Things to do

Although a peaceful part of the country, the Peak District has a lot for visitors to do.

Tourist Attractions

  • Cycling or walking on the High Peak Trail

    The High Peak Trail is an old quarry railway that is now used as a walking and cycling path from Cromford to Buxton. You can hire bikes at either Middleton Top (very near Wirksworth) or Parsley Hay, where the Tissington Trail meets the High Peak Trail, further up towards Buxton.

  • Carsington Water

    Carsington Water reservoir has watersports and sailing, as well as bird hides and trails for walking and cycling. There’s even cycle hire and an outdoor climbing wall.

    If you’d like to try dingy sailing, windsurfing, canoeing or fishing, you can contact Carsington Sports and Leisure at the Watersports Centre.

  • Heights of Abraham Cable Cars

    Matlock Bath has cable cars that go from the river valley up to the top of the cliffs, the Heights of Abraham. The views are spectacular.

  • Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

    Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is run by a group of enthusiasts and volunteers who are trying to keep the Duffield-Wirksworth railway line open for everyone to enjoy.


Obviously, the Peak District has some great walking. You can make a decent route along public footpaths almost anywhere.

Rock Climbing and other sports

New Buildings is only a few minutes from Black Rocks, a gritstone outcrop between Wirksworth and Cromford. Also nearby is Harboro Rocks, which is smaller in scale but can be equally entertaining. Further north there is Frogatt Edge

Wirksworth Leisure Centre has an indoor climbing wall if the weather is wet, as well as a gym and other sports facilities.


  • Chatsworth House

    Besides the house, the gardens and parkland at Chatsworth are justly famous, and the fountain is spectacular.

  • Haddon Hall

    Haddon Hall is a beautifully preserved medieval manor house.

  • Other houses nearby include Hardwich Hall and Calke Abbey

Industrial History

The home of the industrial revolution is in the rural Peak District.

  • Cromford Mill

    Sir Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mill is now a World Heritage Site. This amuses the locals no end.

  • Belper Mill

    Jedediah Strutt was not to be outdone and his Belper Mill is still an impressive building. It was one of the first buildings with a structural iron frame, the technique that lead to the skyscraper.

More information

The following sites have lots of useful information on sights and things to do in and around the Peak District

You could also try the local Tourist Information Offices: Crown Square, Matlock, Tel. 01629 583388 or at the Pavilion, Matlock Bath, Tel. 01629 55082. Neither are open on bank holidays. Oh well!