Visit the Peak District

Aside from miles and miles of the most perfect walking, hiking, climbing and views you could wish for, the Peak District has plenty of other attractions that capture the interest and imagination of thousands every year. Here are some of our favourites.

Longnor – Craft Centre

Longnor Craft Centre occupies the old Market Hall sitting proudly at the top of the cobbled square in the heart of the village of Longnor.

This handsome Grade 2 listed building has been the sole showroom for the owners’ Fox Country Furniture and an outlet for many quality local crafts since being taken on by the Fox family in 1991

Carsington Water

England’s ninth largest reservoir is situated between Ashbourne and Wirksworth. As well as supplying water it has an interactive hands-on entertainment, book and gift shops, tea rooms, cafe and restaurant. There is a track round the reservoir for walks or cycling (bike hire is available) an adventure playground, a wildlife centre, bird hides and low water gardens. There is a purpose built sports facility on the site as well as excellent fly fishing for brown trout – see Seven Trent’s Carsington site.

Castleton caverns

There are four main caves in the area round Castleton:

Peak Cavern is the only wholly natural cavern of the four (it was known to locals as the Devil’s Arse). The others were largely created by lead mining. As well as lead mining the area is famous for Blue John (which is a fluorspar discoloured by blue and yellow impurities).

Speedwell Cavern is a huge natural cavern so high it is impossible to see the top and is so deep that when the canal was dug many tons of waste rock were tipped into it without making a discernible difference.

All the caverns are open to the public.

On a nice day, having visited the Blue John Cavern, take the gate to the left of the facility (as you look at it) and head up the hill. Walk along the ridge and enjoy the views as handgliders and paragliders soar through the sky in front of your eyes.

Caudwell’s Mill at Rowsley

A grade II* listed 19th century water-powered flour-mill with early roller milling machinery, exhibitions and old courtyard with working crafts, mill and gift shops.

Churnet Valley Railway

Ride steam and diesel trains from Cheddleton via Consal to Kingsley and Froghall

Cheddleton Station,
Station Road, Cheddleton, Staffordshire, ST13 7EE

Derwent Valley Mills

Derwent Valley Mills is a World Heritage Site celebrating the fact that the area was the ‘Cradle of the Factory System’ and was key to the development of the Industrial Revolution. The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site runs for 15 miles along the river Derwent, from Masson Mill, Matlock Bath, to the Industrial Museum, formerly Lombe’s Silk Mill, at Derby. It includes Darley Abbey: the mill complex, the historic village and its church, Darley Abbey Park and the flood plain of the river Derwent. Sir Richard Arkwright of Cromford played a particularly important role in the development of the area in the Industrial Revolution

Derby Industrial Museum (now the ‘Museum of Making’)

The Museum is on the site of a former silk mill, Britain’s first factory. Today the museum houses collections that examine the local industries of textile, lead, coal, iron and clay as well as the finest collection of Derby-built Rolls Royce aero-engines.

Denby Visitor Centre

See how Denby is made, watch a free cookery demonstration or browse around the shops and museum. During the school holidays there are extra activities for children and there is also the Denby factory shop on site.

Gullivers Kingdom

A theme park for younger children. Absolutely perfect for ages around 4 – 6.

Heights of Abraham

The Heights of Abraham offer a cable car ride over Matlock Bath and an underground exploration of two show caverns. An adventure play areas, woodland walks, gift shops, the Who Why What! exhibition, are also available on the site.

National stone centre

Tells the story of stone. A 40 acre Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), for its geological formations, offering outdoor and indoor activities for all including fossil trails around their free to access site, Visitor Centre with shop, café and “Building Britain” Exhibition, Geo walks and picnic areas, and a children’s play area.

Crich Tramway Village

This museum at Crich near Matlock offers a fully operational vintage tramway offering tram rides through restored period village to open countryside.

Peak Rail

In 1968 the railway between Matlock and Buxton through the Peak National Park was closed. It was once part of the Midland Railway’s line between Manchester Central and London St.Pancras. In 1975 a group of enthusiasts formed the Peak Railway Society and re-opened the line.

NB. At the time of writing, you cannot board at Darley Dale.

Peak District Mining Museum

For more information about the lead mining in the area there is a museum at Matlock where there is an exhibition on 2500 years of lead mining with displays on geology, the mines and the miners, their tools and engines

Stone circles

The Peak District is home to a number of stone circles – in fact, there are more than 20 circles, cairns and henges in Derbyshire, not to mention hill forts, burial chambers and barrows! Derbyshire is littered with the remains of past lives, civilisations and cultures, many of which remain a source of mystery and legend. You can find some examples here.

Well dressing

It is customary in Derbyshire to decorate springs and wells with pictures made from local plant life. The dressings are set in clay-filled wooden trays, mounted on a wooden frame. It is possible to find dressed wells from May through to September. Here are the latest details.

Did we miss somewhere? Get in touch if you think we should add a venue or point of interest to this page.

Featured image credit – Ladybower reservoir by PeakDistrict.gov.uk

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