All aboard for the Hope Valley Explorer
A new seasonal bus tour service in the Hope Valley will be launched by the Peak District National Park this month.
The Hope Valley Explorer will operate from 21 July to 31 August in this popular area of the Peak District, including links to Chesterfield and the outskirts of Sheffield.
The service aims to reduce the number of car journeys within the National Park during its busiest season and the school summer holidays. The service will also call at rail stations at Edale, Hope and Bamford, at times convenient for getting the most from a day out in the area for people arriving by rail.
As well as a flexible hop-on, hop-off service, the Explorer will feature an audio commentary of the rich natural and cultural history of the area - from its extensive cave network to the Dambusters of the Derwent Valley.
The route will include key stops at Edale (for the Pennine Way), Castleton, Hope and Fairholmes in the Derwent Valley. Iconic locations such as Winnats Pass, Mam Tor and the Great Ridge will all be available to enjoy from the route.
Stops will also include National Park visitor centres and bike hire centre at Fairholmes, to allow visitors to get information on where to explore beyond the route.
A growing range of discounts have also been offered for ticket holders, including at the Blueberry Café in Castleton and bike hire at Fairholmes in the Derwent Valley.
The initial three-year, seasonal pilot scheme – funded by the National Park Authority - will assess the viability of running similar services long-term, to help ease pressure from private vehicles in the National Park and support linked sustainable transport by the use of rail services.
David Marsden, transport policy officer with the Peak District National Park said: “We’re excited to be launching this pilot service with our partners at Stagecoach and, with so much to offer in the Hope Valley and Derwent Valley, we think it will be a popular choice with visitors from our neighbouring urban communities. By linking-in with local rail stations and offering links from the outskirts of Sheffield and Chesterfield, our aim is to support a reduction in private car journeys in these areas and help promote more sustainable ways of getting to, and enjoying, the UK’s original National Park.”
Operated by Stagecoach, adult return tickets will be just £6, family tickets (two adults and two children) £12 and a single journey ticket £4. Holders of concessionary passes will be eligible for half fare.
John Young, commercial director for Stagecoach, said: “We are delighted to introduce this new service, working in partnership with the Peak District National Park, which will open up a beautiful part of the countryside for people to enjoy in a sustainable way during the summer holidays.”
Further information is available at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/hopevalleyexplorer or www.stagecoachbus.com or by post by calling Peak District National Park customer services team on 01629 816200.