Your Introduction to the Peak District National Park
Located in the heart of Britain, the world’s second most popular National Park is the Peak District. This may be surprising, but the Peak District’s charms have long been in the hearts, minds and feet of its many legions of fans. The National Park’s accessibility is one of its greatest triumphs. Reportedly situated within 60 miles of half the UK’s population, this breathtaking landscape is an island floating adrift the urban sprawl of northern England, with notably one third of the city of Sheffield being within the National Park boundary. The importance of this area for recreation and conservation to inhabitants within its reach should not be taken lightly.
The name ‘Peak District’ is somewhat misleading. In terms of actual height, the park itself is not considered to be that high by most standards (though it does have its share of impressive hills!). The highest point, at around 2,088ft above sea level, sits atop Kinder Scout (scene of the infamous mass trespass that led the way in forming the walking access rights we have today). Places such as Kinder can indeed succumb to severe weather conditions and anybody tackling such remote areas needs to be experienced and properly equipped.
The most notable and obvious draw for day trippers and weekenders alike is the quality and variety of the walking on offer. The Peak District National Park is unparalleled in this respect and offers an infinite number of routes and opportunities for all levels of ability. From genteel dale walking in lush, vegetated valleys and picnicking next to some of the cleanest waters in Britain (Dovedale for example); to some of the most challenging, desolate and otherworldly moorland in the country. This contrast is down to the unique geography of the Park, made up of limestone plateau in the south and dark gritstone to the north.
A former tropical sea and Britain’s very first National Park, the Peak District has a wealth of attributes to charm, delight and impress visitors both old and new.
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