In an attempt to travel to parts of the UK not called London or Scotland, we made plans to visit some bits of the Yorkshire & Derbyshire region, lead by the city of York & the Peak District National Park. We had a lot of fun in both places as the former is a romantic & charming town & the latter is famous for it’s tranquil natural beauty.
Day 1: City of York
York is quite literally the opposite of New York. Where NYC has towering skyscrapers & a busy megalopolis life, the core of York is steeped in history, even for the UK (where it’s easy to find things that are a century old).
Walking around the charming old town is the top thing to do in York. The towering York Minster cathedral jumps out at you as soon as you reach the area. The inside of the cathedral is strikingly beautiful with it’s arches, stained glass & a plethora of intricately designed articles.
Tip: Similar to Westminster Abbey in London, you do not need to pay the entrance fee if you are attending a worship. We tend to go in during worship hours as that gives us a more relevant experience & make a donation a we feel like. Worship hours can be found here.
Around the cathedral is the walled old town with its lanes & bylanes full of shops, pubs, restaurants & tourists. It contains a small market called Shambles as well. We spent a couple of hours roaming the old town.
Finally before leaving for our next destination, we went to the National Rail Museum in York. This place is fantastic for railfans with a slew of engines, coaches & model trains to look at including the Flying Scotsman. It’s not as big as we thought it would be. It also showed us how great the British rail system was a century ago compared to it’s middling status now.
Wrapping up York in the evening, we went to the city of Sheffield in the evening & spent our time playing with our Airbnb host’s cat & catching up on sleep.
Day 2: Peak District National Park
We spent most of Day 2 in the Peak District National Park. It is a short train ride away from Sheffield and offers some of the best countryside in England. We started off taking the train to Edale, the start of the Pennine Way. It is a very popular area with walkers.
After a short stroll & photo op, we took the train back to Hope and transferred to a bus for Castleton. We had a traditional game casserole in a giant Yorkshire pudding for lunch followed by the region’s speciality dessert, the Bakewell tart with custard. It’s no surprise why Ye Olde Nags Head was rated so highly on TripAdvisor, it’s some top notch food.
Castleton is famous for it’s limestone caves & climbing trails so we walked around town after lunch to see the paths leading up to them. The largest cave site is hilariously called Devil’s Arse due to its “appearance”. We’ll let you be the judge.
After spending the perfect few hours in the Peak District, we made our way back to Sheffield via our bus + train journeys. The people living in the Derbyshire region are really lucky that a 30 minute – 1 hour train / bus ride can take them to the middle of a National Park.
Public Transit Logisitcs
York to Sheffield: Crosscountry (Advance tix recommended)
Sheffield to Edale via Hope: Northern (Buy tix on the day)
Hope to Castleton: Buses from main road 250 yards from Hope station. Hulleys of Baslow buses are cheaper (£1.6 single) from First (£2 single).
York is one of the best connected stations in the UK. Virgin Trains East Coast is a go-to rail company to get there.