Peak District VS Lake District: Why Peak District is the best

What are the Peak and Lake District

For those of you outside of England who may not be familiar with the reasons behind Peak District VS the Lake District national parks which has been happening for years and years! Let me explain it to you. You see the Peak District stretches over central and Northern England encompassing lots of  villages with, never ending Yorkshire moors (think Wuthering Heights), lots of reservoirs, rivers and streams, farmers fields and of course Peaks to climb, walk and cycle as well as woodlands to explore. Whereas the Lake District is located in the North West of England and is the biggest national park in the UK, also with lots of villages, coastlines, walks and of course lakes. Both are amazing to visit if you are struggling with anxiety or mental health and want to get outdoors!

Now when you ask people about the two of these people will often have heard of the Lakes but not the Peaks. Why is that I hear you say? Is it because the Lake district is better? Not at all! It’s purely because the Lake District is more touristy and therefore people have heard of it more. In this blog I am going to depict to you the Peak District VS the Lake District and why the Peaks is better and should be the place you go to for your England holiday!

Reason Number 1! – Crowd Control:

There’s nothing worse than when you go on holiday and are lunged into a hoard of people, especially in summer. You’re hot, sweaty (possibly a lil hungover from the night before) and the last thing you want to be doing is pushing through a crowd having to form a hand holding line so you don’t lose everyone. Desperately trying to look for a quiet spot you can stand together and figure out where and what you are going to do next. Before reemerging back into the sea of people only to find out where you want to go is fully booked there’s a huge queue and everyone else has had the same idea as you. And because it’s high season, prior bookings aren’t available. 

Now, I don’t know about you, but that to me sounds awful. As getting outside massively helps my anxiety and filling my lungs with fresh air. But huge crowds do not. And as much as I love the Lake District when it comes to Peak District VS Lake District the Peaks win every time. As they are so much more quiet than the Lake District. As of course the bigger place such as Bakewell and Castleton can get quite busy. But you still don’t feel claustrophobic, and once you get up on those walks and find those gorgeous views, and  the little private wild swimming spots. You will immediately fall in love!

There’s no queuing to get onto any of the Lakes because alot of the walks are public pathways. Therefore anyone can have access to them! Which leads my nicely on to reason number 2!

Reason Number 2! – Public access is so much better

Peak District VS Lake District - Kinder Scout
Image by Felix

My next point in Peak District VS Lake District, is the ability to roam free! Now bare with me here. You see the Peak District is filled with wonderful walks from Mam Tor, to Padley Gorge, Kinder Scout and Win Hill. Just to name a few. All of which are public footpaths and dog friendly. Should you want a swim there are plenty or rivers, lakes, streams etc to cool off in and there are some great places for water sports. The only thing you really have to take note of is if it’s a designated fishing area, then you can’t swim in it. But other than you are more than welcome to explore the areas however you may wish, with no prior planning. And I love walking and wild swimming to help my anxiety!

peak district vs lake district - bassenthwait lake
Image by Andy Quickenden-Smith

However in the Lake District if you want to go on some of the lakes then you have to get permits for lakes such as Bassenthwaite, Wastwater, Grasmere and Coniston, pay fees to use the lakes or rent them yourself. Which especially in high season needs to be done in plenty of time, can cost quite a bit of money. And means that the beauty of seeing where the day takes you is nigh on impossible. Because everything is already pre-booked. Which completely takes out the spontaneity of the trip and means last minute plans won’t always work out! Now obviously as the Lakes are still in the United Kingdom when it comes to walks they have places that are public pathways, but they are most famous for their LAKES and the fact you need permits for a lot of them sucks!

Reason number 3! – Cheapness:

Now I think it is fair to say that whenever we go on holiday, we like to get our money’s worth. Nobody wants to feel like they are paying over the odds for something whether that is food, travel, hotels etc. Because our money is valuable and so we want to make sure we are getting the most for our cash yeah?! Now in regards to Peak District VS Lake District the Lake district is sooooo much more expensive! It’s known as a tourist trap of a destination and particularly in the village pubs, restaurants, cafes bars, you should expect to pay more than usual. This is also true for petrol! I remember with one trip it was 10p per litre more in the Lake District than the Peak District. Now filling your tank up, that’s a HUGE difference!

Now this may be the Yorkshire woman in me (we are known for loving a good bargain) but I hate paying extortionate amounts for things. If I’m going to a Michelin star restaurant or in the centre of London then yeah you expect to pay more than you would at home. But the North of England is known for being cheaper than the rest! So to travel even further north than the Peaks to the  Lakes by logic you’d expect it to be cheaper. But No! Because of the amount of people that go there they can charge what they want, and I personally don’t like paying nearly £3 for a brew when I can get it for less than £2 in the Peaks. 

It just makes financial sense!

Reason number 4! – The Pubs:

The Peak district is known for its warm, cosy pubs, with amazing grub and log burning fires. Surrounded by the never ending hills of the Yorkshire Dales. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it?! Picture this:

Peak District VS Lake District image by Micael cummins
Image by Michael Cummins

You’ve just finished a walk, taken in some breathtaking scenery, filled your lungs with fresh air, cleared your mind of any (if any) anxious thoughts, and you go to rest your tired legs in a cosy pub. Order yourself a well deserved ale and have a homemade pie on it’s way. My particular favourite place to do this is The Grouse Inn Incredible food, beautiful scenery, muddy boots are welcome and so are dogs and two of you can eat out for less than £20! Whereas the Lake district has more cosmopolitan places to eat, more upmarket, somewhere that you need to get dressed up for to not feel out of place. Even if it is at greasy spoons for a bacon buttie, nursing last night’s hangover off! They aren’t the sort of places you can rock up in after a 8 mile hike caked in mud because you’ve decked it more times than you can count and the rain has soaked you right down to your bra! And all you want is a bottle size glass of wine and a good hearty meal! That won’t break the bank. 

I don’t know about you but I would much prefer to go to the Peak District VS Lake District when it comes to the pubs. As it’s all about atmosphere and good quality food which ask anyone and they will agree is what the Peak District is known for!

Reason number 5! –  Sweet Treats:

As I have mentioned pub grubs and hearty meals, it seems only natural to mention the sweet treats both of these places are famous for! As when you’re on holiday you’ve gotta treat yourself to the local delicacies, it’s one of the unwritten rules of going away! You gotta indulge in all that yummy food before you go home and can’t get it anymore! So my favourite and the most famous sweet treat from the Lake District is Kendal Mint Cake. The best way I can describe its deliciousness is as a slab, of pure sugary, energy boosting goodness. I personally think it’s similar to fudge in its form and texture, but there’s probably hardcord Kendal Mint cake lovers who will massively disagree. It is amazing there is no doubt about it. 

The Peak Districts most famous pudding has got to be the Bakewell Pudding and it has to be made with puff pastry, served with clotted cream and you are onto a winner. This is an almond and jam based pudding with varying recipes though I always prefer the original with no icing. Now I love both of these sweets, having a sweet tooth myself. But I think the fairest way to prove that the Peak district wins this round again in the Peak District Vs the Lake district is the fact that Mr Kipling loves Bakewell tarts so much he made and distributed them all over the country. Whereas Kendal Mint cake can only be bought in the north of the UK. I think that says everything ….

The final reason number 6! – The People:

Us Northerners are known for our friendly manner, and our willingness to talk to anybody and everybody. Sit next to us on public transport and by the end of our journey we will know everything there is to know about each other! (which is incredibly different to getting the tube in London). So having two places in the North of England it’s fair to say the people who live there are both pretty friendly. Though in my final comparison on Peak District VS Lake District the Peaks once again  just peak the Lakes. 

Having been to both these places numerous times over the years I’ve got to admit that people in the Peaks are more willing to have a chat with you, give you advice on walks, where to find those hidden spots and the best place to grab a pint. Where as people in the Lakes don’t seem to be as forth coming with tips and tricks, places to eat or give directions when your completely lost and don’t have a fucking clue where your going because you don’t instinctively know your left form you right (I’m aware that last one is very specific but it is frustrating).

The Peak District is the best

So as you can see from these six points the Peak District is by far the best place to go. It’s less known to the hoards of people, and has many more hidden gems, its cheaper, better pubs, a nice sweet treat and the people are friendlier! 

I mean what more can you ask for when it comes to requirements for a holiday?! 

It’s a beautiful place to explore, fill your lungs with fresh air and get away in the UK!

Peak District Vs Lake District
Image by Greg Wilson

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