From the wild moors in the north to the magical caves to be found in the south, one thing is for sure: the Peak District is full of breathtaking places to visit. Among the natural wonders of the national park are dozens of quaint towns, each with its own hidden gems.

Located in White Peak, about 90 minutes’ drive from Greater Manchester, is Youlgreave, one of the largest villages in the Peak District. It sits on the hillside above the confluence of the Bradford and Lathkill rivers and overlooks miles and miles of vibrant green countryside.

When you get to Youlgreave, you may see something quite strange; in fact, you may find that you haven’t reached Youlgreave at all. Road signs in the area have different spellings, so depending on what you see you may find yourself on Youlgrave, Youlegreave or Youlgreave.

The magical hotel straight out of Harry Potter, 40 minutes from Greater Manchester

Over the years, the spelling of the village has varied significantly, with wild variations such as Zolgreve and Yellegrave even on record. But its name is not the only peculiarity of the town.

thimble hall(Image: The Roaming Picture Taker /

Youlgreave is home to the smallest detached house in Great Britain. Thimble Hall is a small building where each room is less than 8 square feet. The house, which dates back to the 1750s, was at one point home to a family of eight.

In 1999, the Grade II listed property made national headlines when it sold at auction for £39,500. It attracted bids from all over the world and even illusionist Uri Geller tried to buy it, but in the end Chesterfield ice cream maker Fredrick’s got the winning bid. The house was last used as a dwelling in the 1930s and has also been used as an antique store, butcher shop and shoe store.

Conduit Head, the town’s historic water reservoir (Image: Dave. Dunford/Wikimedia Commons)

Another historical feature found in the village is the Conduit Head, a huge circular water tank. It was used to store water that was collected from the Bradford River and then distributed to the villagers. Today the village uses one of Britain’s few private water companies.


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