Visitors to the area are amazed at the number and variety of activities and attractions on offer. We list below some of the main attractions and where available give links to their web sites.
The picture opposite shows the tor above Dove Cottage, just a small sample of the breathtaking local scenery.
Adventure playgrounds can be found at Chatsworth House Farmyard and Adventure Playground and Carsington Water.
For those seeking a thrill, there’s Alton Towers close by, with enough to keep you busy all day!
There are too many antique centres to list separately and these are found in most towns in the Peak National Park.
There are many caves open to the public such as Blue John Cavern, Castleton, Great Rutland and Masson Cavern at the Heights of Abraham, Matlock Bath and Pooles Cavern, Buxton.
The area boasts many fine craft centres and you will find glass-blowing at Lumdsdale near Matlock and Derwent Crystal, Ashbourne; cutlery at David Mellor’s factory at Hathersage, jewellery at Ashbourne and Bakewell, pottery at Hartington. There are also craft centres at Over Haddon, Calver, Monsal Head, Eyam and Rowsley.
In recent years, cycling has become increasingly popular in the Derbyshire Dales and for those seeking a more leisurely ride, there are the former railway lines like the Tissington Trail, the High Peak Trail or the Monsal Trail. These trails are open to all cyclists and there are cycle hire centres at various locations such as Peak Cycle Hire.
There are thousands of miles of footpaths covering the whole of the Peak Park and beyond, and walking is one of the most popular activities in the area. Walking can be as challenging or as easy as you wish, depending on the terrain, from mountaineering to gentle rambles from pub to pub.
Aside from the river Dove, there are many alternative places to fish such as Carsington Water, Yeavely Estate Lakes and Tittesworth Reservoir. A limited number of day tickets may be available on other rivers such as the River Wye at Monsall Dale and Rowsley and River Derwent near Matlock.
Aside from the formal gardens at Stately Homes such as Chatsworth or Haddon (see below), there are a number of gardens open to the public such as Field Farm, Kirk Ireton, Lea Rhododendron Gardens, Near Matlock, Dunge Valley Hidden Gardens, Kettlesholme and Chatsworth Garden Centre, Beeley.
The area boasts some of the country’s most challenging golf courses as well as some less taxing ones. Courses can be found at Ashbourne, Brailsford and Leek.
Instead of walking or cycling, horse riding makes for an enjoyable alternative and centres can be found across the Peak Park such as Haddon Horse Riding Stables near Bakewell or Tissington Trekking Centre.
Many of the area’s towns have markets once or twice a week such as Ashbourne (Thursday & Saturday), Bakewell (Monday), Buxton (Tuesday & Saturday) and Chapel-en-le-Frith (Thursday).
Within an easy drive are the numerous potteries in and around Stoke-on-Trent which are well worth a visit. Companies such as Royal Doulton, Wedgewood, Royal Winton, Spode, Portmerion, Royal Stafford, Minton and Moorcroft can all be visited as well others like Denby Pottery near Ripley and Royal Crown at Derby.
There are a large number of stately homes in the area, the most notable of which are Chatsworth House near Bakewell, Haddon Hall near Bakewell and Tissington Hall near Ashbourne.
National Trust properties in the area include Kedleston Hall, Derby, Calke Abbey, Lyme Park, Sudbury Hall, Disley and Hardwick Hall near Chesterfield.
Bakewells Old House Museum, Winster Market Hall, National Tramway Museum
canoeing, pot holing, sailing, swimming & bowls