Taking a short break away from the stresses of life can be just as refreshing and invigorating as taking a longer holiday. The Peak District with its national parkland, rivers, lakes, rocky hills and quaint rural villages, is a fantastic place to take a short break. Whether it be a relaxing, romantic interlude or a frenetic activity weekend, a short break in the Peak District is sure to leave you feeling recharged and ready to go back, take life by the horns and give it a good shake.
The Peak District was the first area in the UK to be given the protection of National Park designation in 1951. Situated mainly in northern Derbyshire, it also covers parts of Cheshire, Staffordshire, and South and West Yorkshire. Split between grit stone and limestone terrain, the area has plenty of moorland as well as some interesting peaks to explore. Take a look at our top five short break ideas for the Peak District to wet your appetite.
Walking breaks in the Peak District
The Peak District provides excellent walking territory. With many hiking trails across the Pennines there are routes to suit all capabilities. Long distance trails and strenuous hill walking routes are readily available, as are shorter and easier routes. Many of the shorter routes use Bridleways whilst longer routes were formed when railways were taken up and removed in the 1960s. The Tissington Trail and the High Peak Trail are both longer routes that use former railway lines. Many of the trails that use former railway lines have disabled and wheelchair access built into them at certain points on the route.
Many walkers on a short break take the time to walk part of the infamous Pennine Way; often returning in future breaks to walk another section. For the walking enthusiast, the Peak District Walking and Outdoor Festival that takes place in April or early May each year is a great idea for a short break.
There are no shortage of interesting Country Houses, Manor Houses and Country Halls in the Peak District. A short break to take in some of these is a great idea. Many of these larger houses have great historic and architectural interest; and some even have open gardens that allow you to marvel at the way they are designed and kept.
Doing some research, you should easily come up with an engaging itinerary but here are two tempters to get you started: First we should mention Chatsworth House. Probably the most famous of them all and definitely the most visited in Derbyshire, Chatsworth House is surrounded by a large area of parkland which is also available to the public. Calke Abbey near the village of Ticknall in Derby is another historic building where the surrounding parkland is open to the public. In this case it has been designated National Nature Reserve.
Art and culture
A short break to take in the art and culture of the Peak District is a great way to spend your leisure time. There are many aspects that feature strongly in the area. From photography to painting and art galleries to opera, there is something to suit every taste. Sheffield, also known as the City of the Peaks is home to the Millennium Art Gallery. As well as the gallery, the centre offers a constant rolling programme of events, classes, courses and exhibitions. Examples of regular classes include life drawing and the craft club.
You might also take a trip over to the recently restored Buxton Opera House (the highest opera house in the UK) where a varied programme of events includes comedy, opera, dance, pantomime, musical concerts, drama, and children's shows. Also in Buxton is the Pavilion Arts Centre housed in a Grade 2 Listed Building and situated within 23 acres of Victorian landscaped gardens on the banks of the River Wye. Facilities include an intimate 93 seat studio theatre, plus a main auditorium that can seat 360.
The Peak District is the perfect destination for outdoor activities. Besides walking, you can rock climb some incredible peaks, you can take on some impressive mountain biking trails or gentler scenic country roads. There’s also paintballing, quad biking and a variety of outdoor activity centres offering a range of activities to suit all tastes. Hiking is undoubtedly the most fun but you should definitely try to take in some rock climbing and caving if you can!
Pubs and restaurants
The Peak District is one of the best places in the country for fantastic, traditional, English country pubs and spectacular real ale. There are some fantastic old pubs to explore and we’d recommend planning your walks and daily excursions around visiting some of the best. Local food is warm and filling whilst the locals are warm and welcoming.