Roly Smith, aka Mr Peak District
Mam Tor © Stephen Elliott
Panniers Bridge © Stephen Elliott
Dawn on Curbar Edge © Mike Cummins

Peak District National Park - by Roly Smith


An introduction to the Peak District by the president of the national Outdoor Writers' and Photographers' guild', Roly Smith.

It’s probably true to say that nowhere in Britain can offer such a variety of landscapes in such a small area as the Peak District.

From the wild, bleak moors of the north, where the land rises to its highest points in the featureless peat bogs of Kinder Scout and Bleaklow; to the gentle, pastoral limestone dales, such as Dovedale, the Manifold Valley and Lathkill Dale, in the centre and south, there is literally a landscape for everyone.

You can walk across the Peak District easily in a day – it’s that compact. During that imaginary walk from the west, you will pass from the heather-clad moors fringed with the eccentric natural rock sculptures known as tors; across the gently-rolling limestone plateau dotted with plentiful evidence of the works of prehistoric Man; down through leafy dales where the crystal-clear rivers burble quietly through some of the finest sites for wildlife in Britain; out into the broad shale valleys carved by the Rivers Wye or Derwent, and then finally up again over the gritstone “edges” of the eastern moors, which slope smoothly down to the cities and former coalfields to the east.

All the time you are walking, the landscape and its associated wildlife, dictated closely by the underlying geology, changes beneath your feet and around you.

There’s no chance to get bored with the scenery in the Peak District. If you don’t like what you’re seeing, walk a couple of miles further on and you can find yourself in a totally different world. 

Roly Smith

© Let's Stay Peak District

Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015