Peak District: Accessible, Family Friendly and Free
If you’re looking for the best of British countryside, look no further than the Peak District. Despite its name, there are no mountains in this national park, just 1400km2 of rolling hills and endless views. Even the highest peaks and most dangerous footpaths can be attempted by children and amateur hikers, so there’s no excuse not to get out and about and explore this National Treasure. Here’s some tips for exploring the great outdoors of the country’s first national park.
How to Get There
The Peak District lies at the heart of central England, making it one of the most accessible destinations in the country. For residents in Sheffield, Manchester, Derby, Nottingham and Stoke on Trent, your journey will be a piece of cake because these towns more or less border the national park.
All these cities provide regular transport links, such as the Hope Valley Line between Manchester and Sheffield. If you’re worrying about the cost of rail fares, you can purchase a family and friends railcard. This can be used for up to four adults and up to fours kids, offering a third off for the former and 60% of for the latter. With these kind of transport links at those kinds of prices, there’s no excuse not to plan a day out with your family and friends.
From London and the South, the National Express 440 and 540 run to Manchester and Derbyshire respectively. From here, either get the train or take the TransPeak bus service, which will drop you off at the heart of the national park.
If you’re looking for the best views in the area, Kinder Scout on an admittedly rare clear day is your best bet. Crowden Head is located 631 metres above sea level, making it the highest point in the Peak District. From here, it is possible to view national treasures including Snowdonia, which is over 100 miles away in north west Wales.
Despite being the highest peak in the park, it is extremely accessible. There is unlimited access to the area and plenty of solid footpaths to the top. Starting in the village of Edale (which has its own rail station), you’ll need a good 5 hours to complete the 8.8mile walk. While fine for adults and older children, younger children may want to sit this one out. Descend the steep steps of Jacob Ladder to quickly arrive back in Edale.
The UK is a haven for lovers of the outdoors, with 15 national parks open to anyone who wants to roam the unspoilt land. The Peak District offers the perfect combination of staggering beauty and accessibility, making for a fun and unforgettable family day out.