Peak District National Park

Peak District National Park, Flash in Staffordshire, England
Peak District National Park, Flash, Staffordshire - © Kate Jewell via Wikimedia Commons

The Peak District National Park is located primarily in the English county of Derbyshire, with some areas in the counties of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. Located in the heart of England, it was the first National Park in the UK designated back in 1951, the area is known for its wonderful landscapes, market towns and villages full of character.

The area is full of history, heritage and charm; the landscape includes three character areas namely White Peak, Dark Peak and South West Peak, each has its own distinct features, ecology and archaeology. The area includes a range of wildlife and plants making it an important place for biodiversity.

The area is popular for camping, caving, fishing, day trippers, walkers and cyclists with a number of routes to explore. Visitors can enjoy the glorious scenic landscape, tranquilly and biodiversity around the area.

Quick Facts

Peak District National Park:

Year of Designation: 1951

Population: 38,000

Scheduled Ancient Monuments: 457

Conservation Areas: 109

Size in square kilometres: 1,437

Main Settlements: Bakewell and Tideswell
Located in: Mainly in Derbyshire; parts are located in Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire.
Highest Point: Kinder Scout at 636 metres.


Peak District National Park is located in the Midlands in the heart of England, the location and transport links makes it convenient to visit from many locations around England, making the Peak District one of the most visited national parks in the UK. The location means for many in England the Peak District is a popular day trip location and for those further away, it is a very popular short and longer breaks destination.

The area is famous for its scenic landscape that including rolling hills, varied landscapes and charming historic market towns and villages each with its own character and storey to tell. There are no large cities within the national park, the main settlements include Bakewell and Tideswell whilst the historic spa town of Buxton is located close by to the national park boundary.

The special qualities relating to the areas landscape including its distinctive character shown in its towns, villages and hamlets, varied wildlife and unique biodiversity, geological features, archaeology, arts and crafts industries, cultural heritage and nature conservation make Peak District a special place.

Local accommodation includes a mix of hotels, B & B’s, Guest Houses, Self Catering houses and cottages, there is accommodation available in the towns of Buxton, Matlock and Bakewell that are all conveniently located for further exploring the Peak District.

Visitor attractions in the area include Chatsworth House located in Bakewell. The historic house includes a range of attractions including the famous historic house that is home to a number of famous collections including art works. The gardens are an impressive sight, over 100 acres in size the gardens are a fine place to enjoy a scenic stroll, there are displays of tress, shrubs, ponds and a number of sculptures for visitors to look out for. The farmyard and adventure playground provides a range of entertainment for children along with education with a number of shows, displays and talks held here during the day. The park was designed by the acclaimed ‘Capability’ Brown and is approx 1,000 acres in size, it has been referred to as among the most beautiful parks in the UK.

The Chestnut Centre is located in Chapel-en-Le-frith, in the Peak District National Park. The Chestnut Centre is an otter, owl and wildlife park set amongst 50 acres of landscaped grounds and is home to a range of birds and mammals. The park is well known for its owls and otters, visitors can also see deer, polecats, Scottish wildcats, buzzards and much more. There are woodland trails visitors can follow and visitors can learn more about the abundance of wildlife and flora in the park. Established since 1984, the centre plays a dealing role in conversation and education, guided tours are available.

Treak Cliff Cavern is located close to Castleton in the Hope Valley in the Peak District. The various show caves and mines in the Peak District are well known attractions attracting many visitors providing respite from the heat in the summer or when it is raining. There are a number of fascinating rock formations visitors can see at the Treak Cliff Cavern, best known for the mineral Blue John Stone, it is the only place in the world where it naturally occurs. There are guided tours available for visitors to learn more about the rock formations and the history of the tunnels and see the underground limestone cave formations.

Peak District Villages include Bakewell, noted for being the only market town located within the national park and famous for the Bakewell pudding. Local attractions include the All Saints Church, a Grade I listed building and a number of historic buildings including the Almshouses, the Old Town Hall and the Market Hall. The town hosts a number of events and shows during the year including the annual Bakewell Show, there are regular markets still held in the town including farmers markets.

Castleton is located in the heart of the national park, noted for its scenic beauty, the village and surrounding areas have plenty to offer visitors. The area is a haven for walkers offering a great way to explore the area. The ruins of Peveril Castle are located here, close by is Mam Tor at over 500 metres in height. The area is well known for its show caves including Peak Tavern, Speedwell Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern and Blue John Cavern, each offering something different for visitors to explore.

Matlock is the county town of Derbyshire and is conveniently located close to the southern boundary of the Peak District, its location means it is a popular place for visitors to base themselves when exploring the area. The spa town of Matlock Bath is located a few miles south of Matlock. The scenic Derbyshire Dales surround the town of Matlock; local attractions include Hall Leys Park that includes a boating lake, and riverside paths, the surrounding hillsides offer some splendid views over the local areas and beyond. There are a choices of local shops, restaurants and amenities along with a number of local events.

Buxton is a famous spa town located next to the Peak District, described as the gateway to the Peak District, the town is famed for its Georgian architecture and natural spring water. Founded back in Roman times, the town has a long and rich history, local attractions include the St Anne's Well where visitors can fill their own bottles and benefit from the town’s famous spring water. The Pavilion Gardens include 23 acres of ornamental gardens, walkways, play areas and miniature railways.

The town hosts a number of famous festivals each year including the Buxton Festival, an opera based festival and was well known for previously hosting the International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival. The town includes a number of shops including independent and high street, a choice of restaurants and amenities making Buxton a popular base from which visitors can explore the local area.

Guided Walks & Activities are available in the Peak District, with professional, knowledgeable guides visitors can benefit from local knowledge and expertise with a number of walks, trails and a range of activities including cycling, sailing, wind surfing, kayaking, canoeing, climbing, caving, abseiling and more appealing to a range of interests. The activities and walks offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about the national park, its environment and benefit from the scenic beauty of the area.

Visitors can enjoy a trip to the Peak District, an ever popular destination for day trippers, short and weekend breaks and longer. The beautiful natural scenery, charming towns and villages and range of landscapes makes it a great place to relax and get away from it all or enjoy a range of outdoor pursuits, whilst enjoying the best of the English countryside.

How to Get There

The Peak District is accessible by both car and public transport.

By Car:

The market town of Bakewell includes the Bakewell Visitor Centre, Bakewell is located approx 160 miles from central London. From London, take the A5 then the M1 until junction 29 and take the A617, then take the A619 that goes to Bakewell. The approx journey time is 3 hours to 3 hours 30 minutes depending on traffic and time of day.

By Train:

The train stations at Matlock and the spa town of Buxton have regular services London St Pancreas and London Euston stations via Derby and Stockport respectively, the journey time is approx 2 hour 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on service, connections and time of day.

By Bus/Coach:

There are regular coaches available from London Victoria Coach station to stops in the Peak District including Matlock, Bakewell and Buxton. The approx journey times are 4 hours 30 minutes to 5 hours. Coach services are provided by National Express.

Contact Details

Peak District Park Authority
Aldern House
Baslow Road
DE45 1AE

Telephone: +44 (0)1629 816 200


Website: Peak District National Park Authority


View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: Peak District National Park Map

Tips & Other Considerations

The weather and climate can be unpredictable, there can be elements of all four seasons in one day. Ensure you check the weather forecast before you travel and have the correct clothing and footwear including comfortable walking shoes, fleece, raincoat and umbrella.

Follow travel advice and remain alert, vigilant and aware of your belongings at all times especially your wallet/purse and valuables and ensure they are hidden away from public view. If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to the Peak District ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. Use the journey planner for door to door directions. Check traffic updates before you travel.

If you are looking for car parking in and around the national park, ensure you fully understand the rules, regulations & charges for car parks and street parking. The rules & regulations can be complex & confusing if you are unclear, it is wise not to park there.

If you are travelling by public transport, check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, trams, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time to avoid missing the service.

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