Essential Peak

(This section is a little experimental at the moment – see associated blog post!)

The Peak District is a big old place, with a huge variety of landscapes for a walker to see. So, this page is an attempt to draw up a Peak District bucket list. These are the places you absolutely must set foot to experience everything this special place has to offer.

But its not a list fixed in time – hopefully it will evolve and grow over time as more walkers tell us what they consider to be the Essential Peak District.

So, have a look at the map and list below. They show the current Essential Peak District points, as well as many more great places to walk to in the area. Treat it as a starter-for-ten though, and let us know what points need adding, which need promoting and which demoting to/from the Essential Peak District list. Use this survey to give us your views!

Essential Peak District Map

The map below will hopefully grow into a full hiker’s guide to the Peak District, showing all the great places that are best experienced on foot. The points marked with stars are the Essential Peak District – see the list below for more information. And let us know what is missing from the map!

Essential Peak District List

We’ve split the Peak District into sections, based on the unique landscapes you’ll find. There’s a bit of overlap of course, but broadly each of these sections has a character of landscape with is not only unique to itself, but often to The UK as well. You won’t find dales, hills or edges quite like the Peak District’s anywhere else!

Northern Dark Peak Moors

North of the Woodhead Pass the Peak District is at its most remote and wild. The hills are dark and brooding, and strangely isolated despite being surrounded by major towns and cities. The Essential Peak District points here are:

  • Black Hill

The Dark Peak

The highest hills of the peak district are here, with the district dominated by the Kinder plateau. But it’s not all about the hills here, with three large reservoirs creating a mini-lakeland. These hills are famous not only for the landscape, but also for the fight to win our rights to access them. The protests held here (and else where in the Peak District) helped make the case for access nationwide. The Essential Peak District points here are:

  • Bleaklow
  • Derwent Edge
  • Derwent Reservoir Dam
  • Howden Edge
  • Kinder Downfall
  • Kinder Low
  • Stanedge Pole
  • William Clough

Hope Valley

As the great horseshoe of desolate hills that is the Dark Peak meets the massive dome of the White Peak limestone plateau it crests into waves of rock, forming the famous ‘edges’, one of the defining landscapes of the Peak District. The Hope Valley is also home to many of the area’s best hills, formed of a thin band of exposed shale tucked between the limestone and gritstone. The Essential Peak District points here are:

  • Bamford Edge
  • Burbage Rocks
  • Carl Wark
  • Higger Tor
  • High Neb
  • Lose Hill
  • Mam Tor
  • Stanage Edge
  • Win Hill
  • Winnats Pass
Western Moors Western White Peak Fringe White Peak Plateau Eastern Peak Fringe Eastern Moors Hope Valley Dark Peak Northern Moors
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