Jewel of the White Peak - four night break

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Join us on this  four day break in the" Derbyshire Dales"- with our social relaxed approach

The Derbyshire Dales - lovely river valleys and lofty moorland scenery- walking paths are superb here. Add to this, the lovely villages.built in limestone, which abound all across the area, with its famous stone boundary walls criss crossing the fields

Four and a half days  walking in the dales of Derbyshire. The dales dazzle in the sunlight, clean water running over limestone ground, with trout swimming happily. 

What could be better.?

Accommodation and Meals

Our base for this holiday is in  Dovedale in the heart of the Peak District.

We stay at the Newton House Hotel - situated on the main Ashbourne- Buxton road just above the delightful River Dove at Milldale.

Accommodation is single en suite rooms - no sharing. Rooms have flat screen TVs as well as tea / coffee making facilities.   

Evening dinner

We eat in the hotels restaurant - three courses.  Dress code is smart casual

 Lunch

We have lunch at one of Derbyshire's lovely country pubs,  Walking starts at 9.30 am, and we generally finish for that welcome cuppa at 4.30 pm. This will give you plenty of time to get ready for dinner.

Flexibility

We offer you the opportunity to stay additional nights, and many people extend their weekend as they wish. Just reserve what nights you need.

Your walking programme

Your walking programme- walking with a social relaxed approach

Long weekend holidays starting on Friday afternoons - Our first walk is on Friday afternoon starting at 2.30pm, a roughly two hour "get to know you "walk, with a cuppa at the end.  If you cannot make that walk, then we meet on Friday evening, at 7.00 pm, for a three-course dinner and a discussion on what we are doing during the weekend.  The hotel has a bar, and your fellow walkers often gather there for a pre-dinner drink prior to sitting down for dinner.

The walking on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday is described below.

Four night holidays starting on Monday afternoon - 

Our first walk is on Friday afternoon starting at 2.30pm, a roughly two hour "get to know you "walk, with a cuppa at the end.  If you cannot make that walk, then we meet on Monday  evening, at 7.00 pm, for a three-course dinner and a discussion on what we are doing during the week,.  The hotel has a bar, and your fellow walkers often gather there for a pre-dinner drink prior to sitting down for dinner.

The walking on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday til approx 3pm.

 

The Walking

We walk at a steady pace and don’t rush, there's too much to see and admire. Timing can change, depending on weather conditions, or the walking ability of the group, although we try to maintain our estimated arrival time at pubs, and returns to the hotel.

The first day’s walk is approximately 5-6 miles/ 8-9 km and Saturday, Sunday and Monday are full day walks of approximately 9-10 miles/14-16 km.  The last day is a slightly shorter walk of approximately 7 miles/10km, and we may use choose to have a picnic or lunch at the hotel on return. Either way, you should be free to get on the road by 3.30pm.

The walks are chosen to show you a varied selection of the White Peak countryside, and we range out from the hotel in a different direction each day.  We have a selection of walks that our leaders can choose from, and mostly we walk straight from the hotel, although on occasion, we may use a minibus.  This will allow us to reach a drop-off location for a linear walk back to the hotel, or to allow us to walk in an area further afield.  Some of these more distant locations may include Youlgrave, Bradford Dale, and historic Lathkill Dale.  Walks may be altered occasionally, due to weather conditions

During the walks, we use footpaths and bridleways, although we may have to walk short distances on country lanes.  Derbyshire has a good selection of stiles that allow passage over the beautiful dry-stone walls and are of various shapes and sizes.  Grades are moderate and we walk at a pace designed to allow you to enjoy the walk, and maybe snap the occasional photograph. As always, we recommend suitable walking footwear, preferably boots, as the terrain can be very varied.

The Derbyshire Dales visited will reveal the beauty of the White Peak terrain, with natural Limestone structures, rolling farmland, crystal clear trout streams, historical sites, and quaint villages where time seems to have stood still.

Our first walk is roughly half the distance covered during the full day walks and will show you the lovely valley to the east of the hotel, plus and maybe pass through the villages of Alsop en le Dale and Parwich, although, if time allows, we may even visit the beautiful village of Tissington.  Sometimes we use a short stretch along the old Buxton to Ashbourne railway - the Tissington Trail.

Over the following three days, the walks will cover an area to the west, and centred around the lovely keynote location of Dovedale.  Other well-known dales we may pass through include Hall Dale, Milldale, Nabs Dale, Beresford Dale, and Wolfscote Dale, and we may even reach the lovely Manifold Valley on the Staffordshire border.  Each having its own particular features and beauty.

Some of the villages we visit during the full day walks are Milldale, Alstonefield, Wetton, Ilam, and Biggin.

For lunch we primarily use welcoming village pubs, although occasionally we may decide to provide a packed lunch for a picnic.  Location of pubs is a factor when planning the walk, so expect to cover approximately half the walk distance before we sit down to eat.  We allow roughly one hour for lunch, and we take regular breaks during the walks.

Meet New Friends

This weekend break is all about meeting new friends. Each holiday is designed to be a friendly, relaxed, and stress-free occasion. Talking is as important as walking or discovering on Short Breaks for Single Travellers holidays, so feel free to either engage with your fellow walkers or just enjoy the sounds of the countryside. We don't go in for disco's, we may use an event that is taking place in the area we are in to boost the weekends activities - but its good, old-fashioned chat that makes our short breaks successful.

"Make new friends that turn into old friends - that's our motto."

You might be surprised by what fun you’ll have with people who are older or younger than you during a holiday with us, and that’s exactly the sort of atmosphere we encourage; people find it very rewarding.

It doesn’t matter what your reasons for traveling with us are, we’ve had people who are single, divorced, or widowed, people who have partners that are unable to travel, and people who feel they can’t holiday with their friends anymore as they’re all married. There are people who want to make friends, see sights, and experience something completely new. Whatever your reason, we’ll welcome you with open arms and our friendly hosts will help you to get the most out of your holiday.

Don't worry if this is the first time you have ventured to join a group holiday – it’s always a bit daunting - but we will look after you, ensure that you get used to being amongst friends again - trust us to get you back into the swing of things"

Oh - by the way – it’s not a dating agency - over the years we have had people meet and fall in love - but that's just chance. Our aim is that you make like-minded friends - just relax and enjoy.

 

Holiday Highlights

- a holiday right in the heart of Dovedale

- delightful, delectable, delicious, Dove walks

- superb white peak limestone dales and hills

- superb country house hotel

- no single supplement

-our relaxed social approach

- meet new friends that turn into old friends

 

What's included in your holiday

What you get on a Secret Hills break

  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite
  • Sole occupancy- no single supplement
  • Three course dinner
  • Lunch
  • Personal service
  • Expert guiding
  • Transport to walks start if necessary
  • Flexibility
  • A social, relaxed approach
  • No single supplemen
  • Joining details prior to the holiday
  • Administration support from reservation to the date of your holiday

Great reasons to join us

Great reasons to join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….

  • We are a small friendly company
  • We have a loyal customer base who return again and again (so we must be doing something right) – read our testimonials page on the website
  • We offer a lot of flexibility – you can stay extra nights which we are happy to organise for you. We are also very flexible on the walks we provide, adapting to suit walkers and weather conditions
  • Our walk leading is second to none. Unlike some other large Walking Companies, we use LOCAL leaders who live in the area and who love their surroundings. They have expert knowledge of everything you need to know to make an area come alive.
  • You are safe in our hands – our guides are experts, fully qualified in first aid. Also, because of their local knowledge of the hills, they can respond to any situation that might for example demand cutting short a route. They don’t need to consult maps – they know the hills intimately.
  • Our leaders are all easy-going, genuinely sociable people who want to ensure that you have the best time you can with the rest of the group. They make the weekend fun by engaging with all members of a group, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the group experience.
  • We give great value for money. Because we recognise that lots of walkers holiday on their own, we have negotiated no single supplement deals with all our hotels to ensure the best possible deal.
  • We always use good hotels. Our hotel in beautiful Dovedale is set in lovely surroundings  and the standard is really good.
  • We have smaller groups than some of the larger walking companies, because we believe the social experience is much better in a smaller group. People can talk to everyone, especially at dinner where you can all sit on one table in a small group. Our numbers vary from holiday to holiday but an average group size would be 8-12.

What our clients say about us

 

Liz Bowness White Peak November 2021.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Guided walking: well led. Both leaders did good job. Interesting information.    Overall well organised – thought use of local transport very good. Walking from hotel good.  Really got the maximum out of the 5 days.

 

Alison McMillan-Puri, White Peak, November 2021.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hotel was fine - room was a good size and clean, food was good and comfortable seating areas downstairs. Guided walking - beautiful countryside and well informed guides. A pleasant break with an interesting group.

 

Sue Dewhirst -  White Peak, September 2021.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Guided walking holiday: I very much enjoyed it, the guides were excellent, well organised and made the walks interesting with historical and nature facts along the way. The group was about the right size. It was very well organised. The guides went out of their way to be helpful, including giving me a lift to the pub on my final day to make my return journey easier, which was much appreciated.

 

Keith Barker – White Peak, September 2021.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     This was my third holiday with you, and they have all been very enjoyable for a novice walker like myself, who likes just turning up and being told where we’re going! Reservation very simple and flexible…Guided walking Very good – In Keith and Chris we had two knowledgeable and friendly guides who made the break very enjoyable.

 

Philippa Swain – White Peak, September 2021.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Excellent walking, walks well planned. Organisation very good.

 

Janice Fogo – White Peak, September 2021.

I really enjoyed all the walking. The pace was fine. The walk leaders were excellent, very supportive, knowledgeable, friendly and encouraging. The walks were organised very well. Hotel was fine and the staff were very helpful and made us all feel welcome.

 

Philippa Francis - White Peak, September 2021.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I enjoyed the guided walks enormously.  It was wonderful knowing that you were in safe, experienced, knowledgeable hands. Each walk was different and excellently organised with regard to timings, lunch, return etc. Keith did a fabulous job as leader in the Peaks.  Many thanks from a very satisfied customer.

 

Liz Griffiths – White Peak, September 2021.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Very easy reservation process. Extremely well organised. Keep on doing what you are doing – Much appreciated.

 

Janet Coates – White Peak, June 2021

Hello Secret Hills Team, Please find attached my feedback form for the recent Derbyshire Dales holiday which was most enjoyable. It was so good to get away and the great walking, company and weather made it an excellent break.The pre-holiday information included everything that was necessary. It was helpful to have an indication of the walks that were going to take place as I like to have an idea of where I am likely to be going in an unfamiliar area. The hotel staff were friendly and the hotel facilities made for a comfortable stay. As ever the guided walks were great, covering a variety of scenery with local information included. I particularly enjoyed the walks led by Alan and Chris. Sorry Alan if this group were a disappointment with our lack of James Bond knowledge! Everything was well organised as always. All your client has to do is turn up, walk, talk, eat, sleep and enjoy.

 

James Betteridge -White Peak, June 2021.
Guided walking, excellent leading from Alan and Chris. Organisation excellent. Hotel very good, especially as they had only been open a week or so.  They coped well.  Only criticism was that they had run out of a few drinks. Under the circumstances that was understandable. Keep doing what you do.

 

Richard Holley White Peak - June 2021.

Holiday was well organised and there were a good selection of walks. The local knowledge of the guides was appreciated.

 

 

Andrew Cook - Jewel of White Peak, October 2019.
I did enjoy the guided walking. Keith is always very knowledgeable about the area.
Organisation I thought it was good. Quite a lot of choices of where to go.
Hotel very good. The staff were helpful. The food was good. Thanks Alan for another wonderful holiday.

Helen Air - Jewel of White Peak, October 2019.

It was a great holiday. Hotel friendly staff good breakfast, will benefit from coming refurb. Keith and Chris were excellent guides, so kind and friendly and looked after us very well.  Thank you for an excellent weekend.

Suzanne Rushton - Jewel of the White Peak   April 2019.

Reservation Very easy, rang Alan to speak to and found him very friendly and helpful which encouraged me to book. Hotel staff very friendly and I loved the afternoon tea when we returned from our walk. Breakfasts were great, and our meals were good.
This was my first secret hills experience and I loved every minute. What a wonderful group of inspiring women. Keith our guide was brilliant and did everything he could to make our stay enjoyable. The weather was lovely and walks fantastic/scenery amazing.
A brilliant experience in every way.

 

 

Derbyshire April 2019.

Keith and Christine were exceptional guides (as expected) and the walks were amazing.  As usual they took very good care of all of us.  The walks were interesting, sufficiently challenging and just great fun.  They coped with the fact that four of us were old friends and encouraged us all to mix  which we did. I cannot praise the quality of your walk leaders enough.  As you can guess, I loved every moment of my holiday. As usual you did brilliantly.

 

Derbyshire April 2019.

Very happy with room and food. Keith was superb, lots of interesting information and looked after us well. Organisation excellent. Thank you to Secret Hills for a great get away.

Ann Wilton - April 2019

 

"Derbyshire Dales October 2018 I enjoyed all the walks and the leader Keith Oxby was very knowledgeable and good company. Everything organised well."

- Carol Kenny - October 2018


 

"Derbyshire Dales October 2018 Iloved all the guided walks, the leader was fantastic, helpful/informative/friendly, it was everything I hope it would be, I loved the experience, I didn’t have to worry about anything, food included, "

- Alexandra Clifford - October 2018

 

Paul  Russell Dovedale

  • I have just got back from the Dovedale weekend and want to say a big thank you! Keith was great and the walking was fabulous – what amazing countryside. We had such fun that not even a massive downpour and some steady rain today, could dampen our enthusiasm or remove our smileKeith was excellent and very knowledgeable as well as extremely competent – we didn't get lost once.The routes which Keith chose were fabulou

Paul Gaskell Dovedale September 2017 - October 2017

  • I thoroughly enjoyed the walking and the friendship from fellow guests walkers and walk leaders. Thank you for another very enjoyable walking holiday. Looking forward to the next one already!

Jayne Thompson Dovedale September 2017 - October 2017

  • The organization was brilliant. Lovely couple [leaders] who did a fantastic job. Great hosts who took time to get everyone involved without pressure. They understood the group dynamics and made sure everyone got something out of the weekend
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  • "Dr Helen Liebling Dovedale - August 2017
  • I liked the hotel very much and was pleased to stay in the main building. I thought the hotel was great with fabulous original features and a very comfortable double bed with good decorations and a kettle which was handy. I arrived on Friday evening and did the walks on Saturday and Sunday. They were both great with fantastic views and at a good pace with lovely lunches. The guide told us interesting facts about the places we passed. The group was also good and everyone got on well.
  • Thanks for a great weekend and thanks to Alan our guide he went out of his way to help take my car so I could return with others on the Sunday a bit earlier
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Janet Farrant- Dovedale - June 2017

  • Thank you yet again for a super weekend! I really did have a great time - excellent walking and a most congenial group. It felt like being with old friends rather than folks one had just met. You did a first class job of making everything gel. My evening with Alan and the strollers was very pleasant, and it was nice not to have to eat alone. I will definitely sign up for another walk when the opportunity next presents, so I hope our paths will cross again. Very best wishes, Janet "

Nadine Jenkins- Dovedale June 2017

  • Exceeded my expectations. The walking pace was good and the guide (Keith) was very entertaining with his stories

Mike Keats- Dovedale June 2017

  • Just to say how much I enjoyed the weekend walking in Derbyshire.
  • Despite the weather, we had two superb walks on the Saturday and Sunday taking in a good mix of the beautiful countryside.
  • I particularly enjoyed the fact that we kept off the main tourist spots and were able to enjoy the open space, views and peace of the area.
  •  
  • Particular thanks to Keith for leading our group. His friendliness, knowledge and being attentive to our needs was excellent - well done!
  •  
  • I shall certainly be booking another weekend walking in the UK with Secret Hills!
  •  
  • Regards
  • Mike Keats

 

The Derbyshire Dales area

  • Deerbyshire and Peak District Dales- Water on Stone
  • The limestone dales found in Derbyshire and the Peak District are  cut by crystal clear rivers and  flanked by precipitous cliffs or pinnacles. Some like Dovedale and Lathkill are extremely popular and busy, especially on fine weekends. This is hardly surprising as they are both beautiful and very accessible. Queues form at the stepping stones near the southern end of Dovedale at peak times. Others are not so well known and others, perhaps not so accessible. Many of them are now 'dry', without rippling trout streams, but nevertheless still a delight to explore.
  • Dovedale
    Dovedale in Derbyshire and the Peak District, is owned by the National Trust and is farmed with many sheep on the rocky slopes and in the woods. It is little more than 3 miles distance between Thorpe and Milldale in the north and the famous part is the wooded ravine between the stepping stones,a short distance from the car park at the front of Thorpe Cloud and the cave like dove-holes. Dovedale`s stepping stones appear on thousands of post cards and the area attracts a million visitors a year. Keep away on sunny weekend afternoons. Read more Dovedale
  • Beresford Dale
    Beresford Dale is a beautiful part of the Dove valley. It is narrow and leafy, a charming miniture of the Derbyshire 'gem' Dovedale.
  • As one approaches Beresford Dale from the Hartington end, a scene of indescribeable beauty enfolds as one is led beside the glistering waters which break over little weirs. It is well wooded and wildflowers grow in profusion down to the waters edge. The air is full of bird song. Beresford Dale is associated with Izzak Walton and his friend, though 40 years his junior, Charles Cotton, and the 17th century classic 'The Compleat Angler or The Contemplative Man's Recreation'. Read more Beresford Dale
  • Bradford Dale
    Bradford Dale is quite short and like other Derbyshire dales has picturesque stretches of crystal clear water over hung by trees. The River Bradford runs from Middleton by Yougrave to Alport where it meets the river Lathkill. A tract from Middleton leads to the upper reaches of Bradford Dale through woodland and past the moss covered remains of a mill and an old pumping station where at first there is little sign of a river. The path, sign posted the Limestone Way, leads past Fulwood Rocks, an historic landmark, where during the Civil War Christopher Fulwood, who had been trying to muster the men of Tideswell to the Stuart cause, attempted to hide in a cave but was discovered by the Roundheads and mortally wounded. Read more Bradford Dale
  • Chee Dale
    Chee Dale is a splendid winding gorge, flanked by limestone cliffs sometimes towering 300ft above the path, sometimes overhanging it. You get the feeling that they are leaning on you and pushing you off the path, and indeed at times they do, with the path being forced out onto stepping stones. If the river Wye is in flood the path can be impassable. The feeling is of dampness with the water dripping down from the mossy walls. Read more Chee Dale
  • Lathkill Dale
    The river Lathkill must be one of Derbyshires smallest rivers, but its interest and beauty easily make it one of the most impressive. Much of the valley is part of the Derbyshire Dales National Nature Reserve. Read more Lathkill Dale
  • Miller's Dale
    Miller's Dale is a lovely limestone dale, along the section of the River Wye from Chee Dale, to Water cum Jolly Dale. It has a village bearing the same name, old quarry works, several mills and an abundance of flora. A long distance footpath, the Monsal Trail runs the length of the dale allowing access to the mill yards. Read more Millers Dale
  • Monsal Dale
    From its source on the gritstone moorlands west of Buxton, the River Wye cuts a southerly course through limestone country to Rowsley where it meets the River Derwent. It is not many miles long but it passes through some superb scenery, and a few dales. Monsal Dale is that part of the Wye valley between Water cum Jolly dale and the foot of Taddington dale, where it meets the A6 road. Read more Monsal Dale
  • Wolfscote Dale
    Wolfscote Dale is caught between the leafy charm of Beresford Dale and the Derbyshire gem of Dovedale.
  • Leaving Beresford Dale, the valley opens up into low lying meadow, permitting wider views before resuming its progress through the limestone canyon. Here by a ford, legend has it that the last wolf that roamed the area was killed. The boundary between Beresford and Wolfscote dales is marked by a footbridge. Read more Wolfscote Dale
  • Charming villages and bustling market towns
  • Within the Derbyshire Dales are several superb villages - Tissington with its well dressings and hall, Hartington - plenty of tea shops and a lovely village green, Youlgreave - stone and lead mining were original trades, now tourists flock.
  • Then there is Cromford where cotton spinning was invented, Baslow- part of the Chatsworth estate, Beeley, with its imposing moor behind.
  • Ashbourne at the southern end of the Derbyshire Dales simply delights with its quaint streets and bustling market place. Buxton - take the waters - a spa town high up on the moors, Bakewell, famous for puddings, not tarts you know, with the lovely River Wye running through its centre, Matlock on the Derwent -a place of historic industrial significance along with Matlock Bath.
  • Tideswell - the Cathedral of the Peak - a long street of a town.
  • Don't forget the well dressings - a unique Derbyshire Dales custom described here.
  • The true origins of Well Dressing are lost in the mists of time. According to many sources, it developed from a pagan custom of making sacrifice to the gods of wells and springs to ensure a continued supply of fresh water. Like many folk traditions, it was later adopted by the Christian Church as a way of giving thanks to God for His gift to us of water. Tradition has it that it took on a special significance in 17th
  •  

How to book

  • How to book a UK guided walking holiday 
  • To reserve a place on any of our holidays, please follow these simple instructions.
  • Reserve online  - once you have chosen your holiday, click on the booking button and complete the online form
    OR  contact us by phone or email, and we will send by post or email, a booking form to you
    OR  you can call us direct on 01694 723600, and we will take your reservation over the phone. Please note we cannot take credit/debit card details over the phone; you can, however, post us a cheque. Alternatively, you can pay via the Pay Pal system attached to our website, which allows you to pay either by debit/credit card, or by using your Paypal account if you have one.
  • We will also accept a Bank Transfer and on request we will supply our bank details to you.
  • It is important that you read the terms and conditions before you sign the booking form.
  • Note - if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.
  • Address:
  • Secret Hills Walking, 35, Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BH

 

 

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Our Promise To You
You matter to us & we promise to provide you with a superb walking & social holiday, tailored specifically to your needs. We provide walking holidays for walkers & as walkers ourselves, we appreciate & understand the requirements of a walking holiday.

What Others Said...

Castleton Derbyshire July 2016 The Guided walking experience was excellent really enjoyable, especially since we had a good chemistry in the group. Both the guides were approachable and very friendly.

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