Peak District National Park

Your Complete Guide to the Peak District National Park

The Peak District national park is Britain’s oldest and was established in 1951. Since then, this hilly, atmospheric moorland has welcomed thousands of visitors and showcases the rugged beauty of parts of Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. 

The majority of our properties in the park are located in the southern areas of the Peak District, including popular spots like Bakewell, Matlock and Chesterfield. This guide has been curated so that you can navigate the national park with ease and plan your trip around the area well in advance to avoid disappointment!

After consulting our local experts, we have divided this guide into sections based on where our holiday cottages are: Bakewell and Eastern Peaks, Buxton and Western Peaks and Matlock and Southern Peaks. Hopefully this way you can get some inspiration for your holiday and wrap your head around the geography of the national park at the same time. 

Bakewell and Eastern Peak District

Eyam Grave


Eyam is a small village that is known locally as the Plague Village. During the 17th century outbreak of the infamous plague, Eyam managed to shut itself off from the outside world - a 1600s lockdown of sorts. The village has its very own museum where you can learn all about how the villagers navigated the Black Death. Eyam is also still a thriving place with lots of shops, cafes and beautiful buildings and scenery for you to enjoy. 

Monsal Trail

Monsal Trail

This 8.5-mile trail runs along the former Midland railway route and is popular with walkers, cyclists and dogs alike. This route showcases where natural meets industrial in the Peak District and includes stepping stones, natural springs, lime-kilns, and the old station at Millers Dale. The Monsal Trail also passes through six tunnels and there is a chance to see the River Wye waterfall at Water-Cum-Jolly. 

Buxton and Western Peak District

Pond with small fountain at the Pavillion Gardens in Buxton

Pavilion Gardens Buxton

These picture-perfect gardens are perfect for a stroll in the sun. Found in the historic spa town of Buxton, the Pavilion Gardens will take you straight back in time to the Victorian era in which they were built. With an array of flower gardens, water features, ice cream parlour and boating lake, the Pavillion Gardens are a must-visit if you are travelling to, or near, Buxton. 

Large rocks breaking through the green landscape at the Roaches National Park

The Roaches and Hen Cloud

The Roaches and Hen Cloud are a large rocky ridge formation that overlooks Leek in the South West Peaks and has some amazing views of the Staffordshire section of the park. The walk up here is always popular with hikers and is certainly one of the park’s most famous landmarks. Nearby the rocky summit is Doxey Pool, but beware, for it is rumoured that an evil mermaid, Jenny Greenteeth, lurks beneath the surface… If Jenny doesn’t phase you, feel free to dip your toes in the water (at your own risk!). This isn’t where the weird ends at Roaches and Hen Cloud either, for a small colony of wallabies can occasionally be spotted from here, as they have lived in the area ever since they escaped from a private zoo during the second world war! 

Matlock and the Southern Peak District

View over the river of some colourful houses in Matlock

Lover’s Walks, Matlock

The Lover’s Walks in the Matlock Dales are a series of riverbank paths that were originally built as long ago as 1742, making them the oldest example of a purpose-built pleasure ground in England. Today, the paths are home to ancient woodlands and a multitude of trees and flora, leading to it being designated a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest' by English Nature. Derwent Gardens can also be accessed via the Lover’s Walks and are well worth a visit, especially in October when they host the Matlock Bath Illuminations. 

Boats sailing on Carsington waters

Carsington Water

Right on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Carsington Water is a paradise for those who love watersports. Get stuck into canoeing, rowing, fishing and sailing but not swimming, as the water is not safe for wild swimming. Dogs are welcome at the waters but must be kept on leads.