Image: Peak District view overlooking Derwent Reservoir, Derbyshire

Tourist information web site for the Peak District of the UK and surrounding areas of Derbyshire, Staffordshire and South Yorkshire. Rent bed and breakfast (B&B) accommodation in a Peak District hotel, guest house or farmhouse, rent a self-catering farm, town or romantic country holiday cottage. We are now also advertising Peak District properties for sale and to let and there is plenty of information about Derbyshire and the Peak District for those of you thinking about relocation.

One of the main attractions of the Peak District is the range of outdoors activities, walking climbing, cycling, hang gliding, coarse & game fishing ... Stunning scenery accessible on foot, by bike (on the roads or off road on your mountain bike), horse, car and public transport. Many key moments of rock climbing have been played out in the Peak, climbers from around the world are still drawn to crags like Stanage, Froggatt and Curbar. Because the Peak District can offer such a variety of challenges of all magnitudes, many team building companies work in and around this National Park.

The Peak District has many links with the entertainment industry. Jane Austen used the Peak District as inspiration for 'Pride and Prejudice', the much acclaimed recent film of the book has been shot here, The long-running TV series 'Peak Practice' was filmed at Crich, which doubled as Cardale. The fish and chip shop at Crich has even been renamed the 'Cardale Chippy'. Other famous names associated with the Peak District or nearby areas are Florence Nightingale, D. H. Lawrence, George Elliot and more recently James Bond actor Timothy Dalton and Blue Peter presenter Simon Groom. Other celebrities include round the world Yachtswoman (and runner up in the 2005 Sports Personality of the Year) Ellen MacArthur and climber Alison Hargreaves.

A Peak District diary

June 4th ‘05 - The Peak District well dressing season is now underway with services, workshops and the famous petal and clay pictures. The tourist season is also in full swing with walkers, mountain bikers, other cyclists, climbers and sightseers visiting the region. The Peak District weather has been kind to visitors so far and hopefully it will stay that way, last year it was a poor summer. Sadly, many of the Peak District bridleways have taken a hammering at the hands of the 4x4 drivers and trail bike riders through the winter but now that the mud that they produce has solidified, walking and cycling these tracks, that were never designed for motorised traffic, is once again possible and more pleasant. There are plenty of non-public bridleway sites for off roading in the Peak but somehow it never appeals to these people. For a list of the many summer events in the Peak District, contact the Tourist Information offices and for Peak District bed and breakfast, hotel or self-catering accommodation, check out our site.

June 24 ‘05 - During the last couple of weeks, the weather has been very warm and humid here in Derbyshire, culminating last week end in some heavy thunderstorms. Sue and I were luckier than many after a walk from Cut throat Bridge, along Derwent reservoir and over Whinstone Lee Tor. We made it back to the car just as the first drops of a huge thunderstorm hit. There were several cyclists and a number of walkers caught without waterproofs and looking very wet in a matter of seconds. Literally. The roads were like rivers but at least the Peak District did not suffer the same fate as Yorkshire, with its severe flooding. As a cyclist, I am really pleased to see that the Tour of Britain, resurrected last year, will once again be passing through the Peak District, the East Midlands stage is to start at Bakewell. The exact route has not yet been posted on the web site. We welcome Smithy's Cottage, Cracken Cottage and Peak Pad self-catering accommodation to the web site. They have joined us recently as advertisers in the accommodation section, together with Sladen Cottage. The latter is a well established Bed and Breakfast at Hathersage but Julie has recently diversified into self-catering with massive and spaceous accommodation (for 14). Take a look at these on our accommodation pages. Check out our late offers section for reduced price holiday accommodation.

June 29 ‘05 - Headed out climbing at Intake quarry near Middleton top on the High Peak Trail yesterday evening and enjoyed using the chert nodules as handholds. This set me thinking and as a result have added some more pages to the geology section - why not check it out. I will add some more over the next week or so. The link to the Peak District geology pages is found above in the top bullet points. Also did a great mountain bike circuit from Bakewell to Youlgrave, on to Birchover, round Stanton Moor then down into Rowsley. I then headed towards Bakewell and over the top into Chatsworth Park, to finish with the Edensor climb and a great piece of singletrack down into Bakewell and the car. On the way round I stopped at Youlgrave and Rowsley to take a look at their well dressings. Amazing. Beautiful. Sometime over the next few days I will add some pictures and maybe a short write up as well to the well dressings page. For anyone interested in advertising their business, B&B or self catering accommodation or if you are an estate agent looking to advertise their property, try us, we consistently receive over 9000 individual visitors each month and our adverts outperform our main competitors in a big way (contact us for 3rd party evidence). And we cost significantly less.

July 17 ‘05 - The last couple of weeks have provided Peak District tourists and locals with plenty of dry and warm weather. We have been out for a few of our favourite short walks on Sunday afternoons, the Burbage valley, Froggatt and Curbar villages and their edges, Baslow and Gardom's Edge to name but three. They are often quite wet and boggy in places but are as dry as we have seen them for a long time. The other surprising thing has been the lack of people - for saying that the Peak District receives around 23 million visitors a year, we seem to have missed most of them! Mind you, last Sunday was pretty hot so maybe people headed underground, visiting the show caves on these days keeps you cool. A friend of mine does some occasional work for the Derbyshire library service and recently had to deal with an enquiry for 'the big cavern in the Peak District'. Now Derbyshire has a number of big caverns, but the client eventually qualified it by saying it was the 'Devil's something or other' and had something to do with making ropes. Sorted - it was obviously the Devil's Arse up at Castleton - more politely known as the Peak Cavern, whose entrance is just below Peveril Castle. Hopefully, sometime in the next couple of weeks, I will have added some new information to the towns section of the site, I have been researching several places including Bonsall, Birchover, Beley and Baslow and hope to have the information on the site, with a few images, by the end of next month. Accommodation, particularly self catering, is becoming scarce to find, however if you look to the areas of the Peak District that are off the beaten tourist track or a little away from the usual popular places, you can usually find something. Bed and breakfast is usually less of a problem, as is hotel accommodation. An associate of mine runs a website that is dedicated to supporting the works of Far Eastern artists. It is for a non-profit making organisation called ArtsrepubliK. Collectors of 50's and 60's political posters will be interested as they have communist propaganda posters for sale. Also, for those of you generally interested in social conditions and issues in China today, or just enjoy looking at gritty contemporary B/W photographic images, take a look at his site. His B/W photographs of life in China are copyright free and you are invited to use them however you like.

July 30 ‘05 - The weather has now returned to normal for the UK, wet and cool! Still, for those of you who enjoy walking, running and cycling, it is more pleasant as you tend to overheat less. Although having said that, we were cold and miserable on a walk in the Barlow area, a circuit from Millthorpe. We only had to dodge the motorised traffic on one bridleway thankfully, but it was a bit of a noisy, smelly squeeze. Despite that and the weather, the area is classic English rolling countryside, with some delightful sections through woodlands with views over to the Eastern moors of the Peak district for most of the circuit. The Millthorpe well dressing was interesting, dedicated to the 75th anniversary of PG tips! We welcome Bird's Nest Apartment, a self catering apartment in Matlock Bath, who have renewed their advert for another year - see what they have to offer by visiting our accommodation page and choosing the South East regional page. No new Bed and Breakfasts have joined this month. Anyway, whatever the weather, we hope you enjoy your stay in the Peak District or nearby Amber valley.

September 5 ‘05 - Welcome to Cliff View, a self catering holiday cottage in Hayfield in the north west of the Peak District and Common Barn Farm Bed and Breakfast (5 rooms), Rainow, Cheshire, close to the Peak District, both of whom have joined us for a two month free trial. Also welcome news that the Government are to take steps to reduce the intrusion of off-road motorised traffic on bridleways, it will be nice to have the fresh air back, plus the peace and quiet which is probably the main reason that most people head into the countryside anyway. Perhaps given time, the scars created by trail bikes and 4x4 vehicles will mend. I would like my right to fresh air and a peaceful countryside restored. I am against a total ban, just more responsible riding and a sensitivity for the environment and anyway, it is unlikely that a ban would be enforceable.

October 12 ‘05 - Welcome to new advertisers Sladen Cottage and Peak Retreat, both recently refurbished holiday accommodation. Argonaut Bandwebsite completed.

Nov 18 ‘05 - The autumn colours are beginning to give way to the bareness of the winter now, although the weather in the Peak District has been pretty good. Last weekend was fine and sunny, but with a distinct chill in the air. Saturday was a bit frustrating as it took me nearly all day to repair my mountain bike, which has taken a bit of hammer up on the moors above Derwent, Howden and Ladybower and around Bakewell, Baslow, Calver and Eyam plus a couple of less wild rides in the Amber Valley, near to the Peak. Sunday we took advantage of the still sunny weather to do an afternoon walk near Hathersage. We parked near to the Fox House on the Sheffield road and walked over to Carl Wark, the (Iron Age?) hillfort overlooking the Burbage Valley (not the Buxton Burbage), over to Higger tor, where climbers were preparing to climb Brown's classic route the File. If you contemplate doing this VS, take as many mid-size friends as you can muster. From Higger we wandered over to Burbage North crag, where the outdoors activities groups of all ages were in full swing! A walk over the Moors past Burbage South crag, where the bouldering fraternity were out in force, took us back to the Fox House as the sunset was just getting good.

Dec 22 ‘05 - A couple of so-so weekends in the Peak this month, but at least it was not raining. The Christmas shopping traffic is building up now and everywhere was pretty busy. So we did some more walking and cycling, the best being a mountain bike circuit from Castleton. Parked on the old road and cycled up to Mam Nick, exploring the Odin Mine on the way (see mining section of this site). Along the bridleway and down to Edale from Hollins Cross. Picked up the bridleway to Jaggers Clough, an old packhorse way, where there were the usual kids on motorbikes (even though the Park Authorities have put up notices pointing out that motorised traffic is not allowed). At the top, where I turned right to go along to Win Hill, I encountered some considerate and careful trail bike riders, who actually waited for me to go through the chainwheel-deep water filled rut. They partially restored my faith in off road drivers. However, the usual marks of their passage were noted further along the bridleway with long swathes of the surface of the path ripped up and sprayed around. The main problem with trail bikes and 4x4 drivers is that the forces their wheels put onto the surface of tracks is strongly horizontal and it needs a fine touch to avoid damage. Feet and mountain bikes tend to put a compressional force on the path (apart from the mountain bikers who deliberately lock their wheels which most mountain bikers object to as it damages the environment and gets the rest of us a bad name) which does not damage the path. Nor do they leave a cloud of fume behind and disturb the peace that is most people's reason for heading into the countryside anyway - if we want traffic, we can get plenty in urban situations. I have begun to notice that trail riders in the Burbage valley seem to be getting bored with the tracks where they are legally allowed and I have encountered them now on the footpaths between Burbage North and South crags - there were two of them and I was on my own so I tamely stepped aside rather than confronting them.

Jan 12 ‘06 - Welcome to Homefield B&B, Darley Dale near Matlock, the latest guest house to take advantage of the effective advertising opportunity that this site offers. Darley Dale spreads out either side of the A6 as it passes north of Matlock, taking you towards Rowsley and Bakewell and on into the heart of the Peak District. They overlook Peak Rail and offer standard and premier rooms - perfect for the railway enthusiast. Also perfect if you are looking to visit Chatsworth or Haddon. The festive season was gloomy weatherwise but there was still good walking and mountain biking to be had. On a circuit round Hathersage, over Shatton Moor, Through Hope, up Win Hill and down the 'Gnarly Descent of Doom' to Ladybower reservoir, the terrain got the better of my bike. Just about to start the above descent and two spokes snapped, turning my front wheel banana shaped. This was much to the amusement of some younger lads as well as my companions. So, I had to walk down. Once at the bottom, with the front brakes dismantled, I was able to complete the ride. Wheel now rebuilt, Snowdonia is calling ...

0Feb 12 ‘06 - The Peak District flora and fauna is now starting to come to life and the region is preparing for the arrival of spring even though it is still only mid-February! Global Warming? A certain president would have us believe that humans are not responsible for this. We may not be but can we afford to ignore it? Perhaps a U-turn is on the way from the aforementioned powerful person as the policy is to move away from dependence on oil supplies from the middle east. What replaces oil? Alternative forms of energy. Excellent. Anyway, closer to home and not political at all, lambs are starting to appear in the Peak District's fields, the birds have been singing, probably because of the unseasonably mild temperatures and the snowdrops are flowering.

March 6 ‘06 - We would like to welcome Heywood Hall (self catering apatrments, Denstone) and the Soldier Dick at Furness Vale. The Soldier Dick offers B&B accommodation close to some of the wildest parts of the Peak District and would be a great place to stay if you are on a business trip, owing to its proximity to Manchester. Early in Feb, in the midst of the dam, grey Peak District weather, there was a glorious Saturday, we managed to get out for an afternoon walk from Baslow, over to Gardoms and then back to Baslow via Baslow Edge and Wellington's monument. Sunday was back to grey! The weather has been superb for well over a week now, although a little cold for climbing. Last week-end, my friend Simon and I met up at Bakewell for a mountain bike circuit. We were both a bit under the weather and decided on an 'easy, short circuit'. After grinding up the hill of doom from Great Longstone onto Longstone Edge we had some respite with the downhill of Coombes Dale, along to Calver where we stopped for a cuppa. Refreshed, we headed back up to the top of Longstone Edge and down the gnarly deescent to Rowarth. Simon's adrenaline had taken over by this time and he wanted to try out a track he had seem from Hassop. So off we went. OK, I admit it was an excellent track and one we will undoubtedly do again, but it deposited us on the main Baslow to Bakewell road. Without a map. We spotted a track heading off to the left, severely damaged by the ubiquitous trail bike riders. Still, we were able to carry our bikes through the unrideable section and continued off road, avoiding the traffic. To cut a long story short, we finaly made our way back to Bakewell, about an hour later than expected - so much for the short easy circuit, thanks Simon!

April 2nd ‘06 - weather wise, one of the better days so far this year. Having purchased the Vertebrate Graphic's White Peak mountain bike guide, we set off on one of the rides. Simon was on call so he needed to be within easy striking distance of the car. Fat chance of that - this was more like an enduro! Off we went to Monsal head. We actually parked opposite Cressbrook Mill rather than at Monsal head as we are cheapskates and did not want to pay for parking! The start of the ride was innocuous enough then we hit the first uphill! The bridle path up to Monsall head. Neither of us quite made it to the top! A great singletrack downhill led us back to the viaduct although with my dodgy brakes I needed a change of underwear! Luckily, this section was clear of walkers as we descended. At Monsal Station, we took the track upwards, grinding to a halt after about 50 metres on the loose and rocky surface. Then we had the black ascent to do after that - Simon did well but I walked most of it - got to have a target for the future was my lame excuse. The trail led us through to Blackwell Halt in Cheedale. The climb out of Cheedale was tough owing to the glutinous mud. Eventually we made it to Wormhill and to a fairly easy section. Another stiff climb left us on the Limestone Way, unfortunately rendered unrideable by trail bike riders and 4x4 drivers. One guy who was running had to stop and climb over the wall, at least on bikes, you can sort of push yourself through the gloop and deep ruts using your feet on the few high points remaining. It is heartbreaking to see the damage created by these people. They must be stupid or insensitive as they do not realise how much they spoil our beautiful countryside. Anyway, rant over, the route back along the valley to Cressbrook Mill was quite undulating and my legs were quite pleased to reach the car.

April 6th ‘06 - hurrah, some great evening weather this week so we have been able to get out to Harboro rocks to do some bouldering. Wirksworth Climbing wall is fine but after several months of pulling on plastic it is good to get some fresh air and feel rock under ones hands again. A bit chilly though with the strong winds.

April 23rd ‘06 - Headed out for another great circuit in the Peak District, using the Vertebrate Graphic's guide to mountain biking in the White Peak. We hit fog at the top of Via Gellia which stayed with us all the way through Buxton and up to the Cat and Fiddle. A strong wind was blowing as we off-loaded the bikes but once we had reached 3 Shires Head the fog was lifting and we had warmed up. 3 Shires Head was once the scene of illegal bare knuckle fighting. When the local constabulary turned up, the fighters would just nip into one of the neighbouring counties to continue safe from arrest. The village of Flash is nearby, which possibly gives its name to terms such Flash money owing to the nnumber of rougues who lived there in times past. An interesting and technical haul up from 3 Shires Head plus some road work got us round Shuttlingsloe to Wilboarclough, from where we could access Macclesfield forest. A steep pull up past a group of Duke of Edinburgh's youngsters took us to the concessionary bridleway that skirts the forest. Some great downhill on this track was followed by a short stretch past the reservoir and back onto an uphill stretch through the other side of Macclesfield forest. Charity lane proves to be an excellent stretch of downhill. Another short, steep stretch with a new, very loose surface of limestone chippings marked the end of the off-road sections. All there remained was the grind back up to the Cat and Fiddle Inn. Thanks to the Vertebrate guys for producing a great guide, as good as their Dark Peak guide.