first national park, established in 1951, is visited by
people from all over the world. They come to find peace,
tranquility and adventure, experiencing some of England’s
finest climbing, caving, walking and cycling.
at the heart of England, The Peak District’s very
special qualities are well known to the people who live
in the towns and cities that surround the National Park
but for visitors from further away, whether from Britain
or abroad, the magic of the Peak District is just waiting
to be discovered.
Peak District has numerous interesting and exciting tourist
attractions. Probably the chief among these is Chatsworth
House - a magnificent house set in a landscaped park which
is the home of the Duke of Devonshire - major landowners
in the area. This is followed by Haddon Hall outside Bakewell
- the home of the Manners family, who are the Dukes of
Rutland. Haddon Hall is notable because it was left untouched
for many centuries before being restored in the early
20th century. It now shows just what a medieval manor
house looked like.
you are interested in history then the Peak District has
many places of interest. These range from the Stone Circles
at Arbor Low and Stanton Moor, through the hill fort at
Mam Tor and the Norman Castle (Peveril Castle) at nearby
Castleton through to Richard Arkwright's original cotton
mill (the world's first) at Cromford. See our 'Ancient
Monuments' page for more about these. In addition, there
are numerous fine churches, such as Tideswell Church,
known locally as 'The Cathedral of the Peak. See our 'Local
Churches' page for a fuller list.
are numerous interesting towns to explore. Buxton
is the one with the longest history, having been founded
by the Romans, who exploited the warm spring water to
build thermal baths, for which the town became very popular
in the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result it has some
magnificent buildings, notably the Georgian Crescent and
the Opera House. It now has a thriving music and arts
festival each summer.
was founded in Saxon Times and is the home of the Peak
District National Park Authority and is a busy market
town notable for its livestock market. To the south lies
Ashbourne, another market town founded by the Saxons,
now the southern gateway to the Peak District.
the north, Glossop is a
former mill town which is the gateway to the northern
part of the Peak, controlling the routes across the Pennines.
More mill towns lie around the western and south-western
fringes of the Peak - Macclesfield and Leek,
both former centres for the manufacture of silk.
development is surprisingly recent as access to it from
the south was difficult until the 19th century, but after
this it developed rapidly as a spa, and it is now the
county town of Derbyshire. Matlock Bath has numerous tourist
sites and is a popular destination for day-trippers.
far from Matlock, Wirksworth
is another ancient Saxon market town which was once the
centre of the local lead mining industry, which has left
it with narrow winding streets and rows of quaint miners'