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

8 mins

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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