Derbyshire, Destinations, England, United Kingdom, Yorkshire 40

Peak District National Park – Our top 7 activities in the first National Park of England!

We have been lucky to live in Sheffield, right next to the Peak District National Park for the last 6 years. Over the last 7 months of blogging, I have been highlighting our travels all over the world, but in all honesty, we are lucky to have some of the best places to visit right by our doorstep in England! I am sharing this post as part of this Weekly Photo Challenge: Warmth, both for remembering lovely summer days and the feelings associated with time spent here.


Peak District National Park

We have three national parks within an hour and half reach from Sheffield – North York Moors National Park, Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District National Park. And the bigger and more popular ones – Lake District and Snowdonia 2-3 hours drive away. Sheffield is an ideal place to be based for outdoor enthusiasts like ourselves 🙂 This distance is relative, as to my readers in USA, that’s just a stone throw away..for locals in England, especially for people down south, anything outside radius of M25 could be another planet!

While Lake District and Snowdonia are amazing places to visit, here I highlight our top 7 (in no particular order) in the Peak District National Park. This list by no means covers all there is here. It is just our own personal experiences travelling with two small children, and usually with visitors from London and abroad.

Ladybowers Dam

2011-11-12 15.14.34

Lovely walk in beautiful fall colours


We found a sheep skull during one of our walks

A large reservoir located in the upper Derwent valley, Derbyshire, it is a popular tourist location great for walking, cycling and other outdoor activities.  There is a cycling route around the reservoir , as well as well marked paths for hiking with beautiful views of the wonderful countryside. This is where we tend to bring most of our visitors over the years. There is a visitors centre located at the Northern Tip of Ladybower.  374242_10150399248616158_1326660710_n

Slippery Stones

This is one of the spots in England for wild swimming. Located north of Howden Reservoir, you can walk here, about a mile up from the car park at the road end of the Derwent / Lady Bower Reservoir. There is also shuttle bus that takes you to the top. You then walk along the trail, with stunning views and then you are at this stream which has a plunge pool where you can dive into the cold clear water! Great fun!




Castleton and Peveril Castle

This is one of the more popular and really touristy places to visit in the Peaks. There is Peveral castle (which in my opinion is not worth the expense costs to get in), Speedwell Caverns has underground boat rides, and there are several outdoor shops, restaruants and is the base for the start of some of the famous hiking trails like Mam Tor


Views from Peveril Castle

06102007036 14102007088

Chatsworth House

This is one of my personal favourites and I have been lucky to come here for work and with the family on several occasions. Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, this place has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendhish family.

While it is very dear to get into the House and gardens, it is just so beautiful, I really don’t think anyone is ever disappointed (it would be nice though if they would reduce the price a little!)  You can either pay the full ticket which includes the House, the gardens, the farm and the play area (£20.) Or you can have just one e.g gardens(£12) or  farm and playarea( £6).  You can also have a fantastic day exploring the 1000 acre park on the banks of the river Derwent for free. You can have a picnic here, walk along the grounds and admire the grounds and the estate from the outside.  The House itself has 30 rooms to explore with beautiful paintings, tasteful décor and architecture. but it is the gardens that really makes this place magical! 




With the kids we have done just the farm and play area several times and it is such a fantastic play area – one of those which is set in natural environment, trees everywhere, no plastic colourful artificial swings and slides. Chickens running around, and there is something for kids (also adults) of all ages! Water features, sand features, trampoline, ziplinging, there is so much here to keep children entertained for the day. The farm has some great animals – from donkeys, cows, pigs, chicken, ducks and more, great to visit here during springtime.


Longshaw Estate and Padley Gorge –

This is the easiest and shortest distance to Sheffield using public transport. The Bus drops you right outside near the Longshaw Estate.  Lovely walk along the Longshaw Estate Grounds which is managed by the National Trust.

After passing through the estate, you get to Burbage Brook and Padley Gorge. It is a really great family day out activity, the walk is short and not too steep. There are streams running through where kids (and adults) can paddle in, splash about, and have a picnic on the banks. The views here again are just gorgous, I wish I had more pictures of this place!

IMG_2838029481967 IMG_2856921693883

Stanage Edge

Famous for rock climbing and people come from all across the country and other parts of the world to go climbing here! While we have not done proper climbing (with gear and all) we have been here several times with different people and walked (climbed) our way through these giant rocks to the top, had picnics and enjoyed the gorgous views all around.

stannage2 2014-05-04 13.55.39


IMG_1320525627790Bakewell is one of the prettiest English village I have ever seen! Set on the banks of the river Wye, it is a beautiful old market town set in the heart of the peak district. It is famous for its tarts and other puddings, annual events, it is lovely to amble along the narrow streets and houses with thatched roofs.

Bakewell has some lovely shops to browse through, and I love the many charity stores – you can pick up some great bargains here. Overall a lovely village to visit, whether just to admire the beautiful buildings and streets, do some fun shopping, eat your heart out in the marketplace or have a picnic by the river.






Wonderful place for camping and exploring the outdoors.  Mountain biking is a popular local sport here and there are some great hikes around the Edale Valley. On the southern edge of the valley Mam Tor is the leading hang-gliding centre in the Peak District.  Edale Youth Hostel is a leading centre for courses in walking, rock-climbing, caving, orienteering, cycling and canoeing.  There are some great camp sites here as well.




Several other excellent walking, hiking and running routes, a few pictures from one of our winter walks here earlier this year.

IMG_7775607793706 063 090


We have found Peak District to be a very special place, beautiful and different in each season. As we get ready to leave England and move to New Zealand after 10 wonderful years here, it’s been lovely remembering so many of our memorable times in the Peak District National Park 🙂

Linked to Mosaic Monday, Our World TuesdayOutdoor Wednesday logo[4]Outdoor WednesdayWeekend-Wanderlust-Logo Skyward Friday #weekendtravelinspiration hosted by reflectionsenroute and #weekendwanderlust hosted by JustinplusLauren WkendTravelInspSmallOur World Tuesdaymosaicmonday

You Might Also Like

  • UnrestingSea says: December 22, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Peak District is beautiful! There’s so much more to England than London. This weekend I was trying to convince a coworker planning a trip to London to spare a few days to investigate the Peak District. I’ll have to forward him your post so he can see how beautiful it is. 🙂

    • samselim says: December 22, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      We do love it here! As much as I enjoy London, there are so many other wonderful places outside in the wider countryside! Thanks for forwarding him our post 🙂

  • Judith @ Lavender Cottage says: December 22, 2014 at 2:48 pm

    You are fortunate to live in an area with so much to see historically and of beautiful countryside. I haven’t been to England but would like to some day. Until then, I get to see much of it as shared by bloggers like yourself. And now you’re on to New Zealand!
    Thank you for linking to Mosaic Monday.

    • samselim says: December 22, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Thank you, we do find England very beautiful, both for it’s historical heritage and natural landscape! We are very much looking forward to explore New Zealand’s stunning scenery as well 🙂

  • Mick says: December 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Beautiful scenery – I can just imagine myself enjoying some of those walks!

  • duaba says: December 23, 2014 at 12:49 am

    amazing photos! it looks like ur family had a lot of fun and Bakewell looks so cute!!!!

  • Anda says: December 23, 2014 at 2:27 am

    What a beautiful national park! Looks like England has a lot to offer, maybe I should get a closer look at its beautiful nature. I always fear that weather might spoil everything if I go there. I enjoyed London tremendously, so most likely I’m going to enjoy the countryside as well. The picture of those piglets is fantastic!

  • Elaine J. Masters says: December 23, 2014 at 3:28 am

    What a great adventure and so many family memories in the making. Love the green and how much fun you’re having.

  • Vlad says: December 23, 2014 at 7:56 am

    It looks beautiful, thank you for taking us on this tour, it felt like a breath of fresh air! Good luck with the move, looking forward reading about New Zealand! 🙂 Happy holidays!

    • samselim says: December 29, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      Thank you 🙂 a wonderful new year to you too and looking forward to reading your 2015 travel posts as well!

  • Jim says: December 24, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Beautiful collection of photos.

    • samselim says: December 24, 2014 at 9:26 am

      Thank you 🙂

  • bettyl - NZ says: December 24, 2014 at 9:33 am

    It certainly looks like everybody had a great time! The little piggies are so cute and I love, love, love the castle! If you need some help with sights to see in the North Island in New Zealand, let me know 🙂 Merry Christmas.

  • molly says: December 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    What a truly beautiful place… roll on the summer again eh, when all is yet again green and lush


  • Rachel says: December 26, 2014 at 11:19 pm

    I’ve been exploring a little of the northern Peak District over the weekend, near Holme Moss. Went for a walk around Winscar reservoir then travelled to The Strines Inn for lunch over the weekend, as I’m at my parents in neighbouring Yorkshire for the holidays. I love walking around Ladybower too, but I haven’t been to places further south in the Peaks. Think that will have to go on my to do list for next summer 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  • malaysianmeanders says: December 28, 2014 at 6:38 am

    You live near here? How wonderful to have this so close by. It looks like there’s something for everyone between the village, the castles, and the beautiful outdoors. I would love to wander around here myself one day.

    • samselim says: December 29, 2014 at 10:05 pm

      We live half hour away and yes there is always something to do for everyone 🙂 I hope you get a chance to visit!

  • Lauren says: December 29, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Oh my goodness…those baby pigs are so cute. Sometimes it is great to look back on summer photos and think about the warmer days when it gets cold out! Thanks for linking up with #WeekendWanderlust!

    • samselim says: December 29, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      Those piglets were adorable! I am looking forward to being in the warmth again and enjoy new Zealand summer in a few weeks 🙂

  • says: December 30, 2014 at 8:58 am

    I had an opportunity to travel outside of London over the summer. Our tour took us to Stonehenge, Bath, and the fringe of Whales. The countryside that I was able to see was serene and lush. I hope to explore more of England and possibly get to Manchester where my colleague is from.

  • cvail says: January 7, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I have wanted to go to the Peak district for years, and this article just fueled my fire! BTW – Love those pigs! Thanks again for being part of Weekend Travel Inspiration!

  • restlessjo says: January 10, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    It’s a lovely part of the world, isn’t it? And great for getting the family out into the fresh air. Great photos! 🙂

  • rtwbarefoot says: February 8, 2015 at 8:12 am

    Mmmmm, Padley Gorge! It’s amazing how somewhere so close to a major city can be so pretty. The walk through it to Grindleford is pretty, and at the end the station café at Grindleford does a fantastic pint mug of hot chocolate! 🙂

  • Sarah says: March 11, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    What gorgeous pictures (as usual) and they give such a feeling of the green and pleasant land 🙂
    I also love Chatsworth – it’s so utterly beautiful.

    • samselim says: March 14, 2015 at 3:15 am

      Thanks! The Peak District has so much to offer, as do many of the national parks in England 🙂

  • Brittany Bergman says: March 23, 2015 at 5:55 pm

    These photos are gorgeous! You’re very lucky to live near such beautiful and diverse terrain. I’m glad your family really takes time to enjoy it!

    • samselim says: March 29, 2015 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you 🙂 we loved our time in England past ten years. Now have just arrived in new Zealand and ready to explore the great outdoors here!

  • Ami says: March 8, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Nicely captured- history, trails and other activities all in one park. Love the pictures.

  • Jamie Italiane says: March 8, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    How do they have underground boat rides?

  • Keri (Baby Globetrotters) says: March 9, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Such a gorgeous part of the world year-round. Great summary of top activities, there’s so much to do, nice to have a guide on the highlights if your time to explore is limited.

  • Allison ( says: March 9, 2016 at 8:16 pm

    This looks like such a fun park! I’d love to swim in the plunge pool.

  • Lee @ BaldThoughts says: March 11, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    Looks like some fantastic adventures for the family. I was recently in London for the Dolphins vs Jets game at Wembley and a tour of Stonehenge. Sadly, we didn’t get to explore the rest of the country. We hope to return soon!

  • Rob Taylor says: March 12, 2016 at 1:11 am

    What an awesome place!! And I love that no matter where your family is, they always find swimming holes. And the rocky area reminds me of Burren, Ireland where the Princess Bride was filmed.

  • Jessica says: March 12, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Those piglets are so cute.

  • Archana Kapoor says: March 12, 2016 at 11:30 pm

    The pictures are stunning and so is the place. The piggy pic was awesome… love the details of the trip… Cheers 🙂

  • Scott says: March 15, 2016 at 12:01 am

    What a beautiful place! Looks like somewhere families can have a ball. Thanks for sharing.

  • Liesbeth - Lili's travel plans says: March 15, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Woow, such a beautiful place! Looks like you guys had great fun 🙂

  • Prianka | Map Halves says: March 16, 2016 at 9:33 am

    omg that sheep skull is so cool and creepy! Were your kids thrilled or terrified? I think I would be both ^^

    Looks like a really beautiful place. I love there are castles just randomly all over the English countryside.

  • Ajay Sood says: March 20, 2016 at 6:31 pm

    Lucky you have nature next door! Wow!

  • %d bloggers like this: