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Adventure Skills Workshop in The Peak District

Master the art of adventure over an inspiring weekend with ex-Commando, outdoor photographer and expedition leader, Ian Finch

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Trip Ref #10354

Adventure Skills Workshop in The Peak District

Master the art of adventure over an inspiring weekend with ex-Commando, outdoor photographer and expedition leader, Ian Finch

2 nights
United Kingdom
0 days off work
Year round
Up to 7 people
Hope Valley Adventure Bunkhouse




Based on 18 reviews

No previous experience needed, just the ability to walk for a few hours a day on uneven terrain

Learn how to navigate, read weather patterns and plan and prepare your equipment for your next journey into the wilds

Hike through quieter parts of the Hope Valley, navigate with your team up onto the surrounding hillsides and learn the basics of outdoor photography as you go

Return home rejuvenated, motivated, and more prepared for your next big adventure 

Deemed one of 'the UK’s best creative retreats' by The Guardian

Day 1

Into the peaks

Arrive in the Peak District and head to your overnight spot for the weekend, an adventure bunkhouse nestled deep in the Hope Valley. Meet Ian and your fellow crew for a natter and beer before bedding down for the night. As dinner is not included tonight, make sure you grab something in Hope or Castleton before arriving.

Day 2

Skills at the ready


12km · 400m up · 350m down

Kickstart the day with a quick chat over breakfast so Ian can learn a bit about what you might like to get out of the weekend - no questions or adventures are too small, the weekend is your chance to quiz away to your heart's content. You’ll then head out into the hills and start learning by doing, the bunkhouse is at the foot of The Great Ridge so perfect wilderness territory.

Ian will have a range of kit to chat through as well as sharing advice about planning your own adventures using the right maps and apps to get you into the great outdoors - anything from a weekend walk near to home or a longer overseas multi-day trip. You’ll head back to the bunkhouse late afternoon for a photography session at sunset (if the time of year permits) before heading into Castleton to one of the local pubs for a well-earned pint and dinner.

Day 3

Putting it all into practice


10km · 300m up · 300m down

Another day exploring and learning - likely to include a gentle stomp to the top of Mam Tor for 360° views across to the Edale Valley and Kinder Scout. You’ll spend today putting into practice some of the skills learned previously and have a go at navigating as a group, understanding contours and how to foresee obstacles and challenges as you go - as well as the key skill of timing and pacing a hike. The weekend will draw to a close late afternoon and you can head home armed with all the skills needed to plan your own adventures in the future. It’s likely you’ll end up guiding your mates before you know it!



Expert expedition guide and photographer


2 nights in a bunkhouse


2 breakfasts and 2 lunches


All gear needed for navigation lessons

Not Included

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Some meals as described

Travel to and from the start point

Day 1

Bunkhouse · Mixed dorm




Day 2

Bunkhouse · Mixed dorm




Day 3




What is the food like?

The breakfast provided will be hearty and vegetarian - think oats, fruit and all the other good stuff to fuel you for the day ahead. There are tea and coffee making facilities at the bunkhouse. Packed lunches will be provided from a local cafe, you'll choose what you would like to eat the night before. You shouldn't run out of food but do pack extra snacks if you know you get extra hungry throughout the day. Dinner on Day 1 is not included so please grab something before arriving. Dinner on Day 2 will be in a local pub.

Vegetarians, vegans and most other dietary requirements can be catered for, just let your host know upon booking.

What is the accommodation like?


The group will have exclusive use of a bunkhouse just along the road from Castleton. The whole group will sleep upstairs in a mixed-gender, open-plan, flexible, futon sleeping space. Cotton liners, duvets and pillows are provided. There is a downstairs kitchenette, dining and social hangout space, a bathroom with a shower and shared storage space. There is also a boot room with a dryer and plenty of hanging space if needed for wet gear. The outside garden has a seating area and firepit area overlooking Lose Hill.


There are no single rooms available at the bunkhouse so no upgrades are possible.

The Area




Bunkhouse in the Hope Valley

20:00 on Day 1


Bunkhouse in the Hope Valley

16:00 on Day 3


The bunkhouse is a 15-minute walk from Hope train station which is easily connected to the Sheffield or Manchester mainline trains (both approx. 2 hours from London).

On Day 1 you can arrive anytime after 20:00 and Ian will meet you there. Please make sure you grab dinner before you arrive. On Day 3 you will be back at the bunkhouse for approx 16:00, please don't book a train before 17:00 just in case you're out in the hills for longer than planned.

For those driving, there are one or two spaces only at the bunkhouse so it's advised to leave your car in Hope or Castleton where more options are available.

Travel options

There are regular trains to Hope from Sheffield and Manchster from across the UK.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What do I need to bring?


Hiking boots or shoes
20-30 litre hiking rucksack
Waterproof jacket and trousers
Hiking trousers/leggings/shorts
Hiking t-shirts (non-cotton)
Fleece or warm layer
Spare trainers or sandals for evenings
Sun hat
Spare socks and underwear
Toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel
Small-medium towel
Water bottle (1-litre min.)
Personal hand sanitiser
Tupperware to prevent squashed sandwiches and to reduce plastic

Autumn/Winter trips

Warm gloves
Warm hat
Buff or scarf
Extra layers!

No optional extras are available for this trip.

- Howard(October 2023)

Had a fantastic couple of days in the Peaks, learnt a lot, and will be putting them into practice over the coming months, highly recommended. Ian is a great communicator and his passion for the great outdoors, whether it’s deep in the Amazon or a country walk through Epping Forest shines through.

- Sheila(October 2023)

Our local guide Ian Finch was friendly, exceptional and professional in the way he was delivering the course and interacting with us. The group dynamics was also very good and supportive.

- Durr-e-Maknoon(July 2023)

The Peak District adventure workshop is an amazing little adventure to do over a weekend. Ian Finch was an absolutely brilliant host and knows his adventure craft well. I really enjoyed the hikes and the beautiful views and loved learning about navigation, how to put up a tent and what kit to take on different hiking trips. I really liked the photography part of the trip as well. I would definitely recommend this workshop to other beginner adventurers like me 😊

- Katy(July 2023)


- Victoria(October 2022)

Ian was welcoming, friendly, very experienced and an excellent guide for the weekend. The content was exactly as described and very useful indeed. The trip was sustainable, the group dynamics excellent and even in suddenly changing extreme weather conditions with difficult terrain you always felt safe and looked after by Ian. I would not change anything about the trip. Highly recommend!

- Jon(September 2022)

This is an inspiring, informative and, most importantly, fun weekend. The accommodation has an 'Upmarket Youth Hostel' vibe. The food is healthy and hearty. The course is a perfect balance of theory and practice - you learn how to plan your dream adventure and then get hands-on with expedition kit before heading out on two hikes to hone your navigation and photography skills.

But what really makes this a memorable 48 hours is Ian, the guide/host. He has tonnes of hard-won experience and great adventure insights, which he shares with infectious enthusiasm. Plus, he throws in lots of truly thoughtful touches - From Brownies and wine when you first arrive through to badges when you leave.

This is a great trip for ANYONE who loves the great outdoors and wants to learn more.

- Austin(September 2022)

Great trip, great host. It’s not a complete go/go/go until you drop. Nice balance of education/ skills and hiking. Returned to genpop energised and refreshed!!

- Sharon(June 2022)

Great experience, learned loads and gained confidence

- Luke(December 2021)

I really enjoyed the trip, Ian was very friendly and knowledgeable, and was able to answer any questions we put to him.

I particularly enjoyed the hiking and navigation exercise we did on the peaks, but all the aspects of the weekend were incredibly useful in giving a holistic view on how to get the most out of a planned trip.

The food was delicious and plentiful, and the accommodation was warm and cosy. I would recommend this to anyone who has an idea of a dream trip, but wants the knowledge and skills to turn that dream into reality!

- Sothiro(November 2021)

Very knowledgeable guide. Cozy bunkhouse. Beautiful landscapes. I had a great time and learned a lot!

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 31kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2023 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

Former Royal Marine Commando Ian Finch is an adventure and outdoor photographer and expedition guide whose been travelling to remote environments for over 10 years. Ian's desire to record, capture or lead expeditions in unfamiliar corners of the globe is driven by a passion to learn about heritage and traditions from the native cultures that call it home.

His latest expedition, a 1,300-mile journey to retrace the footsteps of the Cherokee removals was featured in Sidetracked Magazine with a 20-page written story and photo essay. Also, his 2000-mile canoe descent of the Yukon River was included in the top 10 adventures by the Guardian in 2016. Ian has also led or participated in expeditions to Alaska, Mongolia, Greenland, Indonesia, Tibet, Canada, Iceland, Nepal, China, the US and Northern Norway. His raw passion for life is driven by creative discovery and capturing authentic bookmarks in time from expeditions, landscapes and people.

He combines his love for photography, writing and filmmaking with wild landscapes and the great outdoors. When not overseas, Ian lives in London. Have a read of our quick-fire interview with Ian and find out a bit more about what makes him tick.

This weekend is open to all aspiring adventurers with a base level of fitness and a passion for the outdoors. The walks listed each day are approximate distances and may be slightly shorter or longer depending on the preference of the group. There will be a fair amount of stopping and starting as you learn and chat along the way, so as long as you're comfortable hiking for a few hours a day you'll be fine. You won't be tackling any of the major summits in the Peak District.

Ian’s goal is to send you home more inspired and prepared to take on big (or small) adventures in the wild. Over the course of the weekend you and your small group of fellow adventurers will soak up Ian’s amazing stories and experiences, and chew the fat on all things adventure. Each weekend will be unique and tailored to you and your group, so any burning questions, any gaps in your knowledge, this is your opportunity to talk through them with Ian, either in the wilds or over a beer.

Some of the things covered over the weekend include;

  • How to choose the right backpack for you, and where to get it from
  • What you need to include in your adventure first aid kit
  • How to make sure you’re choosing the right footwear
  • Picking the right jacket, waterproofs and layering up for the weather
  • Finding a suitable tent or shelter system
  • How to choose the most suitable sleeping bag for your adventure
  • How to select, plan and prepare food, and the equipment to cook it
  • Water safety and sterilisation tips
  • How to navigate, whether using a map or GPS
  • How to read and monitor the weather during your journey
  • Tips on how to photograph the outdoors and storytelling your adventure

And of course, anything that is specific to you and your adventure journey. It will be a fun and motivating weekend, with the rare opportunity to chat 1-1 with someone who has led expeditions in remote corners all over the world.

Sure can! Over 70% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

You will leave your main bags and kit at the bunkhouse as you head out each day with just a day pack and your waterproofs.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory for all of our adventures and you are required to provide your policy information before departing.

Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure. We also strongly recommend it includes cancellation and curtailment insurance, should you be unable to join your trip for specific reasons such as illness.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last-minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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