This national park has an illustrious CV. It was chosen as the country’s first national park, is home to the first ever long distance path and the moorland plateau that symbolised the access struggled in the 1930s. It is also the second most visited national park in the world. Tom Stevenson, our former secretary and the man behind the Pennine Way, used to tell of old access battles fought between walkers and game keepers on the moors of the Dark Peak, now a huge part of the national park, which we are fortunate to have the freedom to explore today. It is still precious to walkers and with good reason. Its diverse landscape includes gentle uplands, windswept moors, desolate and forbidding high peaks, gritstone walls and cliffs. Despite its proximity to some of the North and midland’s big cities you really can get away from it all here, thanks to incredible endless and uninterrupted views.
Stanage Edge in the Derwent Valley, was where the location scouting agent for the film Pride & Prejudice decided to place the actress Kiera Knightley for some romantic daydreaming. We can only assume that they were ordered to find the finest scenery in the land. It is the most famous landmark in the Park but Mam Tor, Dovedale and Kinder Scout keeps it on its toe with their own unique beautiful vistas. It would be a mistake to assume that the Park is just for serious walkers. Many routes are great for wheelchairs and pushchairs including the paths on the disused rails routes of the Monsal Trail, High Peak and Tissington Trails in the White Peaks area and the Longdendale Trail in the Dark Peak area. And those of us who want a bit more of a challenge have the Pennine Way, the Trans Pennine Way and over 500 kilometres of open access land to discover.
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