How to Spend 24 Hours in the Peak District

24 Hours in the Peak District
24 Hours in the Peak District | © Shane Rounce / Unsplash
Emma Lavelle

The Peak District is vast, spreading into five counties (mainly Derbyshire but also Staffordshire, Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire). History buffs will also know that it was the very first National Park, and it is favoured by walkers, because the Pennine Way starts in the north Peaks. It’s impossible to explore the entire Peak District in just 24 hours, but here is a short guide to one way that you can explore the area in a day.


Our itinerary is based around the White Peak, the southern part of the National Park where there is a lot of limestone (the area to the north is known as the Dark Peak and is predominantly moorland). For a day exploring the White Peak, we recommend basing yourself in Buxton, a bustling spa town that isn’t too far away from some of the more interesting sights in the area.

To start your day with a full stomach, head to No. 6 The Square for a delicious breakfast in a beautiful Regency building. Their full English breakfast is guaranteed to satisfy your hunger, but our personal choice is the special avocado toast served on sour dough with a pomegranate garnish.

After breakfast, allow some time to wander around Buxton, admiring the Pavilion gardens and perhaps popping into a couple of shops.

When you’re ready to leave, hop in the car for a short drive to Pool’s Cavern. It’s one of the most impressive show caves in the country. Visitors can take a short tour beneath the earth to explore the caves and witness the impressive crystal structures and stalactites for themselves.

Buxton Crescents

No. 6 The Square, 6 The Square, Buxton +44 1298 213541

Pavilion Gardens, St John’s Rd, Buxton +44 1298 23114

Pool’s Cavern, Green Ln, Buxton +44 1298 26978


After leaving Pool Cavern’s, take the A53 south to find The Knight’s Table, a traditional pub with roaring open fires, exposed beams and a stone floor. Here, you’ll find a menu filled with pub favourites, like bangers and mash, steaks, scampi and pies (alongside several vegetarian options) – perfect for washing down with a half of local ale.

Following lunch, head further south before turning off to the right in the direction of Lud’s Church. This unique natural landmark is one of the most interesting places in the whole of the Peaks, reached from a short walk uphill through the forest after parking at Gradbach car park. The huge cleft in the rock is descending into via a series of stone stairs, leading through several tight passages to discover secret hiding places and a huge chasm, all with its own microclimate. The walls of the cleft are covered in vivid green moss and ferns, providing an otherworldly ambiance.

Following your hike, head back to Buxton to spend the late afternoon lounging in the Devonshire spa. Spend your time indulging in specialist treatments, including massages, salt scrubs or facials, or simply enjoy the hydrotherapy pool, steam rooms and saunas.

Luds Church

The Knight’s Table, Quarnford, Buxton +44 1298 23695

Lud’s Church, Leek ST13 8TA

Devonshire Spa, Devonshire Royal Campus, Devonshire Rd, Buxton +44 1298 338408


After a pub lunch, chances are that you’ll prefer something a little lighter for dinner, so we recommend local favourite, Simply Thai. Not only is the food beautifully presented, it’s full of authentic Thai flavours and features an array of nutritious ingredients. Choose from a variety of main meals, including steamed dishes, stir fries, curries and their speciality seafood dishes, or opt for one of the set menus to sample several dishes off the menu.

Following dinner, perhaps check out what’s on at the Buxton Opera House. Alongside the annual Buxton Festival, a variety of musical, theatrical and comedy performances are regularly held here with big names frequently taking to the stage. Alternatively, head down to the Buxton Tap House to sample a few pints of beer brewed close by at the Buxton Brewery. With 18 beers on draft, 16 on keg and fridges stacked full of bottles, beer lovers will be happy staying here all night, working their way through the list and perhaps even buying a few bottles to take home as a memento. If you’re not a beer drinker, Tap House also has an impressive collection of whisky and gin.

Buxton Opera House

Simply Thai, 2-3 Cavendish Circus, Buxton +44 1298 24471

Buxton Tap House, Old Court House, George St, Buxton +44 1298 214085

landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

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.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article