The Peak District
The Peak District was the first British National Park, created in 1949. It sits like a glowing gem between the industrialised areas of Sheffield and Manchester. It was designated as a national treasure because of its dramatic scenery, varying from wild moorland in the north to gently undulating hill land in the south. It is one of the most frequently visited National Parks in the world.
The Peak District is a haven for walkers and climbers. There are hundreds of miles of easily accessible footpaths and the climbing facilities at
Stanage Edge at the east end of the Hope Valley are famous throughout the climbing community.
The Peak District has something for everybody. Ladybower, Derwent and Howden dams offer some of the most spectacular water features. Derwent dam is famous as the practice dam for the 'Dambusters' raids.
There are so many market towns and villages to visit. Bakewell, Buxton and Ashbourne are the larger towns while Castleton, Eyam (famous for its plague), Tideswell and Hope provide more sedate views of village life. A visit to the area with children is not complete without a visit to the Alton Towers theme park!
The Peak District is home to many famous historic houses and national treasures. These include Chatsworth House, the spectacular home of the Duke of
Devonshire, Haddon Hall and Eyam Hall.
Whether your interests lie in historic houses or in splendid gardens and farm life, Chatsworth House is an essential visit.
The Hope Valley
The Hope Valley is in the heart of the Peak District National Park. To the north is the 'Dark Peak' with its huge expanse of gritstone moorland; to the south is the 'White Peak' with its more gentle limestone scenery. The Hope Valley runs from Castleton in the west to Grindleford in the east. The valley is surrounded by a network of footpaths with the most beautiful and varied views.
Castleton is a pretty village and is visited as much in the winter as the summer.In addition to its famous castle, Castleton is unique because it is the only place in the world where the Blue John mineral is still mined. There are many caverns and caves open to the public throughout the year.
The Hope Valley is an ideal base for exploring the treasures of the Peak District. In addition to the wonderful scenery, there are numerous attractions including nearbyCastleton caves and castle, Chatsworth House, Haddon Hall and the plague village of Eyam. If you have any energy left after walking the hills, the Hope Valley offers climbing, cycling, pony trekking, swimming, angling, gliding and parascending.