Driving Tour: Peak District
- Start Bakewell
- End Buxton
- Length 52 miles; one to two days
Although you can drive this route in just a few hours, there's a lot to see and even more to do, so pack your hiking boots and consider breaking your journey overnight.
Fuel up at the pretty town of Bakewell, famed for its distinctive Bakewell pudding. Head south on the A6 for 3.5 miles to Rowsley and turn left on winding Church Lane for 2 miles to visit the atmospheric medieval manor, Haddon Hall.
Return to Rowsley, turn left on the A6 and left on the B6012 – follow it for 2.9 miles before turning right to reach the 'Palace of the Peak', Chatsworth House.
Back on the B6012, turn right to join the A619. At Baslow, home to the country hotel and Michelin-starred restaurant Fischer's Baslow Hall, turn left at the roundabout and travel along the A623 for 3.4 miles to the turn-off for Eyam. Drive up the hill to reach its quaint museum, where you can learn about the town's poignant plague history. There's fantastic walking here.
Continue up the hill and turn right on Edge Rd, then right on Sir William Hill Rd and left on the B601 at Grindleford. Continue to Hathersage and turn left on the A6187 to Hope Valley. From here, turn right on the A6013, passing Ladybower Reservoir, to reach the Derwent Dam Museum. Pop in to learn about the Dambusters squadron's 'bouncing bombs' tests here during WWII.
It's 5.8 miles back to the Hope Valley turn-off. Then turn right onto Hathersage Rd, right again on Edale Rd and follow the valley to stretch your legs at another prime walking destination, Edale.
Scenery peaks when you travel towards Castleton, climbing the steep hill near 517m-high Mam Tor to Winnats Rd, then following the spectacular former coral-reef canyon Winnats Pass to explore Speedwell Cavern, half a mile west of charming Castleton.
From Speedwell Cavern, head west along Arthurs Way on to Winnats Rd. Turning right on the A623 brings you to the riot of Victoriana in the former spa town of Buxton.