‘Staycation’ Drives – The Peak District, Derbyshire
Whether you believe in the old definition of ‘staycation’ (staying at home) or the seemingly modern variant (not travelling abroad), it seems likely that holidaying in our cars in the UK will be the most likely vacational relief from the strictures of pandemic lockdowns!
In this series of blogs we are highlighting some parts of the UK that you deserve for a vacation and your car deserves for a good shake-down drive.
This time we’re looking at the Peak District in North West England.
Our tour of Derbyshire’s Peak District is a day out of about 55 miles driving.
Naturally, we’ll take in the famous Cat & Fiddle Road and the Snake Pass so hold on for a great ride!
We’re starting from the south at Macclesfield and ending in Glossop, 15 miles due east of Manchester.
As with all our ‘staycation drives’, you can easily spend much longer enjoying the local scenery and visitor attractions, or simply by driving it in both directions.
We start in the market town of Macclesfield and pick up the A537 towards Buxton. This is the famous ‘Cat & Fiddle Road’ that has for many years been popular with bikers, sports car drivers and TV car reviewers. No doubt there are now also plenty of cyclists to watch out for. Sadly, it also has the reputation of being Britain’s most dangerous road for which it has earned the name the ‘Widow Maker’. You have been warned!
The spa town of Buxton is an ideal coffee stop and opportunity to take in its Georgian and Victorian architecture. You can also top up your in-car supply with a bottle of the town’s famous drinking water.
From here we veer northward on the A6 and turn right at a roundabout before Chapel-en-le-Frith on to the A623 signposted Chesterfield. Look out for the brown sign at a sharp right hand bend saying ‘Blue John Cavern’ and ‘Edale’. Turn left here and follow the road round to the right where it opens into lovely moorland countryside. You’re now well and truly in the beautiful Peak District.
An alternative (and an extra 30 miles round trip) is to turn south on the A6 and head for Chatsworth House. Chatsworth has been the home of the Dukes of Devonshire since the mid-16th Century and is a day out in itself… and a popular one all year round. It can be found off the A6020 between Bakewell and Baslow.
After about 4 miles, this winding road becomes the A6187.
At this point you can divert north to visit the county’s famous limestone caves of Blue John fame. Stalactites, stalagmites, colour and history. Well worth a detour, albeit it can be popular in the tourist season resulting in limited parking.
After another 4 miles along the A6187, look for a left turn with traffic lights signposted Bamford and Ladybower. This is the A6013 which, after passing Ladybower Reservoir, leads to the Snake Pass (A57). Turn left at the T-junction signposted Glossop. The reservoir has plenty of parking spaces alongside on both the A6013 and A57 sections.
The Snake Pass is one of the UK’s most famous road. It’s famous for being a spectacular twisting ribbon of tarmac with some great views. It’s infamous if you’re a merchant who needs to use the road in winter as it’s one of the first to be closed by the onset of winter weather.
After skirting alongside the reservoir, the tree-lined road rises to emerge on the moorland that makes this road so popular. Enjoy!
After about a dozen miles you descend into the town of Glossop and the end of this terrific drive.
If you’ve visited this part of the world and want to add some comments below, please feel free. We love to hear the views of our fellow Petrolheads!
You can find out more about the area at the Visit Peak District website.
Petrolhead Welcome places to stay near the Peak District
Photos courtesy of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire