5 of the Best Peak District Hikes [2024]

Peak District Hikes

Walking in the Peak District offers views of a stunning national park with its rolling hills, deep valleys and wildlife. There are multiple Peak District hikes and walks to challenge yourself regardless of fitness level.

In this article we will walk through our favourite Peak District hikes as well as what to pack, best time to visit and how to get there. The Peak District remains one of the most popular destinations within the UK.

Peak District Hikes

Mam Tor

Mam Tor is a hill in the centre of the Peak District standing at 517m tall offering beautiful views throughout. Its name derives from “mother hill” due to being the largest of a series of smaller peaks beneath it.

You can start your walk from Castleton village which is located just 2 miles away. Alternatively, there is a car park located nearer the summit included in the photo below.

map of Mam Tor

The walk itself is fairly easy, with well built paths and a mostly steady incline. The full trail is around 3 miles which should take you a couple of hours.

The summit offers breathtaking views of Hope Valley and Edale Valley which is the highlight of this trip, Although if you have time, it is also worth visiting the village of Castleton nearby. Castleton is a picturesque village that offers pubs, shops and some of the best Peak District accommodation.

There is also four show caves nearby which are hugely popular for tourists.

  • Blue John Cavern
  • Peak Cavern
  • Treak Cliff Cavern
  • Speedwell Cavern

Kinder Scout

Kinder Scout is the highest point in the Peak District at 636m tall offering stunning views of the surrounding valleys. The hike itself does not offer a summit as such but a plateau that offers different routes.

The most popular Kinder Scout route is the circular that begins at Edale village and is around 8 miles long. Another Kinder Scout walking route is from the village of Hayfield which is around 9 miles away.

map of Kinder scout

Kinder Scout from Edale and back will take around 5 hours passing popular spots such as Jacobs Ladder, Woolpacks and Kinder Downfall.

Kinder Scout from Hayfield and back will take around 7 hours with steeper inclines and uneven paths.

Curbar Edge

Curbar Edge is a beautiful moorland walk that offers the best views of Derwent Valley. The highest point of the walk is 292m and is a popular destination for rock climbing due to its striking rock forms.

You can start the walk from Curbar Gap car park situated between the villages of Curbar and Baslow. The walk is around 3-6 miles depending on which route you take.

View from Curbar Edge

The easier route from Curbar Bar cark park is around 3 hours and takes you through Froggatt Edge before returning via a lower path back to the car park.

If you are looking for a more challenging route, you can include nearby peaks such as Baslow Edge and White Edge before returning to the starting point.

Bleaklow

Bleaklow and the Higher Shelf Stones is the second highest point in Derbyshire offers views of Manchester on a clear day. At 633m tall it can be a challenging hike but you are rewarded with a spectacular view.

You can park at the lay-by on Snake Pass just south of the peak as shown on the picture below. The walk itself is around 6 miles and should take around 3 hours to complete.

map of the High Shelf Stones in Peak District

Close to the summit is the crash site for US Air Force plane “Bleaklow Bomber” which came down in 1948. The B-29 Superfortress is scattered across the pathway and serves as a memorial for those who died.

Chrome Hill

Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill otherwise known as the “Dragon’s Back” due to its resemblance, are popular hiking trails in the Peak District. Standing at 350m tall it is an easier route than most but still offers great views of rural Derbyshire.

Starting at East Sterndale where parking is available in the village or nearby lay-bys. The walk itself should take around 3 hours and is roughly 5 miles long.

Chrome Hill Peak District

Begin your walk behind the currently closed 400 year old pub The Quiet Woman to begin the hike. You will first reach Parkhouse Hill before Chrome Hill both offering great photo opportunities.

What is the Pennine Way?

The Pennine Way is a national trail in the UK that begins in the Peak District near Edale, it extends 268 miles to Scotland. Edale is a popular village in the Peak District with many other walking trails and hiking paths around it. The Pennine Way is the oldest National Trail in England, officially opened in 1965. It was inspired by the Appalachian Trail in the United States and aimed to provide a similar experience in the UK.

What to Pack and Tips for Peak District Hikes

  • Footwear – Wear sturdy hiking boots as the paths can be uneven and muddy, especially after rain
  • Clothing – Dress in layers and be prepared for changes in weather. It can be windy at the top
  • Supplies – Bring water, snacks, and a map. Though the path is well-marked, it’s good to have a map or GPS
  • Time of Day – Early mornings or late afternoons can be less crowded and offer beautiful lighting for photography
  • Safety – Stick to marked paths to avoid disturbing wildlife and for your own safety

Best Month to Visit the Peak District

The best time to visit the Peak District Is April to September although hiking is popular all year round. You will need to check for any weather warnings on the morning of your hike as heavy rain or snow can occur most months of the year.

April to September is the best as it offers more clear days to have a view for miles. Cities such as Derby, Manchester, Sheffield and Stoke can be seen from certain summits.

How to get to the Peak District

The Peak District is pretty much the centre of England so is accessible by car from any major airport and motorway.

Several cities around the Peak District offer train travel to stations such as Buxton, Edale, Glossop, Hope, Marsden and Matlock.

Bus or Coach travel is also available such as the “Peak Sightseer” operated by Stagecoach or public transport on the “Trans Peak”.

Getting around the Peak District Hikes

The best way to get around the Peak District is by car. There are many “A” roads that run through the Peak District allowing quick travel between villages and starting points for your hike.

Must visit places by car include Bakewell known for the famous “Bakewell Tart” or Buxton an historic spa town with natural drinking water.

Another option is cycling with many roads and trails accessible by bike. Check out the official Peak District website for more information. Bike Hire is available in several locations including Ashbourne, Bakewell, and Parsley Hay. Many trails have car parks, cafes, and toilets at various points along the route.

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