Excitement is building as Britain prepares to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee – and in the Peak District the party is starting early with the launch of a fabulous new walk to mark yet another special milestone.
Country Walking – Britain’s best-selling walking magazine – has teamed up with official tourist board Visit Peak District & Derbyshire to unveil the 27-mile White to Dark Way to highlight the publication’s own Silver Jubilee this year.
The walk – which showcases some of the area’s most beautiful landscapes – is being launched in the magazine’s 25th anniversary issue in May, just in time for the start of The Peak District Walking & Outdoor Festival 2012, which runs from April 22 to May 6.
Designed as a moderately-challenging two-day or three day hike, The White to Dark Way runs from Bakewell to Hope and can be tackled in three sections: Bakewell to Litton, Litton to Hathersage and Hathersage to Hope.
It’s the first major walking trail dedicated to linking the best of the White Peak and the Dark Peak. Terrain ranges from meadows, woods and farmland to wild moorland and gritstone edges. Famous landmarks include Monsal Head, Cressbrook Dale, Stanage Edge, Ladybower Reservoir and Win Hill.
It will be the focus of a bumper 12-page feature about the Peak District in Country Walking, giving tips on accommodation, eating out and visiting places of interest along the way, compiled with the tourist board’s help.
White to Dark waymarkers will be installed in July 2012 in conjunction with the Peak District National Park Authority, and 50,000 promotional leaflets will be distributed to tourist and visitor information centres in and around the area.
“We’re delighted to be working with the team at Country Walking to celebrate the launch of this milestone walk, which takes in some of the Peak District’s most unique and special landscapes,” said David James, the tourist board’s Chief Executive, who walked
the Bakewell to Litton section with Nick Hallissey, the magazine’s Deputy Editor, in March.
“We’re especially pleased that the route is so perfect for walkers who want to spend a long weekend in the area, experiencing its quality accommodation, prime food and drink and fascinating places to see and visit on the way.
“The tourist board is always keen to back initiatives like this, which encourage visitors to come and stay and spend money in the area over several days, helping to support local businesses and boost the economy.”
Vincent Crump, Editor of Country Walking, added: “We wanted to celebrate our 25th birthday with a really special gift for all walkers, so where else would we turn but the Peak District, which usually tops any survey of our readers’ favourite places? We wanted something that would celebrate the milestone and be perfect for a long weekend When we realised there was no current trail connecting the two ‘halves’ of the Peak District, everything fell into place.
“It’s not just about limestone ravines and gritstone hills. Along the way you’ll visit every landscape this wonderful National park has to offer – from wildflower meadows with dry stone walls and peaceful river valleys to wild heather moorland and forested hills. And you’ll encounter the warmest of welcomes as you sample the food, drink, museums and attractions that make the Peak District so magical.
“We think it represents the very best of the area in one amazing weekend – and we can’t wait for people to try it!”
The White to Dark Way heralds both the Peak District Walking & Outdoor Festival, which offers more than 120 events (www.visitpeakdistrict.com) and also a week of events marking the 80th anniversary of the landmark Kinder Mass Trespass on April 24 (www.kindertrespass.com).
The Peak District Walking & Outdoor Festival also includes The Jane Tomlinson Peak District Walk for All in the Hope Valley on Sunday April 29, when more than 2,000 people are expected to put their best food forward to raise funds for a host of Peak District and South Yorkshire charities.
The Festival is sponsored by Hi-Tec, Large Outdoors, The Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, Peak Pursuits, Sprayway and Trekmates. Full details – including information about how to book – are now listed in the new Peak District Walking & Outdoor Festival programme, which can be viewed online and downloaded at http://www.visitpeakdistrict.com/imagelibrary or picked up from tourist information centres in and around the area.
The May 2012 issue of Country Walking magazine will hit the shelves on April 26, and will include a special discount subscription price of £25 to celebrate the publication’s Silver Jubilee.
Note to News Editors
Accompanying high resolution images are attached for print media. Captions: White to Dark 1: David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire (left) and Nick Hallissey, Deputy Editor of Country Walking magazine, consult the route of the new White to Dark Way; White to Dark 2: David James, Chief Executive of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire (2nd right) and Nick Hallissey, Deputy Editor of Country Walking magazine (right), look out at one of the White to Dark Way’s most spectacular views, from the Monsal Trail into Monsal Dale.
Visit Peak District & Derbyshire – the area’s official tourist board – works with VisitBritain, VisitEngland, Derbyshire County Council, all local authorities in the Peak District and Derbyshire, tourism business partners and surrounding tourism organisations that share the Peak District. It is committed to the successful and sustainable development of tourism.
Country Walking is Britain’s best-selling walking magazine, read by around 40,000 dedicated walkers every issue. Combining ideas and inspiration for great walks all over the country with comprehensive weekending guides, step-by-step directions, plain English gear reviews and insider knowledge, it’s the ultimate guide to exploring the British countryside on foot. For more information, visit