Outdoor Stuff

Discovering the Peak District
Peak Activities
Golf Tennis Bowls Swimming Walking Cycling Go-Karting
Pot Holing, Climbing, Caving, Abseiling,Orienteering etc Riding & Trekking
Clay Pigeon Shooting Gliding Hang Gliding Watersports & Fishing


Discovering the Peak District

In 1951 the Peak National Park became the first National Park in the country.

Lying at the southern tip of the Pennines, it covers 1438 square kilometres (555 square miles) of beautiful and often wild countryside from the high (2120 ft) moorlands in the north to the green farmland in the south. The great majority of the National Park is still in private ownership and most of it is farmed.

The area is divided into two distinct areas which draw their different characteristics from the underlying rock. In the northern half is the Dark Peak, an expanse of majestic and menacing moorland as uncompromising as the dark gritstone of which it is comprised. There are few roads and no villages in the upper moorlands which include Kinder Scout and Bleaklow. As the region slopes southwards it blends in to the contrasting, softer White Peak and Derbyshire Dales.

Around 17 million people live within 60 miles of the Peak District National Park. Up to 30 million visits are made to the Park each year, mostly by car. (Only Mount Fuji National Park in Japan gets more visits). Around one third of day visits are made by people from Sheffield or the Greater Manchester area; a further third from other local areas such as Derby and Nottingham. Between 16.2 and 20 million visits are made by car to the Peak District National Park every year and another 1.5 million visits made by public transport. Visits by Peak Park residents or other visitors on foot, account for another 1.2 million whilst a further 3 - 3.6 million people drive through the Park just to admire the scenery.

The population of the Peak Park is around 38,000, most of whom live in the villages and hamlets dotted through the Park. The population of the Park is slightly older than the national average. Many of the residents are farmers. Others work in quarries or light industries (such as electronics) inside the Peak Park but the majority of the people are employed in service industries - which includes tourism.

The largest town in the Peak Park is the market town of Bakewell. About 10% of the population live here. The buildings in the villages are of local stone and the National Park Authority provides guidelines on any new building, so that it will blend in with the existing buildings.

The statistics however cannot prepare you for the beauty and spectacle of the area - only by being here can you fully appreciate the Peak. Up to 30 million visits are made to the Park each year, mostly by car. (Only Mount Fuji National Park in Japan gets more visits). There are around 1 million overnight.

Official Peak District Tourism
Peak District National Park
Peak District Mines Historical Society

Peak Activities
Bowls Clay Pigeon Shooting Cycling Fishing
Go-Karting Golf
Hang Gliding, Paragliding, Micro Lighting, etc

Pot Holing, Climbing, Caving, Abseiling,Orienteering etc

Riding & Trekking


The Green forms part of the Buxton Cricket, Bowling and Tennis Club, which was founded in 1853 (5 min) Tel 01298 78737

Clay Pigeon Shooting
Cold Springs Gun Club (1 mile)


There are many trails for all levels including off-beat & mountain biking (free guides & books at reception). The hotel has indoor storage space for bikes. Cressbrook Multimedia is well worth visiting for Cycle trail info.

If you want to hire a bike there are several Cycle Hire Centres within the Peak District including routes along converted railway tracks operated by the Peak District National Park and/or Derbyshire County Council.

For independent hire try Mountain Bike Experience in Buxton (01298 71674) who provide hire and guided rides in the Peak District.

There is a cycle track at Carsington Sports & Leisure Centre around the reservoir, guided cycle rides and hire for groups or individuals.

Well worth visiting for Pedal-Power info is Peak District Cycling & Mountain Biking

Derbyshire and Lancashire Gliding Club (12 miles)

Swains Centre, Harpur Hill, Buxton (5 min drive) An Outdoor circuit, 410m in length providing go-karting, quad track, mini motors. For all ages from 5 upwards. ( 01298 71037)

There are two courses plus a driving range.

  • Buxton & High Peak Golf Club (4 min drive) A nice Club(!) and the one used by our staff who can't afford the fees for The Cavendish Golf Club. Informative site showing all 18 holes n detail. (£24 visitor rate for 18 holes/£30 day)
  • Cavendish Golf Club (2 min drive) Nice but mind yer P's n Q's! (£30-40 visitor rate for 18 holes)
  • Peak Practice Golf Driving Range (6 min drive) Derbyshire's premier 32 bay floodlit driving range + putting greens welcomes all the family - whatever their level of inability (£1.80/25 balls)

Hang Gliding Paragliding, Micro Lighting, etc
Airways Air Sports (20 miles)
Derbyshire Soaring Club
Derbyshire Flying Centre (45 mins)
Peak District Hang Gliding Centre
Pennine Helicopters (Sightseeing Flights)

Pot Holing, Rock Climbing, Abseiling, Caving, Orienteering etc

GO APE Poole's Cavern, Buxton (0.5m) NEW FOR 2007
Located in Grinlow Wood at Poole's Cavern - Go APE is a high wire forest adventure course set some 35 feet up in the trees featuring rope bridges, Tarzan Swings and zip slides. See our Caves & Caverns section for more info re Poole's Cavern.

There are many organisations/activity centres offering individual or group activities.
Beyond The Edge
Derwent Pursuits
Dave Edwards & Associates
Edale YHA Activity Centre
David Mathews Adventure Activities
Peak Activities Ltd
Derbyshire Caving Association
British Mountaineering Council
Peak District Caving

Riding & Trekking
Northfield Farm Riding & Trekking Centre Flash (8 miles)
Ladybooth Trekking Centre Edale (14 miles)
Tissington Trekking Centre (15 miles) - 01335 350276
Matlock Farm Park nr Matlock (21m) Mid Mar - Mid Dec (open daily); Mid Dec - End of Dec (weekends only) Two Dales Riding School and Trekking centre is part of the farm park. This offers riding lessons as well as pony trekking in the nearby forests.

Buxton Spa Water Pool (2 min) Set in the Pavilion Gardens right opposite The Hotel allowing a unique experience in its therapeutically blue, natural mineral water pumped directly from the
source which provides Buxton Natural Mineral Water (best not to drink this variety). 25m pool + teaching pool - open 7 days p/w.

Buxton Tennis Club (5 mins walk) "Oooh I say"...Buxton Tennis Club was established in 1853 and was the venue for the first All-England Lawn Tennis Championship in 1877! The Championship only had 1 event, the gentleman's singles, won by rackets player Spencer Gore. About 200 spectators paid one shilling (5p) each to watch the final. No gripes about equal prize money then (or rich pickings for tkt touts)! The rights to the name were later acquired by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) for use at Wimbledon.

Three all-weather courts (no legal aid tho'). Do visit the site and read up on the history of "grunt-free" Tennis in Buxton...in the days when the fellas dared not show any leg, let alone the gels (visitor rate £3).

The Tennis Club, which forms part of Buxton Cricket, Bowling and Tennis Club, enjoys a sexy setting next to the Park Road Cricket Ground which was used by Derbyshire County Cricket Club as an official venue until August 1986 when it ceased to be used as a 1st Class ground. The final game was the Britannic Assurance County Championship match between Derbyshire v Lancashire. This ended 108 yrs of recorded use which started in 1878 with the match between Buxton & District v Australians.

Today the Ground is used by Buxton Cricket Club. The following is a list of some of the better known cricketers who have played at The Park Road Ground, Buxton over the years in First Class & List A matches (JP League, etc)...apologies...seem to have got a bit carried away...not many local Cricket Clubs could conjure such a list! Could have a interesting England v Rest of The World match from those names...maybe an argument about who'd be the respective captains tho'!!

MA Holding*
CH Lloyd*
FM Engineer*
GS Chappell*
Nawab of Pataudi*
PN Kirsten*
JG Wright*
Mushtaq Mohammad*
Sarfraz Nawaz*
EJ Barlow*
Majid Khan*
AI Kallicharran*
RB Kanhai*
DL Murray*
KD Boyce*
EA Cordle
S Venkataraghavan*
JA Snow*
AW Greig*
KJ Barnett*
D Lloyd*
JB Statham*
DL Amiss*
MJK Smith*
JH Edrich*
GG Arnold*
ER Dexter*
WE Alley
R Subba Row*
FH Tyson*
C Washbrook*
TW Graveney*
WJ Edrich*
FJ Titmus*
JH Parkes*
TWJ Goddard*
G Miller*
M Hendrick*
DS Steele*
PJW Allott*
P Willey*
FW Swarbrook
RW Taylor*
A Jones
MA Nash
KWR Flethcher*
SR Turner
RE East
JK Lever*
IR Buxton
NH Fairbrother*
E Morris*

* represented country at Full Test Level

Oh and here's the Editor's Pickz if you don't mind - in batting order:

GA Gooch
BA Richards
MD Crowe Profle
PA de Silva
SR Waugh
Kapil Dev
APE Knott
Sir RJ Hadlee
SK Warne
J Garner
CEL Ambrose

12th Men
SR Tendulkar
BC Lara
AR Border
CH Lloyd
Javed Miandad
Imran Khan
MD Marshall
AA Donald
Waqar Younis

So, would you choose to bat or put 'em in!!! (I'll come back n update their profiles as n when)


With over 1,600 miles of public footpaths and rights-of-way as well as 80 plus square miles of private land with access agreements there are hundreds of walks to choose from ranging from riverside strolls to 2,000 ft ascents (free guides and walkers maps are available at reception). Trails include:

  • Pennine Way the most dramatic stage of the 250 mile walk which starts from Edale village
  • Sett Valley (2.5 miles between Hayfield and New Mills)
  • Longdendale Trail 6 miles (part of the Hull to Liverpool Trans Pennine Trail) between Hadfield and Salter's Brook
  • The Goyt Way 10 miles between Whaley Bridge and Etherow Country Park
  • Tissington Trail
  • Monsal Trail
  • Limestone Way
  • Manifold Track
  • High Peak Trail
  • Many of the trails listed under Cycling are also suitable for walking.

    Peak District Walking 30 walks listed by nearest town or geographical area - with lengths handily shown on the main page
    High Peak Interactive 24 or so walks listed by nearest town or geographical area
    Peak District Walks only half a dozen walks, but nicely set out - defo a case of less is more
    Peak District Online 2 doz walks in detail inc some nice town strolls
    The Walking Englishman another site where you aren't blown away by a million suggestions. Sexy names (Hen Cloud, Thor's Cave, Wolfscote Dale). Cool piccies too
    Walking Britain a site where you are blown away by a million walks, hardcore in stylee
    Go 4 a Walk Liste The MUST DO Peak District walks...apparently. Also Has a graphic of a person, um...walking...on a moving airport walkway by the looks of things
    Discover Derbyshire Bit different in that it's much less hardcore in terms of the walks. Has nearly a 100 towns/villages with a suggested trail aound each using the provided stick diagram map. Interesting bumph on the towns/villages too
    Cressbrook - PD Walking - loadsa walks categorised by geographical features (High Moorland, Limestone Dales, Moorland & Valley, Short Walks)

    There's even an annual Peak District Walking Festival (Sat 25 April - Monday 4 May 2009 is the next one)...coming next, A Carnival of Walks no doubt!

    On the other hand, if ya simply fancy a Stroll in the Park...that's easy too..just cross over the road...into The Pavilon Gardens.

    Watersports & Fishing

    Alton Manor Farm (nr Wirksworth - 40 mins drive)
    Three natural streamfed lakes, 5 acres in total. Clear water. Set in estate farmlands. Wooden shelter (open all yr)
    Barlow Trout Fishery (nr Chesterfield - 40 mins drive)
    Four lakes 8 acres in total, set in rural woodlands. One lake dry fly catch and release. Under ten feet deep (open all yr)
    Bowden Hall Lake (Chapel-en-le-Frith - 15 mins drive) 1.5 acre lake surroundeed by tree (open all yr)
    Butterly Reservoir (Ripley - 35mins drive) Large reservoir bisected by the Midland Railway Society line. Tench & Bream to 6lb, Carp to 20lb+, Roach to 2lb, Pike to 20lb+ (night fishing allowed - open all yr)
    Carsington Sports & Leisure Centre (nr Ashbourne - 30 mins drive)
    A 741 acre reservoir, set in rolling hills, pastures and woodland run by Severn Trent Water
    (27 Mar – 7 Oct)
    Chatsworth Estate & Monsal Dale Fisheries
    Both fisheries offer approximately 4 miles of double bank fly fishing through some of the most picturesque scenery in Derbyshire. Tickets must be bought in advance
    Combs Reservoir (Chapel-en-le-Frith - 15 mins dr) Coarse - money collected on bank ( 01298 812186)
    Errwood Reservoir (in the Goyt Valley - 10mins drive)
    An 85 acre streamfed reservoir, set in the Derbyshire Dales. An upland peaty reservoir with challenging fishing and plenty of space (1 May – 30 Sept)
    Higham Farm (Clay Cross - 45 mins drive)
    4 great size lakes set in a forest, one of the lakes is a specimen lake though all lakes contain great size carp,chub,bream and perch the water is always coloured and is an absolute anglers paradise (night fishing allowed - open all yr)
    Ladybower Reservoir (Hope Valley - 30 mins drive)
    504 acre reservoir set in Peak District countryside. Rainbows, Browns and Triploids stocked weekly with fish averaging over 1.5lbs. Fishery records: 17lb 4oz Rainbow, 11lb 7oz Brown (6th April – 31st Oct)
    Lamaload Reservoir (Langley, nr Macclesfield) Stanley Moor Reservoir (Axe Edge, Buxton) The walk up to Stanley Moor begins at Poole's Cavern Country Park, off Green Lane, Buxton. Little can be seen of the reservoir apart from the well grassed dam wall that surrounds it. Fly fishing is permitted from June - Oct only
    Lightwood Reservoir - Fly Fishing only between June and October
    Ogston Reservoir (nr Clay Cross - 45 mins drive)
    200 acre reservoir owned by Severn Trent Water set in woodland and upland pastures. Clear water. No wading. Season opens 1st April
    River Wye (nr Bakewell)
    The Wye is a popular trout fishing river, frequently stocked for syndicates, hotels and others who pay for the fly fishing. The limestone gives the river it's lifeblood., enriching it with nutrients and giving it an alkaline nature. This leads to an abundance of insect life, thriving in the rich weed beds. The Wye trout quickly grow to large proportions on this heady diet of shrimps, sedges, upwing flies and many other invertebrates. Day tickets to fish for Brown & Rainbow Trout on a 7 mile stretch of the Lower Wye (Bakewell to Rowsley) may be purchased through the Peacock hotel in Rowsley. 1 Apr - 7 Oct (01629 733518)
    Torside in Longdendale (nr Glossop - 35 mins drive)

    - also see above under Pot Holing, Climbing, Abseiling, Caving, Orienteering, etc .

    Eat ur heart out JR Hartley!