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The Peak District

The Basics

Declared England’s first national park in 1951, this large chunk of Derbyshire (plus bits of a few other counties) is home to 100 conservation areas and more than 3,000 listed buildings. Famous landmarks include its highest peak, Kinder Scout, scene of a mass trespass in 1932 by ramblers demanding public access to open spaces, and a notorious cavern picturesquely known locally as the Devil’s Arse.

peak district silhouette
The District also boasts one of the most dramatic stretches of roadway in England, the A57 Snake Pass, which meanders across the moors with a steep drop to one side, as well as the spa town of Buxton and the town of Bakewell, where the famous Pudding comes from.

Among the historic buildings, Chatsworth House has to be the jewel in the crown, the centrepiece of a 35,000-acre estate that has been home to the Devonshires since the mid-16th century. Not the least of its assets are Joseph Paxton’s landscaped gardens, created in the early 19th century, and featuring glasshouses, a grotto pond and an enormous rockery.