It’s one of the warmer days of summer, and a man is running across springy green turf towards the edge of a high sheer cliff. The ground beneath him ends, but the man continues. He soars up and out over the breath taking panorama of fields, woodlands and rivers below, pulled aloft into the sunlight by the brightly coloured paraglider into which he’s harnessed. Welcome to the Peak District.
It isn’t necessary to go to such extreme lengths to appreciate the stunning natural beauty of Derbyshire’s Peak District. Situated at England’s heart, here busy motorways are replaced by winding country roads bordered by ancient dry-stone walls; sprawling concrete cityscapes give way to charming market towns and rustic villages and the noise and hustle of modern urban life fades to birdsong carried on the breeze.
In short, the Peak District offers the ultimate get-away-from-it-all British holiday. Those who enjoy sleeping beneath the stars can pitch their tent in one of the many camp sites ideally located for access to the rolling and dramatic hills for which the area is named. For those seeking home comforts, holiday cottages, welcoming guest houses and traditional inns are plentiful. There are even a few world-renowned luxury hotels such as the splendid Victorian Palace Hotel in Buxton, or the Peacock in Rowsley.
No matter where you are based in the Peak District, you are never far from something interesting to discover or do. If you’re feeling energetic and enjoy walking you might take on Kinder Scout, the highest of the peaks, to be afforded some of the most stunning views of the area.
For a gentler but no less enjoyable way of exploring the Peak District hire a bicycle and take a leisurely ride along the Tissington Trail, a picturesque thirteen mile stretch of former railway line which takes you from the village of Parsley Hay to the historic hillside market town of Ashbourne. And if you miss that authentic seaside holiday resort feeling, a visit to Matlock Bath is a must. Here you can ride a cable car high over the River Derwent and up to the famous Heights of Abraham or stroll by the river itself and admire the illuminations before trying your luck in one of the traditional amusement arcades along the main street.
History buffs should take in a visit to the magnificent Chatsworth House, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The beautiful grounds provide the perfect spot for a summer picnic, as long as you don’t mind the occasional interruption from the sheep and deer that freely roam the estate.
If all of this exploration leaves you feeling hungry, don’t forget to pop into the scenic riverside town of Bakewell to sample the world famous pudding or tart. You can even post yourself one to enjoy when you return home!
There is much more to discover about Derbyshire’s beautiful Peak District. Take a relaxing holiday there, and see for yourself.