8 mins

Mini-top 5 guide: Peak District

Travel writer Phoebe Smith reveals her favourite places to eat, drink and sleep on a trip to the Peak District

Back Top is a good place to gaze down on Edale (Phoebe Smith)

These short snippets have been taken from the current issue of Wanderlust, where Phoebe Smith huffed her way up, down and around the UK's first national park. Order a copy here.

Top 5 things to see and do

1. Check out what lies beneath the ground you’ve been walking on in Peak Cavern (Castleton; £8.75), aka the Devil’s Arse! Combine it with Speedwell Cavern (£9.25; Peak/Speedwell joint ticket £15), for a boat tour to a subterranean lake.

2. Hire a bike from Fairholmes Car Park (Derwent; from £15.50 a day; Feb-Nov) to cycle around Ladybower Reservoir, famous for being where pilots prepared for the WW2 Dambusters raids.

3. Explore Peveril Castle (Market Place, Castleton; £4.50), one of England’s earliest Norman fortresses.

4. Go climber-spotting on Stanage Edge in Hathersage (free), a gritstone ridge where many of Britain’s best clamber. Pose like Keira Knightley (this ridge features in 2005’s Pride & Prejudice)  or hire a local guide such as Will Legon (from £99), who will not only teach you the ropes but – for a bit extra – can cure your fear of heights!

5 Try a local classic at the Bakewell Tart Shop and Coffee House (Matlock St, Bakewell) – a 30-minute drive from Edale, but worth the effort!

Top 5 places to eat and drink

1. Marking the start of the Pennine Way is The Old Nag’s Head (Edale), a former smithy dating back to 1577. Its Hikers’ Bar is always filled with characters, as well as a selection of real ales and classic pub fayre.

2. Owned by the National Trust, the Penny Pot Café (Station Approach, Edale; 01433 670293; open Mar-Dec) offers seasonal homecooked food from local farms, available to eat in or take away.

3. Edale’s other walkers’ pub is The Rambler Inn, which offers good-value grub. Muddy boots and dogs welcome.

4. Real ale fans shouldn’t miss the 16th-century Cheshire Cheese Inn (Edale Rd, Hope), featured in the CAMRA’s Good Pub Guide 2012/13.

5. For a taste of Italy in this Derbyshire valley, try 1530 (Cross St, Castleton), open for lunch and dinner (closed Tuesdays).

Top 5 places to stay

1. For the ultimate in landscapes and luxury, Losehill Hotel & Spa (Hope; doubles from £170) offers beds, a heated pool, hot tub and sauna for post-walk pampering.

2. For a lower-key treat, try award-winning five-star B&B Underleigh House Hope; doubles from £90).

3. For self-catering, head to Ollerbrook Cottages (Ollerbrook, Edale; from £490 per week ; shorter breaks available), three five-star cottages nestled at the foot of Kinder Scout.

4. For a budget option without canvas there’s YHA Edale (Rowland Cote, Nether Booth; from £16 pppn), which has its own climbing wall and walking paths from the doorstep.

5. Pitch up at Fieldhead Campsite (Moorland Centre, Edale; from £5 pppn plus £3 for parking) to base yourself in the heart of the village. If it’s  full, try Upper Booth Farm (on the Pennine Way, Upper Booth; from £5 pppn plus £3 per car).

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