The Best Peak District Walks

4th January 2024
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In the wild heart of England lies the Peak District: 550 square miles of dramatic hills, sweeping valleys, rivers, and limestone gorges. In 1951, The Peaks - as it is known to those fortunate enough to live here - became the country's first National Park and has won the hearts of all who visited.

Taking in the breathtaking landscape on foot is the best way to experience The Peaks. There are so many trails to choose from including gentle pub walks, or more challenging hikes. Keep reading to discover some of our favourite Peak District walks that you should enjoy during your next staycation.

Monsal Trail

Monsal Trail - Best Peak District Walks

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 9 miles

Monsal Trail started life as part of the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock, and Midland Junction Railway, constructed in 1863 to link Manchester with London. The railway closed in 1968 and remained unused for twelve years before being taken over by the Peak District National Park. To make use of the former line’s flat course, the trail was reopened in 1981 as a convenient, accessible, and uniquely beautiful path through the countryside. 

Between Blackwell Mill and Bakewell, the Monsal Trail snakes through tunnels and cuttings, over viaducts and past historic buildings. A highlight is the striking view from the Headstone Viaduct, below Monsal Head. The trail is ideal for families with young children and people who use wheelchairs, and it is part of the National Park’s ‘Miles Without Stiles’ easy-access routes initiative. 

Not far from one end of the Monsal Trail in Bakewell is a cluster of our beautiful hotels and boltholes. Plus, our friendly inns offer hearty seasonal food with great wines and ales - just what you need after walking along the Monsal Trail.

Plan your route: Peak District, Monsal Trail

Beeley & Hell Bank

Beeley and Hell Bank - Best Peak District Walks

Difficulty: Easy

Length: 3 miles

Beeley is one of the most peaceful Peak District villages. It has shared a long history with Chatsworth House, Britain’s best-loved stately home since it became part of the Chatsworth Estate in 1761. This pretty, unspoilt village is sheltered by Beeley Moor, with wonderful views in all directions. It makes an ideal base to explore the Peaks further, although there are pleasant walks in and around Beeley itself that deliver rewards much higher than the effort they take.

For pub walks in the Peak District, we like starting from Beeley where there is free street parking. Walking across the fields and through the woods to Hell Bank Plantation, you’ll get to see gentle waterfalls under the leafy canopy. Heading back to Beeley following the yellow footpath marker-arrows, steer yourself in the direction of The Devonshire Arms at Beeley for a well-deserved pint and some chips.

Maybe you’d like to stay at The Devonshire Arms for more than just a pit stop? We offer delightful and homely rooms for you, and your pets are welcome too!

Discover the trail: Let's Go Peak District, Beeley and Hell Bank Plantation

The Roaches to Lud’s Church

The Roaches to Lud's Church - Best Peak District Walks

Difficulty: Medium

Length: 7 miles

Do not be put off by the name; ‘Roaches’ comes from the French word ‘roches,’ meaning ‘rocks.’ The theatrical landscape of the Roaches towering over the Tittesworth Reservoir has been hewn from the sandstone by time. It is a grand example of the variety the Peak District has to offer.

On the way to the peak, you will pass the Doxey Pool, a dark blue pond where, it is said, a malevolent water spirit named Jenny Greenteeth preys on unsuspecting hikers. The weather-worn rocks at the summit really do evoke feelings of mystery and wonder. Leaving the Roaches and entering Lud’s Church – an atmospheric, moss-covered chasm with walls 59 feet high - you are transported to another world.

Iconic moments from the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice were filmed on the Roaches hill walking route — and it is easy to see why. Relive Elizabeth Bennet’s wanderlust and return to one of our delightful hotels in the south of the Peaks, just a 45-minute drive from the Roaches.

Learn more: All Trails, The Roaches and Lud's Church circular walk

Kinder Scout

Kinder Scout - best Peak District Walks

Difficulty: Hard

Length: 9 miles

At 2,087 feet above sea level, Kinder Scout is the highest point (and quite possibly the most iconic natural landmark) in the Peak District. Start your ascent from Hayfield, where there is a circular national trail to follow. It is a challenging walk, especially in poor weather (so please come prepared with a map, compass, and appropriate walking gear!), but those who can climb to the very top are rewarded with memorable and undeniably spectacular views.

Kinder Scout is only about an hour’s drive through picturesque countryside from our luxurious hotels and boltholes on the Chatsworth Estate. Nothing is stopping you from making a day trip across the National Park to Kinder Scout and returning to the comfort of your well-appointed room and a delicious meal.

Plan your walk: Kinder Scout, The National Trust

Peak District Walking Holidays: Where To Stay

With so many Peak District walks to explore, why not plan a stay with Devonshire Hotels? Based in the south of the National Park with good access to the whole of the area, our hotels offer something for everyone. 

Find a room and book your stay: Our Hotels and Inns

Selection of hotels and inns in the Peak District

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