The Peak District is a gem in the North, describing the jewel of Pennine land between Manchester and Sheffield.
The Peak District is a national park teeming with cultural and natural delights, from the inimitable landscape visible from Mam Tor to the majesty of the Derwent Dam and beyond. It is a fantastic place to visit year-round, with something for every season – but how should you go about exploring it?
There is no wrong way to explore the Peak District, but deciding how you’d like to get around will underpin the nature of your trip as a whole. The Peak District is the perfect playground for a rural road trip, with winding roads and stunning landscapes that deserve to be experienced from behind the wheel. If you’ve been looking for an excuse to pounce on that used BMW with the N63 V8 engine in it, a twisty trip through the Pennines is absolutely it.
That said, by car is definitely not the only way to fully enjoy the Peak District National Park. Indeed, in driving you are more or less prevented from taking in the true majesty of the land itself, from the sounds of wildlife to the fresh smells of the countryside. There are innumerable public walkways in the Peak District, that you could use to plan your own route through; alternatively, you could take to the roads by bicycle, giving you the thrill of the fresh air and the option to stop wherever you please.
Going Wild Swimming
While the Peak District does not come close to its northerly counterpart the Lake District with regard to bodies of water, it is still home to some sublime rivers and lakes well worth your time. The various benefits of wild swimming are well documented at this point, as all manner of columnists and celebrities extol the virtues of a bracing swim in natural waters.
The Peak District is an incredible place to do this, especially with places like the Three Shires’ Head and Youlgreave – but you should always make sure to pack warm clothes, and to do your research ahead of time!
The Peak District also plays host to some of the most wonderful towns and villages you’ll ever come across, each of which has its own claim to fame or signature charm. The world-famous Bakewell pudding harks from Bakewell in Derbyshire, while the village of Hathersage famously inspired Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Visiting such historic places can be a wonder, but so to can ‘going in blind’, and taking each town on its own merits and quirks.