5 of the Best Peak District Hikes
Famous for its many limestone caves, scenic landscapes, and long-distance hiking routes, the Peak District is an incredibly popular destination amongst hikers in Britain ever since it became the first national park to be created in the UK. However, with so many trails or routes to choose from, picking which hikes to do when you next visit is a hard decision. That’s why we’ve highlighted some of the best Peak District hikes available, so you can add them to your list of must-do trails next time you are near the area.
Best Peak District Hikes
1. Mam Tor
Mam Tor, or as its name translates to the ‘mother hill’ due to all the min hills it has created in the area, is a 517m hill near Castleton, Derbyshire. The location is full of many short circular walks that you can do so it’s not surprising Mam Tor is full of some of the most well-loved Peak District hikes for a reason.
From the National Trust car park to the top of Mam Tor, it is a fairly short walk, but with stunning views from over The Great Ridge – especially at sunrise and sunset- and wonderful areas to explore like local caves and castles, there are hours of fun to be had in the area.
Time it takes to complete: 1-2 hours
2. Kinder Scout Edges Circuit
Cited as one of Britain’s finest hill walks, the Kinder Scout Edges Circuit is another one of the Peak District hikes that you have to try. The famous Kinder Scout is a huge plateau with steep cliffs surroundings on all sides. The history of the area is of great importance as in 1932 a mass trespass took place on Kinder Scout. The protest kickstarted a revolution to open up areas for recreational walking and is said to have helped pave the way for the creations of the National Parks Act and the Countryside Right of Way Act.
The route that goes along the edges is overall about 30km so this is a full day out hike. The high point of the Kinder Scout, at 636 metres, is the highest point in the Peak District. It is also however the home of a huge peat bog, which throughout the years has stolen many people’s boots when they’ve hiked the area so stay on the path and be careful.
Time it takes to complete: 13 – 15 hours
3. The Lime Stone Way
For those looking for a hiking trip that takes multiple days, The Limestone Way is one of the must-do Peak District hikes. The Lime Stone way, named after the limestone scenery along the trail, is a long-distance footpath waymarked by a green ram head logo. It was opened in 1986 and was then extended south to Rocester in 1992 to link up with the Staffordshire Way. While it does technically leave the Peak District National Park at Thorpe, it is worth finishing the route in full.
It starts out of the village of Castleton at Cave Dale, which you may recognize the scenery of as it was a filming location for the 1987 movie, The Princess Bride. From there you head south through the White Peaks limestone dales until you reach the Dove Valley near Rocester.
Time it takes to complete: 3 – 4 days
4. Curbar Edge and Chatsworth House
Offering some of the most beautiful views this hike along Curbar Edge and to Chatsworth House is truly one of the prettiest Peak District hikes. Hiking along rocky slopes and seeing stunning views of the Peak District and the hills below you is already incredible enough but another highlight of this route is Chatsworth House which introduces you to an entirely different landscape. This 25 room house and 100-acre garden has been handed down from 16 generations and also has a working farm.
You can extend the route further in a loop so that you can take in more of the stunning Chatsworth House and estate as well as take a break from hiking for the day if you so wish.
Time it takes to complete: 4-5 hours
5. Pennine Way Across the Peaks
One of the first English National Trails, The Pennine Way is a famous long-distance hiking route, the full trail is 435km (268 miles) from Edale to Kirk Yetholm and takes 16 days in total. However, for this section of the Pennine Way which is done in the Peak District, it will take two days, or a weekend, to complete.
The trail is perhaps best known for the route of the infamous Spine Race, a winter ultrarunner marathon held in January where you travel along the whole of the Pennine Way. Since 2012, participants have taken place in this event where they are given 7 days to complete the course. It gained widespread media attention in 2019 when it was completed in entirety by Jasmine Paris in just over 83 hours.
The longest of our Peak District hikes, this one is a multiple-day trail that you will need to stay overnight for. The Peak District section of the trail is the first two days of the full trail, where you will head out from the Old Nags Pub in Edale and follow the Pennine Way markers, which are acorns, up towards the Kinder Scout Plateau on the Jacobs Ladder path. For your overnight stay, most people spend the night in Crowden where there is a campsite and youth hostel available.
Time it takes to complete: 2 days
After reading through this list, you are now sure to have many Peak District hikes in mind for the next time you are nearby. For other fun hikes based in the UK, look at our list for the best UK day hikes here, or for more beginner-based UK hikes that are still fun to do we also have a guide available here.