Peak District National Park
One of the three National Parks of Yorkshire
The vast 555 square miles (1,438 square kilometeres) of Britain's first national park starts at its northern edge in Yorkshire and extends into Derbyshire, Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire across the southern reaches of The Pennines.
Yorkshire is the gateway to the northern Dark Peak area of the Peak District, characterised by gritstone and peat moorlands, although these are increasingly being revegetated with heather.
The area has vast plateaus with some rocky outcrops and deep stream-filled valleys, known as cloughs. Some of the larger valleys are occupied by reservoirs adding to the beauty of the local landscape. The land rises in places to rounded peaks which on a day clear of low cloud can offer breathtaking panoramas for many miles across Yorkshire. One such point is West Nab at 501 metres, above Meltham and the Wessenden Valley which leads to Marsden. The higher point, though, is on the more remote moorland of Black Hill. At 582m this was once the highest point of the historic county of Cheshire, although it is now the Derbyshire border with West Yorkshire.
The area offers excellent opportunities for walking, from well signposted paths and tracks in the lower reaches of the park to more challenging hiking conditions on the open moorland, which is crossed by the Pennine Way long distance hiking route.
There are also cycling opportunities in the area. The ultimate challenge might to be to cycle across Holme Moss, where the road summit is 524m (1719ft) above sea level. The route formed a King of the Mountain stage when the Tour de France came to Yorkshire in 2014. The splendid scenery of the area can also be enjoyed from several moorland pubs and restaurants at the edges of the park.
The park offers a wealth of leisure opportunities for the 16.1 million people living within an hour drive of the national park and for visitors from further afield.
Beyond Yorkshire's rugged Dark Peak is the White Peak limestone landscape and small villages and towns of Derbyshire and the heather mooorland, hay meadows and pastures of Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire.
A millstone is the characteristic symbol of the park. The millstones were traditionally used in use in corn mills and are known to have been produced in the area of the park from at least the 13th century.
Yorkshire villages and hamlets in or on the boundary of the park are: Holme
, Dunford Bridge
, Langsett, Ewden, High Bradfield, Low Bradfield and Ringinglow.
Yorkshire places just outside the park are Huddersfield
The park's visitor centres are in Derbyshire in Bakewell, Castleton, Edale and Bamford.
Visiting the National Park by train
The nearest railway station in Yorkshire to the National Park is Marsden, near Huddersfield, from where there is a one mile walk to the edge of the park near Butterley Reservoir and the Wessenden Valley.
Sheffield offers another gateway to the National Park with train services to the Hope Valley line in Derbyshire where there are stations within the park at Hathersage, Bamford, Hope and Edale in Derbyshire.
Visiting the National Park by bus
The 314 bus service from Huddersfield and Holmfirth bus stations operates regularly into the National Park at Holme village. 352 Saturday, 357 Tuesday and 359 Wednesday services also operate from Holmfirth through the National Park towards Greenfield. Bus 29 from Holmfirth offers an infrequent Monday to Saturday service to Dunford Bridge at the edge of the National Park. Bus service 184 is a regular daily daytime service from Huddersfield bus station towards Manchester, stopping near the boundary of the park near Redbrook Reservoir above Marsden, which provides opportunities for walks starting on the moorland. There are also bus services to the large villages of Meltham and Marsden where the park starts around half a mile from the village centres.
Peak District National Park Website of the Peak District National Park Authority
Also in Yorkshire.guide
Places to visit