The Peak District was one of the first National Parks in the UK to be established. It is a stunning part of England and is known for its epic landscapes, huge reservoirs, and fantastic walking trails. The Peak District also has a central location which makes it accessible from most parts of the country. If you want to explore this gorgeous National Park, we have listed 10 of the top sites in the Peak District that are suitable for walking adventures!
1. Mam Tor
Possibly one of the best viewpoints in the Peak District is the top of Mam Tor. This epic hill range and ridge is located in Edale Valley and is hugely popular for walkers and hikers. There are numerous car parks in the area but be warned – it is a popular spot so they do fill up quickly.
The trek up to the top of Mam Tor is tough but relatively short. Once you are at the top, you are granted with sublime views of Edale Valley and Hope Valley. From here, you can really appreciate the beauty and epic landscapes of the Peak District.
While walking to the top of Mam Tor is a great adventure in itself, those who want to push further can walk along the Mam Tor Bridleway. This is a brilliant walking trail that follows the Great Ridge and takes you to other hilltops including Back Tor and Lose Hill.
2. Stanage Edge
I have personally walked along Stanage Edge many times and it remains one of my top sites in the Peak District. The combination of the epic views across the valley, and the various formations of the gritstone rocks make this place incredibly appealing.
Stanage Edge is one of the many gritstone rock escarpments that you can find in the Peak District. It is located in the eastern part of the Peak District, not far from Ladybower Reservoir and Wyming Brook Nature Reserve.
There are several car parks for Stanage Edge, but I usually park at the Holin Bank Car Park – Postcode S32 1BR. From here, there is dedicated trails that lead up to Stanage Edge. It really is a great walk that anyone can complete. The views from the edge are superb and the rock formations are also interesting to look at. Oftentimes you can also see people rock climbing and bouldering.
3. Ladybower Reservoir
Due to the undulating nature of the Peak District, it has a wide array of reservoirs. Notable bodies of water include Derwent Reservoir, Howden Reservoir, and Damflask Reservoir. Perhaps the best-known, however, is Ladybower Reservoir.
Ladybower Reservoir is one of the largest reservoirs in the Peak District and it was built in 1935. In terms of volume, it covers an area of 520 acres. It also has an interesting y-shaped design and is surrounded by some amazing outcrops and hills, including Bamford Edge which is featured below.
For walking, you can trek around the entire length of Ladybower and it makes for an epic full-day hike. Along the way you will pass some amazing features including two picturesque bridges. This region of the Peak District is also great for long-distance walks and you can easily access sites like Bamford Edge and Back Tor.
4. Lathkill Dale
Lathkill Dale is arguably the most picturesque dale in the Peak District. It is incredibly beautiful and makes for a peaceful walk in the heart of this National Park. It lies approximately 3-miles from the town of Bakewell and follows the course of the River Lathkill.
One of the best parts of Lathkill Dale is near Over Haddon. Here you can see crystal clear waters and the river dips in man-made tiers. You can always see a variety of birdlife and other wildlife here, and it is a beautiful place to enjoy a picnic.
You can find more information about Lathkill Dale and the walking trail on the Peakdistrictonline.co.uk website.
5. Chatsworth House & Gardens
Chatsworth House is one of the best-preserved stately homes in the UK; it is also one of the most popular. This delightful house and gardens is a brilliant place to visit in the heart of the Peak District, and you could easily spend a day here, walking through the grounds, and the gardens.
The grounds of the Chatsworth Estate are huge. You can walk along various trails through the grounds and along the banks of the River Derwent. Within the grounds, it is not uncommon to see sheep and even roaming deer.
If you love nature, visiting the Chatsworth Gardens during spring and summer is also highly advisable. The gardens are immense and are well maintained. You can see a large array of exotic flowers, plants, and trees. Also, there are some fantastic sites like the Emperor’s Pool, and the different greenhouses.
6. Kinder Scout
No list would be complete without Kinder Scout. This is the highest point in the East Midlands and is an epic moorland plateau. During great weather, you can see Manchester, and even glimpse the mountains of Snowdon!
Most people hike to Kind Scout from Hayfield or Edale in the High Peak region of the Peak District. Along the way, you can see a series of interesting landmarks too. Firstly, there is Kinder Downfall which is a 30-m drop waterfall. Next, there is a range of gritstone cliffs and edges, much like Stanage Edge. You can also see the Edale Cross which is a mediaeval cross with unknown origins.
7. Bleaklow Bomber Crash Site
Did you know that there is a B29 Bomber crash site deep within the heart of the Peak District? Probably not! Not many people are aware of this. However, in 1948, a Boeing RB-29A Superfortress crashed near the Higher Shelf Stones on Bleaklow.
The plane crashed due to cloud cover as the pilots thought they had passed the hills in the area. Sadly, they had not and the 11 crew and 2 military passengers died in the accident.
You can still see the crash site wreckage, together with a memorial plaque that details the crash and its crew. It is a sombre site, but it is also an interesting piece of history. The hike to the crash site is challenging as it is not accessible by any marked trails. However, for the experienced navigator and hiker, it will prove an excellent adventure.
8. Monsal Trail
The Monsal Trail is another fantastic walking and cycling trail in the heart of the Peak District. It was constructed along an old railway and stretches for approximately 8.5-miles. This is a brilliant trail for walking and along the way it has some interesting landmarks.
One of the most notable landmarks is the Headstone Viaduct. This is an impressive viaduct that you walk along – the views down into the valley are fantastic, but the construction of the viaduct is also a marvel.
There is also a range of old railways tunnels that you can walk through which have been converted to be part of the Monsal Trail. The most notable of these is the Headstone tunnel which stretches for 487m.
9. Wyming Brook Nature Reserve
Wyming Brook Nature Reserve is one of those rare finds that you do not expect. It is not as popular as some of the other sites in the Peak District, but I feel it is one of the most interesting. This nature reserve is located on the eastern edge of the Peak District, only a short distance from Sheffield.
It is located around two reservoirs, but there is also an extensive woodland walking trail. The woodland trail is particularly beautiful as it follows the concourse of Wyming Brook. The trail literally hugs the banks of the brook and it makes for some truly inspirational wooded landscapes.
You could easily spend a day here exploring the brook trail and walking around the two reservoirs. Wyming Brook is also only a short distance from some other top sites in the Peak District that we have listed above such as Stanage Edge.
10. Bamford Edge
Lastly, I had to pick Bamford Edge. This is another gritstone escarpment like Stanage Edge. However, I feel this is one of the top sites in the Peak District due to the views that it provides.
Bamford Edge sits on the eastern side of Ladybower Reservoir and looms over it. As you can guess, from the top of Bamford Edge, you have amazing aerial views of the reservoir. Looking down on this huge body of water is quite something else and it helps appreciate the magnitude of its creation.
The best place to access Bamford Edge is the Heatherdene Car Park (Postcode S33 0BY) which is also the best car park for Ladybower Reservoir. From here, you head through a small, wooded area and up a series of trails to eventually reach the top of Bamford Edge. It is not a particularly long walk, but it is certainly worth it, if only for the views of Ladybower Reservoir.
Head to the Peak District Today for an Exhilarating Walking Adventure!
We hope you have found this guide on the top sites in the Peak District for walking exciting. If you enjoy long-distance walks and exploring the countryside, the Peak District is one of the best places in the UK to visit.
The dramatic landscapes, rolling hills, and deep valleys make for perfect trekking adventures. As you can see from the above, there is also some interesting landmarks and sites to reach as end goals for your walks. For example, you can find many gritstone escarpments like Stanage Edge and Bamford Edge. Alternatively, there is also some brilliant man-made attractions like the epic Ladybower Reservoir and Chatsworth House & Gardens.