Peak District is one of the most stunning areas in England, boasting of its rugged landscapes, rolling hills, and ancient woodlands. The region is known for its walking trails, offering something for everyone, from gentle strolls to challenging hikes. In this article, we will be Discovering the Best Walks in Peak District, providing you with detailed information to help you plan your next adventure.
The Peak District happens to be the most ancient national park in Britain. Its extensive array of walking and hiking trails caters to all ages and skill levels. The park’s reputation is closely tied to its distinct gritstone cliffs and limestone caverns.
There are boundless expanses of moorland plateaus and sharp peaks to discover, along with countless charming villages and towns, like Castleton and Bakewell, that boast a plethora of pubs and cafes to choose from. Read about What You Need to Prepare for Wild Camping if you will be camping too.
Planning your trip to the Peak District
When to go
The Peak District is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit is during the spring and summer months when the weather is mild, and the landscapes are lush and vibrant. If you prefer to avoid crowds, consider visiting in the fall or winter when the trails are quieter, and the changing foliage is stunning.
Where to stay
The Peak District offers a range of accommodation options, including campsites, B&Bs, and hotels. If you prefer to stay in the heart of the action, consider booking a room in one of the charming towns or villages located near the trails. Bakewell, Castleton, and Edale are popular choices for hikers.
While public transportation is available in the Peak District, it can be limited, especially on weekends and holidays. Consider renting a car if you want to explore the trails at your own pace. Alternatively, you can join a guided tour or hire a local guide to lead you on your hike.
You can read our article about experiencing the rugged landscapes of the Scottish Highlands in spring- A guide to the best camping spots you need to go a little further.
Best Hikes in the Peak District
The Peak District offers an extensive network of trails that cater to hikers of all levels, from beginners to advanced. Here are some of the best hikes that you should consider:
Kinder Scout Hike: A Challenging 10-mile Circular Trail
If you are looking for a challenging hike in the Peak District, the Kinder Scout Hike is an excellent choice. This 10-mile/16km circular trail is best suited for experienced hikers who are ready for a difficult climb to the highest point in the Peak District at 636 metres above sea level.
The hike takes approximately five hours to complete, and it starts from the visitor centre. From there, you will take a small path down to the river before eventually making your way up Jacob’s Ladder. This is both the most challenging and best part of the hike.
The ascent is steep, but the reward at the top is worth it as you will be treated to stunning views over the Peaks, including a glimpse of Mam Tor, one of the other popular hikes in the Peak District.
The hike follows the plateau, and eventually, you will make your way down to the Old Nags Head Pub, which is perfect for a hearty lunch, dinner or even an overnight stay, as there are two cottages on site.
Overall, the Kinder Scout Hike is a difficult trail that is best suited for experienced hikers looking for a challenge. The views from the top are truly breathtaking and make the climb worthwhile.
Mam Tor Walk: A Must-Do Hike in the Peak District
If you’re planning a trip to the Peak District, the Mam Tor Walk should definitely be on your to-do list. This 3-mile/5 km circular trail takes only two hours to complete, making it an ideal choice for families, novice hikers, and anyone with limited time. Plus, the panoramic views of the surrounding countryside are absolutely breathtaking.
The Shivering Mountain: Mam Tor’s Unique Nickname
Mam Tor, standing at 517m (1,696 ft), is also known as the Shivering Mountain due to the landslips and erosion that have caused its summit to constantly shift and tremble. Despite this, the path to the summit is well-maintained and easily accessible from the Mam Tor Car Park.
Enjoy the Stunning Views of the Peak District
The views from Mam Tor are truly spectacular, encompassing the Edale Valley, Kinder Scout, and the Derwent Moors. As you make your way up the stone footpath, you’ll also pass over the Great Ridge, providing even more opportunities to take in the stunning scenery.
Ideal for Hikers of All Levels
Although the Mam Tor Walk is relatively easy, it’s still a worthwhile hike for seasoned hikers as well. The well-maintained path makes it a popular choice for families and dogs, so you’ll likely encounter other hikers along the way.
Afternoon Tea in Castleton
Don’t forget to take advantage of the local offerings in Castleton. The Three Roofs Cafe and Tilly’s are great options for an afternoon tea break after your hike.
Where to Stay: YHA Castleton Losehill Hall
If you’re looking for a place to stay in the area, I highly recommend YHA Castleton Losehill Hall. This affordable accommodation is located only a few minutes from the village and offers a unique experience in a gothic mansion surrounded by acres of countryside. It’s also an ideal base for exploring the nearby Winnats Pass Walk and other hikes in Hope Valley.
In summary, the Mam Tor Walk is a must-do hike in the Peak District, offering stunning views, easy accessibility, and a unique geological landmark. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice, this circular trail is the perfect way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
Stanage Edge Walk and Bamford Edge Walk: A 10.5 Mile Hike Through Peak District’s Stunning Cliffs
If you’re up for a longer hike in the Peak District, the Stanage Edge Walk and Bamford Edge Walk should definitely be on your list. This 10.5 mile/17 km trail starts in the charming village of Hathersage and takes you along the breathtaking cliffs of Stanage Edge and Bamford Edge.
North Lees Hall: Inspiration for Jane Eyre?
As you make your way to Stanage Edge, you’ll pass by North Lees Hall, a 16th-century manor that is believed to have inspired the home of Mr Rochester in Charlotte Bronte’s novel, Jane Eyre.
Hiking Along Stanage Edge
Once past the hall, you’ll continue onto Stanage Edge, one of the most impressive gritstone escarpments in the Peak District. The rock face is a popular spot for rock climbers, so you may see some climbers scaling the cliffs as you hike along the edge. You’ll also notice the abandoned millstones and grindstones that are now iconic features of the Peak District landscape.
Panoramic Views from Bamford Edge
After hiking Stanage Edge, you’ll cross the rough moorland onto Bamford Edge, which offers panoramic views over Ladybower Reservoir. This is a great spot to take a break, snap some photos, and soak in the stunning scenery.
Back to Hathersage
The final part of the hike takes you through quiet meadows as you make your way back to Hathersage. Once you’ve completed the hike, be sure to reward yourself with a hearty meal at The Scotman’s Pack.
Stunning Views of the Derwent and Hope Valley, Mam Tor, and Kinder Scout
Throughout the hike, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of the Derwent and Hope Valley, as well as iconic landmarks like Mam Tor and Kinder Scout. The cliffs of Stanage and Bamford Edge offer unparalleled views of the surrounding landscape, making this hike a must-do for any Peak District visitor.
Family-friendly walks in the Peak District
Tissington Trail Circular Walk: Easy Hike through Open Fields
If you’re looking for a scenic and easy walk in the Peak District, the Tissington Trail circular walk is a perfect choice. This 6-mile/9.6 km hike starts and ends at the car park of the charming village of Tissington, located at the southernmost tip of the Peak District.
The trail is relatively easy and takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete, making it a great option for families with children or anyone looking for a gentle hike. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the open fields that the Peak District is known for.
After your walk, be sure to stop at Herbert’s Tea Rooms on the village green for some delicious cake and a cup of tea or a glass of prosecco. This dog-friendly café also serves meals and cream teas, and its outdoor seating is perfect for soaking up the summer sun while people watching.
If you’re planning to stay overnight in Tissington, the Bentley Brook Inn is a great option. This traditional country inn serves hearty meals that are perfect for refuelling after a day of hiking.
Overall, the Tissington Trail circular walk is a relatively easy hike that’s perfect for anyone looking for a scenic stroll through the beautiful open fields of the Peak District.
Monsal Trail – An Easy and Scenic Walk in the Peak District
The Monsal Trail is an easy and flat 8-mile/13.5 km walk, perfect for those with prams and wheelchairs. It runs along the former Midland Railway line between Chee Dale (close to Buxton) and Coombs Road in Bakewell, following a section of the former Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway.
Visiting off-peak is advised as it gets very busy with cyclists on sunny weekends and school holidays. Along the Monsal Trail, there are a series of long tunnels (up to 400 metres long) that are operated by light sensors from dawn to dusk, making it safe for hikers to use them.
For a shorter walk, there is a 4 mile/6.4 km stretch from Hassop Station up to Monsal Head and back again. This route passes through what’s left of Great Longstone Station, through the Headstone Tunnel, and offers stunning views from Monsal Head.
After the walk, enjoy the Peak District views and treat yourself to a Peak Ale at the characterful Stables Bar at Monsal Head Hotel before returning to Hassop Station.
This walk is best suited for families with young children, elderly people or anyone looking for an easy and flat walk.
Eyam Moor Walk – A Moderate Circular Hike with Stunning Views
The Eyam Moor walk is a hidden gem in the Peak District, offering stunning moorland views on a clear day. This 4-mile/6.3 km circular hike takes you across the moorland and through woodland along Highlow Brook, before climbing up through open pastures.
Considered a moderate-difficulty walk due to the steady climb out of the valley, it takes only 1.5 to 2 hours to complete, leaving plenty of time to explore the fascinating village of Eyam.
With a dark history centred around the bubonic plague in the 17th century, Eyam is commemorated today with small plaques outside the cottages detailing the names, ages, and dates of those who died in that specific home during the plague.
The Eyam Moor Walk is best suited for those looking for a moderate hike with stunning views, and an interest in history and culture.
Tips for hiking in the Peak District
The weather in the Peak District can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to dress in layers and wear waterproof clothing. Comfortable hiking boots are also a must, as many of the trails include rocky terrain and steep ascents.
When hiking in the Peak District, it’s important to bring plenty of water, snacks, and a map or GPS device. Sunscreen, insect repellent, and a first aid kit are also recommended.
While many of the trails in the Peak District are well-marked, it’s still important to carry a map or GPS device and know how to navigate. Familiarize yourself with the trail before setting out, and be prepared to make adjustments if necessary.
Hiking in the Peak District can be challenging, so it’s important to take proper safety precautions. Let someone know your itinerary before setting out, and carry a charged cell phone in case of emergencies.
In case of inclement weather or other emergencies, be prepared to turn back or seek shelter. our article about Explore the Convenience of Portable Power Banks for Outdoor Use can help you with what you need to know. also read about Essential First Aid Tips for Safe and Confident Camping
Conclusion about Discovering the Best Walks in Peak District
The Peak District is a hiker’s paradise, with stunning natural beauty and an extensive network of trails to explore. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or a family-friendly stroll, the Peak District has something for everyone. By following our tips and recommendations, you can plan your next adventure in this incredible destination with confidence.