The Amazing Peak District: 5 Step Guide to Planning Your Walking Holiday
Kinder Scout, Dovedale, Tissington Trail, Longden dale are just some options that you will find for walking enthusiasts in the Peak District. But how do you plan and prepare for your walking holiday? Here are some tips on how to plan and enjoy a fantastic walking break in the UK’s top outdoor destination.
Self-guided or guided tour
Before you choose where you are going and how long for, you need to decide if you want to travel on your own or as part of a larger group. This will depend on your confidence to guide yourself along the trail and make the necessary arrangements, whether you want company and if you have the time to plan the trip by yourself.
If you prefer to walk alone or as a couple or family then you should plan your route before you go. It may take some time but you can set your own route and pace suited to yourself. You also get to choose the right accommodation you need where you decide to stop. Be that camping, lodges or public houses on route.
On the other hand, booking through a tour operator can give you peace of mind that everything is already planned for you. If you prefer to travel as a small or large group you can choose a tour that fits to you. Transport, accommodation and routes are planned by the operator so all you need to do is book and follow the instructions. An easier way to enjoy a walking holiday in the UK.
Choose your trail
Once you know if you want a to book a tour or to holiday by yourself, you need to choose your trail. There are many different routes to take depending on how long you want to walk for and your ability.
For disabled access to trails the Tissington trail is perfect. The route is mostly flat and you are not far away from shops and cafes to stop at for refreshment. The effort will reward you with countryside views and interesting insights into historic railway engine houses and workshops.
A relatively quick and easy walk is that of the famous Mam tor. Only five miles to the top and back, this leisurely walk is also a historic place to visit too. It dates back to the bronze age and you can still see some remains here today. An excellent half day trek.
If you are looking for an easy to moderate walk then the route to Longdendale from Hadfield Station is a good choice. This nine-mile walk sees you climb a thousand feet and you are rewarded with great views across the countryside. You can also cycle this path which is excellent for families with kids.
Expert or experienced walkers who want a challenge should try the route across Kinder Scout. The trail is only 8 miles, however there are some difficult climbs and descents to be wary of.
Book your accommodation
There are a few different choices when it come to places to stay and of course that depends on which trail you choose.
In the peak district villages and towns, you’ll find hotels which are close to all amenities as well as the amazing countryside. If you want to stay in a peak district village, Buxton, Bakewell and Matlock are all good choices. There are plenty of pubs and cafes to visit and a range of trails to explore not far from the towns.
Bed and breakfast and self-catering
If you want to stay closer to the countryside and step straight out onto the trails then this type of place to stay might be for you. From woodland lodges and country houses to cottages and yurts. You’ll find plenty of choice as well as a flexible and freeing way to stay in the Peak District.
If you want to move around a lot and stay from place to place on your walking holiday then you might consider camping. It’s also a good choice for those who want to stay as close to nature as possible. Whether its wild camping or at a well-maintained campsite, camping is a popular choice here.
Check your fitness
You might think that a walking holiday will be easy, however you need to make sure you are fit enough to endure the trails. If you really want to enjoy your holiday you should do some moderate training and test your endurance for walking. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, however knowing how long you can walk before you need a break and what your pace is will make planning your walking times a lot easier whilst you are away.
Another tip is to wear in your walking boots. Brand new boots are no good when you are walking long distances. You are more likely to have sore feet and develop blisters if your boots are not worn in. So, kill two birds with one stone, get out and test your fitness, do a bit of training and wear in your boots all at the same time.
Don’t try to complete a trail that is out of your fitness range. You don’t want it to result in the worst case of you having to be stretchered or helicoptered off the peaks!
Pack the right gear
The last part of your plan should be to pack right. Bringing along the right gear is essential to your walking break. Even if you are only on the trail for a few hours you are going to need the essentials. These include:
- A map. Even though you will probably have your phone you can’t count on signal or battery life to last whilst you are out in the open.
- Good walking boots. Worn in as mentioned earlier, walking boots or shoes are crucial for your break
- Water bottle. Whilst walking you need to keep yourself hydrated. Keeping a refillable water bottle with you will keep you topped up at all times.
- Rain coat. The weather can be changeable on the peaks so layers including a rain coat or jacket is advisable.
- Snacks. Walking can work up an appetite and on some of these trails refreshments are few and far between. Pack snacks to curb hunger and keep up your energy.
- A torch with fresh batteries. This is a just in case item but can be really useful if you need it. If you get lost or are later than you though you might need it to find your way in the dark.
This list is not exhaustive and there may be certain items such as medication or sun screen depending on your needs.
When will you be taking your walking holiday in the Peak District?
As you can see a break in the peak district is easy to plan and an amazing holiday to take. Stay in wonderful accommodation, enjoy some spectacular views and get back to nature in this gorgeous location. Book the right way for you, choose the best trail and pack what you need all that’s left to do is to go! When will you be taking your next walking holiday? I bet it will be very soon.