If you’re planning a day trip from Greater Manchester then the Peak District is a great place to start. It has more than its fair share of stunning villages so you’re spoiled for choice.
Lying east of Hope Valley is the bustling village of Hathersage. With its own train station and just less than an hour’s journey from Manchester, Hathersage is easy to get to if you don’t have a car or prefer enjoying the views as a passenger.
The village is surrounded by beautiful wooded hillsides and is a great starting point for several walks in the area. To the south flows the River Derwent, which you can follow down to Grindleford for a six mile circular walk.
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But if it’s breathtaking views that you’re after, then a visit to Stanage Edge, north of Hathersage, is a must. It’s one of the Peak District’s best beauty spots.
The gritstone edge is an impressive four miles long and offers impressive views of the peakland countryside. The rock formation is so dramatic that it even featured in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice, with Keira Knightley filming a scene here.
It’s a popular spot for walkers as well as climbers, cyclists and even paragliders. At the edge you’ll find a jumble of rock formations including water troughs which were carved into the stones for grouse to drink.
Stanage Edge has another secret which is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it – the Robin Hood Cave. Sitting in the cliff face, it was rumored to have been used as a shelter by the outlaws.
To reach the cave you have to follow a rocky path along the cliff face and after you’ve climbed inside you’ll be rewarded with stunning views as it has a balcony-type area to look out from. Depending on the weather you may have the cave all to yourself or you might have to wait before clambering inside.
The connections with Robin Hood don’t stop there, his sidekick Little John was reputedly born in Hathersage. At Hathersage Parish Churchyard, located at the top of a steep hill, you can find his gravestone which is well-maintained. Whether you think he was a real man or just a myth, it’s an interesting place to visit which looks out over the village.
As well as legends, the village also has literary associations. Charlotte Bronte was said to have visited Hathersage and North Lees Hall is apparently the inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre.
There’s plenty of pubs, cafes and restaurants to head to in the village after you’ve worked up an appetite walking. The Plow Inn occupies a pretty spot on the banks of the River Derwent or grab a light bite at the Pool Cafe, located next to the village’s heated outdoor pool.
If you fancy a longer stay, Hathersage has a variety of accommodation options available, from cozy hotels to a campsite.
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