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26 Fascinating Peak District Facts

26 Fascinating Peak District Facts

The Peak District’s expansive and mesmerizing landscape is renowned for its picturesque views, unique wildlife, and deep historical roots.

As a result, there are many mesmerising facts about the peak district that can be shared.

Facts about the Peak District

  1. The Peak District is located in central England, spanning parts of 6 counties of Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, and South and West Yorkshire. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
  1. The Peak District was the first national park in the United Kingdom, established on April 17, 1951. [Source: National Parks UK]
  1. The park covers an area of 555 square miles (1,438 square kilometres). Which is the 7th biggest national park in the UK [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]

Yorkshire Dales National Park map CC BY-SA 4.0

  1. The Peak District is divided into two main parts: the Dark Peak, where most of the moorland is found and where the ground is largely covered with peat, and the White Peak, which is characterized by rolling limestone dales. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
  1. The highest point in the Peak District is Kinder Scout, at 636 meters (2,087 feet) above sea level. [Source: Ordnance Survey]
  1. The Peak District attracts around 13.25 million visitors each year, making it one of the most popular national parks in the UK. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority, 2019]
  1. The park is rich in archaeological sites, with evidence of human habitation dating back to the Stone Age. Sites such as Arbor Low and Thor’s Cave are some of the most well-known.  [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
  1. The park is crisscrossed by a huge network of public footpaths, bridleways, and cycle trails, including the Pennine Way and the Tissington Trail. [Source: National Trails UK]
  1. Chatsworth House, located in the Peak District, is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family. [Source: Chatsworth House Official Website]
chatsworth house with sheep
  1. Buxton, a spa town located in the Peak District, is known for its natural thermal springs and has been a popular holiday resort since Roman times. The name might also sound familiar because of the iconic Buxton water [Source: Visit Buxton]
  1. The Peak District has a rich industrial history, particularly in lead mining. Evidence of this can be seen in the many abandoned mine shafts and lead rakes. There is even a dedicated lead mining museum in Matlock Bath. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
  1. The Ladybower Reservoir in the Upper Derwent Valley is the largest of three in the area, and it was used for practice by the “Dambusters” during World War II. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
  1. The Peak District is known for its distinctive dry stone walls that crisscross the landscape, a traditional method of field division. There are estimated to be around 5,000 miles of dry stone walls in the Peak District. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
  1. The park is home to several species of orchids, including the early purple orchid and the common spotted orchid. [Source: Plantlife UK]
  1. The Peak District has a rich cultural history, with links to authors such as Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte. Lyme Park was used as a location in the BBC adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice”. [Source: National Trust]
  1. Well dressing, a unique custom where wells, springs, or other water sources are decorated with designs created from flower petals, is a tradition that is particularly strong in the Peak District. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
  1. The Old Hall Hotel in Buxton, located within the Peak District, is one of the oldest hotels in England, with a history dating back to 1573. [Source: Old Hall Hotel Buxton]
  1. The Blue John Cavern in Castleton is known for its deposits of the mineral Blue John, a type of fluorite with bands of a purple-blue or yellowish color. [Source: Blue John Cavern Official Website]
Blue John cavern inside with a min cart
  1. The Peak District is home to a number of rare and endangered species, including the mountain hare and the water vole. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
  1. The Peak District is home to 2,900 listed buildings, which are buildings of special architectural or historic interest. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
  1. Peveril Castle, a ruined 11th-century castle overlooking the village of Castleton, is one of England’s earliest Norman fortresses. [Source: English Heritage]
  1. Stanage Edge is one of the most popular locations for rock climbing in the UK, with hundreds of climbing routes.  [Source: UKClimbing]
  1. The Bakewell Market, which takes place every Monday in the town of Bakewell, has been a focal point of the town since 1330. [Source: Derbyshire Dales District Council]
  1. The village of Eyam, known as the “plague village”, chose to isolate itself when the bubonic plague was discovered there in 1665, preventing the spread of the disease to surrounding areas. Not too different from our past “lockdowns” [Source: Eyam Museum]
  1. The Monsal Trail is a traffic-free route for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders through some of the Peak District’s most spectacular limestone dales. The trail is 8.5 miles long and runs along the former Midland Railway line, passing iconic spots like the Chee Dale stepping stones. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
monsal trail path tunnel peak district
  1. The Peak District contains over 30,000 hectares of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), designated for their unique geological or ecological value. [Source: Peak District National Park Authority]
  2. The tallest cave in the Peak District is Titan Shaft in Castleton, measuring 141.5 meters (464 ft) in height, surpassing the London Eye and marking it as the largest known shaft in the British Isles

If you know of any more interesting and intriguing peak district facts, feel free to get in touch so we can add them to this list!

Sources for Peak District Facts

  1. Peak District National Park Authority
  2. National Parks UK
  3. Ordnance Survey
  4. National Trails UK
  5. Chatsworth House Official Website
  6. Visit Buxton & Buxton Water
  7. Plantlife UK
  8. National Trust
  9. Old Hall Hotel Buxton
  10. Blue John Cavern Official Website
  11. English Heritage
  12. Thornbridge Brewery Official Website
  13. UKClimbing
  14. Derbyshire Dales District Council
  15. Peak Rail Official Website
  16. Eyam Museum