New Mills Central
Experience Manchester, the free-spirited city like no other! Still glowing after the huge success of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester is renowned not only for its excellent sports facilities but also for its wealth of top bars, restaurants, shops and attractions. Explore the history, science and industry of Manchester, the world's first industrial city, at the Museum of Science and Industry at Castlefields. The collections, which are set in some of the oldest railway buildings in the world, include historic working machinery, scientific instruments and old household appliances as well as some great interactive displays. A short tram ride from the city centre takes you to Salford Quays, home to the Imperial War Museum North and the Lowry Art and Entertainment Centre. Shopaholics are also well catered for – Manchester is home to big name department stores and high street retailers, whilst the Trafford Centre is a short bus ride from the city centre.
Romiley station is situated in the centre of this historic village close to Chadkirk Chapel and Country Estate – a 14th century chapel set in a nature reserve. There's also a collection of both high street and independent retailers to choose from and the village is also a great base for walkers – the Midshires Way and Cheshire Ring Canal trails pass nearby.
The district of Marple covers just over 11 square miles of attractive countryside, ranging from heavily wooded valleys to hilltop moorland. Marple town is a great starting point for walkers who can enjoy spectacular views of North Wales and Yorkshire from Cobden Edge. For a more relaxed stroll, Marple's 16-lock flight, which is the second steepest in the country, is worth a look. Marple Aqueduct, which is also known as the Grand Aqueduct, carries the lower level of the Peak Forest Canal across the River Goyt.
New Mills lies on the northwestern fringe of the Peak District, making it an excellent location from which to explore the surrounding countryside. The Heritage and Information Centre is just a stone's throw from the station, located on a track leading down to the Torrs – a dramatic gorge of outstanding natural beauty, which the town overlooks. The Torrs Millennium Walkway, which sweeps through the gorge, forms the final link in the Midshires Way long distance footpath. Hayfield is just a short bus journey away and is very popular for intrepid walkers wishing to conquer the Peak District's highest points.
Chinley was once an important railway junction with trains running to London, Sheffield and Manchester until 1968. Today it is a popular stop for ramblers and an excellent base for exploring the western side of the Peak District.
Edale is the perfect place to 'get away from it all'. It's tucked beneath the Kinder Plateau and is surrounded by countryside just waiting to be explored. The new Moorlands Centre, which is located conveniently close to the station, provides an excellent insight into the moorland landscape. This eco-building was constructed on the original site of the Old Fieldhead Information Centre and hosts regularly updated interactive displays and events throughout the year.
Below the impressive silhouettes of Lose Hill and Win Hill nestles Hope village, with its choice of welcoming pubs and tearooms. Take a stroll around the village, where St Peter's Church is home to a carved oak pulpit and headmaster's chair dating back to 1652 and the remains of a 9th century Saxon preaching cross which stands in the churchyard. A local bus service runs to Castleton, a pretty village overlooked by the remains of the Norman Peveril Castle and the location of four of the district's famous caverns.
Bamford is a favourite spot with walkers, lying below an impressive gritstone edge and with a lively collection of pubs and shops. Good bus connections link the village with a number of nearby locations, including the scenic Upper Derwent Valley, home to forests, moorland and the famous Howden and Derwent Reservoirs where the Dambusters practiced their raids during World War II. If you are feeling more adventurous, take a trip to Bradwell where you can explore the depths of Bagshawe Cavern.
Hathersage village is surrounded by beautiful moors and local countryside and has a good selection of shops and accommodation. Charlotte Brontë was a visitor to the village in 1845 when she stayed with a friend at the vicarage. It is believed that Hathersage was the inspiration for the fictitious village of 'Morton' in her novel Jane Eyre. You can visit St Michael and All Angels Churchyard, where you can find the grave of Robin Hood's companion, Little John.
Grindleford is a small village which lies below the dramatic Froggatt Edge. Visitors can see the ruins of Padley Hall just a short distance from the station, although all that remains of the hall is a small section of the foundations, the original gatehouse and the restored Padley Chapel. Walk through the beautiful ancient oak woodlands of Padley Gorge on the National Trust's Longshaw Estate, or take a short bus trip to the Fox House Inn.
Although Dore is in the Sheffield suburbs, there are still lots of outdoor opportunities to enjoy. Beauchief Abbey and Ecclesall Woods are close by, with the station also offering easy access to the Sheffield Round Walk. Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet is a unique eighteenth century industrial works with waterwheels, tilt hammers, a grinding hull and the world’s only surviving intact crucible steel furnace! The Abbeydale Miniature Railway offers steam train rides on alternate Sundays in Summer.
If Manchester is the heart of the north then Sheffield is the soul. With its vast selection of shops, sporting venues and top attractions, Sheffield has something for everyone. Journey through the history of the world and come face to face with a woolly rhinoceros at the newly refurbished Western Park Museum, which will keep even the youngest of explorers entertained. Or, for shopping days, there’s a huge selection of shops in the city centre and at nearby Meadowhall, one of Britain’s premier shopping destinations. Music lovers can catch the biggest names in pop at the Arena, whilst the best up and coming bands can be heard in one of Sheffield’s many smaller music venues. Numerous art galleries can be found close to the city centre and major theatres such as the Crucible and the Lyceum host a variety of productions from all over the globe. The Winter Gardens is one of the largest temperate greenhouses in the country to have been built in the past 100 years and offers a green retreat right in the heart of the city.