THE HOPE VALLEY is an area of wonderful Millstone Grit and Limestone scenery situated in the centre of the lovely accessible Peak District National Park between Castleton and Grindleford. It lies along the route of the scenic Hope Valley railway line - which is a section of the mainline running between Sheffield in the East and Manchester further to the West. This means you can get here very easily by rail as well as by road.

There are trains stopping at the charming unspoiled villages of Hathersage, Grindleford, Hope and Bamford, so tourists who want to travel the green way and let the train take the strain can get around easily using the regular and frequent train services. Note however that not all trains between Sheffield and Manchester stop study the timetables carefully ! From Sheffield the 272 service bus runs out to Castleton via Hathersage and Bradwell and Hope - so that offers another way into this "Valley of Delights".

The Hope Valley is a mecca for hill walkers and ramblers and campers... with several youth hostels and various camp sites located around the valley which are open all year. There are also hundreds of self catering cottages, farmhouse B&B's, guest houses and small hotels and inns. To date there are few large hotels in the Peak District...but there are quite a few larger hotels outside the park in places such as Sheffield and Derby and Chesterfield.

The crags & cliffs overlooking villages in the Hope Valley like Hathersage offer some of the best rock climbing and scrambling to be had in Britain. You can hire qualified mountain guides and rock climbing instructors from various providers operating in the area. One of the longest established and most popular venues is Rock Lea Activity Centre - which offers safe outdoor activities instruction with full insurance cover for a wide range of outdoor pursuits such as abseiling, rock climbing, caving & potholing, mountain biking, treasure hunts on bikes, orienteering and as host of other activities.

It rains a lot in the Hope Valley - so bring along a waterproof - or shop for a good one in one of the many outdoor equipment shops that you'll find in places such as Hope, Hathersage and Castleton. Hiring the services of qualified professional local outdoor instructors mean you can enjoy, say, caving in the relative warmth of caves in the depths of winter ( it is usually 9 degrees down in the caves ) or enjoy mountain biking or abseiling and have fun whilst getting a tad moist. When the sun is out there's nothing better than a dip in the heated outdoor pool in Hathersage ( entry charge ) which is open most days in the warmer months but closed when the leaves are off the trees.

There are lots of wonderful small inns and pubs to be explored in and around the Hope Valley. Many visitors from the South of England comment on how cheap and what good value the local accommodation and local meals can be. If you want top of the range quality accommodation you can stay outside the National Park and travel in by car or rail. If you are happy with fairly simple accommodation and good food - try staying in the Hope Valley.