Tideswell Peak District National Park Derbyshire England

Things to do in the Peak District

A diverse destination sandwiched in between some of the most beautiful areas of the Midlands, Yorkshire and the North West, the Peak District is ideally located for those who want to escape city life.

This wild and untamed National Park area offers more than just scenery, so here are our top 10 things to do in the Peak District.

For more ideas for your visit to the Peak District, view the best places to visit in the Peak District.

River running through a park in Buxton

1. Unwind in Buxton

Buxton is a brilliant place to base yourself in to combine adventure in the Peak District with some relaxing time at the spa. As well as the famous Natural Mineral Baths and array of pampering and wellness facilities, there is plenty of local culture and history to immerse yourself in. Enjoy gorgeous Georgian and Victorian architecture, the local museum, the opera house, boating lake and Pavilion Gardens.

High street and town on a hill in Matlock Bath

2. Stroll Matlock Bath

This romantic, rural village runs along the River Derwent and is nestled into a green, forested hillside. Offering a day trip that’s full of local character, Matlock Bath is home to an aquarium, a museum, a preserved cotton spinning mill, and several peaceful spots for a stroll, such as Lover’s Walk and Derwent Gardens.

Walks through the valley above Castleton

3. Castleton’s show caves

One of the best things to do in the Peak District is to make the most of its natural treasures, including its many caverns and caves. Ready and waiting for exploration, the Castleton caves are rated among the best show caves in the country.

There are many to choose from, but Treak Cliff Cavern is the one to choose for stalactites and stalagmites. Just remember to bring your sturdy walking shoes.

The bridge at Bakewell spanning the River Wye in the summer

4. Picnic in Bakewell

The Peak District is full of cosy, picturesque countryside towns, with Bakewell chief among them. It’s best known for the tasty pastries and puddings that take its name and its rows of quaint cottages. Bakewell is therefore a great place to pause and pick up specialities from the local bakeries and markets.

Take your treat haul to the banks of the River Wye for a picnic, cross the 14th century bridge and browse the array of art galleries, gift shops and craft shops.

Bridge crossing the river on the grounds of Chatsworth House

5. Visit Chatsworth House

Close to Bakewell is the imposing Chatsworth House. This grand stately home in the English Baroque style just happens to belong to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.

There is plenty to do across its 105-acre garden, 25 rooms, farmyard, playground, restaurant and, of course, its outstanding collection of artworks.

The eagle-eyed may recognise it as the filming location for several period dramas, including Pride and Prejudice.

the pond and Lyme house at Lyme Park

6. Spot deer at Lyme Park

Located on the Cheshire side of the Peak District is the National Trust’s Lyme Park. As well as a magnificent mansion, the estate boasts gardens and moorland.

That said, it’s the deer park that sets this magical place apart from the rest. Lucky visitors can come here to watch rare red deer during rutting season in October, when may just catch a glimpse of a stag. Or watch baby deer from a safe distance during the spring. This park is an absolute must for wildlife lovers.

Ariel of a bridge over a river along the Monsal Trail

7. Trek the Monsal Trail

There are many great walking trails in the Peak District. The Monsal Trail is popular with experienced trekkers and novice walkers alike. This traffic-free route is set along an old railway line and is a great entryway to the local scenery.

Variety is key here. You can tackle the trail on foot, pushbike, or even on horseback. It’s also suitable for wheelchair users.

Roller Coaster in the Peak district

8. Go for a ride at Alton Towers

Once you’ve walked the White Peak, trekked across the Dark Peak and explored the spa towns – what next? The Peak District is famously home to Alton Towers, one of the UK’s best-known theme parks.

The adrenaline rush of the rides, rollercoasters and haunted houses at Alton Towers is the perfect companion to the serenity of the scenery.

Mam Tor

9. Mam Tor

For those who would like the thrill of conquering a summit, Derbyshire’s Mam Tor is a great choice. At 517 metres, the “mother hill” is an achievable climb. Its circular walk offers panoramic views that will stay in your memory for years to come.

A moderate route that takes just a couple of hours out of your day, this is one for the whole family. Friends with four paws are sure to love it, too.

a village in the hills surrounded by woodland in Matlock

10. The Heights of Abraham

Tucked away between Matlock Dale and Matlock Bath, the Heights of Abraham is a hilltop park with sweeping views. The draw here is the chance to scale its heights via cable car.

This is a breathtaking adventure that will take you to a summit where there are walking trails, guided cavern tours and gorgeous woodland paths. There is even a selection of restaurants and cafes here, offering dining on high with a spectacular vista.

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