6 Delightful Ways to Enjoy the Beauty of the Peak District
One of the Most Strikingly Beautiful Areas in the UK
The winds sweep over the rugged Pennines, through ancient villages surrounded by stone walls and rocky outcroppings as a herd of sheep make their way down the emerald slopes. The earthy greens and browns of the misty moorland create a mysterious atmosphere, drawn upon by roads that date back centuries.
Believe it or not, the Peak District didn’t get its name because it is famous for mountain peaks. You won’t find any sharp, towering, snow-capped summits here — the landscape is more gentle rolling hills, deep valleys, stony escarpments, lakes and vast fields.
So, where did the name come from? No one knows for sure, but it is thought that it came from the Pecsaetan, who were an Anglo Saxon tribe that used to live in these hills.
In 1951 the landscape was designated a national park, protected from over-development and left as a beautiful playground for nature lovers. Here you will find 555 square miles of wild English countryside just waiting to be explored. It’s often enjoyed by ramblers, mountain bikers, photographers, picnickers and those with a sense of adventure.
What are some things do in the Peak District? Here are some ideas:
Lyme Park, House & Garden
If you are interested in history, you’ll want to head to Lyme Park, House & Garden, a remnant of an era long gone by.
This gorgeous house was once home to the Legh family and is now managed by the National Trust. You might recognize it — it was used as a filming location for the BBC adaptation of “Pride & Prejudice,” starring the always-adorable Colin Firth.
During your visit you can fully immerse yourself in the past, even dressing up in period clothing as you tour the butler’s suite and the Edwardian rose garden. Also, don’t miss the display of the “Lyme Missal Prayer Book” from the 15th century — the most significant printed book in the National Trust’s Collection.
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Another significant historic house in the Peak District, Chatsworth House is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. It has over 30 stunning rooms to explore, from the Sculpture Gallery to the Painted Hall of the State Rooms. Also, be sure to see the Devonshire Collection, one of the most significant art collections in Europe.
There are also 105 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens to explore, which often feature outdoor art exhibitions. Take your little ones to the farmyard and adventure playground, where they can learn about animals, see milking demonstrations and enjoy trailer rides.
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A hike along this dramatic rocky outcrop will reward you with stunning views of the moorland which will simply take your breath away. Stanage Edge is only a 20-minute drive from Sheffield and the view from the top is absolutely gorgeous.
Stanage Edge is another Peak District attraction that classic book lovers will adore visiting. You might recognize it from the 2005 film version of “Pride & Prejudice,” starring Keira Knightley. Also, when you look out from Stanage Edge you’ll be able to see the North Lees Hall. Dating back from the 16th century, it is thought that this hall was the inspiration for Thornfield Hall in the novel “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë.