The Peak District is one of Britain’s most popular National Parks, due to its outstanding natural beauty as well as it being easily accessible from many of the UK’s largest cities such as Birmingham and Manchester. There are 16.1 million people who live within an hour’s drive of the park, and almost everyone in England is within a five-hour drive.
The popularity of the Park stems from the vast array of activities on offer which includes walking, climbing and other outdoor pursuits. The scenery on offer within the Peak District is also beautiful, and the park boasts over 202 square miles of open access land. There is also a wide range of accommodation options available, ranging from campsites to hotels.
Those who are not overly familiar with the Peak District may wish to visit one of the many visitor centres to find out how to best use their time in the park. Staff members in the visitor centres specialise in advising visitors on how to access some of the parks most iconic landmarks such as Kinder Scout, as well as how to remain safe whilst being in the great outdoors. There are four different visitor centres based in Bakewell, Castleton, Fieldhead and Upper Derwent.
Cycling is one of the most popular outdoor pursuits for visitors of the Peak District with a number of cycle hire centres being available. A series of disused railway lines are now used as cycle tracks and provide great opportunities for gentle traffic-free riding in the national park. The cycle centres provide visitors with information on trails and routes, as well as renting a range of equipment from bikes themselves to safety gear.
The Peak District National Park Authority also lays on a number of organised walks for those interested in both hiking and exploring the national park. These are one of the best ways to see the park as many of the routes are structured around famous peak district land marks such as Kinder Scout. The walks are also an educational experience with navigational training being available for those interested in walking independently in the future. More detailed information about these walks is available on the ranger guided walks page of this site.
The Peak District is not just an ideal holidaying location for those interested in extreme sports with a range of other activities available as well. The Peak District follows a code of access for all, meaning it has implemented a number of facilities to ensure that disabled visitors can also enjoy the park. These include a series of paths which are suitable for wheelchair users.
Accessing the Peak District is relatively easy with a wide range of public transport options being available. Trains run from both Manchester Piccadilly and Sheffield to a number of towns within the park such as Derwent and Hope. Bus services are also available and tend to end up in the town of Buxton. A national express service from London to Manchester stops in Buxton and cuts through the middle of the park.
The Peak District provides a wide range of activities and pursuits for visitors which range from some of the best climbing spots in the country, to educational centres. The diverse range of activities on offer makes the park suitable for all including young children and the disabled.