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The Peak District is a wonderful place to visit, and there are so many things to see and do. But what are our favourites? Well, here are what we think are the best things you need to do when in the Peak District.
Things You Need To Do When In The Peak District
Climb Chesterfield’s Crooked Spire
Folklore says that the Devil landed on the spire and twisted it out of shape with his tail. Or that the spire twisted to see a beautiful bride married in the church. But actually, the cause of the crooked spire at The Parish Church of St Mary and All Saints is most likely down to the lead on one side of the spire expanding in the heat of the sun and twisting the unseasoned timber from which the spire was built.
Whatever the cause of the twist, you can still climb the 144 steps to get a magnificent view over the town and its surrounding areas. And marvel at how the spire now leans over 9 foot away from its true centre.
Visit Ladybower Dam
This may look a rather unimposing view. Until you realise that it is where the Lancaster bombers practiced their low level night flying techniques. These were the important preparations for Operation Chastice – where the bombers were sent to attack German dams at Mohne, Edersee and Sorpe with their payload of bouncing bombs.
Yes, Ladybower Dam was the practice ground for the Dambusters.
Go Up To The Heights Of Abraham
No visit to the Peak District is complete without a visit to the oldest public attraction in Derbyshire. The Heights Of Abraham was commissioned in 1870 for the modern Georgian traveller. At the top there are wonderful displays of how the caverns were mined.
Choose to walk up the very steep hill to the top. Or take the little cablecars and enjoy the wonderful views.
Visit A Seaside Town Without A Beach
Matlock Bath is situated at the base of the cliff to the Heights Of Abraham. And it is just like a Victorian seaside town without a beach.
Boasting brilliant fish and chips, an aquarium and arcades, Matlock Bath is a wonderful experience not to be missed. Plus see the original spa baths and petrifying spa.
Go All Jane Austin At Chatsworth
No visit to the Peak District would be complete without a visit to the house and grounds of Chatsworth. This wonderful stately home is rumoured to have been the inspiration for Pemberley in Pride And Prejudice.
The house itself (still home to the Devonshire family) boasts an impressive collection of artwork and sculptures. But the grounds are wonderful to explore. There is something for everyone, be you an art lover, gardener or history buff. There is even an adventure playground for the kids.
Ride On A Tram At Crich Tramway Village
Take a trip back in time and visit the restored period street at Crich. Ride one of the old trams, and see how they used to live. With trams dating from the horse drawn days to the most modern varieties, there is a wealth of history to see.
Plus, take a wonderful woodland walk with spectacular views and some surprises! See our review of the day we visited.
Go Eat A Bakewell Tart (Or A Pudding) In Bakewell
There are so many pretty towns and villages in the Peak District, but Bakewell has to be one of the nicest. With a lovely riverside walk, and lots of little shops to explore, it is a great place whatever the weather.
But the best thing to do is to pop into one of its coffee shops for a bakewell tart. Or even better, have a Bakewell pudding. This dessert predates the tart, and is a lovely confection not to be missed!
Visit Gulliver’s Kingdom
Also situated in Matlock Bath is Gulliver’s Kingdom. This theme park is specifically built for children, and so there are rides and attractions here for all ages.
Do note however, it is built into the steep valley side, so is not really suitable for wheelchairs and people with mobility issues. However, the views are amazing! Find our review here.
Get Scared At Bolsover Castle
According to English Heritage, who now curate the site, Bolsover Castle is one of the most haunted in England. Built in the 17th Century, this castle lies on the remains of the mediaeval structure.
Staff at the site have reported hearing muffled voices and footsteps, and there is said to be the ghost of a little boy who holds peoples hands.
Feel In A Familiar Place At Haddon Hall
Haddon Hall is a fortified 11th Century manor house, with a medieval chapel and Tudor gardens. It is a wonderful house with amazing history and stunning features, such as its courtyards and towers. But it’s most amazing feature is the Long Gallery.
Does it feel familiar? That is probably because Haddon Hall has been widely used in many films and television dramas over the past 30 years. From ‘Princess Bride’ to ‘Jane Eyre’ and it even featured in the 1998 film ‘Elizabeth’.
See The Plague Village of Eyam
Eyam Village is just north-west of Chatsworth. When the plague hit in 1665 (supposedly brought by a parcel of cloth) the village was affected badly. The local community took the decision to self quarantine.
Less than a quarter of the village survived, with families required to tend to and bury their own dead. One particular lady, Elizabeth Hancock, buried her husband and six of her seven children during the 14 month quarantine. Their graves all lie just outside the village, and are a National Trust monument.
Walk Around Dovedale and Across The Dovedale Stones
One of the loveliest walks in the Peak District is around Iyam Country Park. The park takes you around and across the River Dore using the stones, and takes about an hour. Discover some wonderful ancient rock formations, and see some amazing scenery.
Visit The Blue John Caverns at Castleton
In parts of the peak district, the semi precious stone blue john was mined for centuries. See the caves where the 250 million year old deposits were mined, and find out more about this area and heritage.
So, have any off these ideas taken your fancy? Are there any other places that you personally would recommend more? Do let me know in the comments, or find me on social media.
And finally, please do pin this post for looking at again later!