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How to visit the UK’s Peak District by bus and train – and without a car

Simon Calder’s Travel

The Peak District’s 555 square miles of moorland and valleys has just one town, Bakewell, yet – even more surprising – still manages to be well-served by public transport.

Located between Sheffield and Manchester, a single train or bus can get you everywhere from the pudding shops of Bakewell (tarts also available) to the grandeur of Chatsworth House and the elegant mid-century designs of David Mellor at the eponymous visitor centre in Hathersage.

It celebrates the work of the man responsible for urban design classics including the Plexiglas ‘Abacus’ bus shelters of my youth, and the humble traffic light, unchanged since its 1965 Mellor redesign.

Of course, such attractions invariably offer parking, but with their increasing popularity comes a host of major traffic issues. Visitors arriving by car over the Easter bank holiday weekend managed to cause gridlock on Winnats Pass, usually one of the country’s most idolised roads, in their search for parking spots amid country lanes and dry-stone walling – and at the same time, motorists created enough of the pollutant nitrogen dioxide to shame many inner-city A roads.

The colours of the Peak District change throughout the year (Ian Packham)

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So as the sun begins to penetrate the winter gloom, it’s high time to ditch the one-litre runaround for a 15-litre bus engine (or its electric equivalent). You’ll rarely wait more than an hour for either bus or train.

Even before its current upgrade began, Northern Rail would get you down the Hope Valley line from Sheffield to Grindleford (for Padley Gorge and the Longshaw Estate) in less than 15 minutes, costing the princely sum of £5.10 for a standard single ticket. The line reaches as far as Manchester Piccadilly, by way of some of the Peak District’s most-celebrated landscapes.

At Hathersage, just three minutes further down the tracks, the David Mellor Visitor Centre is joined by the burial place of Robin Hood’s Little John in St Michael’s churchyard and vistas that inspired Charlotte Bronte while she was writing Jane Eyre,including Stanage Edge (a two-mile walk away). A glorious gritstone escarpment, popular with rock climbers and hikers whatever the north’s weather is doing (which is often a lot), its natural beauty is only bettered by the open panoramas carrying across the Dark Peak moorland back…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at The Independent Travel…