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The Peak District contains a wealth of attractions, ranging from Museums to Theme Parks, and from sailing facilities to painting classes.
Places to Visit
There is a wealth of history here, and the area contains some of the finest Great Houses in England. Prime among these is Chatsworth House, the home of the Dukes of Devonshire. This is one of the finest houses of the country. Another fascinating house is Haddon Hall, just outside Bakewell, which is a perfectly preserved medieval manor house.
Don't forget also Lyme Hall, on the road towards Manchester, which served as 'Pemberley' in a recent adaptation of Jane Austen's 'Pride and Prejudice'. And in Castleton there is a reminder of more ancient dwellings in the shape of Peveril Castle, which looms over the village.
Buxton is the largest town of the northern part of the Peak District, and has a long history as a spa, dating back to Roman times. Don't miss the fine Georgian Crescent, or the Edwardian Opera House, where the annual festival is based, or Pooles Cavern, a fine show cave.
Matlock is the county town of Derbyshire, and in Matlock Bath there are numerous attractions, including a cable railway to the top of the Heights of Abraham, which overlook the town, and a Lead Mining Museum.
Ashbourne is also one of the few towns in England where traditional football (like a much rougher version of Rugby, but with no rules) is played each year on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. This event has taken place for centuries.
Show Caves and Theme Parks
Castleton has four fine show caves and Matlock Bath another two. Alton Towers is just on the southern edge of our area, and another theme park, Gulliver's Kingdom, is in Matlock Bath.
The walking in this area is magnificent, with everything from wild moorland walks to sheltered valley strolls. The area to the North, around Castleton and Edale, has some of the finest moorland walking in England, and Edale is the start of the Pennine Way.
Further south, Dovedale is a famous destination for both walkers and fishermen, and is often very busy at summer weekends. Here and in the nearby Manifold Valley - a subsidiary of the Dove, there are a range of excellent gentle walking circuits.
Cycling and Horse Riding
The area contains many quiet country lanes so cycling is a popular pastime around here. In the centre of our area two former railways have been converted into cycling tracks, (the High Peak Trail and the Tissington Trail) where you can ride your bike free from fears about traffic. Horse riding is also popular on these trails.
Cycle hire is available on the High Peak Trail at Middleton, just north of Wirksworth, and at Ashbourne on the Tissington Trail (seen right).
Fising and Sailing
Trout fishing is available in Dovedale (apply at the Izaak Walton Hotel at Ilam) and coarse fishing is available at some of our members' farms.
The reservoir of Carsington Water (seen right) caused controversy when it was planned in the 1980s, but is now appreciated by many as a leisure facility.
Severn Trent Water have a visitor centre here which acts as a magnet, bringing in visitors from far and near, and cycling and sailing are a popular attractions.
For the more energetic, the Peak District offers a wealth of opportunities for more dangerous sports, such as rock-climbing, pot-holing and hang-gliding.
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