The Best Peak District Walks

The Best walks in the peak district
Photo by Illiy Vjestica

Where is the Peak District?

The Peak District is a beautiful national park based in Derbyshire in the North of England. Filled with gorgeous picturesque villages such as Castleton, Bakewell and Buxton. Beautiful walks such as Monsal Dale, and Mam Tor and stunning views at the top peaks such as Kinder Scout and Winnats Pass. It is the ultimate place to visit if you are looking for a holiday in the middle of the countryside, surrounded by wildlife, beautiful scenery and quaint pubs filled with yummy homemade food and real ales and breathtaking waterfalls. What more could you want? 

It has been proven that being outside drastically improves your mental health and well being. This is certainly true for me, and I am so lucky to have the Peak District as my back garden. Growing up I have explored a lot of different places in this district national park and yet after 28 years of exploring I am still discovering hidden gems. The Peak District really is somewhere that you can keep visiting for the rest of your life. 

During this post I am going to give you all my best Peak District walks. With its difficulty, accessibility, duration and places nearby to stay. 

Kinder Scout

Now I couldn’t do a post about the best Peak District walks without mentioning the superstar that is Kinder Scout. Kinder is the highest peak in the Peaks and is known for its breathtaking views. I have done this walk numerous times in all weathers from glorious sunshine, to waist deep snow. It can be reached by car or by train. Simply get off the train at Edale and follow the signs to begin your walk. This is quite a popular walk so there is usually someone there to ask should you need it. 

Alternatively you can put this postcode into your sat nav and park up here S33 7ZL. Now this walk in terms of difficulty is a constant uphill walk to the peak. And will take roughly 4 hours to do it in its entirety. I am by no means ‘fit’ and and at times do get a little out of breath. So just ensure that you take plenty of stops, and here’s my life hack

When feeling out of breath on walks, just take a quick break. And look back at where you’ve come from. Take in the views and appreciate what you’ve achieved so far. 

 

Kinder Scout best Peak District walks
Photo by Felix

No  matter what your mind is saying, no it is lying to you and you can do this. It’s not a race of who can do it quickest. This walk isn’t incredibly accessible as its grounds are uneven and there are some parts where you are required to ‘scramble’ (it’s not quite climbing). So be mindful of this when setting off. There are pathways for you to follow and a stream alongside you. It is an incredibly beautiful walk and the views are second to none!

And once you’ve finished, there’s plenty of pubs to have a well deserved drink and a meal in afterwards. And bonus they are mostly if not all dog friendly! I personally recommend The Rambler Inn, it has great food, views dog friendly and a beer garden for those beautiful summer days. 

You’ll love this walk if you are wanting to get out for the day, push yourself, see beautiful views and say you have walked up the highest peak in the peak district. Like I said I am by no  means at my peak fitness and I can do this walk. It is difficult but it is amazing.

Where to stay?

Here is where I love to stay when I’m doing the Kinder Scout walk and want a night away in a beautiful area. You are staying with the host, Michelle, where you can have a king, double or single bed with your own private bathroom. Michelle is super lovely and welcoming. You’re guaranteed to have a great stay! 

Mam Tor

Another absolute cracker included in my best Peak District walks is Mam Tor! This walking route is absolutely beautiful, and particularly popular to do for sunset or sunrise. Located close to the beautiful village of Castleton and has stunning views over the beautiful district national park.You can start this walk from Castlton village if you wish there are signs guiding you to this circular walk. Where there is plenty of parking and hourly buses to and from Sheffield. Should you be driving here this is the Postcode you will need S33 8WA.

This walk is roughly 2 hours long, and has a moderate difficulty, due to it being an uphill walk. It isn’t as steep as the trail up Kinder and requires no ‘scrambles’ therefore it is more accessible as well. With equally stunning views over hope valley. And again if walking from Castleton then when you’ve finished there are plenty of pubs to have a drink and food in afterwards. I have written a list of them in the above mentioned Castleton post. 

If you go from the car park, you need to climb the steps at the top of the car park, walk along the path and follow the signs front here. It’s really straightforward. Especially if you’re like myself and can panic about finding walks you’ve never done before. 

You will love this walk if you like to get up high to admire some stunning views. When you want to push yourself but don’t need the physical fitness of an olympic athlete. Because I’m creating these guides for you to have a beautiful time not let your mind lie to you about what you can and can’t do.

Mam Tor best Peak District walks
Photo by Greg Wilson

Where to stay?

Here is a beautiful place entirely for you self. Here you are located right in the middle of Castleton with your own ground floor apartment. You really couldn’t ask for more with the accommodation. Lynn the host is also classed as a superhost which is something I tend to look for in accommodation on AirBnB. As it means that the properties and host have been consistently highly rated by previous guests. 

Stanage Edge

Located just outside of Sheffield this place deserves it’s spot as part of the best Peak District walks as it is beautiful. And is a hot spot for climbers as well as walkers. The walk is a little steep up to the edge itself but once you get up there it plateaus out and you have views right across the moors. This walk is relatively easy and takes between 3-4 hours. There aren’t any facilities around and so I would suggest taking your own picnic. Though if I’m perfectly honest I do love a good picnic when I’m on a walk and so always take them 🙂

This is a circular walk and again is family and dog friendly. There a lots of rocks for yourselves or the little ones to jump on and off and is the perfect way to spend a Sunday, blow the cobwebs off and if the night before you’ve had some vino and are feeling a little anxious (I know it happens with me) then this is the perfect walk as it requires very little in terms of effort. 

To get there now depending on the walk you can start and finish this walk at Hathersage train station, with both public access and car parks. This walk is roughly 6 miles and is along country lanes and onto Stanage top. I prefer the walk that just includes the top itself. Therefore if you type in this postcode S32 1BR It will take you straight to the Stanage Edge viewpoint, with free parking and a shorter 4 mile walk. This is the ultimate walk for people who like adventure without having to go hiking up a peak and still get stunning views across the district.

stanage Edge
Photo by Magda V

Where to stay

Now if you’re anything like me I love unusual and quirky accommodation. If so this is the perfect place for you to stay it’s called the Stanage Shepherds hut and I absolutely love it. The host Sue is lovely and does whatever she can to help you. With views over Hathersage and Stanage Edge you can’t go wrong with this place. It is so cute and perfect for a romantic night away ready to go on some of the best Peak District walks.

Ladybower Reservoir 

This walk is beautiful, easy and accessible, which are just some of the reasons why it’s featured in my best Peak District walks. When I was younger if the water was low you could see the top of the church spire. But they had to get rid of it as people kept swimming out to it. This circular walking route is one I have done many times and is suitable for people of all ages. The walk can be anything from a couple of miles all the way to 11 should you want it too. And so can take anything up to 5ish hours. I personally prefer the shot walk which takes around 1-2 hours. As this is a nice gentle walk with flat pathways all the way round. 

The walk starts and ends at Fairholmes visitor centre where there is a carpark which you will be charged for. However if you don’t mind a little extra walk there are plenty of places to park along the way which are free! Type in this postcode to get you on your way S33 0AQ. 

Here there are toilets and even a cafe for you to get refreshments ready for your walk. To start your walk turn left from the visitors centre and head towards the A57 (Snakes Pass). After just over a mile you will come to a gate, head through the gate, over the bridge and come back on yourself to finish.

Super easy, with some breathtaking views. A perfect way to spend a day without having to exert yourself too much. 

lady bower resevoir
Photo by Graham Durham

Where to stay

As this walk is only a 10-15 minute drive from Hathersage I would highly recommend staying here a beautiful loft self contained, with spiral staircases and gorgeous bright open spaces. What more could you possibly want from your stay whilst doing some of the best walks in the Peak District. 

Other walks

Now there are some walks I haven’t included that equally deserve to be included in the best Peak District walks though due to already having posts about them in more detail I will briefly mention them with links to my more in depth posts.

Now this is one of my best Peak District walks. Padley Gorge. Filled with tree swings, wild swimming spots and rocks to climb. This adventurous walk is just stunning, relatively easy and can be done in anything from 30 mins to a couple of hours.

Another beautiful walk that is definitely one of the best Peak District walks is Monsal Dale. An old railway line that has been turned into a super easy walk, with paved walkways the entire way. This walk is incredibly accessible and has beautiful views along its way. As well as a car park, cafe and the opportunity to hire a bike if you so wish. 

I have also written a post about 4 of the best short walks in the peak district. Here you will find guides to some of my favorite short walks, for when you only have an afternoon, morning or an hour but want to get out in some fresh air and see some lovely scenery along the way.

I hope you enjoy my best Peak District walks. As for me this national park is second to none. It’s got everything and is really somewhere where you can let yourself relax and your mind breath. 

If I can do it, so can you boo!

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