Immerse yourself in exploring famous hills, dramatic rock edges beside wild moorlands and tranquil dales all in one day.
At more than 550 squares miles and the UK’s original national park, the Peak District provides a taste of the outdoors to millions. Considered by many as the spiritual home of the free access to the countryside we all enjoy today, the Peak District continues to provide a warm welcome to those seeking some of their first inspirational connections with nature.
With over 35 miles of traffic-free level, easy access and all-user trails, let us take you into the heart of the national park.
With your own wheels or from several bike hire centres amongst stunning scenery, there’s no better way to explore.
Get a different perspective on the Peak District by heading below the famous summits to discover a whole new underground world.
10 reasons to visit the Peak District
The ‘Mass Trespass’ took place within what is now the Peak District’s boundary, a group of working-class pioneers paving the way for the countryside access we all enjoy today.
Our boundary takes in the counties of Derbyshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, South & West Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
We have over 1,600 miles of rights of way to explore across the ‘White Peak’ and ‘Dark Peak’ areas of the national park.
Kids (and adults too!) love travelling through the myriad tunnels of the Monsal Trail, a reminder of former days of steam running through our valleys.
Our resident wildlife includes bold and bugling red deer in the autumn, white mountain hares in winter, and the rare and enigmatic ‘mountain blackbird’ (the ring ouzel) on our rocky edges.
History abounds within our built heritage from inspiration for Emily Bronte at our North Lees Hall, to the iconic towers of the Derwent Dam flown over by the 617 ‘Dambusters’ squadrons on their training missions.
The Pennine Way – which stretches along the UK’s spine to Scotland, starts in the Peak District in Edale, at the Nags Head pub.
Our network of level and surfaced former railway line trails extends to more than 30 miles, allowing everyone to get into the heart of the Peak District, including with our own range of mobility hire equipment.
If adrenaline is your go-to day out, then expect world-class rock climbing and bouldering, plus cycle routes that have helped get some of our top Olympians games-ready.
Get a taste of Peak District living with craft ales brewed right alongside our rivers, puddings that have been to outer space, or fire your creativity with the annual well dressing festivals.
As the UK’s original national park, our past stretches back almost a century – far beyond our nearly 70 years since designation.
Our uplands played host to the ‘mass trespass’ events of the 1930s, whose pioneering spirit would go on to set the foundations for our protected landscapes and the public access we all enjoy today. Through devastating wild fires, history-making changes to our transport network that saw bustling steam railways fall silent, to war time secrecy as home to the Dambusters training sorties, the Peak District has often been at the heart of change in our culture and communities. Fast forward generations and today we welcome visitors from all corners of the globe and all walks of life. Our all-access trails bring a nationally-renowned outdoors experience to thousands – wherever you set your limits – and our climbing and cycling offer is good enough for our finest medal-winning athletes. With over 38,000 residents, community spirit remains at our heart – whether you want a taste of the Peak District, are ready to immerse yourself in our annual festivals or want to explore your creativity there’s always something around the corner. If you’re ready to re-connect with nature, then the Peak District is ready with a warm welcome.
Trains from nearby cities of Sheffield and Manchester run into the heart of the Hope Valley (for Castleton, caves and the Pennine Way) and to Buxton just outside the national park boundary, but close to many popular areas. Buses travel into and throughout the Peak District from other nearby towns and cities including Nottingham and Derby, Macclesfield and Chesterfield. The Hope Valley Explorer is a seasonal bus service run in partnership with the National Park Authority, and usually operates from Easter and throughout the summer holidays (sorry, no service currently due to Covid-19 restrictions).
As well as the above rail and bus services, international airports at East Midlands and Manchester are less than an hour’s travel to the national park, with locations such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Leeds and Doncaster Robin Hood airports just a little further.