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Visiting the Peaks District

k j
Saint Louis...
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Visiting the Peaks District

We are planning to visit the Peak District in late March primarily to see Chatsworth. It will be a quick visit as we are driving in from Haworth in the morning and leaving before evening. However, as Chatsworth does not open until 11:00, I think we may have a little time to sightsee. I have several questions:

1. Does anyone know whether it would be drive from Haworth to the west through Buxton or from the east toward Bakewell? (If you recommend from the east, please also consider whether the road is too windy and challenging for an American who does not have much experience driving on the left side of the road!)

2. We do love to walk and the Monsal Trail looks delightful. Does anyone know of a short, beaufitul jaunt we could take that would not take more than one hour? (I wish we had more time to give.)

3. Are there any places we must not miss.

Thank you so much in advance!

Southport UK
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11. Re: Visiting the Peaks District

AA route maps suggest the A629 from Keighley to Halifax, through Huddersfield to Sheffield thence to Chesterfield and onwards to Chatsworth. They say it'd take about 96 mins and it's 59 miles. I know that route and think I'd allow a couple of hours and hope there's not too much traffic.

Where are you coming from or going to before and after Haworth? Is there anywayyou could do Chatsworth on the way or way back?

Gibel

Edited: 12:27 pm, January 16, 2012
Seattle, Washington
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12. Re: Visiting the Peaks District

There are so many great routes you can take. For non-windy roads, the previous suggestions (M1/A619 or M62/M67) work, but driving the motorways missing some of the best scenery in the north of the park.

My own personal preference to get to the Bakewell/Chatsworth area is:

Haworth --> Halifax --> Huddersfield --> A616 towards Sheffield --> turn off at Midhopesstone onto Mortimer Road --> right to Ladybower Reservoir --> down to Chatsworth.

However Mortimer Road may not be a good choice for you to drive, it is narrow and windy, with some steep sections and switchback turns.

A better choice would be:

Halifax --> Holmfirth --> Woodhead --> Glossop --> Snake pass --> Ladybower then as above

The road from Holmfirth to Woodhead is one of my favourite drives in the area, and while not straight, the road is is pretty decent. The best views are when driving north, though. This road can get snowy, but March should be okay.

Southport UK
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13. Re: Visiting the Peaks District

My favourite route in the previous post over Mortimer Road - I didn't suggest it because it's shall I say interesting with its bends and hills!! It's not very busy so you can take it slowly. I used to drive it at least once a week. - fantastic views.

Gibel

England
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14. Re: Visiting the Peaks District

Re the A6 vs Snake Pass, both roads are about the same width, the Snake Pass is just a bit more bendy ! They are both ordinary 2 lane roads (one in each direction) - there are few (if any) dual carriageways in the Peak District.

If you want to see what they look like, try using Google Street view to take a virtual look at the route.

I still feel that the Snake Pass is better for your purposes (the A6 route from the motorway is a horrible journey through the built up outskirts of Stockport). Also Buxton can be quite busy and you won't see much of it unless you park up and spend some time wandeing round. However if you do choose the A6 route, I suggest that you turn onto the A623 just south of Chapel-en-le-Frith and follow that to Baslow which is 5 minutes away from Chatsworth.

P-t-B

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15. Re: Visiting the Peaks District

In your follow up post 9 you asked if 3½ hours was reasonable for Chatsworth. As in your OP you say that is the primary purpose of the visit I'd say allow as long as you possibly can. You could spend a whole day in the house, garden & park if you're happy to walk, which it reads as though you are. My inclination would be to get to Chatsworth as soon as you can, then if you've time left visit, say, Bakewell on your way to your overnight accommodation. Chatsworth is a big house & has gardens to match - you might just get round in the time without any breaks, but it might be somewhat rushed!

Essex
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16. Re: Visiting the Peaks District

The A6 is a pain now, as it has lots of speed limits and restrictions. Also as has been mentioned it is far more 'built up' than the Snake Pass - however, some of the places it goes through are worth looking at in themselves!

Chatsworth is a good 'day out' so just spending 3.5 hours there, IMO would be selling yourselves short!!

There are some lovely walks in Chatsworth Park, one of my 'faves' is the classic - following the Derwent south from the bridge to the house, towards Beeley - well trodden by many, but for good reason!

So if you are really really struggling, my advice is spend the day at Chatsworth, see the house, gardens and then go for a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG walk in Chatsworth Park - bingo! you have then done everything you wanted to do and all in one easy 'hit'!

Essex
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17. Re: Visiting the Peaks District

Here's some links for walks at Chatsworth:

peakdistrictinformation.com/outdoors/walk20.…

peakdistrict-nationalpark.com/chatsworth-wal…

theaa.com/walks/chatsworth-park-and-gardens-…

but if you 'google' walks in Chatsworth Park, you will find tons more!

NE Victoria...
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18. Re: Visiting the Peaks District

Agree that Chatsworth swallows up time. I've been a few times now and always spend much longer there than I had intended!

The estate village of Edensor mentioned in one of EssexWanderer's links is near the house, very pretty and worth wandering around (it won't take long!). Also, when you leave, it's not far to Pilsley to visit the Chatsworth Farm Shop, quite an enterprise with lots of delectable goodies. Not cheap, particularly, but nice for an edible souvenir of your visit to the house.

k j
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19. Re: Visiting the Peaks District

Thanks for all the advice. We ended up taking the shorter route to the east as we had experienced several very narrow roads the day before. It was very congested, and I think I might try Snake Road if we did it again. However, we had four full hours at Chatsworth and a beautiful day--so all in all, it was wonderful.

Essex
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20. Re: Visiting the Peaks District

That's great, thanks so much for coming back and letting us know how you got on. Hope you enjoyed yourselves!

The Snake Pass is a great 'driving' road with lovely scenic views, one of my favourites up there - but it can be a challenge!

(not quite as bad as the Cat & Fiddle pass in the snow, though! :-0)