10 reasons why you need to visit the Peak District

visit peak district 10 reasons why
10 reasons to visit the Peak District this yearDaniel_Kay

Derbyshire’s Peak District is one of the UK’s largest and most beautiful nature reserves – it’s easy to see why it was the first area to be made a national park in the 1950s.


With stone villages frozen in time, magical walking trails through ancient woodland and the chance to snap snowy mountaintops on the horizon, the Peak District is one of the UK's best spots to visit.

There’s plenty to discover in this popular part of the countryside, whether you want a relaxing break or an active weekend away. The whole region is steeped in history too, and some of Britain’s most impressive stately homes have been built there.

Luckily, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to welcoming hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses in the Peak District. Hotels like Mosborough Hall, a manor house hotel that mixes modern sophistication with original 12th-century interiors, are ideal for those looking to get out and about in this gorgeous rural playground.

What's more, in October 2024, you can visit the Peak District on a serene drawing break where you'll be staying at the wonderful Peveril of the Peak, a country house in the tiny, picturesque village of Thorpe.

You'll spend four nights in this elegant hotel. surrounded by some of the Peak District's most inspiring landscapes. The retreat is aimed at beginners, and you'll have three full days of workshops with expert tutor Alison Carr, who'll teach you how to capture the beauty of the Peaks on your canvas.

Here are 10 reasons to visit the Peak District.

1. Magnificent stately homes

The Peak District is home to some of the finest properties in the UK - grand homes which have hosted royalty and boast stunning art collections and elegant furniture. Tissington Hall, near the picturesque market town of Ashbourne, dates all the way back to the 1600s, while Bolsover Castle is straight out of the pages of a fairytale, and has spectacular views of the romantic countryside surrounding it.

visit peak district
Anders Blomqvist - Getty Images

There's one stately home in the Peaks which really stands out from the crowd; the remarkable Chatsworth House. This glorious Elizabethan manor was originally built in the 1560s for the Cavendish family and is known for its architecture, impressive art collection and extensive gardens covering over 1,000 acres.

Prima has a special offer for a two-night stay at Mosborough Hall, a stylish manor house hotel just a quick drive from Chatsworth House. It makes the perfect base for exploring the Peaks' impressive stately homes – Renishaw Hall and Gardens, Haddon Hall and Tissington Hall are also just a short drive away.


2. Inspiring landscapes

You don’t need to travel to the Alps for spectacular mountain scenery - probably the most famous reason for visiting the Peaks is its unrivalled beauty spots. Wide valleys, rolling foothills and glassy lakes and rivers make up this remote rural region.

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Latsalomao - Getty Images

With our drawing break at Peveril of the Peak, you'll be surrounded by idyllic landscapes, perfect for capturing on paper.

Some of the Peak District's best natural attractions are nearby, including the Twelve Apostles, a group of dramatic stone pinnacles. If you want to stretch your legs there's a range of excellent of walking routes in the area, especially around the Roaches and the scenic Stanage Edge.

You'll enjoy heavenly landscapes and views without even having to leave the hotel. There are 11 acres of manicured gardens and grounds with the towering hill of Thorpe Cloud as a backdrop. And if you just want a small stroll, there's a footpath leading straight from the house to the famous stepping stones on the River Dove.


3. Charming towns and villages

Fancy a break from walking? Rest up in one of the area’s picturesque villages, where you’ll find old inns with crackling fires, artisan bakers and bubbling streams.

Bakewell, which gifted the world the famous cake, is the Peak District’s biggest town – but it’s still full of sleepy medieval charm. Or, if you’re starting a walk along the Pennine Way, explore nostalgic Edale first, with its cute stone cottages.

visit peak district   bakewell, derbyshire
Bakewellpetejeff - Getty Images

Another picture-book pretty Peak District location is delightful Pilsley, one of the three villages that form part of the Chatsworth Estate, a great option for those looking to explore Chatsworth at their own pace. Pilsley is an unspoilt village of sandstone cottages, with fantastic views over the Derwent Valley.

We recommend checking in at the Devonshire Arms, a traditional country inn in the heart of Pilsley. Here you’ll find hearty pub food, four-poster annexe rooms, and local ales behind the bar.


4. Lovely country strolls

The Peak District is a magnet for walkers and with so many routes to choose from, it’s easy to see why. Experienced hikers are spoiled for towering summits, but there’s plenty for those who prefer a more gentle amble through the countryside too.

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John Turp - Getty Images

Try a wander around the Ladybower Reservoir for unforgettable scenery that isn’t too taxing to explore, or the Monsal Trail, which runs along an old railway line between Chee Dale and Bakewell.

The picturesque village of Mosborough is another great choice for those looking for spectacular Peak District walks. You’ll be minutes from the historic market town of Chesterfield, from where you can walk along the peaceful Chesterfield Canal and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding hills.

After a long walk, return to the cosiness of Mosborough Hall, with its historic interior features and stylish modern bar. Prima has a two-night break, which includes a seven-course tasting menu in Darcy's restaurant with wine pairing, breakfast both mornings and an indulgent afternoon tea.


5. …and more challenging hikes

For the most incredible views, it’s worth putting in the work and hiking up some of the highest peaks.

visit peak district road winding through green hills
Photos by R A Kearton - Getty Images

Wrap up warm and pack sturdy boots because there are some steep climbs, but getting to the top of Win Hill is a real victory – and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views over Ladybower Reservoir below.

The Peak District’s highest point is ‘Kinder Scout’, which you can walk to from Edale and should take you between five and six hours to climb and descend.

A shorter walk that still pays with jaw-dropping views is a hike along the ‘Dragon’s Back’ ridges of Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill near Buxton. Walking over these two dramatic peaks should take around three and a half hours and will show you some of the limestone and gritstone formations which the Peaks are known for.

The best place to start this walk is the moorlands hamlet of Hollinsclough, just over 15 minutes’ drive from Buxton where you’ll find numerous accommodation options. Try No. 6 The Square, a genteel little tea room with bedrooms in a mellow-stoned Georgian building.


6. Gorgeous hotels

After a joyful day of walking, there’s nothing better than treating yourself to a stay at a cosy hotel for a restful night's sleep. Luckily the Peak District has lots of them, from boutique rooms above old pubs, to grand properties with blissful spas and sweeping gardens.

On our exclusive drawing break in the Peak District, you’ll stay at Peveril of the Peak, a characterful country house with 11 acres of its own beautiful manicured gardens. Inside you'll find 45 cosy and traditionally decorated bedrooms, some offering incredible views over the surrounding countryside.

On our break, you'll enjoy dinner and breakfast each day in the hotel restaurant while enjoying the greenery of the garden through the windows.


7. Amazing wildlife

As the UK’s first national park, the Peak District is a haven for cute creatures big and small. You’ll certainly spot grazing sheep – a ram is Derbyshire’s traditional symbol – but keep your eyes peeled for some more unusual animals too.

visit peak district mountain hare lepus timidus peak district moors
Tim Melling - Getty Images

You might see peregrine and merlin falcons in the sky, and if you head high up into the hills you could catch sight of a mountain hare hopping across the grass in its white winter fur.

8. Exciting water sports

Even though it's landlocked, the Peak District is a popular destination for all sorts of water sports, from canoeing and kayaking to paddle boarding, sailing or simply wild swimming.

visit peak district   people learning to stand up paddle board on tittesworth water reservoir, uk
Education Images - Getty Images

The landscape here is dotted with scenic rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and there are plenty of clubs that can organise an action-packed day for adventurous visitors to the region.

9. Delicious food

Hearty meals are a must when you’re out exploring the countryside and luckily the Peak District is a hungry traveller’s dream, with tasty local produce on offer everywhere you go.

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Richard Baker - Getty Images

If you fancy fine dining, the area has several award-winning restaurants. The thriving village of Baslow is particularly blessed when it comes to good food. There are two hotels with three AA-rosette restaurants; The Gallery at The Cavendish Hotel and Fischer’s Baslow Hall, making it a great base for gourmands exploring the Peak District.

10. Insta-worthy moments

Whether you’re an amateur or a pro, you're sure to leave the Peak District with some stunning photos. Thanks to its awe-inspiring landscapes, sweeping mountain views, woodland walks and secret clearings, the Peak District definitely doesn’t need a filter.

The whole place is a nature and wildlife photographer’s dream, while the region’s towns and villages are the ideal backdrop for that one perfect shot.

One of the most picture-perfect villages in the Peak District is delightful Hartington, with its duck pond, stone cottages and village square, nestled amongst the magnificent limestone scenery of the Derbyshire side of the River Dove.

You can stay near Hartington at lovely Biggin Hall, a 17th-century limestone manor house with its own library and an AA-rosette restaurant. The hotel is in the tiny village of Biggin, which has a couple of pubs and an ancient church, and there are plenty of inspiring walks nearby.


Enjoy Peak District’s glorious landscapes and pick up a new hobby with Prima's exclusive drawing break.


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