The Peak District National Park is the oldest of Britain's national parks and, perhaps because of that, it is the most characteristic of the features preserved in the parks. It's landscapes of hills and the wide, shallow valleys known as dales covers 555 miles in the heart of England, across Derbyshire, Staffordshire and a small part of South Yorkshire. The area is historically rich, with hundreds of listed national monuments, stately homes, magnificent abbeys and storybook villages.
It's a popular but challenging area for long distance walking. Visitors sometimes underestimate the distances and difficulties of walks in the Peak District. Happily, the annual, two-week walking festival in April and May has plenty of escorted walks - as well as more strenuous ones - to introduce visitors to the park.
Stanage Edge, near Sheffield, and The Roaches, in the Staffordshire Moorlands, attract rock climbers from all over Europe and the park has opportunities for cycling and mountain biking, riding, canoeing and kayaking, fishing, sailing, windsurfing, hang gliding and gliding.