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With more scenery than you can shake a Nordic walking pole at, the Peak District has a lifetime’s worth of hiking adventures within its boundaries. Spanning multiple counties, walks in the Peak District are characterised by green valleys, friendly summits and routes for every ability.
The Peak District is perfect for both day and multi-day hikes, thanks to its rolling hills and easy access to towns. While its name might sound, well, peaky, you won’t find many mountains in this national park. Instead, you’ll enjoy sweeping views, mixed ascents and even the odd waterfall.
Despite having major cities nearby, the Peak District retains an air of blissful seclusion. It houses historic towns with plenty of accommodation and tea rooms open for the muddy-booted.
With its blend of adventure and rural English charm, the Peak District will have you coming back for more. Choose one of the many wonderful Peak District hikes and off you go.
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
The Peak District is a land divided into three distinct areas. Within its 555 square miles (1,438 sq km), you’ll find the geological regions of the White Peak, Dark Peak and South West Peak. Each area has its own flavour of landscape and you can use the different regions to guide your choice of Peak District walks.
The Dark Peak dominates the north-eastern section of the national park and is home to sweeping moorland and rugged valleys. It has more than its fair share of rare animals and environments too. The Peak District has the only population of mountain hares in England and, despite their name, they’re partial to the heaths and moors this area has to offer.
Blanket bog is another of the Dark Peak’s rare possessions, only existing in a few countries around the world. This peat-based bog environment allows cottongrass to thrive, transforming swathes of moorland into a white, fluffy blanket in early summer. You can find some of the best hiking trails in the Peak District in the Dark Peak area, including those around Kinder Scout, the highest point.
In contrast, the White Peak area has a vast limestone plateau with diverse meadows and deep, green valleys. When you fall in love with the Peak District, and you likely will, the limestone dales in the White Peak may well be responsible. Dovedale alone has become a hiker’s paradise with its lush green hills and famous stepping stones.
The South West Peak shares heathland and peat bogs with the Dark Peak but here you’ll be walking through patchwork farmland and rolling hills too. You’ll also find the great chasm of Lud’s Church and the towering Roaches outcrop, both astounding natural features.
Many hikers visit the Peaks to catch a glimpse of the mountain hares. You can spot them all year round but for the best chance, make a journey in spring when they still have their white winter coats and stand out against the blooming foliage.
If you’re a keen bird watcher, Peak District hikes are sure to deliver. In the moors to the north, red grouse are common while you’ll need patience to catch sight of a golden plover. In the skies, you can see merlin and peregrine watching from above. Foxes are also a common resident and if you’re lucky, you might spot cubs bouncing along behind their mother.
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