Some Useful Information

If you enjoy the Great Outdoors and the freedom of the open road with holidays on the hoof, or simply yearn to explore some of the most breathtaking scenery in the whole of England from the comfort of your caravan or your tent then the Peak District is for you!

The sheer diverse nature of the Derbyshire landscape makes the Peak District so attractive to camping and caravan enthusiasts, and the increasing influx of `mobile tourists’ is well catered for by a vast array of camping sites and caravan parks, many of them recently upgraded in response to modern requirements and licensing legislation.

The Peak District has been attracting wayfaring travellers and visitors for centuries; the Romans camped here at Buxton, leaving the marks of their passing at other places too like Brough, Glossop and Pentrich. They built the first roads into the area, travelling them on foot or mounted on horseback, but the Peak District remained virtually inaccessible to wheeled transport until the the advent of the turnpike roads in the early eighteenth century.

Thus, much of the wild moorland and the beautifully situated but isolated settlements of the Dales remain virtually untouched and unchanged by the ravages of `progress’ and modern civilisation, lending themselves and their environs ideally to those seeking respite from the rat-race!

Of course, the phrase, `up hill and down dale’ describes the topography of the Peak District quite accurately and thus, for caravanners many of the more remote and beautiful locations remain virtually inaccessible; for example, you’d need a Chieftain tank to haul a 40 ft. 6-berth Abbey Spectrum up Kinder Scout, or up from the Derwent Valley through Curbar Gap! But with the increasing number of strategically sited touring parks and camp-sites in the Peak District, thankfully you don’t have to, because wherever you choose to go there are dozens of suitable sites somewhere in the vicinity, all guaranteed to cater adequately for your every need.

Experienced caravanners will readily acknowledge that the first rule of touring is to know your route; this is vital in an area like the Peak District with innumerable single-track roads and steep, twisting lanes in-between the villages and in the more remote regions.

Most importantly the Peak District is served by a network of relatively level arterial access roads into the spectacular interior, and most major caravan and camping sites are located along these arteries, with many sites very close to major towns, large villages and all the major tourist attractions.

Ashbourne, the ancient market town on the southern fringes of the Peak Distict, is a favourite base for camping & caravanning with dozens of exceptionally good sites, and is ideal for those wishing to visit the local paradise of Dovedale. New easier road systems from the A50 make for good access, and here you will find Peakland Caravans & Site, the large & well equipped Callow Top Caravan Park, Ashfield Caravan Park, and also in this area excellent sites at Carsington Fields, Kniveton, Ilam, and the popular and picturesque Rivendale Park, just off the A515 at Alsop-en-le-Dale.

Further north, with easy access along the A6 which runs along the floor of the Derwent Valley, you will enter the World Heritage Area where there are a number of good caravan sites, some of which are open all year, including the popular Broadholme Lane Caravan Park, which is in Belper, an interesting town, full of places to visit. There are also good sites around the market towns of Matlock and Bakewell, notably the excellent Greenhills Caravan Park, and along the route at Ambergate, Holloway and Whatstandwell.

The Hope Valley and High Peak has a number of well situated sites ideal for exploring the famous reservoirs of Dam-Buster fame at Ladybower and Derwent, and as bases for Edale and the high moors of the northern peak.

Many tourists come simply to see the magnificence and splendour of the areas stately homes, and both the Palace of the Peak, Chatsworth House and the finest medieval Manor House in England, Haddon Hall cater for the mobile tourer with camping and caravans at Haddon Grove, and with a site in Chatsworth Park, courtesy of the Duke & Duchess of Devonshire!

Buxton in the High Peak has a number of very well equipped sites on it’s fringes, the better known ones at Longnor, the Lathkill Caravan Park at Monyash, one of the highest in the county, and other notable sites at Newhaven on the A515 Ashbourne to Buxton road, where you will find Sycamore Farm, one of the oldest and longest established in the country.

Barn Farm, run by the well-known Heathcote Family at Birchover in the White Peak is a very popular camping & caravan site, and very close to Stanton Moor with it’s spectacular views and famous Nine Ladies Stone Circle. For all-year-round caravan & camping activity, the new Peak District Mecca seems to be Darley Dale, along the A6 corridor between Matlock & Bakewell. The broad flat land of this part of the Derwent Valley lends itself ideally to caravan & camping enthusiasts and a number of caravan clubs hold annual rallys here, including those from Nottingham and Derby.

One of the fastest growing and most popular sites, now in it’s fifth year is the excellent site beside the tranquil Derwent at Darley Bridge, owned and managed by the landlord of the Square & Compass across the road. Here there’s water, toilet, and shower facilities – and one of the best pints in Derbyshire!

At the last count there were over a thousand registered caravan & camping sites in Derbyshire, the majority of them in the Peak District or on its fringes and all of them without exception, providing an ideal base from which to explore the history and landscape of the magical peaks & dales of Derbyshire, in the very heart of England’s green and very pleasant land!