The varied and seductive scenery of the Peak District National Park rivals the scenic beauty of any where in the land. It is an enthralling mixture of limestone peaks and crags, silver rivers, lofty wooded areas, reservoirs, caves, caverns, lonely moor and gentle green valley's interspersed with ancient stone towns and villages showing relics of a rich industrial past. Amid all of this are splendid churches, great houses and vast estates Some of these demi-palaces have been built by the wealth garnered from the Industrial Revolution, while others have stood for hundreds of years, the sole province of the aristocracy and passed down and cared for by successive generations.
Just as in the high, towering regions, the valley's of the Peak District are dominated with old stone farmsteads, hemmed in by crumbling dry-stone walls beyond which equally ancient barns offer cattle and sheep, shelter from winter storms. The sweet scented valley meadows show a rich variation of wild flowers and trees and in between, often close to a river are little hamlets with pleasant picnic spots allowing for time to tarry, and soak up the quiet atmosphere.
Walking is a favoured past time in the Peak District National Park, it is after all wonderful walking terrain giving the wanderer views beyond belief and glimpses of the regions ancient past. The stone circles of Arbor Low and the Nine Ladies on Stanton Moor are evidence of early occupation and Bronze Age burial mounds can be seen on almost every hill top on the higher peaks. It was the Romans who first discovered the mineral wealth of the Peak District and some quarrying continues to this day. Lead production was most important, so was the wool which helped build churches and finance splendid properties.
The walker, and the naturalist who is searching through woods on the high ground, needs to be aware of the swift change in weather conditions. Climbs that lead up from the sunny ambience of the valley floor can take you through densely wooded areas to peaks and moors were a dramatic change in climate can bring icy wind, rain and swirling mist.
An ancient culture of well-dressing continues in many of the Derbyshire villages threaded throughout the Peak District. The villagers deck the wells in lovely flowers and ceremonies are held in thanks giving for the purity of the waters, and in many cases, a safe deliverance from the plague of centuries ago.
Of the estates in the area the great historic house of Chatsworth is by far the most magnificent. It is situated near Bakewell and both house and attractive grounds are open to the public. Haddon Hall is another handsome property and is also close to Bakewell. The much earlier Peverill Castle was built by William Peverill following the Norman Conquest. It was used as the administrative centre for the Royal forest of the Peak. In medieval times the forest was a private hunting ground for Monarchs and their retinue, sadly crumbling ruins are all that remain of this once romantic building.
Close to Edale, the start of the Pennine Way, you can find a collection of caverns-all of which can be visited. Blue John, Treak Cliff, Speedwell and Peak Cavern are just a short distance from the ruinous Peverill Castle. Another tourist spot is in the south-eastern region of the landscape. The cable cars of the Heights of Abraham soar high above Matlock and give splendid view of the undulating Derbyshire countryside beneath. This pictursque area has a holiday-like atmosphere, it offers a lot of fun for children and has caverns, industrial relics and a museum, there are ample picnic spots, with Riber Castle being just a short distance away.
Towns to visit include; Matlock, Ashbourne, Bakewell, Buxton, Chapel-le-Frith, Glossop, and in the far north of the region there is Meltham, while on the edge of the Peak District, in the same area lies the scenic beauty of Holmfirth, the famous setting for the television series Last of the Summer Wine.
In the towns and villages you will find attractive local shops selling amongst other goods, beautiful sculptures depicting the wildlife of the National Park. Jewellery made from semi-precious stones mined in the area is also on sale. There are antique shops selling old and recent, locally made ceramics, paintings and silver ware-the list really is endless. Good inns and hotels cater well for all visitors including hikers with a hearty appetite and a great thirst!
Wherever you go in this magnificent region you will not be short of things to do or to see. Rarely have I come upon a National Park that embraces such a diverse mixture of beautiful scenery, rich and varied wildlife, towns and villages alive with so much interest, and monuments to both past and present. It is therefore not surprising to find that the Peak District National Park is perhaps Englands most visited National Park, it is also a national treasure chest of all things beautiful and natural, it is quite beyond compare.
Please upload your photos of Peak District National Park or see below for towns & villages near Peak District National Park and a list of other nearby attractions to visit.
Setting its chilling history to one side, this is a village with a lot to offer. It is hidden away in a matchless location above the limestone peaks of Middleton Dale in the Peak District...
in the county of Derbyshire(3.0 miles, 4.9 km, direction NE)
The town now takes advantage of its superb position, operating mostly as an attractive place for tourists...
in the county of Derbyshire(3.5 miles, 5.6 km, direction W)
Tideswell is famous for its superb, large church, known as the "Cathedral of the Peak"...
in the county of Derbyshire(4.2 miles, 6.8 km, direction SE)
Set amidst the stark loneliness of the High Peak the village of Baslow is surrounded by some of the finest historic properties to be found in Derbyshire...
in the county of Derbyshire(4.6 miles, 7.4 km, direction S)
The village was a centre for candle making, noted for lead mining and made famous by the discovery of Ashford marble which was first quarried by Henry Watson in 1748...All towns in Derbyshire
Built to be impregnable, the ruins of Peveril Castle stand on a steep ridge with dramatic views in all directions, giving the.....
Peak Cavern is one of the finest of the many underground caverns of this area. It lies beneath Peveril Castle at the centre of.....