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Peak District Holiday Guide 2019

Peak District attractions and activities

What to do and what to see in the Peak District

Welcome to Peak District attractions and activities offering information on what is available to do and see in the area. With a fantastic choice of exciting attractions , activities, and plenty of events, the Peak District is a perfect holiday destination to visit at any time of the year.

Visit the towns of Bakewell, Buxton, Castleton, Derby or Chesterfield for some excellent shopping , a meal, a museum or other attraction or better still stay the night and get a real flavour of the place. There are hundreds of small villages, full of history and quaint country pubs, which will provide you with a very warm welcome.

Visit the Peak District at any time of the year. During spring, daffodills , frolicking lambs and new growth give a real sense of awakening throughout the region. In summer, people flock to the area and sunny memories of a dip in the water and ice creams at Dovedale can last a lifetime but it is also possible to escape the crowds. Autumn's celebration of colour makes this a favourite season for many with shades of red, brown, yellow and gold offering a romantic backdrop for a short break. In winter, the hills take on a new character under a fresh blanket of snow.

Read more about the Peak District National Park.

Peak District Attractions

If the natural attractiveness and beauty of the Peak District is not enough, we have many other attractions to explore including museums, heritage centres ,Country houses and gardens , theme park and lots more!

The spa town of Buxton was developed by the Dukes of Devonshire as a genteel health resort in the 18th century; now the largest town in the Peak District, it has an opera house with a theatre, museum and art gallery. Another spa town is Matlock Bath, popularised in the Victorian era. Bakewell is the largest settlement within the National Park; its five-arched bridge over the River Wye dates from the 13th century. Buxton, Matlock and Matlock Bath, Bakewell, Leek and the small towns of Ashbourne and Wirksworth, on the fringes of the Park, all offer a range of tourist amenities. To the north the village of Hayfield sits at the foot of Kinder Scout, the highest summit in the area.

Historic buildings include Chatsworth House, seat of the Dukes of Devonshire and among Britain's finest stately homes; the medieval Haddon Hall, seat of the Dukes of Rutland; Hardwick Hall, built by powerful Elizabethan Bess of Hardwick; and Lyme Park, an Elizabethan manor house transformed by an Italianate front. Many of the Peak's villages and towns have fine parish churches, with a particularly magnificent example being the 14th century Church of St John the Baptist at Tideswell, sometimes dubbed the 'Cathedral of the Peak'. 'Little John's Grave' can be seen in the Hathersage churchyard.

The picturesque village of Castleton, overshadowed by the Norman Peveril Castle, has four show caves, the Peak, Blue John, Treak Cliff, and Speedwell, and is the centre of production of the unique semi-precious mineral, Blue John. Other show caves and mines include the Heights of Abraham, reached by cable car, at Matlock Bath, and Poole's Cavern in Buxton. The small village of Eyam is known for its self-imposed quarantine during the Black Death of 1665.

The Mining Museum at Matlock Bath, which includes tours of the Temple Lead Mine, and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site and Brindley Water Mill at Leek give insight into the Peak's industrial heritage. The preserved steam railway between Matlock and Rowsley, the National Tramway Museum at Crich and the Cromford Canal chart the area's transport history. The Life in a Lens Museum of Photography & Old Times in Matlock Bath presents the history of photography from 1839.

Well dressing ceremonies are held in most of the villages during the spring and summer months, in a tradition said to date from pagan times. Other local customs include Castleton's annual Garland Festival and Ashbourne's Royal Shrovetide Football, played annually since the 12th century. Buxton hosts two opera festivals, the Buxton Festival and the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, as well as the Buxton Festival Fringe, and the Peak Literary Festival is held at various locations twice a year.

Peak District food specialities include the dessert Bakewell pudding, very different from the nationally available Bakewell tart, and until 2009 the famous cheese Stilton and other local cheeses were produced in the village of Hartington.

Something for everybody.

For more information see Peak District Attractions

Peak District Activities

Activities and things to do. The Peak District has much to offer the intrepid visitor, including canoeing, mountain biking and rock climbing. We also have loads of other more sedate activities such as tours and cruises, riding centres and cycling. An extensive network of public footpaths and numerous long-distance trails as well as large open-access areas, are available for hillwalking and hiking.

Peak District Walking

Peak District Cycling

Peak District Fishing

Peak District Horse riding

Peak District Wildlife

Peak District Golf

Peak District Water sports

Peak District Rock climbing

Peak District Paragliding

Activity centres and courses

Peak District Garden centres

Peak District Photography

Peak District Dining out

Peak District Trails

Peak District Museums

Peak District Art Galleries

Some of the long-distance trails in the White Peak, such as the Tissington Trail and High Peak Trail, re-use former railway lines and are well used by walkers, horse riders and cyclists. The Park authorities run cycle hire centres at Ashbourne, Parsley Hay and Middleton Top. Wheelchair access is possible at several places on the former railway trails, and cycle hire centres offer vehicles adapted to wheelchair users. There is a programme to make footpaths more accessible to less-agile walkers by replacing climbing stiles with walkers' gates.

The many gritstone outcrops, such as Stanage Edge and The Roaches, are recognised as some of the finest rock climbing sites in the world. Potholer can enjoys natural caves found in the limestone of the Peak. Peak Cavern is the largest and most important cave system which is even linked to the Speedwell system at Winnats. The only significant potholes are Eldon Hole and Nettle Pot. There are many old mine workings, which often were extensions of natural cave systems. Systems can be found at Castleton, Winnats, Matlock, Stoney Middleton, Eyam, Monyash and Buxton.

Some of the area's large reservoirs, for example Carsington Water, have become centres for water sports, including sailing, fishing and canoeing. Other activities include air sports such as hang gliding and paragliding, birdwatching, fell running, off-roading, and orienteering.

Something for everyone !

See Peak District Activities

Peak District

Near Matlock - Luxury self-catering Pinelodges near Matlock in  Derbyshire

Luxury self-catering Pinelodges near Ashbourne in  Derbyshire


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