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Villages to Visit in the Peak District

Updated on July 23, 2017
Duck pond at Foolow
Duck pond at Foolow | Source

An Introduction To The Peak District

The Peak District National Park is a popular British holiday destination, attracting visitors both from the UK and abroad. It is located at the southern end of the Pennines, with much of the park in the northern Derbyshire area. The Peak District also includes parts of other counties, such as Cheshire and Staffordshire.

There are numerous attractions in the area, with the stunning landscapes making it particularly popular with walkers. Although well known for outdoor pursuits, there are also many sites of historical interest and pretty villages to visit.


Probably one of the most well known towns in the Peak District, Bakewell is very popular with visitors to the area.

There are several attractions to visit, including the Old House Museum, Bath Gardens and the Original Bakewell Pudding Shop. There are also plenty of places to get refreshments, with a number of pubs, tearooms and chip shops in the centre of the town. In addition to the establishments offering traditional British food, there is an Austrian sausage shop where you can buy food to eat in or take away.

There are a few high street shops in Bakewell, as well as many independent shops selling souvenirs.

Bakewell is also a good starting point for a walk, as the Monsal Trail can be accessed from there. The trail, which is 8.5 miles long, is a former railway line which was opened to the public in 1981. It is now very popular with walkers and cyclists, offering scenic walks with views of the beautiful landscape.

For those who may prefer a short gentle stroll, there is a path along the river and a pleasant park.

Bath Gardens, Bakewell
Bath Gardens, Bakewell | Source

Ashford in the Water

A short distance from Bakewell is the pretty village of Ashford in the Water. Although small, it's worth a visit for those who want to see a picturesque Peak District village.

Situated on the River Wye, the village has a lovely church, attractive cottages and a welcoming tea room. One of the highlights of the village is Sheep Wash Bridge, so named because sheep were once washed there before being sheared. Here, visitors can stop to look at views of the village and watch the ducks swimming on the river.

Sheep Wash Bridge, Ashford in the Water
Sheep Wash Bridge, Ashford in the Water | Source


Eyam, also known as 'The Plague Village', suffered an outbreak of the plague during 1665 in which at least 260 villagers died. Today, plaques can be seen on some of the buildings commemorating the victims of the plague. There is also a museum where visitors can learn more about the outbreak in the village.

This attractive village has a couple of delightful tearooms and a few shops, as well as a stately home which is open to visitors. Like most villages in the Peak District Eyam is a nice location to start a walk, with tracks and field paths offering impressive views of the peaks.


The pretty village of Foolow is a former lead mining village close to Eyam. It's a small, picturesque village with 17th century houses, two churches, an ancient cross and a duck pond. There are no shops in the village, but there is a pub to get refreshments.

The village is well known locally for the resident white ducks which can usually be seen around the pond area. This is a pleasant spot to have a picnic!

Foolow | Source


Castleton, which is located in the Hope Valley, has a variety of attractions to offer. The picturesque scenery makes it a good location for taking a walk, and there is also a ruined castle overlooking the village. The castle can be admired from the village, or visitors can walk up the hill and see the ruins close up.

There are four show caves in Castleton, two of which contain Blue John, a semi-precious mineral. Blue John is only mined at the Blue John Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern in Castleton, making it unique to the area. Souvenirs containing Blue John can be found in the local shops.

There are also several pubs and tearooms where visitors can get refreshments.


The village of Hartington is well known in the local area for cheese production. There was a creamery in the village which closed in 2009, but in 2012 cheese production restarted with a number of barns being converted to a small scale cheese factory.

One of the attractions of the village is the cheese shop which is located opposite the duck pond. There are numerous types of cheese on sale including local cheeses, such as Peakdale Blue and Dovedale Blue.

There are a few places to get refreshments, including a tearoom and a hotel.

Hartington is popular with walkers and cyclists with the Tissington Trail, another former railway line, nearby. In addition to the trail, there are field paths to the beautiful Beresford Dale. This is an excellent location for taking a scenic walk.

Cottage in Hartington
Cottage in Hartington | Source

These villages are just a few of the gems in the Peak District. There are a number of attractive towns and villages to explore, offering charming shops, tea rooms and easy access to scenic walks. During the summer months visitors can see the Derbyshire tradition of well dressing in some of the villages, as well as various carnivals and events.

With the beautiful landscapes and delightful villages, the Peak District is an ideal holiday destination for those who want to explore the UK countryside.


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