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 cosy tours in a 4×4 to snowboarding, flea markets and family fun…
Here’s our pick of 12 things to do in the Peak District in the colder months:
1. Swadlincote Ski & Snowboard Centre
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.
2. Walk – Chinley to Edale via Kinder Low, Peak District, 9.5 miles
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:
3. Go Caving with Dolomite Training
Peak District based Dolomite Training 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.
4. Hire a Bike from Hassop Station and Cycle the Monsal Trail
Bike hire at Hassop Station is available all year round and the café here is also open virtually all year round too. The converted former railway station houses a great 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.
5. Take a tour in a 4×4 to the most scenic spots in the Peak District
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 wanted to say something different with a group of friends or family, once you’ve spilt the cost, it can keep the cost down. You can choose from a wide range of tours – photography tours, scenic tours, bespoke tours and more.
6. Bolsover and Pevril Castle both open during Winter
Bolsover and Pevril Castle are open during the Winter, at weekends only. The breathtaking views from Pevril Castle are always worth the visit looking across to the pretty village of Castleton and the Hope Valley. Bolsover Castle also offers spectacular views and The 17th century castle is a fascinating place once you start roaming about inside and around the grounds.
7. Winter Fun at Chatsworth
A superb day out for all the family to enjoy, even on a more colder rainy day, you can warm up with a stroll in the grounds surrounding Chatsworth (no entry required) which are stunning on a winters day and the Carriage House Café makes a great stop for lunch or a coffee and slice of homemade cake. The house and garden are closed, reopening on 26th March. The farmyard & playground will close after half-term, also reopening on 26th March 2022.
8. Brick Corner – Lego Fun
If your kids (or you!) are Lego fans, then a visit to Brick Corner in Buxton is an absolute must. A true paradise Lego fans, there boxes galore of Lego kids to play with and there’s regularly special events on too. Parents can enjoy a slice of cake and coffee while the kids are occupied but everyone can get involved!
9. Hunt for vintage gems at Chesterfield Flea Market
Chesterfield holds its famous flea market every Thursday with over 100 stalls every week. 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.
10. Poole’s Cavern and Buxton Country Park
Go Beneath the earth and explore the vast limestone caverns on a guided tour 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. 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.
11. Denby Pottery Village
Shop, eat and experience! Whether you have a few hours or want to enjoy a full day out, the Pottery Village offers a wealth of family-friendly activities that all ages can enjoy. Learn more about its 200 year history in the heart of England creating tableware and cookware. Closed only on Christmas Day and Easter Sunday, it’s a perfect day out on a chilly day as there’s plenty to do here and you can enjoy a tasty lunch in in Bourne’s Coffee Shop & Bistro or as a special treat, Afternoon Tea. Their brand new Craft Studio for creative ‘play with clay’ sessions look great fun too. Of course there’s great shopping on offer too at the Denby Factory Shop and Cookshop.
12. Thornbridge Brewery
Created in 2005, Thornbridge Brewery has become on the leading craft ale producers and their famous Jaipur was what really catapulted Thornbridge into the limelight. You can now experience the brewing process for yourself at The Thornbridge Experience, in their new tasting experience you’ll learn the story of Thornbridge, understand the intricate elements of the brewing process and experience a tutored tasting all within their brand-new state of the art taproom.