The Peak District is the oldest national park in the United Kingdom, so you know that any walk here is going to be steeped with both history and beauty. The Peak District combines open landscape with rolling hills, meaning that there really is a walk for everyone. Whether you are looking for a gentle stroll absorbing the scenery or a challenging hike up one of the peaks, there will be a walk for you in the Peak District. Our article will give you a tick list of our favourite walks in the Peak District, so that you can start ticking them off your list too!
Time: 3-4 hours
This trail allows you to take in the beautiful countryside of the Peak District whilst following the River Dove for part of the walk. Although not the shortest of walks, it can be enjoyed by all the family as it is not a particularly strenuous walk and has things for the whole family to enjoy, from stepping stones over the river (providing the river is not running too high or fast!), to taking in the views at the summit of Bailey Hill. There are plenty of places to stop for a picnic along the way, and you could even pause the walk to explore the local village on the route.
2. Kinder Scout
Time: 4-5 hours
Kinder Scout is a well known walk in the Peak District, notorious for its dramatic cliffs and breathtaking views. This walk forms part of the Pennine Trail, so it is well maintained in most parts, meaning that although this is a longer walk it can be attempted by those not used to navigating on trails – just make sure that you are ready for the climb! The main benefit of this walk is the views that come from being at the highest point of the Peak District!
The amount of history surrounding Kinder Scout is unrivaled, with the Mermaid Pool and Edale Cross. Not only this, but the moorland surrounding Kinder Scout held a protest back in 1932 linked to allowing people to walk in the region. This led to a change in the law, meaning that moorland could be hiked on by anyone throughout Britain.
3. Mam Tor
Time: 2 hours
The walk up to the top of Mam Tor is a lovely one with a relatively gentle incline considering the height that you get to at the top (providing you choose the more sedate longer route!). Not only that but at the top you will have views of the sweeping valley surrounding you, along with the Cave Dave limestone valley. However, speaking from experience, be careful to stick to the track, otherwise you could find yourself having to climb some rather steep inclines!
NOTE: A large part of this walk is through farmland, so we would recommend keeping any dogs on the lead for a lot of this walk.
4. Chatsworth Estate
Time: 2-3 hours
This circular walk around the Chatsworth Estate will allow you to take in all the wonders and beauty of the park, whilst never being too far away from “home”. The walk can be adjusted depending on the ability of the walkers and how far you are wanting to go, making it perfect for both a short, family stroll and a longer walk. The park is steeped in both history and nature, with parts of the walk allowing views of Chatsworth House itself. If you are lucky you will also be able to enjoy spotting the estate’s deer! As if that wasn’t enough, there are tearooms and a restaurant close by, which is well deserved after completing this walk!
5. The Roaches and Lud’s Church
Time: 5 hours
This route is one of the Peak District’s White Peak trails, which leads past the infamous gritstone formation ‘The Roaches’. Not only that but you will walk through the Lud’s Church chasm, which has a story of its own to tell, with the history of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight battling in this very spot! If you are lucky then you might even be able to spot a peregrine falcon or two! There are a number of dramatic scenes on the walk that really look as though they are stepping straight off a film set! Well worth the time it takes to complete the walk!
6. Bakewell and the River Wye
Time: 4-5 hours
The River Wye is a picturesque river, teaming with wildlife, so it would have been impossible to not include this in one of our top 10 walks in the Peak District! This walk allows you to take full advantage of this, with much of the walk following the edge of the river. You will also get to walk over the disused railway viaduct (part of the Monsal Trail) to visit Monsal Head.
This walk also provides an opportunity for you to visit the quaint towns of both Bakewell and Ashford-in-the-Water, two lovely towns filled with little shops and cafes full of treats to tempt you!
NOTE: There are a number of walks leading off from Bakewell village. This village should definitely be a must on anyone’s To-Do list, so if a 16km walk is too much for you, opt for one of the shorter circular routes that lead out of the village and up the Wye – there are plenty to choose from!
7. Saddleworth Moor
Time: 4 hours
You would be hard-pressed to find someone that hasn’t heard of Saddleworth Moor…but what about finding people that have walked over the moor? This vast landscape is perfect for if you are wanting a relatively undisturbed walk, as the number of routes and exposed moorlands means you won’t be following a mass of people the whole way! The only downside to this walk is that it is linear, but you will find a number of local trains and other public transport options available to get you back where you started!
8. Chrome Hill
Time: 3 – 4 hours
This circular route is fantastic if you are wanting a bit of a workout whilst you take in the sights of the Peak District countryside! Known as the Dragon’s Back range, these ‘true peaks’ of the Peak District are famous for the way they resemble the plates along a stegosaurus’ back! The route will take you up all 7 of the ‘plates’, with beautiful views to behold at the top of each one! Watch out though….the climbs are short but they will get your legs working!
9. Padley Gorge
Time: 1 – 2 hours
The route round Padley Gorge is a nice, short one that is perfect for filling a couple of hours on a family holiday! The route is relatively easy but this doesn’t take away from the stunning views and nature that will surround you throughout the walk. Largely following the River Derwent, surrounded by woodland, this walk provides a magical feel that you would be hard pressed to find anywhere else!
NOTE: There are plenty of spots on this walk perfect for a picnic, but if completing the walk on a colder or wetter day – why not make the most of one of the local inns to warm up with some country food?
10. Hathersage and Stanage Edge
Time: 3 – 4 hours
Follow in the footsteps of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre by completing this wild and rugged walk through valleys, caverns and moors. Hathersage is well known for being a much loved town of the Bronte sisters, and the setting to the wonderful novel Jane Eyre, but that is not all this town (and walk!) has to offer. This walk allows views for miles over the surrounding countryside of Derbyshire, and the impressive sights of the rock formation, Stranage Edge.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the highest point in the Peak District?
Kinder Scout is the highest point in the Peak District, standing 636 metres above sea level. It features at number 2 in our top 10 walks in the Peak District, so if you are wanting another badge to add to your belt then this walk is well worth undertaking!
What mountains can I visit in the Peak District?
A mountain is any landform that rises at least 300 meters above sea level. There are a number that can be found in the Peak District, including; Kinder Scout, Mam Tor (also known as the Shivering Mountain), Win Hill and Higher Tor. Standing just under the ‘mountain’ title is Thorpe Cloud, but don’t let this put you off…it is well worth a visit.
Are there any wheelchair accessible walks in the Peak District?
There are a number of accessible walks in the Peak District that are suitable for anyone with limited mobility. These include; Dove Stone, Lyme Park, Monsal Trail, Derwent Dam and Dovedale (however there are many more). Just be sure to check for parking in the area as many walks in the Peak District start in smaller towns that could have more difficult parking!