Monsale Dale, Peak District | © pixabay - Graham

The Peak District 

Incredible hills and countryside covered in trails and footpaths throughout

The Peak District 

At almost 555 M2 the Peak District countryside runs across the borders of 4 counties: Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Staffordshire, and Cheshire. Located at the heart of England the Peak District was the first area to be classed as a National Park back in 1951, closely followed by the Lake District, Snowdonia, and Dartmoor.

Covered in incredible moorlands, endless trails and footpaths as well as rolling countryside ‘Visit Peak District’ ensures the safety of the Peak District through a ‘Respect, Protect, Enjoy’ visitor charter. To maintain this incredible countryside and protect those living in the Peak District there are a few things that the ‘Visit Peak District’ organisation asks of those visiting the area.

To RESPECT the local wildlife, the local communities, local business owners, any guidelines, and the local landscapes.

To PROTECT yourself and others, the landscape, local areas, and the local towns and villages.

To ENJOY exploring off the beaten track, supporting local businesses, visiting market towns, and taking photos of the Peak District surroundings.

Pictured: Winnats Pass & Thor's Cave 

Winnats Pass, Peak District | © Tim Hill, Pixabay
  • Tim Hill, Pixabay
Thor's Cave, Peak District | © pixabay - iankelsall1
  • pixabay - iankelsall1
Chrome Hill, Parkhouse Hill, Peak District | © Tim Hill, Pixabay
  • Tim Hill, Pixabay
Chrome Hill, Parkhouse Hill, The Peak District

The Peak District Circular Route offers numerous attractions from;

·         ... Vast, beautiful reservoirs

·         ... Views across the countryside from Cable cars

·         ... The Peak District's very own stone circle

·         ... Historical sites and information

Offering more than just attractions the Peak District is home to some well-known towns and villages such as Buxton, not only a thermal spa town, but England's highest market town too.

Hosting different markets throughout the week as a true Market Town would, but also offering a variety of other worthwhile tourist draws; Buxton Opera House, Pavilion Gardens, Go Ape Treetop Challenge, Buxton Raceway, Spas, Racecourses, Buxton Brewery and Buxton Museum & Art Gallery.

When following the Peak District Circular Route to visit Poole’s Cavern and Harper Hill Quarry, Buxton is a great place to addition to extend your tour and add an extra day to explore this Market Town.

Pictured: Chatsworth House & Haddon Hall. 

Haddon Hall | © Greenbanks, Pixabay
  • Greenbanks, Pixabay
Chatsworth House 
Ladybower Reservoir, Peak District | © Tim Hill, Pixabay
The Peak District Circular Route Attraction Highlights

Home to a wide variety of National Trust, English Heritage, and other sites of importance the Peak District offers a large range of activities, places of beauty and unusual attractions for all the family to enjoy.  On this circular tour of the Peak District there are many of the forementioned places included, as well as a welcomed addition of incredible scenery between stops from the comfort of your own Motorhome. Included route stops are; Chatsworth House, Toad’s Mouth, Little John’s Grave, Ladybower, Standedge Tunnel, B29 Overexposed Crash Site, Blue John Cavern, Poole’s Cavern, Thor’s Cave, Arbor Low Stone Circle & Gib Hill Barrow, Heights of Abraham, Bakewell, including its Famous  Bakewell Pudding Shop and Haddon Hall.

Pictured: Ladybower Reservoir. 

More Attractions

The Peak District Circular Route

1
Chatsworth House
Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the house has been passed through 16 generations of the family. 25 of the rooms are now open to the public along with the 105-acre garden which is home to an arboretum, rock garden, fountains, sculptures and much more. Chatsworth's star of the show for younger family members is The Farmyard and Woodland Playground; home to many animals as well as adventures for all the family with a zipline, slides, and other entertainment.
2
Toad's Mouth
This is an area of land very close to Hathersage; there is a natural piece of rock there named ‘The Toad's Mouth Rock’, it is a one-eyed toad and it is unknown as to when the eye was carved. Just after ‘The Toad's Mouth Rock’ is the well named ‘Surprise View’ where your view spans across two beautiful valleys.
3
Little John’s Grave, Hathersage
Featured in the 14th Century Robin Hood ballads, Little John, formally known as John Little, was one of the most well known of Robin Hoods ‘Merry Men’. In Saint Michael’s at Hathersage there is a Headstone noting where the famous ‘Little John’ is reported to have been buried.
4
Ladybower Reservoir
Seen as the ideal location to store water, the ‘Y’ shaped Ladybower Reservoir was constructed between 1935 – 1943 to fulfill the heavy demand for water from industrial towns around the Peak District. Surrounded by incredibly stunning countryside there are numerous circular walks to explore as well as, on the right day, the opportunity to see the 24 metre ‘Ladybower Plug Hole’ drain through the dam downstream, to the River Derwent.
5
Standedge Tunnel
Standedge Tunnel is not only Britain's longest canal tunnel but also, Britain's deepest and highest tunnel. After exploring the visitor centre, and perhaps the outdoor play and sensory garden, journey through the tunnel on one of the Canal River Trust’s 30 minute boat trips.
6
B29 Overexposed Crash Site
Hike to the B-29 ‘Overexposed’ Crash Site located at the top of Bleaklow Moorland, this is the site where unfortunately all 13 crew members of 1948 Superfortress plane crash died after hitting the top of the hill in low cloud. The remains of the plane are still there to this day to be observed and photographed by anyone passing through. All visitors are asked to not touch or interfere with the crash site remains.
7
The Blue John Cavern
After descending 245 steps into The Blue John Cavern your tour begins, the tour itself lasts for about 50 minutes to an hour, meaning you can enjoy plenty of time amidst the series of caverns made from Britain's rarest mineral; Blue John. Ascend the 245 steps again to visit the craft shop, where you can take home your very own variety of Blue John.
8
Poole's Cavern 
Formed over millions of years this limestone cavern has evidence of life that dates to the Neolithic and early Bronze ages; the 300 meter main chamber is fully illuminated with a variety of LEDs to capture the greatness of Poole’s Cavern. When taking a tour, all these lights are turned off for a moment allowing guests to experience the complete darkness of the cavern.
9
Thor's Cave
‘Thor’s Cave’ is located just outside the village of Wetton, accessed from the footpath below the arched entrance way into this natural cavern is easily visible. Walk through Thor’s Cave where evidence has been found of human occupation dating back 11,000 years to the latter end of the Stone Age.
10
Arbor Low Stone Circle & Gib Hill Barrow
An English Heritage site of a Neolithic henge monument located in the lower Peak District, this circle of some 50 white limestone slabs, all now fallen, surrounds a central stone. Located nearby is also Gib Hill a large burial mound.
11
Heights of Abraham
Although located on the very edge of the Peak District just outside Matlock, Heights of Abraham is a must see during your time in the Peak District. Starting with a Cable Car journey featuring a 360 degree view to the summit of Masson Hill your time here will be spent exploring both the Great Masson and Rutland Caverns, the Victoria Prospect Tower, the Long View & the Fossil Factory Exhibitions, heritage walks, playgrounds, incredible viewpoints and so much more.
12
Bakewell 
A market town at the center of the Peak District known most famously for its Bakewell Pudding, which was accidentally created at a local inn. The pudding was so successful ‘The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop’ was built in the late 17th Century, later selling an addition of 'The Bakewell Tart' after their creation in the late 20th Century. This shop can still be visited today to sample the local delicacy and decide if your preference is the famous ‘Bakewell Tart’ or its predecessor the ‘Bakewell Pudding’.
13
Haddon Hall
At over 900 years old Haddon Hall is full of history, shown through a collection of tapestries, early English furniture, and the Elizabethan Walled Gardens; with tours available throughout the year you‘ll be sure to soak up all the history of Haddon Hall.

Bakewell

Bakewell

CAMPSITES ALONG THE WAY

With so much to explore along your Peak District route, you’ll need some comfortable campsites to stop with your van. Below are some perfectly placed campsites to stop along the way as you explore ‘The Peak District Circular Route’;

Heatherhill Farm Campsite, Hope Valley

Located on a working farm with views of Bamford Edge, Winhill and Shatton Edge Heatherhill Farm Campsite has access to a variety of local attractions and is within great access to Ladybower Reservoir. Should you wish to explore on foot the Thornhill Trail starts directly from the camp and leads you to Ladybower itself.

Offering Electric Hook up, Mains Water, Washing Up Area, Chemical Waste Point and other facilities Heatherhill Farm Campsite has everything you need for a restful stop. Full facilities list can be found here.

Crowden - Camping and Caravanning Club Site

A haven for hikers, straight from the campsite you can set off on a gentle stroll along footpaths or take a longer walking route out on a stretch of the long-distance Pennine Way.

Set next to Torside Reservoir this site is close to both Standedge Tunnel and the B29 Overexposed Crash Site; offering a perfect location to stop in between this next part of your route.

On offer is an onsite Shop, Drying Room, Washing Machines, Dedicated Accessible Facilities and so much more. Click here to see additional facilities.  

Ladybower Reservoir, Peak District | © Tim Hill, Pixabay
  • Tim Hill, Pixabay
‘The Ladybower Plug Hole’, Ladybower Reservoir

Hayfield - Camping and Caravanning Club Site

Hayfield’s campsite is beautifully peaceful, set in a secluded location but still a stones throw to local attractions. Nearby amenities include a local pub within a mile as well as an onsite shop.

This site is set-up for both Motorhomes and Camping and offers an abundance of facilities from a Parent and Baby Room to Dishwashing Facilities and a Children’s Play Area. To read more about the sites facilities click here.

Leek - Camping and Caravanning Club Site

The stop to make in between Poole’s Cavern and Thor’s Cave, this Leek Campsite is located in the Staffordshire Moorlands the site is surrounded by trees and offers plenty of walks, hikes or small strolls straight from your pitch.

The site offers an abundance of facilities including Showers, Motorhome Service Point, Children’s Play Area, and that’s only naming a few. A full list of amenities can be found here.

The Waterloo Inn Campsite, Biggin

A Campsite with an onsite Inn offering “good beer, good food and a warm welcome”; surrounded by trees and fields this campsite is set just behind the Inn.  

Offering Electric Hook-ups, Water, Showers and Toilets as well as a Wash Off Area for your pots & pans this site is a perfect location to stop in between your visit to Arbor Low Stone Circle and the Heights of Abraham or in between the Heights of Abraham and Bakewell. Full amenities and other information can be found here.

Peak District Motorhome and Campervan Route

Selected Campingsites

You can also find more information about the sights in our Explorer Map.