Information about Winster in the Derbyshire Dales
for residents and visitors
Winster has a pretty good bus service - about 6 trips per day each way (Monday-Saturday) but no Sunday or Bank Holiday Monday service. (Nearest Sunday buses: Darley Dale and Youlgrave).
Some Winster buses serve Matlock's Rail/Bus station, but not all. All Winster buses call at Matlock's old bus station behind the Co-op, now shown on the timetable as "Bakewell Road". Beware that some services run via Churchtown (a little north of Darley Dale), while others run down Station Road in Darley Dale: to be sure of catching a Winster bus from Darley Dale, wait at the stop on the A6, opposite the Jayne Hibbard Pharmacy.
Buses on route 172 are run by Hulleys of Baslow: see the Interactive Timetable. Beware that Hulleys take quite a relaxed view to timekeeping: buses can leave two or three minutes before the printed times.
Hulleys' website does not show service interruptions (eg in snow), but they reckon to notify these on their Facebook page. They also say they inform Traveline as early as 0630 each day: these updates should show in the Traveline results. When I tried this out (3 December 2010: heavy snow), neither was up to date. You can always try calling Hulleys on 01246 582246.
Note for ramblers fancying a one-way walk: One late-afternoon bus from Bakewell comes via Middleton-by-Youlgreave and Youlgreave, and it is even possible to get back from Hartington by combining this bus with the twice-a-day link between Youlgreave and Hartington (part of the Bakewell-Youlgrave-Middleton route 171).
To/from Sheffield, the fastest option is the 218 from Bakewell - taking about 45 minutes. Many services start/finish at Matlock, and can be picked up at Darley Dale - but most travel via Chatsworth, making the Bakewell-Matlock leg rather slow. From Matlock, there is little difference in journey time between the 218 via Bakewell and the x17 via Chesterfield - both take about 75 minutes.
Bakewell and Eyam Community Transport run services for “local elderly and/or disabled residents and to visitors to the area”. They operate Dial-A-Bus services from Winster to Matlock, Bakewell, Alfreton, Buxton and Chesterfield on certain dates each month, as well as a series of day trips further afield with pickups in Winster. They also hire 16-seat vehicles to community groups at reasonable prices (Secret Gardens use them for their Park & Ride service, for example).
There are two reasonably good online journey planners. Traveline is pretty accurate, but you may run into limitations when you cross the border outside Derbyshire. The national TransportDirect planner is slower but more complete. They are fairly conservative, so won't offer close connections (eg train arriving Matlock 1824, bus leaving station 1832).
There is a reasonable-value "Derbyshire Wayfarer" day ticket (July 2013: £11.60 per adult but only £21 for up to two adults and three children) covering most buses (and the Transpeak coach) and trains in Derbyshire.
There is a useful bus map available in PDF format.
The Transpeak service runs hourly for much of the day on the route Derby-Matlock-Darley Dale-Bakewell-Buxton and sometimes on to Manchester. But be warned that punctuality can be very poor.
National Express run a daily coach from Matlock to London - leaving from the bus/rail station at 8.25 each morning (at the very moment the first bus from Winster is arriving outside the Cooperative on Bakewell Road) and taking about 4½ hours. The return trip leaves London around 4pm. There is a useful National Express service from Chesterfield direct to Luton, Heathrow and Gatwick airports about five times a day.