Discovering the Peak District

Despite being a keen walker I explored very little of the Peak District in my younger days. A few trips climbing at Stanage and Froggatt, but for walking I tended to bypass this area in favour of Snowdonia, the Lakes or Yorkshire Moors. Over the last few years though I have visited this beautiful National Park more regularly and it really is fantastic. 

There is so much available in the Peak District National Park. It covers 555 square miles and reaches into five counties. The hills and dales are beautiful and provide excellent walking to rival any mountainous area. The view from the top of Mam Tor is stunning and the ridge to Lose Hill is a joy. Kinder Scout is the highest point in the Peak District and is a vast area of wilderness. And with 20 million people living less than a one hour drive away, the Park can offer so much to so many.

There are quirky places like the inland ‘seafront’ promenade of Matlock Bath, the Peak Wildlife Park complete with Polar bears, and the stunning caverns near Castleton. The area is steeped in history, such as the impressive Chatsworth House. The architecture and remnants of industry and the railways reflect this. 26,000 miles of dry-stone wall. And local cheese, beer and Bakewell Tarts anyone? 

There is walking history too. The Pennine Way begins next to the Old Nags Head pub in Edale and the area was clearly adored by Wainwright and his peers. Accounts of the Pennine Way’s inception can be found in Ron Scholes’ latest book – A Pennine Odyssey. The mass trespass, where 500 people walked to Kinder Scout, led to secure access rights to open country after parts had been fenced off by land owners. And The Peak District was the first space to achieve National Park designation. 

What an absolute pleasure it has been getting to know the Peak District! Some of my reflections have been included in this series of Peak District articles.

Approaching Dove Dale looking towards Thorpe Cloud

With so much brilliant walking to choose from it’s hard to pick a favourite, but here is mine:

Hartington to Beresford Dale, Wolfscote Dale and Biggin Dale.
Click here to find out why. 
Peak District Sign Post

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