In the heart of the UK, the Lincolnshire Wolds encompasses 216 square miles of unspoiled countryside and a series of low hills running parallel to the North Sea Coast. Designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1949 and home to the great English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, this pristine landscape offers some of the most charming woodland and wide-open skies in the East Midlands.

In the De’Ath household, a seemingly simple request in 2017 set in motion a journey that would forever change their lives. Mark, an avid hiker and restless side-sleeper, had spent years unzipping sleeping bags to achieve greater freedom of movement. He admired the Down Quilts made by the Minnesota company Enlightened Equipment but knew that synthetic insulation would be more suitable for the damp conditions in the UK. Thus, he asked Mary to create a lightweight, warm camping quilt for his summer trips.

Armed with her sewing machine and meticulous attention to detail, Mary set to work, infusing care into every stitch, crafting several prototypes before producing her first synthetic quilt. Neither she nor Mark anticipated the profound impact it would have.

Fellow hikers and friends admired the quilt's design and practicality. Mary's home-sewn creation rapidly gained attention across outdoor online forums and ultralight subcultures. What began as a solitary endeavour soon burgeoned into something of far greater magnitude as Mark remarked, "I think we could have a business here."

In 2018, the De’Ath family founded Valley and Peak, named after their many mountain hikes and campervan trips based at the foot of valleys. With that, the quilt-making operation kicked into high gear, with Mary's foot firmly on the sewing pedal.

Each Valley and Peak quilt was meticulously crafted with the same attention to detail as the very first, tailored to meet each customer's unique specifications. The synthetic quilts featured Climashield Apex insulation, known for its quick drying properties and ease of maintenance, making them ideal for the unpredictable weather conditions of the UK. Moreover, when used in conjunction with a down bag, these quilts served the additional purpose of safeguarding from potential dew point issues.

Never to waste, they took offcuts from their quilts to make insulated pouches for the storing of batteries and other electronic devices. After a customer requested an insulated food pouch, they developed dual-purpose insulated bags that also served as cosies for freeze-dried meals.

Before long, their home was brimming with boxes of quilts ready to be dispatched to happy customers across the UK. As Valley and Peak transitioned into a distributor, they expanded their inventory to include a diverse array of products. They introduced brands not previously available in the UK, such as Big Agnes and Easton Tent Pegs, as well as gear from smaller cottage brands like Cascade Wild, Vesuv Outdoors and Bonfus, infusing the store with fresh gear and uncovering hidden gems for their customers along the way.

By 2021, Valley and Peak had moved into their first unit in the charming town of Louth, swiftly outgrowing it and expanding operations just two years later. 

While Valley and Peak quilts and insulated pouches are currently unavailable (stay tuned), they remain celebrated for their dedication to uncovering and championing new and niche brands like Enlightened Equipment, Durston Gear, Kula Cloth, TrailBrush, and Common Gear, as well as their commitment to delivering on quality, exceptional customer service, and providing expert outdoor guidance.

In 2021, their son Jim left his city job to lead Sales and Marketing at Valley and Peak. As an entrepreneur and avid adventurer, Jim brought fresh ideas and a deep understanding of their customers' needs. He streamlined operations, launched a user-friendly website, and built partnerships with key outdoor brands. His dedication to quality and customer satisfaction accelerated business growth, turning Valley and Peak into a recognised name among the UK thru-hiking and ultralight camping community. Jim’s passion and hard work were key to this transformation.

Today, Valley and Peak remains a deeply personal venture, bolstered by the invaluable support, skills, and backing of an exceptional team. Mary continues to play a pivotal role in all aspects of the business, while Jim has assumed the role of Managing Director, steering the company forward with energy and expertise.

Stocking over 100 brands, Valley and Peak offers an extensive array of products ranging from sleeping bags and tents to camping accessories, electronics, travel gear, clothing, and backpacks tailored to the needs of thru-hikers, ultralight backpackers, campers, bikepackers, and more. Valley and Peak continue to inspire and equip adventurers with confidence, ensuring they have access to the very best gear for their outdoor adventures.