The Peak District

Bamford Edge in the Peak District National Park.
Bamford Edge in the Peak District National Park.

Written by resident blogger George Edgeller.

 

It’s difficult to know where to start when describing the Peak District. Much like planning a trip there, you do so in the knowledge that you can’t cover it all. The Peaks are as vast as they are beautiful, spread across six counties in England taking in over 1,400km (890m).  The wealth of different activities on offer make it ideal for anyone seeking an energising country break in a rural idyll. Whether it’s for a short break from city life, outdoor adventure-seeking, or for a family getaway, the Peak District is a great escape for all from the hustle and the bustle of everyday life.

When to visit

The charm and beauty of this stunning landscape can be enjoyed in any season. In the dead of winter, the roaring fires of the many picture-perfect cottages across the district provide a cosy sanctuary to the bracing cold outside. Although, speaking from experience, wrapping up against the elements is still highly advisable. And as the long drawn-out winter edges to a close, the Peaks can also be perfect for a holiday closer to home in the, if not warmer, then certainly less cold climes of the English spring and summer.

What to do

Peak District National Park

No sojourn to the district is complete without immersing yourself in the area’s breath-takinglandscape. For lovers of the great outdoors, the Peak District is a paradise. Walking, cycling, climbing, gliding and wildlife-watching are just some of the outdoor activities available for the nature enthusiast, with the option camping for those prepared to brave the wind. There is no better place to enjoy the natural landscape within the Peak District than in the national park. The Peak District National Park was the first of Britain’s national parks and welcomes more than 10 million visitors a year.

Bakewell in Peak District National Park. Photo: Shutterstock

The Walks

The spectacular walking trails are some of the best around, with traffic-free routes and a walk to suite all desires and ability; from challenging treks, to gentle riverside rambles. If you would like to find out more information on recommended walks throughout the British countryside, take a look at our Great Breaks guidebooks.

The Architecture

The Peak District has period architecture in abundance. It houses some of Britain’s finest stately homes including the world-famous Chatsworth house (known as the ‘Palace of the Peak’) and the mediaeval Haddon Hall, which attracts visitors from across the world.

Queues of tourists can be found at the Pump Room in the town of Buxton, waiting to sample the spa water for its supposed health-giving qualities. The town’s crowning architectural glory is the Buxton Baths - built in the grand Regency style popular with Victorians.

Where to Eat

If you tire of the splendid isolation of the country cottages during your stay, there’s no better place to enjoy a lively atmosphere, excellent food and the warm welcome of the locals than in the homely pubs and restaurants the Peak District has on offer. Highlights include the award-winning Devonshire Arms in Matlock and the traditional pub grub of the Plough Inn in Low Bradfield.

For more information on trips within the UK, please check out our Great Breaks series.