It’s easy to see why exploring the Peak District National Park by car is so popular. From quaint, idyllic villages and winding country roads to vast open expanses and unforgiving terrain — the Peak District really is a driver’s paradise.
Iconic roads in the Peak District
We think any road trip through the Peak District is beautiful. However, if we had to pick our top 3 routes, we’d be remiss not to mention Snake Pass, Cat ‘n’ Fiddle, and Winnats Pass.
The Snake Pass was named not for its serpentine turns, but rather for The Snake Inn; an inn that was built in 1821 as a staging post between Ashopton and Glossop. The route slithers through glorious countryside dissected by streams and dry stone walls, ultimately connecting Sheffield to Manchester.
The Cat ‘n’ Fiddle connects Macclesfield and Buxton through some fantastic Peak District scenery. Despite its innocuous name (which is also taken from the name of a pub en route), The Cat ‘n’ Fiddle road can be treacherous at the best of times, so extra care is needed.
Finally, Winnats Pass. Starting from the village of Castleton and weaving through the pass, you are immediately treated to views like no other. The road is lined with sheep and limestone boulders poking from the grassy slopes. Each bend reveals a new visage until you eventually emerge on a breathtaking high plateau.
Peak District driving tips
We recommend you take a few precautions before setting out on your drive. Some of the most beautiful routes have bends, blind summits, and relatively steep drops by the roadside that will take extra care to negotiate.
Standard vehicle checks include:
- Sufficient oil level
- Sufficient coolant level
- Tyre pressure and tread depth within limits
- Lights functioning correctly
- Windscreen washer fluid topped up
Of course, that breakdown always happens when you least expect it! Here are some ideas for a breakdown kit to keep in your car:
- First aid kit
- Warning triangle
- High visibility vest
- Empty fuel can
- Extra engine oil and water for topping up
- Spare light bulbs
- An up-to-date road map or sat-nav
- In-car mobile phone charger
- Spare warm clothing
Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged, bring plenty of water and refreshments, and take regular breaks.
Let us inspire you
We have put together our own itinerary for a scenic drive in the Peak District.
This route covers about 60 miles and takes around 2 hours. It follows mainly country lanes selected for their picturesque Derbyshire landscape scenery.
Click the link below to download the itinerary, which begins at The Cavendish Hotel in Baslow.