The joys of the Peaks

by EmmaP

The Peak District is one of England’s greatest National Parks, in fact it was the first to be given such status in England. I’m a little biased because I grew up on its doorstep, but it really is a magical place. Don’t just take my word for it though; apparently it was once the second most visited National Park in the world, hot on the heels of Mount Fuji in Japan. So, now I have established that my biased attitude is warranted, I shall continue, semi- guilt free. Famed for its glorious walking, it has far more to offer than you might expect, outdoor pursuits, ancient caves, the Stone Henge of the North and increasingly an emphasis on top-quality food to wash all of this activity down with.
If you are looking for a quiet weekend getaway, the Peak District is easily accessible from all parts of the county, due to the fact it’s geographically located in the middle. Now I come to think of it there is actually so much to say about this destination that I can’t possibly cover it all, so here are some useful guides to whet your appetite. Peak District perfection, Buxton and Bakewell: the perfect break in the Peak District, A winning weekend in the Peak District.

Snake Pass
My favourite road in the whole world, just avoid it like the plague if it’s foggy, unless being scared witless is your thing. The Snake Pass is a wonderful, winding, snake of a road that effectively connects Sheffield and Manchester. The views are stunningly bleak and rugged – this is English moorland at its best – it takes my breath away each time I drive over. Just off the Snake pass you can find the Cat and Fiddle which boasts the title of being the second highest pub in England. It’s a haven for ramblers, motorcyclists and people just wanting to pause for a second and take in the magnificent scenery whilst enjoying a cola.

Abor low
Dubbed as the Stone Henge of the North, this is Derbyshire’s best stone circle. I’m not going to lie, it doesn’t really live up to its impressive title, which in my opinion it shouldn’t have, it heightens expectations far too much. Nevertheless it’s a fab little stone circle in its own right. Stone circles will forever be an archaeological mystery – and that’s why they are great. Arbor Low is strangely spiritual, for me it’s a place of reflection and happily it is devoid of people, adding to its prehistoric charm. It costs a pound to visit, and you pay in the honesty box at a nearby farm, joyfully quaint!

Castleton is a charming Peak District village which has quite a high number of tourist attractions in relation to its size. It is home to the ruined, medieval, Peveril castle which overlooks the village, the famed Blue John Cave (which includes exploring a cave in a boat) and of course plenty of hills, ridges and crags to muddy your walking boots. Castleton is well equipped for tourists, so after a hard days exploring there are plenty of pub options to help you unwind before resting your weary head in one of its guest houses.
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