The Peak District is one of Britain’s oldest national parks, and remains one of the most visited. Formed in 1951, the Peak District National Park sees around 8.75 million visitors each year. Part of its popularity is that it is centrally located in England, mostly in the northern area of Derbyshire, but it also borders or includes parts of Cheshire, Staffordshire, and Yorkshire. Its proximity to Greater Manchester, Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, and Birmingham means that it is easily accessible by people from largely populated urban areas looking for a nature escape.
- By Road
The Peak District is bounded by some of the major motorways of Britain, meaning it is easy to get to from any direction. The M1 takes its eastern edge, and so exiting along the towns and cities of Derby or Nottingham, Chesterfield or Mansfield, or Sheffield will get you into the park in under an hour.
From the northern end the M62 skirts across the top between Leeds and Manchester, and from either city or anywhere in between you can reach the heart of the park in about an hour.
Birmingham is a little further away, but the Peak District is still the closest national park in England to the city and can be reached in under two hours by car.
- By Rail and Bus
If travelling by public transport, the Peak District can also be reached in two hours by taking a train to Derby and then switching to local buses.
From Manchester you can take a train and switch to a bus at Buxton; the journey takes around two hours.
Sheffield is closest to the park geographically, but the journey still takes around two hours, by taking a train either to Bakewell or Chesterfield, and then switching to a local bus.
- By Air and Transfer
The nearest airports to the Peak District are at Manchester and East Midlands Airport (south of Derby).
Some major trunk routes run right through the park, including the A6, the A623, and the A515, making the Peak District a scenic route through the country, with many visitors also opting to stay overnight to break up their journeys in comfortable and picturesque surroundings.
Where to stay
There are tons of incredible options regarding places to, including spending time in one of the beautiful holiday cottages in the picturesque peak district. Completely surrounded by bucolic scenery, visitors have reported pleasurable stays of a week or more, and renting a cottage for a long weekend is also possible. Most of the cottages are located in the southern part of the park, in the county of Derbyshire, with easy access from Derby passing Matlock along the A6. Also popular is to approach the park from the south passing through Ashbourne travelling on the A515.
The Peak District is certainly a very accessible national park, and that’s one of the reasons that make it so popular. It is easy to get to, especially by car, if travelling from many major cities in central England. It is also easy to get to by using a rail and bus combination, making the Peak District the perfect destination as a country get-away. Once in the park there are several places to stay, including the ever popular Peak District holiday cottages.