Located in the western part of the county of Derbyshire, the Derbyshire Dales are the perfect destination for people who want to discover the English countryside and cute villages.

Most of it also overlaps with the Peak District National Park which was the first national park in the UK and it’s not hard to see why, it’s absolutely stunning!

As a Manchester local, exploring the Peak District is something I do on a regular basis and although I’ve been living here for years, it never ceases to amaze me!

In this article, I tell you exactly how to go on a quick 1-day road trip in the Derbyshire Dales. This can be done from Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield or anywhere in the area.

It will take you to cute villages, beautiful walks and even one famous historical landmark.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!

road trip derbyshire dales

Stop 1: Hathersage

Let’s start the day with the village of Hathersage, near Bamford. It’s a lot smaller than Bamford but it’s such a cute place and a better option to avoid the crowds.

You can park in the centre, there is a pay and display car park (which doesn’t take cards!) and then walk around to discover the picturesque streets and houses.

There are few cafés where you can grab a breakfast before heading to your next stop.

Stop 2: Padley Gorge

padley gorge in the peak district
padley gorge in peak district

Once you’re done in Hathersage, drive towards Grindleford Train Station in Nether Padley. It only takes about 10 minutes and the drive is very scenic.

I recommend parking your car on the main road. There is a lot of free parking spots and it’s only a 5 minutes walk to the station from there.

Once you get to the station, cross the bridge next to the café and turn right on the Padley Gorge walking path.

This is a natural National Trust site but there is no entrance fee. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s a dog-friendly walk.

You’ll go through the forest all the way to the gorge. It’s very scenic, especially with the wooden bridge.

You can then take the wooden bridge and complete the loop back to the station.

This walk takes 1 to 2 hours to complete and is pretty easy.

After that, head back to your car to drive to Eyam.

Stop 3: Eyam

eyam village in the peak district
eyam in the peak district

It only takes about 15 minutes to get to Eyam from Grindleford. You’ll find a lot of on-street parking spots and the great news is that they are all free!

Eyam is a very cute village and you’ll enjoy discovering it but it’s also a great place for history buffs.

Eyam became famous after the Black Death of 1665 and 1666 because there was an outbreak here.

The thing that makes it a bit unique though is that the villagers decided to self-contain themselves in order to not spread it to the other communities.

This was an incredibly selfless act since they pretty much sacrifice themselves for the greater good.

This is why you’ll see a lot of signs saying ‘Eyam – The Plague Village’.

church in eyam peak district
eyam peak district

Of course, there is nothing to worry about, there is no plague in the village anymore but it’s very interesting to learn more about what happened there.

To do so, you have two options.

The first one is to visit the Eyam museum. It costs less than £5 and you’ll find everything you need to know about the plague and what the locals did.

Alternatively, you can simply learn about it while roaming around the village. There are signs everywhere explaining what happened but also giving you information about the people who lived in the houses.

It’s very interesting but also incredibly sad so bear that in mind.

Once you’re done exploring, you can go to the Village Green Cafe for a well deserved lunch.

Stop 4: Bakewell

bakewell tart
bakewell pudding factory

Once you’re back to your car, drive another 20 minutes to reach Bakewell.

This is one of the best towns to visit in the Peak District and is therefore quite popular. There are 2 large car parks at the entrance so you’ll always find somewhere to park but will have to pay on exit.

You can then cross the river to reach the town centre and start exploring.

Bakewell is a great foodie destination since that’s where the Bakewell tart and pudding originate.

If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, I highly recommend trying one!

There are quite a few bakeries selling them and to be honest, I find them all very good but if you want the true experience, you need to go to the Bakewell Pudding Shop.

bakewell pudding

This is where the Bakewell pudding was invented. They have a shop, bakery corner and even a restaurant.

Since it’s the official place, it can get a bit busy. To avoid the crowds, you can go to the bakery next door (Bloomers of Bakewell), they also have amazing puddings and tarts.

Make sure to walk around the town, the streets are very picturesque and there are loads of cute shops.

For a bit of greenery, head to the Bakewell Recreation Ground. It’s a large park and a great place for a stroll.

If you are visiting at the weekend, chances are that they will also have a cricket match on, making it the ultimate British experience.

Stop 5: Chatsworth House

chatsworth house in peak district

Once you’re done in Bakewell, it will be time to head to Chatsworth House. It only takes 15 minutes but please note that the last entry for the house is at 3:30 PM and 5 PM for the gardens so you need to time your visit correctly.

Chatsworth House is one of the most beautiful stately homes in the UK and the seat of the Duke of Devonshire. It was passed down through 17 generations!

The house is absolutely stunning from floor to ceiling and there are a lot of art pieces. You’ll also find a 105-acre garden with sculptures, plants, flowers and more.

It truly is an incredible place to visit and a must-do in the Peak District.

Please note that Chatsworth House also organises a lot of events throughout the year such as equestrian events, family fairs and estate walks.

And that’s it! You’re done with your day in the Peak District part of the Derbyshire Dales.

I hope you enjoyed this itinerary and that it will make you want to visit this beautiful part of England.

You may also be interested in: