The Peak District Guide

Within easy access of Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham, the Peak District is ideally located for a welcome break away from city life. Britain’s oldest national park is far more than just stunning scenery and charming villages. The dramatic natural landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for an adventure-based roadtrip. Whether it's country walks and cosy cafes or white-water rafting and abseiling you’re after, the Peak District is the ultimate spot for a break for nature lovers and adrenaline junkies alike.

Main Attractions

If you’re looking for a more relaxed but active holiday, there’s plenty of hiking and cycling routes to keep yourself busy. The High Peaks Trail, beginning in Buxton and ending just outside Matlock, is a great place to start. For a slightly shorter route, try the Tissington Trail. Running between Buxton and Ashbourne, it’s a great way to take in the best of what the region has to offer. One of the most impressive hikes in the region is the 6.5-mile ridge walk along Mam Tor, one of the best in the country. Starting in Castleton, this route provides unmissable views of Edale and the Hope Valley.

Hiring a bike in the upper Derwent Valley is one of the best ways to explore the north of the Peak District. The Dark Peak 3 Reservoir Cycle Trail takes you around the Derwent, Howden and Lady Bower Reservoirs via the Derwent village. The route offers incredible views and some idyllic places to stop for a picnic along the way.

Carsington Water has everything you need for a watersport-filled experience to remember. The nearby leisure centre offers taster sessions in a variety of activities such as stand-up paddle-boarding, sailing and windsurfing with specific packages available for large groups. If you’re looking for some more exhilarating watersport options, head to Matlock where you can enjoy white-water rafting, river tubing and kayaking in the River Derwent.

Take the stress out of family outings by choosing from a selection of activities that are great for the kids. For slightly older or more adventurous children, Buxton has one of the highest Go-Ape courses in the country. You could even spend a day at Alton Towers, just a 40-minute drive away from either Buxton or Bakewell. For the less daring, enjoy a relaxing day at the Alpaca Experience or visit one of the regions famous caves.

Where to Stay

Just a short walk or drive away from the region’s main attractions, both Bakewell and Buxton make great bases for your trip. Perched on the banks of the river Wye is Bakewell, a town best known for the famous Bakewell pudding. Stroll around any of the streets of this quaint market town and you’ll find an abundance of bakeries selling this traditional treat. The main town at the heart of the Peak District is the lively spa town of Buxton. A combination of quirky independent boutiques and high street brands make it the best spot in the area for a bit of retail therapy. Forget huge city shopping centres, Buxton’s Victorian arcades and pavilions make for a much more relaxing and unique experience.

If you’re looking to explore more of the north of the Peak District, then Hope Valley in between Ladybower Reservoir and Castleton is a great place to start! Surrounded by local pubs and restaurants, these picturesque Peak District towns are a great place to unwind after an action-packed day.


Food and Drink

Take your pick of the three bakeries in the small town of Bakewell that claim to sell ‘the original Bakewell pudding’, the most famous dessert in the Peak District. You can even attempt to make your own almond and jam filled pastry at the ‘pudding making experience’ thanks to The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop.

The village of Hartington has a history of cheese production dating back to 1870 and despite being the smallest Stilton producer in the world, it did once supply a quarter of all stilton cheese. The factory closed in 2009 however, the town’s trade was restored in 2012 by the Hartington Creamery. The Old Cheese Shop in the village centre boasts 100 varieties of cheese ranging from local to national delicacies, perfect to try with a Derbyshire oatcake or local beer.