Explore the Peak District

Last updated: November 27, 2021

Crowd-free Britain: We spotlight a different area of the UK each time in this series. We’ll look at crowd-free attractions and those that cater for barrier-free travel, sustainability, well-being and families, so you can plan your trip

Read more articles in this section

The pastoral beauty of the Peak District is perhaps one of the UK’s greatest charms. There in the rural heart of England, perched between Manchester and Sheffield is an ever-undulating landscape of glorious patchworks topped by the windy peaks of Mam Tor and the Great Ridge, their hills tumbling down into rocky gorges, pretty cobbled villages, ancient ruins and ornate stately homes.

Covid in the Peak District

Visitors are still recommended to wear masks on public transport (the Peaks have surprisingly well-connected bus and train services) and in enclosed public spaces. Keep an eye on latest updates.

What to see in the Peak District

The Peaks themselves are of course at the top of any itinerary and there are few better spots to admire them than from the ridges and viewpoints along the circular walk that leads to the summit of Mam Tor, itself enjoying sweeping vistas of the Derbyshire countryside.

Afterwards, stroll back down to charming Castleton for a light lunch or a pint in Ye Old Nags Head or The George, or take a picnic and find a secluded spot over a stile — but beware the curious cattle!

Cyclists should ride the Monsal Trail (hire cycles at Blackwell Mill if you don’t have your own, or walk if you prefer) if only to cycle through the Headstone Tunnel and over the pretty viaduct that runs through the middle of a lush valley and offers superb views of the hills and the river running below.

Alternatively, try idyllic Dovedale, a perfect option for families with smaller children as the walk is uncomplicated but highly rewarding, with delightful country views and perfectly languid picnic spots by the river.

Escape the crowds in The Peak District

The South Yorkshire side of the Peaks are slightly less popular with out-of-town visitors than elsewhere, but the walks and villages are no less charming with miles of moorland, leafy forests and a lovely collection of restaurants snuggled into country hotels, ruggedly pretty villages and old manor houses.

Walkers should begin in Dunford Bridge just north-west of Sheffield and visit Winscar Reservoir and the old rail line at Woodhead Tunnel that forms a part of the Trans-Pennine Trail.

But if you crave a little urbanity or an afternoon tea, then visit Buxton for the famous mineral waters and Opera House (currently closed), or for something in-between, journey to the edge of the Peak District to visit the opulent gardens and stately elegance of Chatsworth House (pre-booking essential).

Peak District checklist

  • Be prepared to change your destination if it's full
  • Watch out for wildlife – some areas have been recolonised thanks to lockdown, so tread carefully
  • The traffic light system is currently not in operation, but if areas become crowded it may be reviewed
  • Check ahead if you are visiting attractions as many still have to be pre-booked.

Useful links Find up-to-date guidance on travel, safety, Covid-19 research and more.

RightRooms believes all information to be correct at time of going to press. As guidance, research and facts around Covid-19 are changing constantly, the information provided here is for general information only and does not constitute professional advice. Please check with venues, locations and attractions before travelling.

Read our full disclaimer._