Travelling by train to the Peak District is easy - four train lines extend into or very close to the park from the surrounding major cities. To the north of the Peak District, the Hope Valley line runs between Manchester and Sheffield, stopping at villages in the beautiful Derwent, Hope, and Edale Valleys. To the south, the Derwent Valley line connects Derby to Matlock. And to the west of the park, visitors can easily travel by train from Manchester to Glossop or Buxton.
The Peak District was the first of Britain's 15 national parks, established back in 1951. Touching on no fewer than five counties - Derbyshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire, and Greater Manchester - it has a reputation as the most accessible of the national parks. An estimated 20 million people living within an hour's journey of its borders, and there's surprisingly good access by train too. More than 10 million people take a trip to the Peak District every year, and many of them come to enjoy the vast range of outdoor activities on offer. Mountain biking, hiking, and rock climbing are particular favourites, but there are also opportunities to try everything from horse riding to paragliding. Or you can simply soak up the culture and history of the Peaks' villages, towns, and heritage sites.
There are too many highlights to count, but if you've come to hike in the Peak District, be sure to take in the spectacular views from the top of Kinder Scout, Mam Tor, and Stanage Edge. For a spot of history, visit the renowned Chatsworth House, the medieval Haddon Hall, and the Norman Peveril Castle. And when you need an energy boost, treat yourself to a famous traditional pudding in the riverside market town of Bakewell.