustered around the Winnats pass) and the great Peak Cavern, just outside Castleton itself.

The Snake Pass is probably most frequently heard of on weather and traffic reports as it is usually one of the first trans-Pennine routes to be blocked by snow and ice. However there is more to this picturesque valley than meets the eye, for instance, how did it get its name? First impressions of the road winding through the valley like a snake would suggest the name came from this but the link with the road can be found elsewhere. The origins of the name can be found in the early part of the 19th century when construction of the Turnpike road began. A Turnpike Trust was set up to manage the toll road and the then Duke of Devonshire was appointed Chairman. Tolls were collected at the Snake Inn, then a coaching inn, which derived its name from the Duke of Devonshire family coat of arms the ‘Snake and Staff’. Hill farming has shaped the valley over the centuries. The field patterns and walls have changed little since the 16th century. Stone sheep pens are a distinctive feature in the landscape although some now are only ruins, others have been carefully rebuilt.

This is just a little about the area, always plan any visit before you go, which means the visit includes as much as possible,
we had a fabulous time during our visit, and are planning to return as soon as we are able.

Days 2 and 3. The Peaks have some of the best roads we have ever come across, much of our sightseeing however was spent almost off road, as you know from club runs we always plan routes as far away from the main roads as possible. One such track involved the opening and closing of gates, passing farms and cottages which have not changed for 100’s of years. Another interesting feature we encountered was a Ford, (some 25 meters wide, the base of which was 12” blocks) which we took a chance on, we managed to slip and slide across without mishap (it has been deleted from our routes for future visits).

Another priceless encounter was a tiny place called Milldale which has a wonderful tranquil river running under a historic stone footbridge, the cafe is a spilt door in a private house, this area is near Ashbourne.

We also visited Holmfirth (Last of the Summer Wine country), although the town was a little disappointing, the ride to get there was over one of the highest most scenic roads in the Peaks with 360 degree views. From Holmfirth we were told to take the A635 towards Oldham which is a well used biker road, well, again the 360 degree views were amazing.


The ride into the area on the day we arrived was along the A515 which was a fabulous introduction to what the Peak District had in store for our visit. Sadly Sunday arrived all too quickly, but we had a bonus on our way home.

We left the Peaks on the A53 which linked to the A523. these roads cover an elevated area of the southern part of The Peaks, it was like riding at the height of a low flying aircraft, the views for about 25 miles to all sides were stunning, the road was about 20 miles long. Angie took 200 photos on this trip, what is she like?!
Paul and Angie