Hi, I'm Ben Hazell. I used to blog here about the media, but now I work there I don't write here anymore.
I'm the Web Publishing Editor at - I find better ways to tell stories, developing tools, training and practice for journalists.

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Rarely updated now, used during Journalism MA at the University of Sheffield.

A beginners guide to the Peak District

Sunday, 10 February 2008
There are loads of great spots to walk or hang out in the peaks and it pays to explore. In most locations you're pretty safe to just wander wherever looks fun; under bridges, off paths, over rocks and into ruins. It's easy.
A decent pair of trainers will usually be enough kit, but obviously it can get wet. Just remember to look after the place, don't upset the sheep, don't even think about swimming in reservoirs, and don't cross anything that looks too much like a fence without a plausible excuse. And really really don't stray onto the clay pigeon range near Fox House.
I've picked four locations to recommend as start points as they're all pretty easy to reach from Sheffield and have loads of features to explore.
The whole place can get very busy at weekends, so if you can go in the week it'll be much easier.

Bradfield is really two villages; Low Bradfield in the valley and High Bradfield on the hilltop. High Bradfield has a nice pub, a mound formally known as a castle, a bunker protecting the churchyard from University bodysnatchers, and nice walks down through the woods. Low Bradfield has nice paths round the nearby reservoirs, ducks that you MUST NOT feed, an abandoned waterworks to explore and a cute village green where you can often see Medieval re-enactment.
The best walk is to head out through the churchyard and down to the reservoir through the wood. The waterworks in Low Bradfield is boarded up, but there are plenty of places to sneak in and enjoy the spooky post-industrial decay (The banner for this blog is a photo from this site).
Parking is easy and free around the villages.
The 61 or 62 bus will get you there. Timetables here.

Castleton is dominated by Peveril castle on a crag above the village. Behind the ruin is a deep rocky gorge that winds up into the hills with amazing views over the hope valley. You can often watch people Para glide off the slopes further along the valley. The village is cute with decent pubs and a web of back streets and decent antique shops. Under the castle are a series of huge caves. You pay to enter but they're huge and impressive, and some require a boat to explore.
A half hour drive from Sheffield. There are plenty of pay and display car-parks, but you might get lucky and find a free spot on the edge of the village.
Again, the 272 bus will get you there. Timetable here.

A beautiful reservoir with a solid path all the way round. There are free car-parks all along the side but they get busy. At the end there's a visitor centre with mountain bike hire.
The 273 or 274 should get you there. Timetable here.

Fox House & Surprise Edge
Fox House is a large pub sat alone on the road out into the Peaks. It's nice, but don't expect to order chips without a meal. Just past the pub is a pay and display car-park. From here you can circle the valley round to the remains of an old hill-fort and climb on the huge rocks. In the valley you'll find old quarry works with discarded millstones scattered in the heather. Near the carpark you'll find open woodland and plenty of picnic spots on the rocks, and it's a short walk to Suprise Edge, a rocky clifftop with great views over the valley.
You can try parking free at the pub, or pay and display nearby.
The 272 bus heads out there and stops at the pub. Timetables here.

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Tom said...

Are you still upset about the no chips policy?

Ben said...


And it's not just the Fox House either.

Peter said...

Buxton's nice this time of year...

Ben said...

Wait for the intermediate guide Pete...

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