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Known as the gateway to the unspoiled natural beauty of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park, the small market town of Glossop is set close to the border with Cheshire county some 24kms east of Manchester. Once famed as a hub for the wool industry and latterly for its cotton mills, the town boasts examples of Victorian industrial architecture as well as several interesting churches. It’s conveniently placed for self-drive day trips to Manchester’s Lowry Gallery and Imperial War Museum, and for lovely Hope Valley with its Blue John Caverns. The remote, stunning vistas of the national park are best explored on foot and with self-drive.
Who to Book With
There’s a good choice of trusted car rental agencies based in Manchester, and Manchester Airport offers car hire with Europcar. In Glossop you’ll find local firms Glossop Motors and Glossop Van and Car Hire, although the best way to ensure the car of your choice at the lowest price is to book online in advance via a cost comparison website.
Best Time to Go
Spring and summer are the best, albeit the busiest, times to visit Glossop, as winters in the Derbyshire Peak District can be harsh and driving conditions can be treacherous.
Need to Know Essentials
When collecting your rental car, you’ll need to show the following:
- A valid UK driving license or an International Driving Permit
- A second form of photo ID such as your passport
- The credit card used for the online booking
- A printed receipt and rental confirmation if possible
Driving in Derbyshire presents few challenges, as roads are well-maintained and UK drivers outside the major cities are careful and courteous. Manchester is accessed via the M67 motorway, and parking in Glossop is usually easy as most accommodation has car parking spaces. General UK motoring rules include the compulsory wearing of all seat belts, and warning triangles and visibility vests should be carried. Mobile phone usage without a hands-free kit is prohibited and drink-driving is taken very seriously. Petrol stations are plentiful and most accept credit card payments, but fuel prices are among the highest in Europe.
Self-drive is the most convenient way to see Derbyshire’s rolling countryside, pretty villages and ancient market towns, although the major city of Manchester is linked by a train service and regular buses. Taxi travel on longer journeys is expensive, and buses are the cheapest, if slowest, option.
Northern Rail operates the train service from Glossop to Manchester’s Piccadilly Station with the journey taking around 30 minutes and costing around £5.00. Trains run every half an hour Monday through Sunday.
The Peak District, including Glossop, is surprisingly well-covered by an extensive bus network operated by several companies, the largest of which is Stagecoach Manchester. Route 237 runs to Manchester Piccadilly throughout the day, changing its number to 216 at Ashton. Single fares range between £1.20 and £2.90 dependent on distance.
Taxi travel in Glossop is minicab-style, needing to be booked by phone in advance and with fixed fares per journey based on distance with, for example, the journey from Manchester Airport to Glossop costing around £35.00. Most companies offer a 24/7 service, and several, including Goldline Taxis, offer long-distance trips as well as local services.
Glossop is the perfect hub for exploratory day-trips around the Peak District with its famous Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall. The wild moorland along the Lancashire-Yorkshire border and its quaint valley towns such as Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd are another option, and Leeds and Sheffield are within easy reach.
Snake Pass - Spectacular Snake Pass is the higher reach of the A57, the direct and magically scenic route between Glossop and the Ladybower Reservoir, although it’s frequently closed in winter due to ice, snow or fog. The road runs along the side of a forested river valley, rising to 510m above sea level at the point of the Pennine Range’s watershed.
Buxton - This spa town is the starting point for a magnificent drive towards the wildest regions of the Peak District National Park. The A623 leads to Sparrowpit, and a left turn by the Wanted Inn brings you to the Blue John Cavern and on to Edale and Mam Tor with its Iron Age fort.
Peak District National Park - For a day’s overview of the best of the Peak District, begin in Bakewell by taking the A6 to Matlock, stopping off at great Chatsworth House and the smaller Haddon Hall. The charming villages of Baslow, Grindleford and Hathersage lead onward to Castleton in the Hope Valley, overlooked by the high moors, with roads climbing to the hill villages and glorious views over Derbyshire and the surrounding counties.