12 Reasons Why You Should Explore England's Peak District

Ladybower Reservoir, Peak District
Ladybower Reservoir, Peak District | © Shahid Khan/Shutterstock
Emma Lavelle

The Peak District is one of England’s most intriguing National Parks, spreading out over five counties in the north of England. Lovers of the outdoors will delight in the natural scenery in the region with seemingly never-ending options for hikes. Do we need to further convince you why to visit this scenic region? Here are 12 reasons why everyone should explore the Peak District.

It was the UK’s first ever National Park

There are currently 15 National Parks in the UK, 10 of which are based in England. The Peak District was the very first National Park to be established, back in 1951. If you love the outdoors, these protected areas of natural beauty are the very best places to explore in the whole country. There’s a lot of history in the Peaks – a mass trespass on Kinder Scout in 1932 initially sparked a debate about the right to roam in the countryside, leading to the establishment of the first ever National Park two decades later.

The Peak District

The landscapes are dramatic and diverse

The views are out of this world

There are so many incredible views in the Peaks that it’s hard to name just one or two spots where you can soak up the scenery. Of course, if you walk up one of the many peaks or along a ridge you will be rewarded with epic views and many of the roads sweeping through the landscape offer dramatic vistas along the way. If you’re searching for one of the most iconic views in the area, head to Winnat’s Pass, Chrome Hill or Derwent Edge.

The Peak District

Its home to the UK’s favourite country house

Chatsworth House, the country house used to represent Mr Darcy’s home in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice, is located in the heart of the Peak District. Even if beautiful landscapes aren’t your thing, it’s more than worth the journey to the National Park just to explore the interior and gardens of this majestic house. For a small charge you can wander around the house and admire the collections of paintings, antique furniture and other artefacts.

There are countless traditional pubs

Following a long walk in the hills, there’s nothing better than retreating to a cosy country pub for a roast dinner and a refreshing pint of local ale by a roaring open fire. The Peaks are scattered with pubs – each village has at least one and there are many others located along the roads. Even if walking isn’t your thing, you could easily while away a few hours on a rainy afternoon warming up by the fire.

The Peak District

It’s where the Pennine Way starts

One of Britain’s best known, toughest and most well-loved walks has its roots in the Peak District. The Pennine Way is a rite of passage for many hikers; a 267 mile route on tough terrain that snakes up the centre of the country all the way into Scotland. The trail officially opened in 1965 and is still one of the most popular walking trails in the UK. Starting in Edale, the route begins with a tough climb up Jacob’s ladder, setting the pace for the journey ahead. Many hikers flock to the area to take on the beginning stretch of the route.

There are endless interesting natural structures

The Peak District is rife with intriguing landmarks, most of them natural structures beckoning attention. Up in the Dark Peak, there are dramatic rocks in places such as Derwent Edge and unusual features such as Winnat’s Pass. Further south, limestone structures such as those around Dovedale grab your attention and there are mysterious landscapes lurking in unusual places, such as Lud’s Church.

The Peak District

It’s full of quaint villages

If you’re looking for picturesque villages, you can’t go wrong in the Peak District. All around the National Park you’ll find quintessentially British villages, towns and small dwellings that are full of old stone buildings, independent shops and traditional pubs. Buxton and Hathersage are two of the largest and most interesting towns, but make sure you visit some of the smaller villages such as Castleton, Eyam and Tideswell.

It’s one of the best areas of the UK for hiking

We’ve previously mentioned the Pennine Way, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to walking in the Peak District. This is one of the most exciting areas of the UK for hiking with many peaks to conquer and trails to explore. Up in Edale, Kinder Scout and Mam Tor are popular hiking spots, while further south there are still many interesting trails to discover. Whether you love the challenge of climbing hills or prefer slow and steady countryside walks, there’s something for everyone in the Peaks.

Hiking trails in the Peak District, Derbyshire

There are many country fairs to experience

All throughout the year there are many interesting events in the Peaks, offering opportunities for both locals and visitors alike to enjoy the local cultures and traditions. The abundance of country shows across the region are focused around farmers showing off their livestock, but most have been given a modern spin to involve artisan markets, craft fairs and children’s activities. Hope Show, Bakewell Show and the Chatsworth Country Fair are three of the most iconic fairs in the area.

It’s home to several unique museums & galleries

There’s a surprising array of exciting specialised museums and art galleries in the Peak District, offering everything from steam railways to a silk mill. Alongside Chatsworth House there are many other historic houses to visit, offering plenty of options for rainy day activities. Visitors to Buxton with an interest in crafts and culture should make a beeline for the local museum and gallery that houses archives of photographs, paintings and ceramics.

Chatsworth House in the Derbyshire Dales

There are vast networks of caves to explore

The Peaks are not only known for their beautiful landscapes, but also for what lies beneath the surface. The National Park contains several interesting cave systems, all featuring popular show caves and subterranean dramatic structures. Perhaps the most well-known, Poole’s Cavern is filled with crystal stalactites and has a large show cave open to the public most days of the year.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article