When discussing things to do in the Peak District the list is endless and is full of activities to keep all the family busy. Whether a spot of fishing takes your fancy, or maybe a lovely dog-friendly walk or perhaps caves are more your thing? There is so much to do and so many things to see that it’s important to plan your days wisely so you don’t miss out. Whatever your age, interests and stamina levels you will have plenty to choose from when visiting the Peak District.
When looking for things to do in the Peak District you can book activities online or over the phone ahead of your trip. You can also visit one of the visitor centres situated around the Peaks where you can pick up leaflets and advice from the staff there. Many of the Peak District accommodations will have leaflets and brochures for their visitors also.
Things To Do With Families
Sometimes it can be hard finding things to do as a family of different ages. It can seem daunting to occupy toddlers whilst also making sure Granny is okay. Don’t fret though because you will find an abundance of activities suitable for you all. Children will enjoy the walking trails as much as the adults; they can count butterflies, play eye spy, jump, hop and skip through the beautiful landscape. There are so many trails to choose from, varying from easy and flat to challenging and steep. There are wildlife parks, market stalls, rivers, woodlands, villages and so many historical sites to visit. Rail and bus links make getting around a breeze as well.
Things To Do With Dogs
You needn’t be concerned about being stuck indoors with your dog because there is a huge variety of dog-friendly activities and places for your four-legged friends. Whether it’s a pub lunch you crave or miles and miles of dog-friendly walks there are lots of options to choose from. Dog-friendly areas and activities are well advertised making it easy to see at a glance if your dog can come along
Dogs are welcome in the Chatsworth grounds and gardens on leads and can go on to explore the River Derwent. Dogs are welcome in some of the caves too so you can enjoy exploring the stalagmites and stalactites with your dog in tow. Dogs are even welcome aboard the vintage tram near Matlock. Once you step off the tram you will find lots of dog-friendly shops and pubs meaning you can enjoy the whole village experience.
There is a huge array of walking opportunities and is by far one of the most popular things to do in the Peak District. Finding a trail to suit your needs is easy and there is a huge selection to choose from. Below we’ve put together some of the most popular walking routes:
Kinder Scout Walk: described as a hard to medium trail this route boasts the highest point of the Peaks, 636 metres above sea level. The moorland and Nature Reserve makes this a popular choice for the more experienced of walkers. You can find this walk by travelling to Edale.
Thor’s Cave: this walk takes approximately 3 hours to complete and is a moderate walk. This trial is popular among walkers, hikers, climbers and bird watchers. It is situated near to Leek, and the trail is 8.5km. You can explore the natural cavern and be privileged to some spectacular views from the vantage points.
Ladybower Reservoir Walk: the complete walk can be completed in 1-2 hours and is a circular route of 5 miles. Suitable for inexperienced walkers and while families make it a popular choice. There are no stiles or kissing gates either adding to its ease. There are plenty of parking spaces and you can access the walk by parking at Fairholmes Visitor Information Centre.
Sett Valley Trail: situated along the picturesque River Sett, this walk is 2.5 miles in length and one of the easiest routes. You follow an old railway line and the walk brings you close to Hayfield town. You pass the Bluebell Wood Nature Reserve and is suitable for dogs and children.
A day spent out at one of the caves and surrounding areas make a unique experience for the whole family (dogs too). Being up close to rock formations, and some rare stones make it one of the more sought after activities. Below are a few of the caves you can explore.
Poole’s Cavern: situated in Buxton you can witness for yourselves the limestone caverns spanning this area. You can enjoy a guided tour or explore independently.You also have access to the surrounding woodlands and country park meaning you can stretch it into a whole day worth of exploring.
Treak Cliff Cavern: based in Hope Valley, Castleton this unique visit will lead you to the precious sights of Blue John Stone. You can enjoy the surrounding views and stroll around the gift shop too. There is also a cafe and various picnic places to enjoy your day out.
Cresswell Crags: here you will get to enjoy some rare Ice Age cave art while also enjoying the whole cave experience. There is also a museum and Visitor Centre which the whole family can enjoy. This one is based in Welbeck.
Peak Cavern: this is located west of Peveril Castle in Castleton and boasts the largest cave mouth in Britain. While visiting this cavern steeped in history you can also visit Castleton itself.
Theme Parks draw in huge crowds annually and are one of the most popular destinations for families and groups. If you are into the thrills of some of the world’s greatest rides then one of the theme parks below are sure to please you.
Alton Towers: situated in Staffordshire this park has a multitude of rides and also two themed hotels. You can also explore the enchanted village and cool off in the renowned water parks or perhaps enjoy the uniqueness of the tree houses.
Drayton Manor: situated in Staffordshire Drayton Manor pulls in huge numbers wanting to experience Thomas Land making it particularly attractive to families with young children. It also has a 15-acre zoo giving you so much to experience on your trip.
Gulliver’s Kingdom: located in Matlock this park is suitable for all the family with its variety of activities and rides. There are parks dotted around and a water slide too. It also has a chair lift to help get you around the park making it stand out from others.
Castle exploring makes for a great day out with the family and gives you a fantastic insight into its history and culture. Explore the grounds while the children pretend to be knights – there is something special about visiting castles steeped in history.
Peveril Castle: situated in Castleton you will be privy to some stunning views overlooking Castleton. There is a shop and Visitor Centre here where you can learn of the history while enjoying the views. The walk to the castle is uphill.
Bolsover Castle: based in Bolsover this castle has many features to enjoy including The Little Castle, The Riding House, Terrace Range and Wall Walk. It also features a children’s play park, cafe and shop.
Schloss Dunwyn: located in Castleton you will need to walk uphill to reach this castle but once you have the views are well worth the effort. With views of the surrounding Peaks and Hope Valley, you are in for a treat.
If learning and history interest you then one of the many museums situated within the Peak District will inspire and fascinate you. The information and detail will take to I right back to the period you are reading about making you feel you are living it.
The Old House Museum: located in Bakewell this museum was originally a 16th Century Yeoman’s House. You can enjoy learning about local life and some of its history.
The National Tramway Museum: located in Crich this fascinating museum is home to over 60 trams. You can wander through the recreated period village which includes a working pub, cafe and tram depots.
Peak District Mining Museum: based in Matlock you can step back in time and learn all about the mining industry. You can even try your hand at panning for “gold” and there are other educational activities. You can also visit the shop and take one of the guided tours.
Eyam Museum: situated in the village of Eyam this museum tells the history of its village including how the bubonic plague came to Eyam. After visiting the museum you will leave knowing so much more about the village’s history and can explore the village at your leisure.
As you can see finding something to do and see in the Peak District should not be a difficult task. The list is extensive and there are some truly unique experiences just waiting for you among the beauty of the Peak District.