In the cooler months, it’s all too easy to start hibernating in the close to zero temperatures and stay home but there’s really no need and there are plenty of days out and activities to be had in the Peak District and Derbyshire – from real ale pub tours in a 4×4 to snowboarding and farmyard fun for the kids at Chatsworth and lots more…
Here’s our pick of 8 things to do and places to go in colder months:
If you either want to get some practice in for an upcoming ski or snowboarding holiday or you just fancy having some fun on slopes, there’s lots to offer here with lots of facilities to ski, board, tobogganing and tubing. If you’re a total beginner and want a new year challenge there’s lessons too. About 1.5hr drive from Buxton so within easy reach heading out along the A515 towards Sudbury.
Certainly it’s a good idea to choose your day carefully when you walk up here but the views north towards the Kinder Scout plateau (scene of the historic Mass Trespass on April 24th, 1932) and east over the Vale of Edale can be a photographer’s dream, especially if it’s had a dusting of snow or frost. Edale itself marks the southern end of the Pennine Way and the Hope Valley railway drops you conveniently back in Chinley if you’re travelling to the area by train. Otherwise Chapel railway station is a good but pleasant walk towards Eccles Pike. The following link has a number of suggestions for walks across the Peak District including this one:
Dolomite Training based in Bakewell offer a range of caving courses from beginners to those who are more experienced, and this makes for a great winter activity to get you moving in the cold weather and see some of the areas most stunning underground caves in the area. They also offer a varied range of other outdoor activities and courses from mountain biking, rock climbing, abseiling and more.
Hassop Station is open 362 days per year and all facilities within are available during this time. The converted former railway station houses a lovely cafe, superb book and gift shop and cycle hire and cycle repairs. Located along the Monsal Trail, not far from Bakewell, if you’re feeling fit, you could drive to Bakewell, park up in the car park right next to the trail and walk down to Hassop Station where you can hire a bike. In the autumn and winter months the Monsal Trail is less busy which does offer a more intimate experience of the fascinating industrial heritage (eg. lime kilns and old railways tunnels) wildlife and beautiful vistas along the trail. You’ll still see plenty of wildlife if you look carefully such as Red grouse, short eared owls, birds and mountain hares, to name a few.
If you want to see some of the best views and scenery of the Peak District, or visit some award winning real ale pubs – in the comfort of a warm 4×4, without having to worry about driving it – Live For the Hills offers a brilliant day out. And don’t think it’s just for visitors either – this is a great activity if you’re local and want do something different on your day off. You can choose from a range of tours – from photography tours, Peak District scenic tours, real ale pub tours and more. An ideal day out in the depths of winter and you could even drink ale along the way, couldn’t be better.
One of England’s finest historic houses, Bolsover Castle is open at weekends (Sat & Sun) 10am – 4pm until Monday 18th February 2019 when opening times change and the castle opens during the week again. Many other stately homes and houses are closed entirely as we enter the winter months and this makes for an ideal weekend day out for all the family. The 17th century castle is a fascinating place once you start roaming about inside and around the grounds.
A superb day out for all the family to enjoy, even on a more colder rainy day – you can soon warm up with a stroll in the grounds which are stunning on a winters day. The house, garden, farmyard and playground are closed for the winter season from 7th January – 22nd March 2019 however the farmyard does re-open 16th – 24th February 2019 for half term. The working farmyard here with animal handling and milking demonstrations are a great way for children to learn about the animals and a brilliant half term activity for all the family.
Chesterfield holds its famous flea market every Thursday – and in winter there’s no exception. From 9am – 4pm, you can peruse antiques and obscure vintage finds, and the good thing is, there’s plenty of coffee shops right on your doorstep in and around the market area if you need to get warm from the cold.
Go Beneath the earth and explore the vast limestone caverns and see how the spectacular crystal stalactites and stalagmites have lined the chambers over millions of years. With new LED lighting, the caverns look spectacular along the effectively illuminated walk ways, so don’t forget your camera. A day out at Poole’s Cavern can be enjoyed by everyone and the Cafe in the Cavern serves a varied, tasty menu, with light meals or if you just fancy a coffee somewhere warm. Guided tours are every 15-20 minutes. The walk through Grin Low Country Park opposite the cavern entrance up to Solomon’s Temple offers breathtaking views of Buxton. Open all year round, it’s an ideal winters day out.