One of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in the whole of Britain, the Peak District National Park contains spectacular scenery, wonderful wildlife, historic sites, and a wide range of outdoor attractions.
It became the first area to be designated a National Park in 1951 and is still the fifth largest in England and Wales, covering an area of 555 square miles across six counties – Derbyshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, with its highest point behind Kinder Scout, in Derbyshire, at 2,087 feet.
Estimates vary concerning the number of visitors annually, but it is thought to be the second most visited National Park in the world, behind only Mt Fuji in Japan. It is split into two parts, the northern Dark Peak, which is mainly moorland and gritstone, and southern White Peak, where most of the population live and the geology is mainly limestone-based. Park boundaries were drawn up to exclude built-up areas and industrial sites, but the town of Bakewell and numerous villages were included within the boundaries, which is why Bakewell is now regarded as the capital of the Derbyshire Peak District.
The diversity of landscapes and rich cultural heritage has created recreation opportunities from adrenaline sports to leisurely rambles. Millions of people visit to get active, escape the pressures of everyday life, explore creative activities and learn about landscapes, cultural heritage and wildlife. The landscape also provides wider-reaching benefits like fresh water, flood prevention, food and carbon storage.
A few numbers….
- Over 38,000 residents living and working in the Park
- People have lived here for over 10,000 years
- Over 1,600 miles of rights of way to explore across the ‘White Peak’ and ‘Dark Peak’ areas of the national park.
- Over 30 miles of level and surfaced former railway line trails, giving access to the Park for everyone