The Peak District National Park encompasses over one hundred towns and villages within its boundaries, and many more bordering the park.
In this list, we’ll explore the most popular ones and discover what they are famous for. Then, we’ll provide a complete list, including notable towns and cities nearby.
Summary (Quick List):
Best & Biggest Town: Buxton
Best Village for Underground Wonders: Castleton
Best for Outdoor Activities: Edale
Best Nearby City: Sheffield
The image below shows a visual representation of where all the major towns and villages are within the park.
Most Popular Villages and Towns in the Peak District
Castleton, located in the High Peak, is famous for the impressive ruins of Peveril Castle. It’s also known for its four show caves, including the Blue John Cavern, renowned for its unique blue-veined mineral. Nestled in the heart of the Peak District, within the stunning Hope Valley, Castleton offers a variety of outdoor activities like hiking and caving, all easily accessible from the town.
Among the most popular walks in Castleton are Cavedale, just outside the village, and Mam Tor, which offers beautiful views from the hills above the village. Additionally, Castleton is recognized as the starting point for the Limestone Way.
Bakewell, known for more than its famous pudding, draws visitors with its attractive stone buildings, pubs, and the medieval five-arched stone bridge spanning the River Wye.
This scenic town also hosts a lively market and the annual Bakewell Show, which celebrates local agriculture.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Bakewell’s connection to the Monsal Trail offers the chance to enjoy cycling and walking along the converted railway line, with further access to the Chee Dale stepping stones.
View the top things to do in Bakewell, where we list all the main attractions.
Buxton, the largest town in the Peak District with a population of over twenty thousand, is a prominent spa town. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular, with lots of things to do in Buxton, including art galleries, museums, independent shops, and rich cultural heritage throughout the town.
The town centre boasts a renowned Peak District spa hotel located in the Buxton Crescent, alongside the popular pumping station, which has been serving water to visitors since the 1890s.
Matlock Bath is a unique and picturesque village known for its scenic charm and rich history. It’s particularly famous for its thermal springs, which have made it a popular spa destination since the 18th century.
The village is lined with a variety of attractions, from quaint tea rooms and traditional shops to exciting arcades. The highlight of Matlock Bath is its location along the River Derwent, offering stunning riverside walks and boat trips.
For adventure seekers, Matlock Bath is home to the Heights of Abraham, a hilltop park accessible by cable car, providing breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. This area is also well-known for its thrilling walking trails, including the picturesque path leading to the famous Lovers’ Walks.
Matlock Bath comes alive during its annual Illuminations event, featuring a parade of illuminated boats and a delightful display of lights.
At the southern end of the Pennine Way, Edale is a magnet for walkers and nature lovers.
Surrounded by the highest peaks of Kinder Scout and Mam Tor, it offers some of the best walking trails in the country, along with a peaceful village atmosphere, which is conveniently connected via a train station that runs from Manchester to Sheffield.
This beautiful village is a poignant reminder of the past, famous for isolating itself during the plague outbreak in the 17th century.
Visitors can learn about its history at the Eyam Museum and visit the historic Eyam Hall, showcasing local craftsmanship.
The famous Chatsworth estate is also just a short drive from the village.
Set in the Dove Valley, Hartington is known for its picturesque village square, traditional shops, and the remains of a Norman motte and bailey castle.
The village is a perfect starting point for exploring the nearby Beresford Dale and Wolfscote Dale.
Every town and village in the area boasts its unique charm and narrative, providing a mix of historical fascination, natural beauty, and a hospitable welcome to everyone who visits.
Towns & Villages in the Peak District (A-Z) – Full List
- Abney, Derbyshire
- Aldwark, Derbyshire
- Alsop en le Dale
- Aston, High Peak
- Birch Vale
- Blackwell in the Peak
- Bradwell, Derbyshire
- Bretton, Derbyshire
- Burbage, Derbyshire
- Calton, Staffordshire
- Castleton, Derbyshire
- Chapel Milton
- Charlestown, Derbyshire
- Chatsworth, Derbyshire
- Combs, Derbyshire
- Crowden, Derbyshire
- Dale End, Derbyshire
- Darley Dale
- Derwent, Derbyshire
- Diggle, Greater Manchester
- Dore, South Yorkshire
- Dove Holes, Buxton
- Dunford Bridge
- Earl Sterndale
- Ecton, Staffordshire
- Elton, Derbyshire
- Fenny Bentley
- Flagg, Derbyshire
- Flash, Staffordshire
- Friden, Derbyshire
- Froggatt, Derbyshire
- Furness Vale
- Great Hucklow
- Great Longstone
- Greenfield, Greater Manchester
- Grindon, Staffordshire
- Hadfield, Derbyshire
- Hargate Wall
- Harpur Hill
- Hartington, Derbyshire
- Hayfield, Derbyshire
- High Bradfield
- High Lane, Greater Manchester
- Higher Dinting
- Hollow Meadows
- Holme, West Yorkshire
- Hope, Derbyshire
- Hulme End
- Ilam, Staffordshire
- King Sterndale
- Lane, West Yorkshire
- Little Hayfield
- Little Hucklow
- Litton, Derbyshire
- Load Brook
Cities & Towns just Outside of the Peak District
I’ve focused on places strictly within the Peak District National Park boundaries for the above list. However, numerous towns and cities lie just outside the park’s borders. Staying in these areas can be a more affordable option if you’re planning a visit near the Peak District.
15 Mins from Peak District (5 Miles)
Often called “The Steel City”, Sheffield is renowned for its industrial heritage and its role in the steel industry. Today, it’s a vibrant city with a mix of modern and historical charm. The city is also known for its green spaces, like the beautiful Botanical Gardens and the large expanse of the Peak District on its doorstep.
30 Mins from Peak District (13 Miles)
A powerhouse of the North, Manchester is famous for its influential music scene, sports teams, and rich industrial history. It’s a bustling city with a vibrant arts and culture scene, including museums like the Manchester Art Gallery and the Science and Industry Museum, alongside a thriving nightlife.
15 Mins from Peak District (6 Miles)
Known for its Victorian architecture, Huddersfield is a historic market town. It boasts impressive buildings like the Huddersfield Railway Station and the Town Hall. The town is also surrounded by picturesque nature, including Castle Hill, offering panoramic views of the surrounding Peak District countryside.
5 Mins from Peak District (3 Miles)
Sitting on the edge of the Peak District, Leek is known for its Victorian and Georgian architecture. It’s a market town with a history in the silk industry, offering a range of antique shops, art galleries, and local markets. Nearby, you can explore the stunning landscapes of the Roaches, a prominent rocky ridge next to Hen Cloud.
12 Mins from Peak District (5 Miles)
Famous for the ‘Crooked Spire’ of its Church of Saint Mary and All Saints, Chesterfield is a market town with a rich history. The town center hosts a bustling market, and Chesterfield is also known for its proximity to the stately home of Chatsworth House, one of Derbyshire’s most famous landmarks.
5 Mins from Peak District (2 Miles)
A historic market town known for its medieval street pattern and historic buildings, Ashbourne is often referred to as the gateway to the Peak District. It’s famous for its annual Shrovetide football match, a unique and historic game played through the town’s streets.
6 Mins from Peak District (3 Miles)
Once the world’s biggest producer of finished silk, Macclesfield is a market town with a rich textile heritage. It’s known for its Silk Museum and Paradise Mill. Macclesfield is also close to the Peak District, offering easy access to the natural beauty of the surrounding area.