The Peak District National Park can be found in the centre of England, right in the middle of four major cities: Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield. My boyfriends family only lives about an hour away from the Peak District so I can’t believe that I haven’t visited sooner. Filled with cute towns, stunning mountains and hundreds of hiking paths it’s the perfect destination for a weekend getaway in the UK.
Below is my guide on spending two days exploring the beautiful Peak District (my route is coming from the South so adjust accordingly to your departure city).
Whilst not technically in the Peak District the picturesque town of Ashbourne is known as the gateway to Dovedale and the Peak Distrcit. If you are visiting on a weekend be sure to wander around the market stalls. I recommend a stop at The Cheddar Gorge Deli to pick some brunch, the baked goods are divine and very well priced.
Dovedale Stepping Stones
One of the most famous stops in the Peak District (and definitely the busiest place I visited all weekend) is the Dovedale stepping stones which were put in place in the middle of the 19th century (if you look closely you can see fossils in the stones). If you are feeling up for it you can do the 2.5km Ilam to Dovedale walk (possible in reverse also), find out more here.
This Derbyshire village is full of charming 18th century cobblestone houses and looks exactly how the movies portray England to be. We wandered up the public footpath (which can be found behind the public toilets) and through the fields which was really lovely. Also be sure to visit ‘The Old Cheese Shop’ for some of the best cheese in the country!
The steep-sided valley is a long collapsed limestone cave system. The road is one of the prettiest I’ve ever driven through and is a cyclists dream.
The road of Winnats Pass will lead you directly to the beautiful little village of Castleton. This was one of my favourite towns in the Peak District, with cobbled houses, picturesque scenery and fabulous places to eat it has everything you’d want. You can also visit Peveril castle for panoramic views of the area. I recommend stopping in at the Three Roofs Cafe for a cream tea (scones and tea for you non-british readers).
The Mam Tor mountain is one of the most famous in all of the Peak District and has one of the best walking paths on offer as well. The Mam Tor waking path provides some of the most beautiful views over Edale and the Hope Valley and should not be missed during your time in the Peak District.
Where to Stay in the Peak District
We camped up for the night at Green Acres Campsite in Edale which I recommend, we had loads of space and the bathrooms were very clean. Once we pitched our tents we walked about thirty minutes to the local pub ‘The Old Nags Head‘ for dinner. It’s a super cute, traditional English Pub with some of the best pub food I’ve had in the country. We spent quite a few hours in here eating, drinking and playing games.
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In the morning, after packing up our camping gear, we headed south to Bakewell. This cute town is most known for being the birthplace of the Bakewell Pudding/Tart. As well as walking around the village I recommend stopping by at ‘The Old original Bakewell Pudding Shop‘ for breakfast as well as purchasing the original Bakewell tart for an afternoon snack.
You can’t visit the Peak District without a quick stop at Chatsworth House, the home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire which has been passed down through sixteen generations of the Cavendish family. The stunning stately home has over 30 rooms to explore and sits on over 1000 acres of lush, manicured lawns. It is absolutely stunning!
I had the loveliest weekend exploring this pretty part of England and getting some much-needed time in the mountains and fresh air.
For more info on the Peak District and the many walking tracks click here.