hikes in Peak District
Peak District Walks
Walking in the Peak District National Park is a spectacular experience that will expose you to some of the most picturesque scenery that can be found anywhere in the United Kingdom. Here, you will walk along trails that feature a variety of terrain types and interesting highlights, experience sweeping views over expansive moorland, and come into contact with some of the prettiest flora and fauna in England. What’s more, you’re likely to receive a warm welcome wherever you go – the people of the Peak District are (quite rightly) proud of their home and happy to show visitors around.
Charming historical villages like Hathersage, Bakewell, and Castleton not only serve as the starting point for a number of fantastic walking routes, but also as great places to stay in their own right. A comfortable visit to one of these sleepy locales will take you back to a time of rural prosperity, while simultaneously producing unforgettable memories that will stay with you forever.
If you’re looking for a fantastic holiday in England that is filled with fun and adventure, then plan your walking holiday in the Peak District today! This large national park offers plenty of opportunities to get away from it all, so grab your walking boots and head for the hills.
The Greatest Walks In The Peak District National Park
The Peak District is the ideal destination for walkers of all skill levels, ages, and interests, thanks to the wide variety of terrain and breathtaking views that can be found here.
Seasoned walkers that enjoy a proper challenge will find plenty of trails to meet their needs, with areas like the Dark Peaks providing some strenuous day-hikes that will produce exceptional views of the surrounding moors, escarpments, and rugged hills.
Those with historical interests will be pleased to find a large number of walks in the Peak District that feature prominent displays of local history. Bronze and Iron Age hill forts, Second World War training grounds, medieval castles, and grand estates from the Early Modern period can be found throughout the region, making the Peak District the perfect place for anyone looking to learn about the locale that they are trekking through.
If you find yourself more on the beginner side of things or are exploring the outdoors with your family, the Peak District offers a wealth of walking routes that are easier on the legs, but are just as beautiful as their more challenging counterparts. Low elevation trails, exciting caves to explore, hilltop cable cars, and scenic river walks all offer the chance to explore the countryside at your own pace, with many featuring informative signs to learn about the wildlife and geology of the local area.
Whether you are looking to test the limits of your physical fitness, or are simply aiming to enjoy the beauty of the natural world, you are guaranteed to find what you are after on a walking excursion in the Peak District. Check out the lists of amazing trails in the Peak District that we’ve put together below:
Most Popular Peak District Walks
- Monsal Trail Walk: The Monsal Trail follows the route of the 19th-century Manchester to London railway, specifically the section between Buxton and Bakewell. If you’re looking for an easy walk in the Peak District, why not try this beautiful section of the trail, perfect for walking or cycling. The path is paved, making it ideal for families with pushchairs, and offers beautiful views of Bakewell and some of the original railway viaducts. This is the perfect place to come for a relaxed, leisurely day out in the Peak District!
- Mam Tor Walk: The trek to the top of Mam Tor is one of our favourite family walks in the Peak District. The route passes along an accessible, paved pathway, before rising steeply up to the trig point, offering wonderful views over the Edale Valley all the way to Kinder Scout. The descent also offers a few wonderful surprises, including the remarkable Blue John Cavern, where you can see the unique ornamental mineral that Castleton is so famous for.
- The Great Ridge and Win Hill Walk: The Great Ridge stretches between the summits of Lose Hill and Mam Tor, and is one of the most popular ridge walks in England. This route ascends the ridge via a steep climb up Lose Hill, providing marvellous views over Win Hill and the Dark Peaks. You’ll pass by craggy tors and dense woodland, and although the walk is somewhat strenuous, it’s one of the most rewarding day hikes in the Peak District.
- Kinder Scout Walk: Kinder Scout is one of the Peak District’s most iconic routes, and this trail offers a real challenge to keen walkers. Ascend via Grindsbrook Clough, and follow the path across the plateau to the Kinder Downfall. You’ll enjoy spectacular views over Kinder Reservoir, Hayfield and Glossop, before descending down the steep steps of Jacob’s Ladder. The terrain is undulating and challenging, but it’s no wonder that this walk remains one of the most popular in the Peaks.
- Stanage Edge Walk: Stanage Edge is an imposing gritstone ridge, stretching for 3.7mi and providing an epic view over the Hope and Derwent Valleys. The Edge forms part of the Long Causeway, an ancient packhorse route that starts in Sheffield, and ends in the Peak District village of Hathersage, where this walk begins and ends. Stanage Edge is popular with both hikers and climbers, and this moderately challenging walk is a wonderful way to see it.
- Padley Gorge Walk: If you want to experience the best of the Peak District, but are looking for a relatively easy, low-level walk, try this route through Padley Gorge. You’ll follow a lively brook through the beautiful Longshaw Estate, passing railway bridges, disused quarries and atmospheric woodland along the way. The trail is pleasant and easy, and if you arrive in May, you can enjoy the rich carpet of bluebells that covers the floor of Yarncliffe Wood.
- Dovedale Walk: This beautiful and varied trail will take you past some of the most iconic tors in the Peak District. Dovedale’s limestone features have produced impressive and unusual rock formations, sculpted by the elements, including the so-called Tissington Spires, Dover Holes and Lover’s Leap. The hike culminates at the summit of Bailey Hill, where you’ll enjoy an impressive panorama over the marvellous Peak District landscape.
- The Roaches and Lud’s Church Walk: Step back in time to a land of myth and legend on this enjoyable Peak District walk! The Peak District is known for its association with Robin Hood, and the legendary outlaw is rumoured to have hidden in the dramatic, mossy gorge now known as Lud’s Church. Nearby, the craggy peaks of the Roaches also have their own stories to tell, with plenty of strange and wonderful myths concerning malevolent mermaids and lucky stones. This fantastic route is one of our favourite walks in the Peak District.
- Thor’s Cave and the Manifold Valley Walk: The Peak District is known for its subterranean treasures, with many stunning cave systems filled with glittering stalactites and stalagmites. Thor’s Cave is the largest natural cavern in the Peaks, set in the beautiful Manifold Valley in the heart of the White Peaks. This relatively easy trail is a great way to experience the Peak District’s twin charms – dramatic hills and eerie underground caves.
- Derwent Edge: The so-called Dark Peaks offer incredible rocky vistas, characteristic of the stunning gritstone features of the national park. This walk will take you along Derwent Edge, past sleepy reservoirs and distinctive, craggy tors. The views are remarkable – this is one of the best hikes in the Peak District, and our favourite way to take in the majesty of the Dark Peaks.
Family Friendly Peak District Walks
- Langsett Reservoir Circular Walk: This 3.7mi circular walk is a fantastic route that will lead you along the edge of the Langsett Reservoir for some truly beautiful views. While out on the trail, you will pass through some charming woodlands and open stretches of moor that have a beautiful backdrop of rolling hills. What a great way to spend an afternoon walking with the family!
- Macclesfield Forest Circular Walk: A charming forest walk near Macclesfield, this route will lead you through the grounds of what was once the Royal Forest of Macclesfield, an ancient hunting ground for the nobility. Along the trail, you will experience easy to navigate trails, a peaceful woodland atmosphere, and beautiful views across the Ridgegate Reservoir.
- Wyming Brook and Rivelin Reservoir Walk: Another lovely woodland walk, the Wyming Brook and Rivelin Reservoir Walk will take you through a tranquil stretch of protected forest that provides an almost mystical feeling. Take in the beautiful views of moss-laden trees, quaint waterfalls, and scenic reservoirs on this great family adventure.
- Sett Valley Trail: This quick Peak District adventure is an easy-going walk that will take you along a scenic stretch of terrain between two villages. Following along an old rail line, the trail is well-maintained and fairly level, making it a breeze for families with young children.
- Redmires Reservoir Circular Walk: A great circular walk near Sheffield, this trail will allow you to experience some beautiful views looking out across the calm water of the reservoir. Relatively flat and surrounded by picturesque farmland scenery, this is an awesome adventure to save for the weekend.
- Cave Dale Walk: A beautifully scenic walk along a limestone flanked dale, this charming Peak District adventure will produce some stunning views across the Derbyshire countryside. In addition to the stunning natural views, you will walk below the 11th Century Peveril Castle that looms over the dale from the top of a hill.
- Lover’s Leap and Dove Hole Walk: This amazing walk in the Dovedale National Nature Reserve will expose you to some amazingly scenic views and awesome highlights that include the River Dove, Lover’s Leap, Thorpe Cloud, and the Dove Holes. This is a fairly easy-going route in the Peak District that should definitely be near the top of your list of adventures.
- Longshaw Estate Burbage Brook Trail: A fairly short adventure through the grounds of a grand estate, this route will lead you along Burbage Brook for some lovely views of the surrounding countryside. Easy to navigate trails make this walk a breeze, allowing you to sit back and relax in nature.
- Peveril Castle Walk: More of a visit to a unique historical site than a true walk, this 0.4mi route will allow you to explore the grounds of the 11th Century Peveril Castle. Overlooking Cave Dale, the Hope Valley, and the village of Castleton, this is a fantastic walk if you are after some quick and easy sightseeing.
- Higger Tor Summit Circular Walk: Located just west of Sheffield, the Higger Tor Summit Circular Walk is a fantastic family adventure that will take you uphill for gorgeous views of Burbage Moor. Nearby, you can even spot the location of an old Iron Age fort atop the neighbouring Carl Wark. The rocky terrain atop the summit makes for a great place for kids to explore.
Scenic Peak District Walks
- Flash and Three Shires Head Circular Walk: This beautifully scenic walking route will lead you to a gorgeous destination where Derbyshire, Cheshire, and Staffordshire counties all meet in one spot. The 18th Century packhorse bridge along the River Dane makes for an exceptional location to take photos, with the background often gracing many scenic calendars.
- Thorpe Cloud Walk: A quick but scenic adventure along the border of Staffordshire and Derbyshire, the Thorpe Cloud Walk will expose you to stunning views of the rolling green hills that make up the nearby landscape. Pleasant terrain and easy to navigate pathways along the River Dove make this a great walk for all.
- Tegg’s Nose Walk: A beautiful scenic adventure with views overlooking the Macclesfield Forest, the Tegg’s Nose Walk is a quick 2.6mi outing that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of skill levels. Rolling green hills, peaceful forests, and calm reservoirs are just a few examples of the beautiful scenery that can be experienced here.
- Chrome Hill Walk: Made up of two distinctive peaks set in the Derbyshire countryside, the Chrome Hill Walk is a bit of a grind that will produce gorgeous views of the surrounding landscape. Be prepared with sturdy walking boots in order to navigate the rugged terrain along the summit.
- Marsden Moor Walk: This 8.4mi walking route will take you from the town of Marsden to explore a beautifully scenic stretch of moorland terrain to the west. Hiking along the escarpment known as Standedge is the real highlight of this adventure, as it offers beautiful views of the nearby villages and rolling green hills.
- Rivelin and Redmires Walk: The Rivelin and Redmires Walk will lead you through a nice variety of Peak District terrain to access viewpoints over Wyming Brook, the Redmires Reservoirs, and Rivelin Reservoirs. The stunning scenery along this trail is enough to make it popular with a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts.
- Buxton to King Solomon’s Temple Walk: A nice intermediate length walk from the town of Buxton, while out on this trail you will transition from city walkways to the open countryside for views of the surrounding landscape. Climbing uphill to the Victorian Era tower referred to as King Solomon’s Temple, you will enjoy an even better vantage point overlooking the surrounding landscapes of Derbyshire.
- Hollins Cross Walk: This popular and exhilarating adventure will lead you uphill to traverse several of the summits along the Great Ridge, including Mam Tor, Hollins Cross, Back Tor, and Lose Hill. While out walking this route, you will likely experience some of the best views that can be found anywhere in the Peak District.
- Curbar Edge Circular Walk: Requiring little in the way of effort but providing stunning views of the Derwent Valley, the Curbar Edge Circular Walk is a fantastic adventure in the Peak District that will take you along three different stretches of escarpment. The ultra-scenic views make this a great option that can be enjoyed by walkers of nearly all skill levels.
- Heights of Abraham & High Tor Circular: A fun but challenging experience in the Peak District, the Heights of Abraham and High Tor Circular Walk will take you through some fairly steep terrain for gorgeous views of the Derbyshire countryside. The infrastructure atop the Heights of Abraham provides a number of activities that make for a fun afternoon, and the beautiful views from High Tor are well worth the effort.
Scroll down to see all the 150+ trail guides in the Peak District.
About Peak District National Park
The oldest national park in the United Kingdom, the Peak District is one of England’s finest gems. This ancient land is steeped in history, myth and legend, and a walking holiday here offers much more than your typical activity break. From its glittering underground caves to its high mountain tarns, the Peak District is full of surprises.
The Peak District lies at the confluence of five English counties, and was once a major highway for medieval merchants who transported their goods from the north to the south of England. A walk here usually means travelling in the footsteps of 18th-century packhorses, Roman soldiers, or even legendary English figures such as Robin Hood. The grey crags of the Dark Peaks all have strange names and a story to tell, and this will make your trip all the more memorable.
When Is The Best Time To Walk In The Peak District?
England’s relatively mild climate means that it’s possible to walk in the Peak District at any time of year, although winter is likely to be cold, wet and misty, which can make higher-elevation trails dangerous and difficult to access. If you plan to walk in the winter, always check the weather forecast and take local advice, as conditions in the hills can change very quickly.
The best time to walk in the Peak District is spring, when the forests are covered in a colourful carpet of bluebells, lambs frolic in the fields, and there’s at least some chance of sun! The weather in summer will be warmer and brighter, but the trails can become very busy, especially in the school holidays. In September and October, the forests glow with stunning autumn colours, and this is an excellent time to wander through woodlands and low-elevation trails throughout the national park.
Best Regions For Walking In The Peak District
The Peak District covers a vast area in the center of England, and is divided into two main areas: the Dark Peaks and the White Peaks. The White Peaks are found in the lush, green south of the park, where you’ll find beautiful forests, limestone caves, and quaint towns and villages. The Dark Peaks rise to the north, and are wild, wonderful and unkempt, with vast open moorland and craggy tors of black granite, windswept and battered into strange and unusual shapes. Both of these regions have charm in abundance, despite their different characters, and if possible, you should try to experience a little bit of both during your trip to the Peak District.
Other Outdoor Activities in The Peak District
Although walking is by far the most popular thing to do, there are plenty of other outdoor activities in the Peak District! The distinctive geological features of the region make it a paradise for climbers, and there are many companies offering tours and lessons on some of the park’s most dramatic cliffs. It’s also possible to go caving, and explore some of the fascinating and beautiful treasures hidden away underneath the hills. In summer, take to the rivers and reservoirs and go kayaking or canoeing, head out on your bike and go cycling, or even enjoy a spot of horse riding!
How To Plan A Trip To The Peak District
Planning a trip to the Peak District has never been easier! To help you organize your trip and to make sure every aspect of your visit runs smoothly, we’ve put together the ultimate guide to planning a trip to the Peak District. You’ll find all of the information you’ll need before you set off, and plenty of recommendations for the best hikes in both the Dark and White Peaks. Happy travelling!
Peak District Adventure Holidays
One of the best ways to experience Peak District National Park is by letting professional guides plan the trip for you. If you like the peace of mind when it comes to planning active trips, check out the best adventure tours in the Peak District.
Frequently Asked Questions
How big is the Peak District?
The Peak District covers more than 555 square miles and stretches over five counties in England: Derbyshire, Greater Manchester, Yorkshire, Staffordshire and Cheshire.
What cities are close to the Peak District?
Manchester, Sheffield and Derby are the closest cities to the Peak District National Park, and they are all well connected by bus and rail.
Why do people visit the Peak District?
The Peak District is popular for its walking and climbing opportunities, diverse and unique landscape, and beautiful scenery. The Peak District is also an area where you can find many famous cultural and historic sites.
What is the highest point in the Peak District?
Kinder Scout, in the heart of the Dark Peaks, is the highest point in the national park, standing at 2087ft above sea level.
Where to stay in the Peak District?
There are many options for where to stay in the Peak District. You can choose from small hamlets right in the middle of the park, to big cities an hour away. If you’re looking for something in the middle of the park, Buxton, Ilam and Hathersage are all popular choices. These small towns allow you to combine your walking holiday with cultural and historical experiences. If you prefer the big city, and just want to visit the Peak District for a day trip, Sheffield and Manchester are both close by.
How far is the Peak District from London?
By road, the Peak District is around 160.0mi away from London. You can drive there in around three and a half hours.
Does the Pennine Way National Trail go through the Peak District?
Yes, among other beautiful areas in England, Pennine Way also stretches through the Peak District. For more information, check out the Pennine Way guide.
Peak District Area Notice
Please be aware that the Peak District, as well as other beautiful places in the UK, is seeing a dramatic increase in visitor numbers. This also has led to numerous issues with antisocial behaviour, littering, parking violations among many others. Please follow all the park and local rules and regulations. Visit the National Trust website to learn more.
Find other amazing walking regions in the UK:
- Lake District Walks
- Walks in the Chiltern Hills
- Walks in Loch Lomond & the Trossachs
- Snowdonia Walks
- Walks in the North York Moors
Or check out the article about the best walks in the UK.Read More
The best hikes in Peak District
Mam Tor Walk is a short and family-friendly trail that is steeped in ancient history… Read More
Yes, there are more than 10
Peak District is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in Peak District that you should take a look at as well
The Peak Forest Canal Walk is an easy-going walking route that will take you along… Read More
The Macclesfield Forest and Cheshire Matterhorn Walk is a fun but challenging walk that will… Read More
The walk to Pilsbury Castle via the Upper Dove Valley Circular is a stunning adventure… Read More
The Shining Tor and Windgather Rocks Circular is a fantastic walking route in the Peak… Read More
The Lady Canning’s Plantation and Burbage Moor Walk is a beautiful route that traverses the… Read More
Walking the Heights of Abraham & High Tor Circular is a fun, albeit tough, outdoor… Read More
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