Explore The Peak District National Park
The Peak District National Park is a unique and beautiful area of England, full of natural wonders, great walking and cycling routes, and peaceful spots for fishing and painting. The southern side of the Peak District can be found a short drive from Sandon Hall, making it a great place for a day trip, or a stop off to and from our country estate.
About The Peak District
The Peak District is located mainly in Derbyshire, England, although parts of it spread out west into Cheshire and Greater Manchester, south into Staffordshire, and northeast into Yorkshire.
Some of the loveliest parts of the Peak District are within easy reach of Sandon Hall, including Dovedale, a famous beauty spot, The Roaches, an impressive collection of ragged rock formations much loved by hikers and climbers, and Solomon’s Temple, which offers spectacular views.
The Peak District Opening Dates/Times
The Peak District National Park is open all year round. There may be some routes and activities that are limited by weather and seasonality, so if you are planning more than walking the hills, it is best to check what is on in advance.
Plan Your Trip To The Peak District
The Peak District National Park is a vast area, covering 555 square miles. It is the UK’s original national park and is not only worth a visit but worth revisiting time and time again. There are activities for individuals, groups and families of all ages.
Accessibility At The Peak District
There are numerous routes around The Peak District National Park, including options for those who are less mobile or have accessibility needs. With the aim of making the Peak District as accessible for all as possible, there are access guides for all the visitor centres, dedicated disabled parking spaces and disabled facilities at all toilets.
Additionally, the Miles without Stiles routes are ‘suitable for those who are less mobile, disabled, or have young children’. These chosen routes are well-surfaced paths that don’t have stiles, steps or steep gradients. Routes are marked with guidance for options that avoid all three or some of these accessibility factors.
Visiting The Peak District From The Sandon Hall Estate
Guests can visit The Peak District National Park in around 50 minutes, from either of our luxury stays. The route from Sandon Hall takes you to the southernmost point of The Peak District. It takes about 1hr 30mins to reach the centre of the national park.
Parking At The Peak District
There are 45 Peak District National Park Authority car parks located all around the national park. It is important to use one of the designated parking spots to avoid blocking roads for farm vehicles, emergency services, or damaging the natural landscape.
Parking charges apply between 9am and 6pm, with a maximum of £4.75 for an all-day ticket. Charges vary for horseboxes, motorbikes and coaches. Blue Badge Holders and cyclists can park for free.
Not all parking metres accept cards, so you may need to bring coins. A list of all the car parks and their accepted payment methods are available online.
Public Transport Access To The Peak District
Public transport to The Peak District National Park is by train and bus primarily. Trains will take you close to the outskirts of various areas in The Peak District. You will need to take an additional bus further into the park.
Activities In The Peak District National Park
Walks Around The Peak District
The spectacular and varied landscape of the Peak District National Park ranges from impressive peaks and limestone dales to dramatic moorland and is a paradise for walkers and hikers of all ages and abilities.
Unguided Walking Routes
Some of the most famous routes include the Trans Pennine Trail, a 215-mile route from coast to coast, the 46-mile Limestone Way and the 55-mile Derwent Valley Heritage Way that winds its way through some of the region’s most impressive scenery and industrial heritage. Leaflets and guides for all these routes and many more can be found at the local visitor centres, whose staff can also advise on itineraries and access.
If you’d prefer not to go it alone, why not join one of the many excellent Ranger-led events that take place all year round. From guided walks and navigation training to mindfulness and connecting with nature trails, this is a great way to get to know the National Park and meet fellow ramblers and nature enthusiasts along the way.
Cycling in the Peak District
The Peak District National Park contains miles and miles of traffic-free cycling routes of all difficulty levels, including both tarmacked pathways and off-road cycling trails. Routes lead you through some of the best of the Peak District, including picturesque villages, fascinating historical sites and acres of stunning scenery, wildlife and geology.
Several bike hire centres are located in the area, all of which are located near bus routes making it convenient and practical to leave the car at home.
Other Outdoor Activities and Sports in the Peak District
The size and diversity of the Peak District makes it ideal for many other outdoor sports and activities, from horse riding, climbing and caving, to watersports and fishing. It’s also possible to camp in one of the designated campsites, although wild camping is not permitted.
Activities For Kids: Junior Rangers
The Peak District is ideal for outdoorsy families and there’s a wealth of things to do for all ages. The National Park comprises 520 square miles of countryside, peaks and rivers and there are numerous walking and cycling trails suitable for little legs.
There are also plenty of nearby attractions and theme parks. Kids will love the adventure rides at Gulliver’s Kingdom Resort, the cuddly farm animals at Matlock Farm Park, or the cable cars up to the historic Heights of Abraham estate.
11-18 year olds can also take part in Junior Rangers, a programme that teaches young people about the park, with hands-on experience working with Rangers, learning new skills and undertaking adventurous tasks.
Things To Do Near The Peak District
The Peak District National Park is a vast and varied area so there is plenty to do within the park itself, in between the expansive hills, fields and woods. However, if you are travelling through the Peak District on your way home or want to stop somewhere for refreshments or a sit-down meal, there are plenty of nearby spots to try.
Local Towns: Cultural Spots & Places To Eat
Located towards the south-east side of the Peak District is Bakewell. Known for the Bakewell Pudding, the market town is a picturesque and beautiful place to stop by. There are a selection of restaurants and bakeries in Bakewell, making this town an excellent place for a light lunch or to take a break with some tea and cake.
If you want to spend a few hours, there are some interesting spots and activities in Bakewell. There is a recreational area where kids can play, the Bakewell Old House museum for history fans and the Bakewell Farmers’ Market on the last Saturday of each month.
Home of Buxton water, this thermal spa town on the west side of the Peak District has a number of independent shops, along with cafes, bars and restaurants. If you want to stop by and refuel, recommended spots include: The Royal Oak Inn for excellent gastro-pub grub, Eat at No.5 for a quick bite, and the High Peak Bookstore and Cafe for a nice coffee and perhaps a new read!
Like the many towns dotted around the Peak District, Buxton is a great place for some cultural and historical sights. There is the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, which focuses on archeology and geology from the area, The Pavillion Gardens, which features a miniature railway, and Poole’s Cavern, a set of subterranean caves and hiking trails.
To the west of the Peak District, outside of its bounds, is the town of Nantwich. A great place to visit and an ideal town to drop off anyone who is less keen on hiking the peaks, Nantwich has one of the highest concentrations of listed buildings in England. Just walking around the town is a tour through Georgian and Tudor architecture.
There are plenty of spots where you can stop off and enjoy the view in Nantwich. The Wickstead Arms is known for an excellent selection of ales and British food, plus a special tapas menu on a Friday. For a taste of the international, St Martha’s has excellent Greek food and great service. There are plenty of coffee shops in Nantwich, such as Nantwich Bookshop Coffee Lounge and Chatwins Coffee Lounge, which are as good for a sit-down as they are for a takeaway coffee, which you can enjoy while wandering along the nearby River Weaver which runs through the town.
Explore more Things To Do in Staffordshire
There are plenty of activities, events and places to visit around Sandon Hall and across Staffordshire.