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Rugged crags, limestone gorges, sweeping moorland and bolder-strewn hillsides – the epic landscape of the High Peak is among the most iconic in Britain. This week long Peak District walking holiday is the perfect way to explore this dramatic region
The Peak District is the second most-visited National Park in the world (Japan’s Mount Fuji National Park is the first), and with good reason. With rolling, rounded hills, densely wooded valleys and patchwork farmlands, this is a quintessentially British landscape. Yet look closer and you’ll discover the true diversity of the Peaks; gritstone escarpments, heather moorland, blanket peat bogs and lead rakes are just some of the unusual habitats to be found. The Peak District also has a rich cultural heritage. There are abundant Stone and Iron Ages sites, as well as roads and monuments left by the Romans, who are known to have made use of the now famous spring at Buxton. More recent additions to the landscape include towering railway viaducts from the nineteenth century and the majestic Chatsworth, voted Britain’s favourite country house.
This week long Peak District walking holiday is a great way to experience the diversity and drama of the Peaks landscape. One day you’ll be hiking along mighty ridges through Longshaw Estate to Chatsworth and Bakewell (make sure to try the tart!), the next you’ll explore the limestone gorges of the Wye valley. At Tideswell you’ll pass the imposing 13th century church of St. John the Baptist, known as the ‘Cathedral of the Peak’, then there’s the infamous plague village of Eyam, which chose to quarantine itself in 1665 to prevent the spread of the disease. More ridge walking above the Hope and Edale valleys – with epic views over the Derwent valley, Ladybower reservoir & Stanage Edge - completes this awesome High Peak adventure.
A great tour covering some of England’s most wild and wonderful countryside. Be warned though that you’ll need to be in pretty good shape for this walk. Although you’re not covering any mammoth distances – you’ll average about 11 miles per day – there are several stiff climbs up onto the ridges, so some hill-walking experience is desirable. Rest assured it’s not all uphill; there are plenty of valley villages with cosy pubs and decent regional ales. The tour is self-guided (you’ll be given a detailed map with route notes) so you can explore the countryside under your own steam, leaving plenty of time for photography, wildlife-spotting and other interests. And you won’t have to worry about lugging your gear around; your luggage is transferred daily from one guesthouse to the next. Talking of guesthouses, these are all top quality with good food and a healthy dose of comfort – the perfect end to a hard day’s rambling!
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