Ah, the Peak District. One of England’s most beautiful places. A national park and playground for hikers, mountain bikers and rock climbers.
Dotted with villages and small towns, the Peak District is one of those places that seems almost magical.
The scenery can go from rolling vistas like this:
To wild views like this in just a few minutes drive:
It truly has everything. There are also beautiful reservoirs, ideal for an afternoon hike, and plentiful pubs in which to end your walk.
It is in one of those pubs that I was sitting when the idea for this post hit me. I was in the Devonshire Arms in Pilsley when my companion remarked ‘this place is bloody perfect, isn’t it?’
‘The pub?’ I asked, halfway down a pint of beer and a little tired.
‘Nah. I mean this.’ They gestured out of the window. ‘This whole place. We don’t get scenery like this at home.’
They’re right. Surrey and the Peak District are very different. Both beautiful in their own way, but the Peaks seem somehow more peaceful. Everything is more sedate, slower. In Surrey there’s always the distant hum of a motorway or airport, and some of the viewpoints in the Surrey Hills include the skyline of London or the arch of Wembley in their vistas.
I never feel truly lost when I’m out in the Surrey Hills. Civilisation is always a short hop away. In the Peak District, it can feel like a different world.
My favourite place in the Peak District is Baslow. I’ve holidayed in the village many times, because of the easy access to Chatsworth House on foot and I’m a sucker for the gardens there.
But hop in the car, head pretty much any direction out of Baslow, and you’re in the Peaks proper. Eyam, the village famous for quarantining themselves during the Black Death, is a short drive away. Bakewell isn’t far. Heck, you can get anywhere pretty quickly by car in the Peak District, and there are ample laybys to park in and soak up the views.
If driving isn’t your thing, take to two wheels and explore the place either on or off road. I intend to bring Sherman (my xc bike) with me on my next trip and I have a guide to the Peak District off road trails.
And of course the whole place is explorable on foot. Pick a base for the week and head out into the hills. Or do what some friends and I did at uni once, and plan a ‘pub walk’ – breakfast at one pub, lunch at another, dinner at another and a good hike in between all of them. It was a fun day out!
So I write in praise of the Peak District. A place with views for days, a ton of things to do outdoors, and most of all, a place to find inner peace.
I’m just one woman who loves the place. I’m no expert. Why not visit and see for yourself?
This post is not sponsored and all views are my own.