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Peak District

Hiking in Peak District

Hiking

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Photo: Lukasz

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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.


Top 20 best walks and hikes in Peak District

    1
    Intermediate
    03:39
    7.85 mi
    2.2 mph
    975 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    2
    Intermediate
    04:24
    8.64 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
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  • 3
    Intermediate
    04:21
    8.76 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    4
    Intermediate
    04:43
    9.60 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    5
    Intermediate
    03:35
    7.73 mi
    2.2 mph
    975 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    6
    Intermediate
    03:38
    7.53 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,250 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    7
    Intermediate
    03:50
    8.34 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,025 ft
    1,025 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    8
    Intermediate
    04:14
    9.10 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    9
    Intermediate
    04:02
    8.32 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,450 ft
    1,450 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    10
    Intermediate
    04:14
    8.56 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    11
    Intermediate
    04:39
    8.98 mi
    1.9 mph
    1,400 ft
    1,400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    12
    Intermediate
    04:51
    9.91 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,750 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    13
    Intermediate
    04:03
    7.96 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    14
    Intermediate
    04:35
    9.97 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    15
    Intermediate
    03:58
    8.52 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,125 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    16
    Intermediate
    02:45
    6.36 mi
    2.3 mph
    400 ft
    400 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.
    View
    17
    Intermediate
    04:40
    10.2 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    18
    Intermediate
    02:14
    5.00 mi
    2.2 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    19
    Intermediate
    02:32
    5.74 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View
    20
    Intermediate
    04:52
    9.90 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,450 ft
    1,450 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.
    View

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The varied landscape of the Peak District

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. 

Wildlife to spot in the Peak District

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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