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Fairy tale beauty spot hidden off popular Peak District road

today10 September 2022 1

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Beautiful spots in the Peak District are not hard to come by, from staggering rock faces, to charming villages with chocolate box houses finding picturesque locations is easy in the national park. All of these fascinating places and sights are enhanced further by the miles of walking trails allowing you to explore every corner of the Peaks.

However, one specific spot can be missed if you aren’t looking for it. Hidden just a short walk from a route dubbed “one of the most dangerous roads in the country, is a serene riverside walk underneath a thick canopy of stoic pine trees which feels very different to the exposed moorland found elsewhere in the Peak District.

Snake Pass (the A57) is one of the best known mountain roads in England, stretching from Glossop to Sheffield. It’s a popular driving route with incredible views and twists and turns, although it can be hazardous and regularly closed during bad weather.

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Yet tucked alongside a section of the road is the stunning Snake Woodland. With moss-covered tree stumps and a babbling brook all sheltered underneath the trees, it’s a scene which could be from a fairy tale, reports the Manchester Evening News.

To get to Snake Woodland you can park at Hope Woodland Car Park and then cross the road to the opposite side. From here you descend down into the woods, following a small stream to where it meets the River Ashop.

Thanks to the trees overhead you’ll feel a million miles away from the A57. Phone signal can be patchy too so you can truly disconnect from the outside world – just make sure you have a map with you.

There’s a short 2.3km circular walk you can do following the river south until it comes to a fork, and then turning right and heading back to the beginning. Alternatively there are longer routes to take which go as far as the Higher Shelf Stones.

It can be boggy underfoot in wet weather so make you have appropriate footwear and suitable clothing if the weather changes. But if it remains dry there’s lots of places where you can sit and enjoy the tranquillity of the woods.

If you go at the right time you may also find the Wildman Cafe open at the carpark, where you can grab a bacon butty before setting off on your walk.

Thing to know before you go:

The nearest postcode for Hope Woodland Car Park is S33 0AB. It is free but it is small so it’s best to get there early on a weekend to avoid disappointment, alternatively go during the week when it’s quieter.

Take care when crossing the road as cars often speed round the bend on Snake Pass. The road is frequently closed in bad weather or due to maintenance work so always check before you travel.

Snake Woodland is a one hour and twenty minutes drive from Derby and a 50 minute drive from Chesterfield.

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