01694 723600 info@secrethillswalking.co.uk
We meet as strangers and depart as friends


Jewel of the White Peak

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From£515
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Why Book With Us?

  • Value for Money
  • Personal Service
  • Hand-picked Tours & Activities
  • No single supplement (UK only)
  • Flights from local airports (Europe only)

Make an Enquiry

Do not hesitate to contact us. We are an expert team and we are always happy to talk to you.

info@secrethillswalking.co.uk

01694 723600

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.

  • Two and a half days
  • Refund guarantee
  • Expert Tour Guides
  • Two nights
  • Location: Derbyshire

Fabulous rolling hills and beautiful dales – the White Peak area  is great walking country, with it’s lovely rivers and limestone uplands. Our guided walking for solos programme is designed to give the walker the best of this white peak country – and we have chosen some fabulous walks for you.

As a company – our unique speciality is solos and singles guided walking in stunning areas in the UK and Europe. We also design bespoke holidays for special groups.

What you get on a Secret Hills Break
  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite two nights/ three nights if the holiday falls on a Bank Holiday – Spring Bank or August Bank Holiday
  • Dinner- three course.
  • Lunch- except first day
  • Sole Occupancy
  • Personal service
  • Expert guiding- friendly, local guides that know the area superbly well
  • Transport to walks start and finish as needed
  • Flexibility
  • No single supplement
  • A social, relaxed approach
  • Full joining details prior to your holiday
  • Our administration support from the point of booking to you joining the holiday

Hotel and Meals

Our base for this holiday is the Derbyshire Dales. We stay at Newton House Hotel, close to Dovedale. 

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

 

Meals

We eat evening dinner in the hotel’s restaurant – three courses. Dress code is smart casual

We have lunch at one of the Derbyshire Dales  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.

Great reasons to join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover the countryside but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….

  • We specialise in organising guided walking holidays for singles and solo travellers
  • 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. 
  • 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.

Directions

Road

The best way is to head for Derby, then the A52 for Ashbourne. Here you take the A515 for Buxton, and 5 miles along this road, the hotel is located on the right hand side.

Rail

The nearest station is Buxton  – there is a regular bus service from the station to Ashbourne (Bus no 442) Mon – Sat only. Buses run at 25 minutes past every hour. This bus stops outside Newton House Hotel.

(Walking starts at 2.30pm on the Friday and finish around 3.30pm on the Sunday so wherever possible,  make sure your train times fit in with this schedule.)

Itinerary

Weekend holidays starting on Friday afternoons, our first walk starts 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.  

We then walk on Saturday and finish on Sunday at approximately 4.30pm.

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 two days, the walks will cover  9 to 10 miles taking in  an area to the west, 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 has its own particular features and beauty.

Grades and Difficulty

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.

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.

Sample Walks

The walks are chosen to show you a varied selection of the White Peak countryside, and we walk 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.

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.

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.

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

Meet New Friends

Its all about meeting new friends. Each holiday is designed to be a friendly, relaxed and stress free occasion. Talking is as important as walking on Secrethills Walking Holidays. We don’t go in for discos, 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 can’t holiday with their friends anymore as they’ve all got married themselves. 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 – its always a bit daunting – but we will look after you and ensure that you get used to being amongst friends again. Trust us to to get you back into the swing of things.

Oh – by the way – its 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.

Just arrive and enjoy.

How to Book

To reserve a place on any of our holidays, please follow these simple instructions.

Reserve online  – once you have chosen your holiday, click on Proceed Booking and complete the online form. If you have difficulty reserving online, please  contact us (tel: 01694 723600, email: info@secrethillswalking.co.uk) and we will assist you to complete your booking.

Payment

Please note we cannot take credit/debit card details over the phone. You may pay by the following methods when you book online…

  • Paypal – if you have a Paypal account, simply click on the link to the Paypal website.
  • Credit / Debit card – we use Paypal to host our credit/debit cards facility because it is a very secure system. So if you want to pay with a card, simply click on this option which will take you to our page on the PayPal website. Check in there as a “Guest” to enable your card payment. You do not need to have a Paypal account for this transaction.
  • We will also accept a Bank Transfer – you will find our account details on the booking form.
  • Finally, we will also accept a cheque payable to Secret Hills Walking Holidays and sent to: Secret Hills Walking Holidays, 35 Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BH

Please note than an initial deposit is required with each booking regardless of which payment method you choose. Your booking will be accepted when your payment (deposit or full balance) is received. 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.

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.

Location

Derbyshire 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.

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 there. Then there is Cromford where cotton spinning was invented;  Baslow, part of the Chatsworth estate and 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.

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 century.

Photos

Reviews

10 Reviews
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Sabine Bohmer

Solo Traveller

I truly enjoyed being well taken care of by you all. The walks were stunning. Organisation of holiday excellent. Guided walking excellent. Thank you for a lovely time.

May 13, 2022

Julie Conder

Solo Traveller

Hi Alan and Secret Hills Team, Thank you for a superb holiday. It was my first experience with Secret Hills, and I am sure it won’t be my last. Guided walking was fantastic. Christine (walk leader) was great company and looked after us all very well. The hotel was comfortable, and it was wonderful to have such a variety of walks right on the doorstep.

May 6, 2022

Val Davison

Solo Traveller

Great walk leaders and very sociable group – both of which make Secret Hills a preferred operator…excellent selection of walks, all very different. Good distances and pace with time available to stop eg to watch a kestrel hovering and a dipper feeding her chicks.

May 4, 2022

Zoe Rayment

Solo Traveller

Guided walking – Great. Organisation – Excellent.

April 29, 2022

Liz Bowness

Solo Traveller

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.

November 18, 2021
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