Our Top Five things to do...

The Peak District is an inspiring place to visit - its majestic countryside, stirring views and delightful villages make it the place to visit again and again.

First enjoy a short video that celebrates the Peak District and if you still want some ideas browse our Top Five things to do...

  1. Go Geocaching – a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt.  Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online. Find all about it at http://www.geocaching.com/
  2. Take an art master-class with the inspirational international wildlife artist and portraitist Eric Wilson.
  3. Learn to keep chickens or hens - Chatsworth has a wide range of courses throughout the year including Keeping Chickens and Keeping Pigs
  4. Build a raft – Acclimbatize  and Peak Pursuits both have these experiences
  5. Take a guided tour of Buxton's landmarks and iconic buildings aboard the Wonder of the Peak, a unique vintage tram. Or walk with a geologist, learning about the 400 million year history of the Peaklands and the springs which source Buxton Water. 

Our suggestions:

  1. Chatsworth is the majestic Derbyshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and was recently voted Britain’s favourite stately home (Which? August 2012).  It is notable for its vast collection of old and modern artworks, shown in rooms such as the Painted Hall and the Sculpture Gallery. It has something for everyone including a magnificent house, splendid gardens, an adventure playground and plenty of events for children and adults alike
  2. Poole's Cavern lies deep beneath the hills of Buxton, described as ‘The wonder of the Peak’ where you can take a journey through spectacular illuminated caverns.  You can then stroll through Buxton Country Park taking in beautiful woodland then on to Soloman’s temple and catch breathtaking views of the Peak District.
  3. Lyme Park is a National Trust owned house and gardens on the Cheshire border that has a special place in many people’s hearts.  This is home to the lake that achieved immortality when Colin Firth performed ‘that scene’ from Pride and Prejudice   You can also explore the historic house or venture into the 1,300 acre estate, with its medieval herd of red and fallow deer, wonderful walks and stunning views.
  4. Explore Buxton, walk through the Pavilion Gardens where bands play in summer, go to one of the many events at the Pavilion which include farmers markets and craft fairs, stop for a bite to eat in the café, visit the Devonshire Dome and perhaps take in a show at the famous Buxton Opera House, home to the internationally renowned literary, arts, music and opera festival.
  5. Just the other side of Macclesfield, Quarry Bank Mill is one of our favourite National Trust sites, with enough to see and do to more than fill a day. An educational exhibition shows the cotton industry's past links to the slave trade; the working mill has machines demonstrating the transformation of cotton production during the industrial revolution from cottage industry to factory; The Apprentices House tour gives you an understanding of living conditions of those working at the mill - you may remember The Mill television series; the gardens are worth a visit in their own right and you'll need to allow time to enjoy the cafe too...
  1. Visit Poole’s Cavern - deep beneath the hills of Buxton, described as ‘The wonder of the Peak’ where you can take a journey through spectacular illuminated caverns.  You can then stroll through Buxton Country Park taking in beautiful woodland then on to Soloman’s temple and catch breathtaking views of the Peak District.
  2. Explore Buxton, walk through the Pavilion Gardens where bands play in summer, go to one of the many events at the Pavilion which include farmers markets and craft fairs, stop for a bite to eat in the café, visit the Devonshire Dome and perhaps take in a show at the famous Buxton Opera House, home to the internationally renowned literary, arts, music and opera festival.
  3. Hire Electric bikes from Blackwell Mill on the newly opened Monsal Trail, an 8.5 mile traffic free route to Bakewell. Go off road, hire a mountain bike from Bike Garage in Bamford and spend a day or more exploring the numerous local trails (if it looks like hard work, choose an electric mountain bike!). Alternatively, Peak Tours offer a variety of self-led tours around the Peak District and beyond. There's general information about cycle hire here.
  4. Walks - organised or self-guided.  Our friends at Macs Adventure offer a week of self-guided walks based in Buxton and Hathersage, taking in the beautiful Goyt Valley and Mam Tor. Organised walks are available from providers such as Sally MoselyTranspeak WalksPeak Walking Adventures and others.  The Peak District National Park organise free Ranger Guided walks (booking essential). The Peak District Walking Festival is organised by the Peak District Tourist Board and takes place every year around late April - early May.
  5. Buy a Derbyshire Wayfarer Day Rover Ticket, one ticket that lets you make as many bus and train trips as you like throughout Derbyshire on a single day.  Perfect for exploring the wonderful Peak District and gaining discounts at some of the county's best-loved attractions including Poole's Cavern and the caverns in Castleton.
  1. Cycle the Monsal Trail - 3 miles out of Buxton, the Monsal Trail is a disused railway line recently converted into a traffic free cycle track from Blackwell Mill, to Bakewell. The eight & half mile trail follows the river Wye, & takes you through several newly opened lit tunnels, between steep gorges, surrounding limestone hills & across the spectacular Monsal Dale viaduct making this an exceptional cycling experience.
  2. Jodrell Bank and the Lovell telescope. Established in 1945 by Sir Bernard Lovell, it is an observatory that hosts a number of radio telescopes, and is part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. The visitor centre has plenty of hands-on exhibits to captivate stargazers of all ages, a glass-walled cafe with a view of the Lovell Telescope and an outdoor dining area. In 2017 it hosts a number of events, ranging from exploration of black holes and quasars to a music festival featuring many live acts, comedians and scientists.
  3. Climbing, abseiling and caving are all popular activities in the area.  Peak Pursuits has an array of activities to suit all abilities.  You could scale new heights while rock climbing, making a splash in a canoe or getting your heart pumping on an abseil.   Bite sized introductory sessions are perfect for beginners and families.
  4. Walks - organised or self-guided.  Our friends at Macs Adventure offer a week of self-guided walks based in Buxton and Hathersage, taking in the beautiful Goyt Valley Organised walks are available from providers such as Sally MoselyTranspeak WalksPeak Walking Adventures and others.  The Peak District National Park organise free Ranger Guided walks (booking essential). The Peak District Walking Festival is organised by the Peak District Tourist Board and takes place every year around late April - early May.
  5. Watersports - Carsington Sports and Leisure offer a variety of watersports, cycle hire, fly fishing and climbing.  Tuition is available for kayaking, sailing, windsurfing and powerboating.  Rowing boats, canoes and sit-on-tops can be hired.  Canoe and kayak hire is available by the hour at Tittesworth Water.

There are plenty of film and tv locations nearby

  1. Lyme Park is home to the lake that achieved immortality when Colin Firth performed ‘that scene’ from Pride and Prejudice.  It also featured in the thriller ‘The Awakening’.
  2. Chatsworth was the stunning location for the recent BBC production Death Comes to Pemberley. It provided the backdrop for Pride and Prejudice and The Duchess.  It was also the star of the 2012 BBC ‘behind the scenes’ documentary.
  3. The long running BBC series Peak Practice was set in Cardale, a fictitious Derbyshire village. It was actually filmed mostly in Crich and Fritchley with later series recorded in Longnor, near Buxton.
  4. The Village was filmed around the Peaks, including at Hayfield, Chapel-en-le-Frith and Glossop.  The BBC series starring John Simm and Maxine Peake was shown in Spring 2013. Visit Edale train station, Glossop church or the Playhouse Theatre in Chapel, all locations used in the show.
  5. Quarry Bank Mill is the setting for the Channel 4 series The Mill, based on the lives of the mill owners, workers and apprentices.  You can tour the Apprentice House and discover how the children lived and worked.  There are daily demonstrations in the mill where you can experience the sound and sight of working machines as well as many activities for children and adults alike.
  1. Chatsworth Farm shop has won numerous awards and often features in newspaper 'top UK Farm Shops' lists.  It offers quality produce fresh from the estate, tenant farms, Derbyshire suppliers and small food producers. Their traditional butchers will guide you through the vast array of meat, poultry and game. Delicious home-cooked meats and pies are available from the delicatessen counter, and their bakery provides wonderful fresh bread and cakes. Definitely worth a visit on your way home and you can stock up on Derbyshire oatcakes to enjoy at home.
  2. If you're a fan of artisan pork pies and home made piccalilli or fancy foraging for food and drink ingredients, why not take a course at Hartingtons of Bakewell? They run courses throughout the year covering baking, brewing, charcuterie and patisserie to name but a few.
  3. Enjoy fine dining in the Peak District with a visit to The Peacock at Rowsley. Their restaurant team have been the proud bearers of three AA rosettes – the top ten percent in the country – for a number of years.
  4. Bakewell is home to the Bakewell pudding. Why not make your own to take home while visiting our bread suppliers, The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop?
  5. Visit a Great British Food Festival. Usually held at Hardwick Hall on the first May bank holiday weekend, but even if you can't make these dates, the restaurant at the Hall is well worth a visit in its own right.
  1. Go Ape is an award winning adventure set 40 feet up in the trees! Swing, crawl and climb your way through high wires, tricky crossings and wind-smattering zip wires.
  2. Jodrell Bank and the Lovell telescope. Established in 1945 by Sir Bernard Lovell, it  is an observatory that hosts a number of radio telescopes, and is part of the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. The visitor centre has plenty of hands-on exhibits to captivate stargazers of all ages, a glass-walled cafe with a view of the Lovell Telescope and an outdoor dining area.
  3. Quarry Bank Mill is the setting for the Channel 4 series The Mill, based on the lives of the mill owners, workers and apprentices.  You can tour the Apprentice House and discover how the children lived and worked.  There are daily demonstrations in the mill where you can experience the sound and sight of working machines as well as many activities for children and adults alike.
  4. The Chestnut Centre Otter, Owl and Wildlife Park has four species of otters including the UK’s only pair of giant otters.  You can walk through the Bluebell Wood to enjoy the Scottish wildcats, polecats, foxes, buzzards and 15 species of owl.
  5. Blaze Farm is an award winning farm selling home-made dairy ice cream.  Small animal petting and pottery painting is available.
  1. Chatsworth is the majestic Derbyshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and was recently voted Britain’s favourite stately home (Which? August 2012).  It is notable for its vast collection of old and modern artworks, shown in rooms such as the Painted Hall and the Sculpture Gallery. It has something for everyone including a magnificent house, splendid gardens, an adventure playground and plenty of events for children and adults alike.
  2. Poole’s Cavern lies deep beneath the hills of Buxton, described as ‘The wonder of the Peak’ where you can take a journey through spectacular illuminated caverns.  You can then stroll through Buxton Country Park taking in beautiful woodland then on to Soloman’s temple and catch breathtaking views of the Peak District.
  3. Quarry Bank Mill is the setting for the Channel 4 series The Mill, based on the lives of the mill owners, workers and apprentices.  You can tour the Apprentice House and discover how the children lived and worked.  There are daily demonstrations in the mill where you can experience the sound and sight of working machines as well as many activities for children and adults alike.
  4. Buxton Opera House and Pavilion offers a wide variety of entertainment, exhibitions, refreshment and inspiration.
  5. Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood is a beautiful example of 17th century craftsman. The Museum of Childhood is a delight for all ages, a place to explore the childhoods of times gone by.  Both are National Trust properties.