The Peak District is one of the UK’s premier destinations for breath-taking scenery, wonderful walks and simply getting away from it all. With so much to see and do within its 555 square-mile expanse, there’s plenty here to keep visitors coming back time and time again. Here’s our top choices for destinations to visit in the Peak District in 2017.
Running from the east to the west of the north end of the Park, Hope Valley is a rugged assortment of gritstone moors, deep valleys and limestone formations. The unique landscape offers not only amazing views but world-class walks and treks suitable for all abilities. Those seeking an active holiday will feel at home in Hope Valley, as it’s the perfect spot for sports as wide-ranging as caving, pony trekking, rock climbing and hang gliding.
Two rivers divide Hope Valley: the River Derwent, and the River Noe, only adding to the variety of views to be seen here. The Pennine Way also skims past Hope Valley, along the ridge separating it from the neighbouring Edale Valley, commanding panoramic views across both valleys. Perhaps the most famous sight in the Hope Valley however is Mam Tor, also known as the Shivering Mountain, crowned by an Iron Age fort.
Hope Valley is one of the quieter spots in the Peak District, but has a few villages to visit, including Hathersage, home to plenty of shops, as well as Castleton, famous for its stores selling crafts made from the unique Blue John stone.
Book a stay in the Hope Valley region here.
To the south-west of the park lies Dovedale, a pretty area encompassing the Staffordshire Moorlands. Several valleys can be found here, offering a variety of walks as well as views out over an abundance of lush green landscape, such as the Churnet Valley. This valley is decorated with woodland and features a charming heritage steam railway, taking you through 16 miles of moorland scenery and past a host of lovingly-restored railway stations. Also in the area, visitors will find Thor’s Cave. With the entrance alone being 10m high, it’s stunning to behold, and it provides a real challenge for climbers who want to scramble to the top.
Throughout Dovedale you’ll find not only quaint chocolate-box villages but also unspoilt market towns, which retain centuries of history in their buildings and landmarks. Leek is a stand-out example, and is refreshingly different thanks to its collection of independent shops, art galleries and Victorian mills.
Plan your visit to Dovedale by viewing our selection of Dovedale cottages.
Spanning the south-eastern section of the Peak District is Carsington Water, a large reservoir collecting water from the River Derwent. The reservoir itself is an attraction but there is also plenty to explore in the surrounding south-eastern region.
Part of this region encompasses the Derwent Valley, as well as a 55-mile heritage trail stretching across the valley and past attractions such as the Chatsworth Estate. For a more unusual way to scale the heights of the valley take a cable car to the very top of the Heights of Abraham, looking out over the surrounding countryside as well as the town of Matlock. This area of the Peak District is also steeped in industrial history; it is home to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, where towns such as Belper played a significant role in cotton-making.
Heights of Abraham
The Cromford Canal also offers a peaceful and scenic walk without having to scale any of the towering hills the Peak District is famous for. Along the way, walkers can spot a diverse variety of wildlife, from the threated water vole to grass snakes and coots.
Visit this region of the Peak District with a stay at our Carsington Water cottages.
To the east of the Peak District lies the market town of Chesterfield, which acts as a great base from which to enjoy a number of different attractions in the area. Chesterfield itself is definitely worth exploring, if only to behold the sight of the enormous St Mary and All Saints Church. Built in the 14th century, the remarkable church spire, with its unique twisted shape, reaches 228ft above the ground, and is topped by 32 tonnes of lead tiles.
Just a few miles outside of Chesterfield visitors will find a number of amazing beauty spots and delightful walks; among the highlights are the Cresswell Crags and Stanage Edge. The walks in this region cross mile after mile of moorland, which becomes carpeted in colourful heather in the late summer, while the landscape is dominated by towering landmarks such as Over Owler Tor and Higgers Tor.