The Peak District is an area of great natural beauty with rugged, peat-covered moorlands and
magnificent limestone dales, with picturesque towns and villages, historic churches and some grand houses.
It is the location of Britain's first National Park - the Peak District National Park, which is the the world's
second most visited National Park. The Peak District is located in the central northern part of England,
covering parts of the counties of Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire and South Yorkshire.
Peak District Tourist Attractions
The Peak District has numerous interesting and exciting tourist attractions, from
great houses to caverns and stem railways.
Probably the biggest single attraction is Chatsworth House - a magnificent
house set in a landscaped park which is the home of the Dukes of Devonshire - but there are many other great houses, such as
Haddon Hall, Lyme Hall and
Hardwick Hall - built by Bess of Hardwick, one of the most powerful
women of the Elizabethan era - and many others. See our
'Great Houses' page for information about these.
There are numerous museums in the area - ranging from formal museums like
Buxton Museum, to outdoor ones such as Crich Tramway Museum.
See our Museums page for a complete list.
The Peak District also has show caves at Castleton and
Buxton, steam railways at Churnet Valley
and Peak Rail and a cable railway at Matlock Bath, while Alton Towers - one of Britain's biggest
theme parks - lies just outside the Park Boundary, within easy reach for a day trip. See our Caverns, Theme Parks and Railways page for a full list
Peak District History
If you are interested in history then the Peak District has many places of interest. These range from the Stone
Circles at Arbor Low and Stanton Moor,
through the hill fort at Mam Tor and the Norman Castle
(Peveril Castle) at nearby Castleton
through to Richard Arkwright's original cotton mill (the world's first) at
Cromford. See our 'Ancient Monuments' page for more about these.
In addition, there are numerous fine churches, including Tideswell Church, known locally as 'The Cathedral of the Peak.
See our 'Local Churches' page for a fuller list.
Peak District Walking, Cycling & Outdoors
The Peak District is a great place for outdoor activities and in summer and at weekends fills with walkers and cyclists.
To find out more, sample our Peak District walking and
and Peak District cycling routes. We also have outline information about minority sports such as rock-climbing,
caving and hang-gliding.
Peak District Towns and Villages
has some lovely buildings dating from its heyday as a spa town - notably the Georgian Crescent and the Opera House. It also
has a thriving music and arts festival each summer.
Bakewell was founded in Saxon Times and is the home of the Peak District
National Park Authority. It is a busy market town notable for its livestock market. To the south lies
Ashbourne, another market town founded by the Saxons,
and the southern gateway to the Peak District.
In the north of the Peak District Glossop
is a former mill town which is the gateway to the routes across the Pennines, while on the western fringes of the Peak
are more mill towns -
Macclesfield and Leek, which were both
once centres for the manufacture of silk.
Matlock lies almost in the centre of the region and was once a
spa, and is now the county town of Derbyshire. Not far away, Wirksworth is an ancient Saxon
market town which was once the centre of the local lead mining industry, which has left it with narrow winding
streets and rows of quaint miners cottages.