Best Peak District Walks

The Peak District is one of the most beautiful scenic landscapes in all of England. It has the distinction of being the first national park in the United Kingdom in 1951 and has remained a popular tourist destination, with millions of annual visitors coming to the Peak District. With its towering limestone valleys, sprawling moorlands, and winding gritstone ridges, the natural beauty of the Peak District is as varied as it is impressive.

Located close to Manchester, Derby, and Sheffield, there is a lot of outdoor activities to enjoy in the Peak District. Walking is especially popular in the Peak District, with a great variety of trails suitable for all experience levels. Waking through the Peak District is the best way to take in all the incredible sights the landscape has to offer, with trails suitable for families, hikers, dogwalkers, and anyone else that wants to enjoy the fresh air and enhancing beauty of the national park.

Choosing just one walking trail is difficult, especially for first-time visits, so here is a list of some of the best walking trails in the Peak District.

Buxton Walk

  • Distance - 4.5 miles
  • Duration - 1.5 hours
  • Difficulty - Easy

Buxton is a great walking trail for beginners wanting to see the best the Peak District has to offer. At 4.5 miles in length, the circular route begins and ends at Buxton Country Park and has some incredible views along the way.

Stanley Moor offers some mesmerising views of the sprawling landscapes, while Solomon’s Temple (a Victorian folly) can be climbed to get an amazing view of Buxton and beyond. The trail takes you on a walk through the quaint farmlands and fields, making it a great way to take in the quintessential English countryside in an hour or two.

Sett Valley Trail

  • Distance - 2.5miles
  • Duration - 1/1.5 hours
  • Difficulty - Easy

The Sett Valley Trail is a good option for families looking to enjoy a walk in the Peak District. With the trail being just shy of 2.5 miles in length and across a mostly flat span of land, it should be easy going for families or novice hikers looking for a relaxing walk through the countryside.

Starting at the town Hayfield, the trail takes about and hour and ends at the town of New Mills. Between the two towns you go on a winding route through a deep river valley that is part of Torrs Riverside Park. Both Hayfield and New Mills have a nice selection of pubs and restaurants, so you can enjoy a well-earned bite to eat after the walk.

Monsal Trail

  • Distance - 5.5 miles
  • Duration - 2 hours
  • Difficulty - easy to moderate

The Monsal Trail, also known as the Bakewell Circular Walk, is a very popular walking trail in the Peak District that runs 5.5 miles. It should take around 2 hours and most people will find it easy going, although the distance and duration of the walk may slightly more difficult for some people.

In any case, you get to take in lots of attractive landscapes during the walk. Enhancing forests teeming with life make up a good chunk of the views, while the sloping countryside hills offer great views of sheep and distant parts of the Peak District. The trail is well-marked with brown signposts, so you should find it easy to navigate.

Tissington Trail

  • Distance - 17 miles
  • Duration - 5.5 hours to complete (can easily walk shorter length)
  • Difficulty - easy

Despite the intimidating 17-mile distance of Tissington Trail, it is one of the easiest you’ll find in the Peak District. This is because it’s almost an entirely flat route and is very well-paved, making it a great choice for casual walking, cyclists, people with prams, and even wheelchair users.

Much of the trail goes along disused railway tracks that are repurposed as part of the walking route, while there are a variety of picnic sites dotted along the trail. You don’t need to walk the entirety of Trissington Trail either, with visitors usually walking parts of the trail before heading back. There are good parking options too, so you can start at various points throughout the trail.

Tideswell 

  • Distance - 5.5 miles
  • Duration - 2 hours
  • Difficulty - Medium

Tideswell is a fantastic walking trail in the Peak District that is especially suitable for dog walking. It only takes around 2 hours to complete but the route isn’t the easiest you’ll find, so if you want an easy route then this should probably be avoided.

It starts in Tideswell and takes you on a route through the surrounding countryside. There is a variety of routes to choose from too, so you can check out different locations throughout the trail, including Forest Peak, Bretton, and Sparrowpit.

Each of the routes are dog-friendly, allowing your dog to roam around off-leash, taking in all the wonderful sights and smells the countryside has to offer. Be mindful of grazing animals however!

Mam Tor

  • Distance - 4.9 miles
  • Duration 2.5 hours
  • Difficulty - easy

Mam Tor is possibly the best walking trail for first-timers in the Peak District. Slightly under 5 miles in length, the trail takes you to the summit of Mam Tor or ‘Mother Hill’, offering a spectacular view of the sprawling countryside and woodlands below.

The trail is surprisingly easy, with flat footpaths featured through and a very gentle incline that is barely noticeable as you walk. These paths are found across a ridgeway and take you towards Lose Hill, although the panoramic views of the Edale Valley are perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this walk.

Lud’s Church and the Roaches

  • Distance - 6.8 miles
  • Duration - 4 hours
  • Difficulty - medium

This trail is more of a moderate difficulty so not suitable for beginners or families, although it offers some of the bet views of the Peak District’s famous gritstone formations. It’s quite a winding and rocky trail but one that offers stunning views that are straight out of a medieval fairy tale - which makes sense as Lud’s Church is said to the be location of a great battle in Arthurian mythology.

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