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Edale, Hope Valley: 9+ Things to Do & Visitor Guide

Edale, Hope Valley: 9+ Things to Do & Visitor Guide

Nestled in Derbyshire’s Hope Valley, Edale is a well-known village celebrated for its outdoor adventures and as a gateway to the vast surrounding hills and moorland. 

In a hurry? Summary of the best things to do:

  • Outdoor Enthusiasts: 🥾 Go for a Local Hike from the Village – Kinder Scout Walk
  • Adventure Seekers: 🚴‍♂️ Other Outdoor Adventures
  • History Buffs: 🏛️ Edale Church & Visitors Centre
  • Food & Drink Lovers: 🍽️ Eat & Drink at a Local Café or Historic Pub
  • Day Trippers: 🏰 Visit Another Local Town or Village – Castleton or Buxton

Top Activities & Things to do in Edale

Honest Overview: Edale village itself has limited activities, but it is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. There are numerous iconic hikes, cycling routes, and other outdoor adventures to enjoy. 

Alternatively, nearby villages and towns like Castleton offer more attractions, such as Peveril Castle and several show caverns.

1. Hiking and Walking Trails

With Edale being in the heart of the Hope Valley, there are plenty of walks in the sourcing Hill and morning to choose from with various distances. 

Some of the most popular include:

Kinder Scout

view from top of jacobs ladder

The highest point in the Peak District features a challenging route via Jacob’s Ladder and Kinder Downfall waterfall, offering breathtaking landscapes. 

Owned and maintained by the National Trust, this is a spectacular area of the Peak District, steeped in history due to the mass trespass protest in April 1932.

Mam Tor and the Great Ridge Walk

mam tor - featured image

Known as the “Mother Hill,” Mam Tor offers accessible paths and sweeping views, perfect for both novice and experienced hikers, making it one of the most popular walks in Derbyshire.

The Pennine Way

Starting in Edale, this iconic long-distance trail spans 431 km (268 mi) to the Scottish Borders, showcasing rugged beauty and remote uplands.

Don’t worry you don’t have to do all of it. The path is a great starting point to get up into the surrounding moorland.

Edale Skyline

fottpath along the hillside hillside around Upper Tor and over Nether Tor

A demanding 32km (20 mi) circular route tracing the high ridges around Edale, offering panoramic views and varied landscapes.

View the complete list of Edale walks.

2. Cycling Routes

Edale features several scenic cycling routes suitable for all levels, including trails through valleys and over hills.

Whether you are interested in road or mountain biking, there are plenty of options.

3. Edale Church (Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity)

Address: Parish Church, Grindsbrook Booth S33 7ZA

The Church of the Holy and Undivided Trinity in Edale replaced a 17th-century chapel and became a parish in 1863. The current church, built between 1885 and 1886 in the Decorated Gothic style by William Dawes, features an impressive tower completed in 1889, standing 88 feet tall.

This historic church offers a peaceful place to reflect and admire its architecture within picturesque grounds. Services are held every Sunday at 10 am throughout the year.

4. Other Outdoor Adventures

rock climbing in the peak district

  • Rock Climbing and Abseiling: Edale’s cliffs and crags are ideal for rock climbing and abseiling, catering to both beginners and seasoned climbers.
  • Caving and Potholing: The area’s limestone caves and caverns offer thrilling underground adventures.
  • Paragliding Opportunities: The high ridges and open landscapes around Edale are perfect for paragliding, providing stunning aerial views.

5. Edale Visitors Centre

Edale Moorland Visitor Centre

Address: Fieldhead, Hope Valley, Edale S33 7ZA

The Edale Visitors Centre, known as the Moorland Centre, is a modern facility built at a cost of £1 million, featuring a sedum turf roof and geothermal heating.

Opened in September 2006 by the Duke of Devonshire, it serves as the UK’s first moorland research base.

The centre offers interactive exhibits on the Moors for the Future Project, highlighting efforts to restore and conserve moorland habitats. Owned by the Peak District National Park Authority, it provides information on local attractions, accommodation, and public transport, and is surrounded by the popular Fieldhead camp site.

Things to do Near Edale

While Edale doesn’t have a huge amount of attractions, the surrounding areas offer plenty to keep you busy all weekend or for the remainder of your stay.

Some of the closest and most iconic attractions include:

6. Visit Castleton

castelton bridge with stream leading up to peak cavern

Nestled on the other hill from Edale, just a 10-minute drive away, is Castleton.

Known for its medieval history and enchanting caverns, the village attracts tourists with more scenic walks and unique geological wonders.

Key attractions include:

  • Show Caverns: Blue John, Peak Cavern, Speedwell, and Treak Cliff.
  • Peveril Castle: Offers panoramic views and historical insights.
  • Other Local Walks from Castleton: Mam Tor, Cave Dale, and Winnats Pass.
  • Local Pubs: Ye Olde Nags Head, The Bulls Head, and The George.

7. Visit Buxton

the cresent buxton

Buxton is a picturesque, larger spa town in the Peak District, around 20 minutes away, that offers many more attractions to visit. Highlights include:

  • Buxton Crescent: A stunning Georgian building with a rich spa heritage.
  • Poole’s Cavern: Explore limestone caves with striking formations.
  • Pavilion Gardens: Victorian-era gardens perfect for leisurely strolls or a more expansive walk from Buxton.
  • Buxton Museum and Art Gallery: Exhibits on local history and art.
  • Go Ape: Adventure park with treetop challenges.
  • Buxton Opera House: Hosts a variety of performances.

Other local towns and villages include Glossop, Hope, Bamford, and more.

8. Go for a Walk in the Broader Peak District

bamford edge cliffs viewing point

While Edale has plenty of walks, there are many more beautiful walks in the national park just a short drive away. Some of the most notable would be:

  • Ladybower Reservoir: A popular spot for a scenic walk with trails around the water and surrounding hills. (20 Mins Away)
  • Win Hill: Offers a steep ascent with rewarding panoramic views over the Peak District, perfect for experienced hikers. (20 Mins Away)
  • Derwent Dam: Known for its impressive historic dam and beautiful surrounding landscapes, ideal for a leisurely walk. (30 Mins Away)
  • Bamford Edge: Famous for panoramic views over Ladybower Reservoir. (20 Mins Away)
  • Stanage Edge: Offers striking cliff views and a mix of walking and climbing routes. (24 Mins Away)
  • Snake Wood: A lesser-known trail featuring dense woodland and tranquil pathways, perfect for a peaceful hike. (33 Mins Away)
  • B29 Overexposed Crash Site: A poignant walk to the remains of a WWII bomber, offering a reflective journey through moorland scenery. (35 Mins Away)

View the full list of the best Peak District National Park walks.

9. Dining and Local Cuisine

village centre of edale

While the village of Edale is relatively small, there are a number of popular and highly-rated cafes and pubs for all types of visitors:

Cafes

  • The Penny Pot Cafe (Next to the station): Welcoming atmosphere with delicious homemade cakes, excellent coffee, and options for vegetarians and gluten-free diets
  • Newfold Farm Cafe: Licensed café and bar serving fresh, locally sourced food and drinks, including free-range meat, local dairy, and Fair Trade coffee.

Pubs

  • The Old Nags Head: Historic pub offering a diverse menu of classic British pub food and a wide selection of drinks, making it a perfect stop for hikers and visitors.
  • The Rambler Inn (Next to the station): Warm and pub with large outdoor seating, great for when the sun is out.

Events and Festivals in Edale

Beer Barrel Race

Edale is a lively village with exciting events and festivals throughout the year that bring the community together and attract visitors from all around.

Key Dates to Keep in Mind:

Mark your calendar for these significant dates in Edale’s event schedule in your planning to visit:

  • Beer Barrel Race (Saturday, 7th September 2024): A popular and entertaining event where participants race while carrying beer barrels through the village and up into the hills. It’s a test of strength, stamina, and fun to watch.
  • Edale Country Day (Saturday, 9th June 2024): A celebration of rural life featuring agricultural displays, craft stalls, and activities for all ages. It’s an excellent opportunity to experience the local culture and community spirit.

History of Edale

Edale has a rich history that stretches back to prehistoric times. Nestled in the valley of the River Noe, the village has been a human settlement for thousands of years.

The area is surrounded by moorland and watched over by an Iron Age fort on Mam Tor.

Early Names and Settlements

The name “Edale” was first recorded in its modern form in 1732. Earlier spellings include Aidele (1086), Heydale (1251), Eydale (1275), Eydal (1285), and Edall (1550).

The village and its surrounding areas are known for their “booth” names, which refer to temporary shelters once used by shepherds. Over time, these shelters became permanent hamlets, each incorporating “Booth” into their names, such as Upper Booth, Barber Booth, Grindsbrook Booth, Ollerbrook Booth, and Nether Booth.

Development and Industry

While sheep farming has always been central to Edale’s economy, the village diversified with the establishment of its own cotton mill in 1795. Built by Nicholas Cresswell and his partners, the mill and its cottages were constructed from locally quarried gritstone, a common building material in the area.

Cresswell, originally from Crowden-le-Booth in Edale, returned from the American colonies to manage the mill. The mill operated until 1940 and was later restored in the 1970s by the Landmark Trust, now serving as private apartments and holiday accommodation.

Cultural Heritage

Edale’s parish church, built in 1885, replaced an earlier chapel and spared villagers from the long journey to Castleton for burials. Designed by William Dawes of Manchester, the church is a significant local landmark.

Today, Edale is renowned as the starting point of the Pennine Way, a famous long-distance walking trail. The Old Nag’s Head pub, dating back to the late 1500s, marks the official start of this 270-mile route.

Mountain Rescue

Edale is also notable for establishing England’s first organised mountain rescue team.

Following a rescue incident in 1928 that highlighted the need for organised efforts, the Edale Mountain Rescue Team was formally created in 1951. The team’s first base was at the Old Nag’s Head, and it continues to be a vital part of the community, relying on public donations and offering crucial services throughout the year.

How to get to Edale

Edale Valley is well-connected, making it easy to visit this beautiful village in the Peak District.

By Car

Driving to Edale is convenient, especially if you are coming from the main A6.

From the A6, it’s just a 15-minute drive, passing by the stunning Mam Tor as you descend into the village. For parking, the main options is:

Edale Car Park (HPBC)

Edale Car Park - HPBC 

This car park has 138 spaces, including onsite toilets, and is near the village hall.

If the main car park is full, you can use:

Edale Train Station & Overflow Car Park

  • Address: Edale Station, Station Road, Edale, Derbyshire, S33 7ZN
  • Cost: £4 all day at the train station or £5 all day at the overflow car park

The overflow car park, managed by the village, is just a few metres from the station.

By Train

Edale is accessible by train, being on the Hope Valley train line that connects Sheffield and Manchester Piccadilly. Trains depart hourly, and the journey times are approximately:

  • 44 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly
  • 32 minutes from Sheffield

Most services are operated by Northern Trains. For the latest timetable, you can check the Northern Trains website.

By Bus

Though not detailed here, local bus services also connect Edale with nearby towns and villages, providing another option for visitors relying on public transport.

Visting Edale FAQs

What is Edale famous for?

Edale is famous for being the starting point of the Pennine Way, a long-distance walking trail.

It’s also known for its beautiful scenery, historic buildings, and being home to England’s first organised mountain rescue team.

Is Edale worth visiting?

Yes, Edale is definitely worth visiting. It offers stunning landscapes, a variety of walking trails, including the famous Kinder Scout, and a rich history.

The village’s charm and the surrounding Peak District National Park make it a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those looking to explore the countryside.

Does Edale have a pub?

Yes, Edale has two pubs: The Old Nag’s Head, which marks the official start of the Pennine Way, and The Rambler Inn.

Both pubs offer real ale and food, providing a cosy spot for walkers and visitors to relax.

How difficult is the Edale Skyline walk?

The Edale Skyline walk is considered challenging. It is a long and demanding route that includes steep climbs and descents, making it suitable for experienced hikers with good fitness levels.

Does Edale car park get busy?

Yes, Edale car park can get busy, especially on weekends and during peak tourist seasons. It’s advisable to arrive early to secure a parking spot.

Is Edale in the White Peak?

No, Edale is located in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District, characterised by its moorland and gritstone landscapes, unlike the limestone dales of the White Peak.

How long does it take to climb Mam Tor?

It takes approximately 1 to 1.5 hours to climb Mam Tor from Edale, depending on your pace and fitness level. The route is relatively short but includes some steep sections.

How far above sea level is Edale?

Edale is approximately 206 metres (676 feet) above sea level.