The Peak District is Britain’s first National Park, created in 1951 to help preserve its natural beauty, and the fifth largest in England and Wales. The area, which covers 555 square miles is a mixture of dark gritstone crags and expanses of moorland in the Dark Peak turning into the rural, rolling limestone hills and steep sided dales of the White Peak. It’s not all about the natural beauty though, in addition to photography the Peak District offers a diverse range of activities for any visitor. With highlights such as Chatsworth House, quaint villages, sightseeing of medieval castles, the largest underground cave in Britain and plenty of high adrenaline sports. There really is something for everyone. The Peak District attracts over 10 million visitors per year. One of the main reasons for this fact is the ease of access, being in central England with large cities surrounding the Peak District. The Peak District and Derbyshire is steeped in history. From castles and Iron Age hill forts, to stately homes, to the home of the industrial revolution, to the dam busters testing grounds over at Ladybower.
I love many aspects of the Peak District with such diversity from rolling White Peak hills to the gritstone cliffs of the Dark Peak and wonders such as Chastworth House nestled in between. My absolute favourite area is Chrome and Parkhouse Hill in the White Peak due to their unique character and profile which is so different to anything else in the Peak District. Kinder Scout is a great mountain, with a lot to offer over a vast area and a good way of stretching the legs. A lot of people would dismiss Saddleworth in the far north of the Peak District, but this area offers some of the best dramatic views over fairly remote land. When I’m not stretching my legs though, I can’t dismiss such gems as Mam Tor, Ladybower, Dove Dale and Curbar Edge.
The Peak District lies nestled between two major cities of Sheffield and Manchester and other cities such as Derby and Nottingham aren’t too far away, meaning that travel is generally good within the Peak District especially via train. However, having a car is a major advantage as one of the major benefits of the Peak District is a lot of photographic spots are high up but parking nearby, allowing you to gain access quickly taking most of the hard work out. Respect and follow National Park guidelines at all times and be sure to follow local weather updates before setting off. The Peak District rarely experiences very extreme weather meaning Peak District can be visited throughout the year. On average the hottest month is July in summer and the coldest is January in winter. Rainfall on average falls fairly evenly throughout the year, the driest month is May and the wettest is December. The weather is unpredictable as with the rest of the UK and it is possible to see elements of all four seasons in one day. It is advisable for visitors to check the weather forecast before they arrive in the Peak District to get a better idea of the sort of clothing they will need during their trip.