The mountainous regions of the Scottish Highlands contain some of the most stunning views in nature with a diverse and rare wildlife population to match. Amongst the miles of wilderness live around a quarter of a million inhabitants in communities spread throughout the area, still making it a sparsely populated area...
Lake District Guide
For walking, water sports and world-famous scenery, no area of the UK can rival the Lake District's breathtaking natural heritage. Spectacular vistas, charming villages and cosy pubs all contribute to the region's unique, year-round appeal...
The Cotswolds are a range of picturesque, rural hills located in central England. Sometimes called the 'Heart of England', the area is characterized by its small attractive towns and villages that are built from a yellow oolitic limestone. This type of limestone contains large quantities of fossils, not to mention history...
If you travel to Snowdonia, then you are in for a real treat. All of the lakes, castles, waterfalls, and steam railways will give you such a surreal experience that you won't be able to believe it is all real...
Yorkshire Dales Guide
The Yorkshire Dales are among the jewels of Northern England, with much of the area officially designated as protected national parkland. It is a region of great scenic beauty comprising lush green valleys crested with white limestone cliffs...
Derbyshire's Peak District boasts stunning scenery that draws holidaymakers in all seasons. As Britain's first National Park established in 1951, the 500 square miles of hilly countryside has a lot to offer its visitors.
Around 38,000 people live in 125 parishes in the Park, and it contains an array of hotels, cottages, B&Bs and guesthouses to accommodate its tourists. The local towns and villages including Matlock, Buxton and Bakewell comprise unique art and antique shops, as well as factory outlets and local markets so there is plenty to explore if you are too tired to climb the peaks! The rugged scenery of the Peak District makes it a popular destination for climbers, walkers, cavers and cyclists from all over the world.
By Air: There is a Skyline bus service between Manchester Airport and Buxton every half hour. From Nottingham East Midlands airport an Air Line bus runs to Derby.
By Train: The Buxton Line runs from Manchester, as well as the Hope Valley Line between Manchester and Sheffield.
By Road: Exiting the M1 motorway at junction 29 will leave you with approximately 18 miles away, while the east junction 34 is 12 miles.
By Coach: The number 440 from London and Manchester follows the A6 and stops at Matlock, Matlock Bath, Bakewell and Buxton.
As seen in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film, Chatsworth House is one of Britain's grandest historic estates. Inside, famous art and sculpture adorns the walls. Outside in the gardens you will find further artistic design and a large fountain. Home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the 100 acre park, farm shop and restaurant is open year round, with its many other features like the maze open seasonally.
Hardwick Hall is also worth a visit. This 16th century Tudor mansion includes the Great Chamber and Long Gallery, and features a collection of period needlework and tapestry. Outside, there is 300 acres of gardens and woods.
Another expansive attraction is the Derwent Valley Mills. This world heritage site extends 15 miles down the river from Matlock Bath to Derby, and contains mill complex with some of the world's first modern factory designs, watercourses, settlements, and some early steam railways. It was at Derwent Valley Mills where water power was first implemented in textile fabrication.
Inevitably, one of the main reasons people visit the Peak District is to explore the mountainous area. One of the most famous areas that visitors enjoy walking a part of is the Pennine Way. The entire stretch covers 270 miles from the Peak District through the Yorkshire Dales, into Northumberland and the Cheviots and ending in the Scottish Borders. In the Peak District, it begins at the Nag's Head in Edale, and walkers often follow the path around Kinder, Jacob's Ladder and the Downfall.
As well as walking, climbing is also a popular activity enjoyed in the area. You can have a go as a beginner on a climbing holiday or course as there are many available to try, or more experienced climbers will find plenty to test them. With peaks including Rubberneck, Himmelswillen and Sunset Slab, and crags like Froggatt Edge and Horseshoe Quarry, there have been more than 10,000 recorded climbs that cover small crags to steep rock faces. The District is often considered to be at the forefront of rock climbing. The different areas are known as White Peak, which is composed of limestone and traditionally less favoured; and Dark Peak which is a rough sandstone called millstone grit.
Matlock Bath is an area of the Peak District where you will find plenty of tourist activity. The Heights of Abraham is a hilltop park set atop a limestone gorge. It is reached by taking the alpine-inspired cable car that has been in place since 1984. As well as its two underground caverns, visitors can enjoy the woodland tracks and surrounding views. There are also exhibitions, gift shops and eating facilities as well as adventure playgrounds for the kids. Also at Matlock Bath, you can keep the kids amused at Gulliver's Kingdom; a theme park especially for kids.
May: Belper Carnival and Arts Festival - featuring a range of music and performance.May - Sept: Well dressing ceremonies and celebrations are held at different times of the year throughout the towns and villages of the Peak District.
July:Buxton Arts Festival - A variety of literature, music, and operatic performances at different venues around the town.
August: The Bakewell Show and the Bakewell Arts Festival take place. The Bakewell Show features local food produce and cider with air show displays. The Arts Festival features folk musicians and a host of other artists at various venues.
September:Matlock Bath displays its Illuminations and Venetian Nights with floodlit cliffs and lighting designs. The Venetian Nights occur on Saturdays and Sundays with decoratively lit boats gliding down the river culminating in firework.
Throughout the Peak District, there are a number of pubs that offer comfortable accommodation and a good meal. At Hathersage, the Plough Inn has a cosy and friendly atmosphere with food to match. The Waltzing Weasel at High Peak provides quality dining with a strict no music, no machines and no mobiles policy if you want somewhere quiet. Grindeford is home to the Sir William, which hosts live 60s music on Sunday evenings and barbecues in the summer as well as dining year round.
At Ye old Nags Head in Castleton this 17th century coaching house features a selection of malt whiskies and real ale. It also has its own tea rooms where you can enjoy a cream tea, home-cooked meals or desserts. In the evenings the restaurant has an a la carte menu.
Another choice for daytime snacks is Hathersage's Cintras Café & Restaurant. Its tearooms have been existed for more than 50 years, and you can find an array of breakfasts, homemade cakes and homemade meals.
To find more exotic cuisine, The Village Taverna provides authentic Greek dishes. You will find it at the small village of Eyam.
For night time entertainment aside from the plethora of pubs, Buxton has a 70s style bar and disco called Gaslight. At Matlock Bath, the indie nightclub Brody's has a small but loyal crowd of partygoers. For larger clubs there is more to choose from at Derby where popular dance and RnB clubs include the Blue Note and Gatehouse.
For some more refined entertainment, see what the programme is for the Buxton Opera House.
When you have explored some of the wilderness of the Peak District and you want to see what the towns have to offer, there are many local independent shops and art galleries for you to browse. The Peak Village factory outlet shopping centre in Rowsley is a large centre containing more than 26 factory outlets covering items of houseware, clothing and gifts. There are also restaurant and coffee shop facilities as well as a fitness centre. The Old Barn in Castleton is also quite a large establishment selling gift and outdoor clothing ranges.
The Bakewell Farmers Market is a regular occurrence offering locally grown produce and locally made crafts. Also in Bakewell, Treeline is a contemporary arts shop selling art and craft items with modern furniture designs.
For something to appeal to old and young alike there is the Toys of Yesteryear Exhibition and Collectors Shop in Peak Village, Rowsley. It contains collectable and reproduction toys from olden days, and has a fully working model Hornby train in store.