The lovely Peak District National Park is at the heart of Derbyshire’s tourism. Acres of heather, moor and hillside make for stunning panorama around the small stone villages and towns. Built on limestone, the ground is laced with caves and gullies. Where there is a hill such as Mam Tor in the northern High Peak, there are hikers, mountain bikers and keen photographers all vying for the views. The stunning landscape of the Hope Valley is shown below.
Much of the organised tourism is concentrated around commercial ventures that charge an entrance fee such as caverns and stately homes, however, the best of the Peak District is free. It costs nothing to walk in the national park, to admire the plethora of wild flowers, to tour the ancient stone villages and to cycle on the traffic free trails.
All holidaymakers end up spending money though, in the tea shops and eateries, in hiring bicycles, car park payments, in purchasing momentos of their visit. People need somewhere to stay when they arrive, to be able to buy food and eat out and to take part in outdoor activities. But, if you do decide to come to Derbyshire and the Peak District, make the most of it and enjoy as many good things as you can whilst you are here. The heights of the White Peak lend themselves to hang gliding, there is pony trekking and canoeing on the rivers.
Four seasons a year holiday destination
It is easy to see why families come to Derbyshire for the summer when the sun is shining and everyone wants to be outdoors. This is the time to go for picnics, nature walks and to keep the children amused during the summer holidays. The museums and many of the visitor centres are places to visit at any time of year, or when it rains. Take the kids to visit one of the museums in Derbyshire such as Arkwright’s 18th Century Cotton Mill in Matlock Bath to find out how cotton and wool were spun and woven into cloth. Find out about the plague in the village of Eyam and the huge sacrifice made by philanthropic villagers at the Eyam Museum. The National Stone Centre in Wirksworth offers an educational and fun visit that informs about stone, fossils, geology and the industrial past. In visiting these museums, we can all learn about technological and social change.
Teach the children to love Derbyshire
We tend to continue the things that we learn in childhood through to our adult years. It is good to take our children hiking up a hill and teach them the satisfaction of rising to a challenge and succeeding. They should be able to appreciate the views as a reward at the top, or you may have to take chocolate as a reward for when you get there. Parents who go for rambles or cycle rides in the countryside are fostering a love of exercise and the outdoors. We could do the same with nature if we learn about our native trees, flowers and wildlife. Climate change is changing the way we think about holidays; our weather is generally warmer (and perhaps wetter) which makes Derbyshire a much more attractive proposition than scorching days around the Mediterranean.
The Peak District National Park is an all year round adventure playground for all ages. There is so much to it than just walking and scenery. Do come and find out for yourself.