The Perfect Country Getaway
There are currently 15 designated national parks in Britain. In England, 10 of these parks exist alone. The Peak District is one of Britain’s oldest, and most popular parks in the UK. It was formed in 1951 and is in one of the most scenic parts of the country. It receives nearly 9 million visitors every year, and with its amazing scenery and tranquillity, it’s easy to see why. The Peak District is almost exactly in the centre of England, meaning it is very easily accessed by road and rail.
To reach the Peak District will take you around an hour from the major cities of Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, and Nottingham. It is also easily accessed from Birmingham – England’s 2nd largest city – in just under two hours. The M1 motorway runs along the parks eastern fringes, with several access points leading off to head west into the park between Derby and Sheffield. The M62 runs along the top end between Leeds and Manchester, and it’s very easy to approach the park by heading south from there. The M6 between Birmingham and Manchester also has several exit points to join the park from the southern or western edges.
Public transport options are available too, by taking a train from major cities like Birmingham and Manchester and changing to buses at Derby or Buxton. The local bus networks are very well-serviced and many roads run through the park making it entirely accessible. The nearest airports to the Peak District are at Manchester and East Midlands Airport, which is just south of Derby. You can even travel straight into the heart of the park from London Heathrow Airport using the National Express
Where to Stay
The Peak District is mostly contained in the northern part of Derbyshire, but also includes or borders parts of Cheshire, Staffordshire, and Yorkshire. It is in large part due to its accessibility in the centre of England that makes the Peak District to popular with visitors. It is also an area of great diversity, split into the northern area known as the ‘dark peak’, and the southern ‘white peak’. In the northern dark peak the geology consists of gritstone moorland, and is very rugged territory, whereas the southern white peak consists of limestone and has more visitor attractions.
For this reason, most of the accommodation is found in the white peak, and many visitors choose to stay in one of the Derbyshire Country Cottages, where prices can be as low as £287 per week based on two people sharing. Longer term rentals of a month or longer are also available, as are long weekend packages of three or four days, depending on the property. There are several options to choose from, suiting different sizes and proximity to some of the Peak District’s most popular attractions.
A Pleasant Place in the Country
Visiting Derbyshire and the Peak District certainly should not be missed. If you’ve never been before, you won’t be disappointed at what the Peak District national park has to offer. One of the best things about the Peak District is that it is very easily accessible by private or public transport. It will take no more than two hours to reach the centre of the park from the largest cities in Britain. Once in the park, there are several places to stay in the park for several days or weeks at a time, allowing plenty of opportunity to take it all in.