The Peak District
Woodside, Railway House enjoys a favoured location at Ambergate, which is the gateway to the Peak District. The peak district is arguably the most diverse of Britains National park, offering a huge range of attractions for the visitor. There is a huge ranging and variety of walking, from the easy stroll through beautiful wooded glades and singing rivers, to the more strenuous assaults on Kinder Scout and the Dark Peak. There are many locally flavoured attractions too, such as the National Stone Centre at Wirksworth, or a stroll through Victorian Matlock Bath, Gullivers Kingdom and the heights of Abraham, beauty spots such as Black Rocks, canoeing on the Derwent, the Blue John Mines, Castleton for its Christmas lights and festivities. The list is endless. Here, we try to give the visitor a simple flavour of the Peak District.
Some facts about the Peak District
- The Peak District was Britain’s first national park, established in April 1951
- Around 38,000 people live in the Park in 125 parishes
- Visitors from all over the world come to the Park to find peace and tranquillity and to reconnect with the natural world
- They can also find adventure, experiencing some of England’s finest climbing, caving, walking and cycling
- The National Park covers 1,438 km2 (555 sq. miles) with over 2,500 km of public rights of way
- The main economic activities are tourism, manufacturing, farming and quarrying
Probably the most well known area of the Peak District, and in particular, the lovely walk along the river Dove from Dovedale carpark to Milldale via the stepping stones. Lesser known is the climb up Thorpe Cloud, the conical hill overlooking the river affording some spectacular views over the Dove.
Ladybower and the upper Derwent Valley
Opposite is a winter view over Derbyshires other Derwent Valley from Derwent Edge. Below the edge is Ladybower Reservoir, flooded to provide the Industrial North with huge supply of drinking water. When the reservoir is low, it is still possible to see the remains of the flooded village, and on occasions still hear the church bell. Along the chain of reservoirs in this valley, you will eventualy come upon Derwent Dam, the very dam used by the Dambusters of WWII for training purposes because of its topographical similarity to the target for the raid. On the dam wall itself is a small museum to the pilots of 617 Squadron, few of whom survived the mission.
Right in the centere of The Peak District lies Castelton, famous for its fabulous walking country, numerous Olde Worlde Hostelries. Above Castleton lies Peveril Castle, (see picture left) now ruined, which harkens back to a more troubled past. Reached from Castleton via a footpath, it is a strenuous climb and to approach it via Cavedale is not for the faint hearted. Castleton has numerous caves producing lead and Blue John, a particuler favourite of the many craftshops in Castleton. Speedwell Cavern is unique in the area as it is travelled by boat. Walks over Mam Tor (the shivering mountain) and up Winnats Pass are also recommended.
A particularly fine (one of Britains Best) stately home, seat of the Dukes of Devonshire is Chatsworth House. Boasting extensive parkland, two deer herds, a fine garden centre and exquisite farm shop, many fine walks around the grounds and gardens, there is something for everyone here. Its easy to spend a full day at Chatsworth alone, but nearby Bakewell should not be overlooked. Monday in Bakewell is market day which alone is worth a visit. Nearby too are many small typically Derbyshire villages that supplied the estate with its workforce, and still do to this day. Haddon Hall, less than 5 miles away, offers another view of stately homes in Derbyshire
Buxton Pavilion Gardens
The Pavilion Gardens is a Grade II listed park covering 23 acres of landscaped gardens in the centre of Buxton. Edward Milner designed and laid out the park, on land given to the town in the 1870s. A few years later the grounds were extended to include a boating lake, a skating rink and tennis courts. Visitors arriving in Buxton for the first time from the bleak moorlands cannot be blamed for pinching themselves in some disbelief as they emerge into a town with fine parks and grand old buildings. At well over 1,000 feet above sea level Buxton is the highest town in England for its size. The Bandstand is used almost every Sunday in the summer, with brass bands playing during the afternoon. Deckchairs can normally be hired when the weather is fine, enabling visitors to sit and relax and enjoy the music.
Crich Tramway Museum and Crich Stand
One of the most individual and unique attractions in the area has to be the Tramway Village. One can simply spend a day chilling out here or as an added attraction, it is possible to learn to drive a tram (full day activity, contact the museum for details). Nestling high up in the heart of Derbyshire overlooking the famous Derwent Valley and open almost throughout the year, Crich Tramway Village is a lovingly restored period village that is also home to the National Tramway Museum and its world renowned archives.The tram opposite, which ran on the Isle of Man is the oldest trolley-equipped tram at Crich, entering service in 1896, still within the experimental period in electric traction. Situated near the Village of Crich, Crich Stand is a memorial tower, built in 1923 and dedicated to the memory of 11,409 men of the Sherwood Foresters who died during the first World War.
The National trust hall at Ilam only a mile from Dovedale is the perfect place to wind up a relaxing day in this part of The Peak District.
Click to read more about Ilam >>