There are walks to suit ever taste and every level of fitness. From a short stroll across the railway line, some fields and the ‘stepping stones’ to the Plough Inn for lunch; to a fairly serious traversal of Kinder Scout at the start of the Pennine Way. Local shops have great book, there are also some walking guides in the cottage.
Almost legendary gritstone crags such as Stanage Edge, Millstone Edge, Burbage, Froggatt Edge and Curbar are all a short drive or cycle from the cottage. Stanage Plantation Area and Burbage North and South both contain fantastic bouldering rocks also. If you are looking for some steeper, then the limestone cliffs of Stony Middleton and adjacent Horseshoe Quarry, is only a short 6 mile drive away. For somewhere more sheltered, go to Cressbrook Dale and visit Water Cum Jolly, Ravens Tor and Cheedale. There are some guides in the cottage, and local shops stock a far greater range, but climbing should not be undertaken without adequate ability, knowledge and experience.
From Hathersage you can set-off in many directions. You can go from Jaggers Lane up Coggers Lane towards Stanage and then go via small roads to Bamford and return on the main road. You can head out towards Hope, turn to Edale and scale the almost alpine ascent to Mam Nick before descending the steepest of drops in Winnats Pass down to Castleton and then back to Hathersage. You can also head out through Bamford and towards Snake Pass beyond, before breaking off and following the line of reservoirs to the Kings Tree for a 25m circular route. You can also head in the direction of Grindleford and then scale the long climb to Abney, stopping for a well earned drink at The Barrel pub at the top, or you can head off towards Sheffield and cross over towards Chesterfield and descend down to Baslow and from there go to Bakewell, Chatsworth or return to Hathersage via Grindleford. All you really need is a map, suitable equipment, moderate fitness and a little time.
There are many off-road routes in the Peak District. The best way to find these is probably to either get a book or a map or to follow someone else. The cottage should have one or two books and several maps. Local shops such as ‘Outside’ in Hathersage will have more up to date local publications. You can also hire bikes and get great guidance at The Bike Garage (Tel: 01433659345) in nearby Bamford.
Close by Castleton has four ‘show’ caves which are regularly open to the public. These include Peak Cavern, Blue John Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern. Speedwell Cavern has underground boat rides. For the keenest speleologists who have local knowledge there are plenty of cold, cramped and damp entrances to caves very close by.
If the weather really is too bad to climb outside, or it is too dark. Then there are several climbing walls in Sheffield. These include The Foundary (Tel: 01142796331), The Edge (Tel: 01142758899) and The Works (01142509990). As it is some distance to travel to Sheffield, it is worth ringing ahead to find out whether the walls are open and whether you will be able to climb as a casual visitor.