A Guide To The Peak District
The Peak District is an upland area of central-northern England. Within it is the Peak District National Park, one of the country’s great natural treasures and its first-ever national park. This region of breathtaking beauty sprawls across the southern hills and mountains of the Pennines. It’s where market towns and stone villages sit nestled amid a countryside of dales, forests, moorland and rivers. Miles of trails traverse the park and take you to places inhabited since the Mesolithic era and settled by the Romans and Anglo Saxons.
A Hiking and Family Friendly Paradise
Whether in summer or winter, when powdery white snow often covers the hilltops, you’ll meet people out enjoying the delights. The best way to experience it all is to strap on a pair of comfortable walking shoes and traverse zigzagging trails. Some cross the park’s dales, meadows and moorland while others follow the route of disused railway lines. Find routes suitable for hikers, horse riders and mountain bikers. A section of the cross-country Trans Pennine Trail also cuts through the district.
For those that want to see the region in a less active way, the Heights of Abraham cable car is a great option. Sit in a pod and admire the panoramic views as you are transported to the summit of Masson Hill. Tinkers Shaft viewing platform is the ideal place for gazing at the green Derwent Valley below.
Spectacular Natural Wonders
Regardless of if you get around by foot, bike, car or public buses, there’s an abundance of natural landmarks to see. Kinder Scout is the national park’s highest point and commands unbeatable views of moorland and a waterfall. Climbers scale Stanage Edge gritstone escarpment and swimmers brave the chilly waters of the Three Shires Head plunge pools. A range of easy and challenging trails encompass the Laybower Reservoir.
Families flock to Mam Tor hill for vistas of wide-open countryside. Nearby are the famous Castleton Caverns. Treak Cliff Cavern dazzles with its stalactites and stalagmites and Blue John Cavern is filled with ancient marine fossils. A boat ride deep into the underground Speedwell Cavern is an unbeatable experience.
Quaint Villages and Aristocratic Homes
Make a point to visit and stay overnight at the region’s villages, where friendly pubs and hearty home-cooked food awaits. Hathersage, the location of our hotel, sits at the edge of the picture-perfect rural landscapes of the Hope Valley. Another of the valley’s villages, Castleton, is the gateway to several of the park’s caverns. Be sure to stop at a café in Bakewell to sample the iconic Bakewell pudding.
Fans of Pride and Prejudice can step into the shoes of Mr Darcy and his friends at Chatsworth House. Continue your tour of stately manor houses at Haddon Hall and Tissington Hall. The spa town of Buxton boasts a Victorian charm and the stunning Buxton Opera House.
Mostly situated in Derbyshire, the Peak District also extends into Cheshire, Staffordshire, South and West Yorkshire. Daily bus and train services make getting to and around this an easy task. Train lines such as the Hope Valley line, which you can ride to reach The George, are considered some of the most scenic throughout Britain.