As the weather improves, so does our motivation to head out into the hills to appreciate spring in all its glory. The UK’s first National Park in England is a popular destination and it is easy to see why. Loved by so many, the Peak District is filled with an array of spectacular locations to explore for walkers, bikers, climbers, paragliders or those just wishing to sit and soak up the scenery for a while.
If you are wondering where to start, here are the top five places in the Peak District according to Lifeventure.
Our first recommendation has to be the highest point in the National Park, Kinder Scout. At 636 metres above sea level, this plateau was made famous in 1932 due to the mass trespass walk which protested for walkers rights to have access to open country. It is also home to Kinder Downfall, the tallest waterfall in the Peak District. Boasting an impressive 30 metre drop over the plateau edge, climbers can even be seen climbing up the frozen falls in cold winters.
With many flocking to this iconic location using the number of routes available, many under-estimate the dangers that a change in weather can bring, with mountain rescue teams regularly being deployed to help those unprepared. So make sure to be knowledgeable with navigation and take your map and compass, plus your waterproof map case and waterproof bag, as rain is a common occurrence.
Known by many as home to the starting point of the UK’s first long distance trail - The Pennine Way, Edale offers a multitude of walks taking in some wondrous views. A visit to the summit of Mam Tor is usually on the top of most people's bucket list, with views stretching across the Edale valley, Derwent Moors and even Kinder Scout. A trip to Mam Tor wouldn’t be complete without also walking along ‘The Great Ridge’ which offers extensive views every step of the way.
For those wishing for more of a challenge, why not take on the Edale Skyline! A 20 mile route often hiked within only 10 hours. Whichever option you choose, ensure to take along your flask so you can sit and enjoy the view for a while, you have earned it!
The Roaches & Lud’s Church
Less challenging than the peaks of Kinder Low and the ridges above Edale, however no less interesting, is a walk near the village of Gradbach. At The Roaches, interesting rock formations carved out by years of weather shape these gritstone rocks that provide folk tales of mythical mermaids. Heading down into the deep chasm that is Lud’s Church, filled with the green glow of moss and ferns, it is said Robin Hood and Friar Tuck hid in this narrow defile from the authorities. It truly is like stepping into another world, with plenty of nooks and crannies to explore.
A popular beauty spot which includes both lakeside woods and moorlands. Weave through the majestic woodlands as you catch glimpses of the water, then head out and up into Midhope Moors for some stunning views. Get there early to enjoy the sounds of woodpeckers, owls and treecreepers within the trees and soak up the tranquillity of the water.
The Monsal Trail
This beautiful route through the limestone dales is both wheelchair and pushchair friendly. Marvelling at the history of the former Midland Railway and walking through the tunnels are just a few of the highlights. Be warned though, the tunnels are only lit during daylight hours, so take along a torch in case you get caught out.
Side trails head off from the 8.5 mile trail for those more adventurous wishing to explore the woodlands, rivers and nearby hills.
A fitting end to the walk is Hassop Station Cafe where you can enjoy a cuppa and a cake, muddy boots and dogs are of course welcome!
Have you visited any of these places on your trips to the Peak District or wish to share your favourite location? Please do so below as we would love to hear what you think.