Classic Car Breaks – Peak District motoring at its finest …
The Peak District was the UK’s first National Park. It covers an area of about 550 square miles. Taking your Classic car breaks in the Peak District will enable you to get a real feel for the towns, villages and countryside of this region of England. There are a variety of roads from trunk roads to unclassified. It is easy to get to as it is close to the M1 in the east, the M6 in the west and the M62 to the north. To the south, you have the A50 and A38.The A6 forms the principle north-south axis within the Peak District whilst east-west is served by the A57, the legendary ‘Snake Pass’ road. One of the great classic car routes of the Peak District is to drive from Sheffield to Glossop, perhaps stopping at the Snake Inn for a spot of something to eat. From Glossop, take the A624 to Chapel-en-le-Frith. From Chapel, you head out on the Castleton road to take in the legendary Winnatt’s Pass. A word of warning, in a classic car, unless the brakes are up to scratch, it can be a bit harrowing as the road is steep. But the scenery is fantastic. But before you head down Winnatt’s Pass, park up near the entrance to the Blue John mine and take a short stroll to see the effect of building a main road on a bedrock of shale. The highways authority officially gave up repairing it in the 1970s.
If time allows, you could stop at the town of Castleton. It is a bit of a honeypot for tourists but that is because it is a great little place. For folk with cash, there are numerous Blue John artifacts to be purchased. Blue John is a version of the mineral fluorite which has been tinted blue by geological action. It is claimed that Castleton is the only place in the UK with Blue John.As well as the mines that produce Blue John, there is the Devil’s Arse Cavern. It was renamed ‘Peak Cavern’ so as not to offend Queen Victoria on one of her annual perambulations. Apparently, it gets its name from the fact that it emits farting noises from time to time – I have never heard a single eposode of wind from the cavern, despite living in the Peak District for 30 years! It has a large entrance, so large that it was a perfect home for ropemakers who undoubtedly sold their wares to the local mines. Some of the old ‘ropewalks’ still exist and the cavern is well worth the entrance fee. From Castleton, you can then head back to Sheffield via Hope and Hathersage.
There is plenty of accommodation in the Peak District, here is a suggestion for somewhere to stay that gives easy access to this itinerary.
The Old Hall Barn Cottages – Winhill View Cottage, Self-Catering, Hope – NE of the Peak District sleeps 1,2,3,4
Barn conversion conveniently situated in the heart of the Peak District in the village of Hope … More information
Classic car breaks in the Peak District are not complete unless you visit the home of the Bakewell Pudding. Allegedly created by accident by a cook who placed the ingredients into a tin in the wrong order, it is different to the Bakewell Tart. I leave it up to you to find the difference between them. The ‘Original Bakewell Pudding Shoppe’ sells local produce as well as the eponymous pudding. There are no car spares shops in Bakewell, however. there are a couple of garages if you are running short of fuel. Plenty of shopping too.
Whilst near Bakewell, the Classic car owner would probably find Haddon Hall and Chatsworth of interest.
A further classic car motoring itinerary from Sheffield would be to drive out to Hathersage on the A 6187, passing the Fox House (reasonable pub food), past the Burbage Valley and Padley Gorge, round Surprise View and into Hathersage. Carry on through the town and turn right at Hope to do the Edale Valley. Edale itself is a great little village and there are toilets at the car park. If you don’t want to tak your classic car up to Mam Nick and down Winnatt’s Pass, go back the way you came. Turn right in Hathersage and head south on the B6001 to Grindleford where you turn right. As you climb out of Grindleford heading towards Calver, there is a nasty right turn on the brow of the hill on a bend which puts you on the road to Eyam. After exploring Eyam, head to Calver via Stoney Middleton on the A623 to Baslow. There are some more toilets and a cafe at the village green. You could take a short diversion to Chatsworth House from here too if you wanted. After a short stretch of the A619, you can then pick up the A621 back to Sheffield.
For motoring in Scotland and the UK in general …