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The Top 5 Best Viewpoints of the Peak District

Posted by Luci Ackers on 16 December 2021
Related property: Blore Hall
The Top 5 Best Viewpoints of the Peak District

With foggy skies and frozen grounds, now is the perfect time of year to go hunting for that ideal viewpoint. In the Peak District you are guaranteed to find some of the most atmospheric photo opportunities around.

Five fantastic viewpoints of the Peak District National Park

From the top of its reaching hills and mountains to its countless swooping valleys, the Peak District is one of the best spots in the UK for fantastic views. But with so much spectacular scenery to choose from, how can you possibly know where to start? We’ve selected what we think are the best viewpoints near Blore Hall, perfect for discovering during your stay.

Of course, if you think you can prove us wrong why not post your own favourite shot up on our Facebook page? We'd love to see them!

1. Mam Tor

Mam Tor is well known as one of the Peak District's most dramatic viewpoints. It stands above the valleys of Hope and Edale in Derbyshire, stretching to the Derwent Moors. There is a nice circular trail leading to its summit and from here you can admire the fantastic landscape of the Peak District stretching out before you. Due to its loose falling shale, the peak is sometimes known as the Shivering Mountain, the crumbling rocks creating an interesting effect as they slip into the valley below.

Where is Mam Tor?

Mam Tor can be found near Castleton (S33 8WN) in the High Peak area of Derbyshire. Located right where the gritstone edges of the Dark Peak meet the limestone plateaux of the White Peak, its dramatic slopes are visible for miles around.

Mam Tor Car Park

If arriving by car, the best place to park is the National Trust car park at Mam Nick (S33 8WA). Parking here is free for NT members, or non-members can pay online. It is also possible to park along the side of the road, but please only use the designated areas.

The parking areas do get busy – especially during the holidays and weekends - so we recommend either arriving early or later in the day to get a spot.

Mam Tor walking routes

There is a clearly marked footpath leading up Mam Tor from the back of the car park. You can also find directions for the circular walking route along this popular ridge on the National Trust website.

The walk itself is rather steep but not particularly long. It does mean it’s a good route to walk with children, although we would recommend taking a sling or carrier for little ones, rather than a pram. The walk is also dog-friendly (although your furry friend will need to stay on a lead between March and July), so it can be a real family affair.

2. Chatsworth House

The famous stately house in Derbyshire makes a spectacular view where it stands in beautiful grounds, fronted by the river Derwent and backed by tree-covered hillside. Chatsworth House was remodelled in the classical style between 1686 and 1707; it is magnificent, has received a number of famous guests, and is believed to have been the original inspiration for Austen's fictional Pemberley, more recently featuring in several adaptations of Pride and Prejudice as Mr. Darcy's stunning home. Find opening times and prices on the website.

Where is Chatsworth House?

Nestled in the heart of the Peak District, Chatsworth house is roughly 45 minutes from Blore. The public entrance to the house can be found on the B6012, and can be reached from both the M1 and A6. Chatsworth is also just a 30-minute drive from the Chesterfield train station and 40 minutes from Sheffield station.

Chatsworth House Parking

There is car parking available at Chatsworth House – use the postcode DE45 1PP. There is also the Calton Lees car park, which is tucked away at the southern end with the postcode DE4 2NX. Both are open between 9am and 6pm and cost £5 per vehicle. If possible, it is recommended to book your parking in advance via their website.

Who lives at Chatsworth House?

The Duke and Duchess of Devonshire live at Chatsworth house, which has been passed down through the Cavendish family for the last sixteen generations.

3. Heights of Abraham

This park is a hilltop attraction in Matlock Bath, accessed by gondola cable cars and consisting of 60 acres of park and woodland in which to wander and explore, plus two play areas and several picnic areas. The park originally opened in the Victorian period and, for a long time, was only accessible to those who could scale the steep slopes of Masson Hill. The cable cars were added in the 1980s and transport you from the valley floor, offering spectacular panoramas of the Derwent Valley and surrounding Peak District on your ascent. Once at the top, there are tours and exhibitions and walks to enjoy – all with fantastic scenery.

Bear in mind the attraction re-opens for the season in February. This time of year is perfect for looking down over the frosty landscape below. Find prices and opening times on the website.

Where are the Heights of Abraham/Car parking?

You’ll find the Heights of Abraham on the very edge of the Peak District (DE4 3NT), about 35 minutes from Blore Hall and just outside the charming town of Matlock Bath. Around 20 miles from Derby and 10 miles from Chesterfield, it can be reached via the A6.

It’s worth noting that due to the hilltop location, there in no car park at the Heights of Abraham. There are, however, four car parks in Matlock Bath which are within walking distance:

  • Matlock Bath train station: DE4 3NT
  • Temple Road: DE4 3NR
  • Pavilion: DE4 3NR
  • Artist’s Corner: DE4 3PS

Heights of Abraham Cable Car

For many, the cable car is one of the main draws of the Heights of Abraham. The twelve cars provide a smooth ride up to the top of the hill, with 360° views of the magnificent countryside. You’ll travel a third of a mile from top to bottom, scaling a height of 554ft as you cross the limescale gorge.

Heights of Abraham Walking Routes

There’s a wide selection of paths to explore at the Heights. Before the addition of the cable car in 1984, these winding paths were the only way for visitors to scale the hill, with the many twists and turns designed to ease the stain of the steep slope. The paths pass through the savage garden and past two beautiful heritage structures, giving visitors a great opportunity to explore the estate.

In addition, it’s possible to include the Heights of Abraham in a 10km circular walk that also takes in High Tor. Find more information here.

4. Arbor Low Stone Circle and Gib Hill Barrow

Arbor Low is one of the finest Stone Age 'henge' monuments in the North of England. The views from the hill it is situated on are stunning on a clear day, and the bleak atmosphere when the weather is misty is just as good, so it will never fail to impress. The henge was an important focal point for the people of the time and is estimated to have been constructed around 2500 BCE. It consists of circular banks enclosing a central circular sanctuary, defined by the surrounding ditches. The central area is ringed by more than fifty limestone fallen slabs, arranged around its circumference. It makes for an interesting sight and if you're there as the fog rolls in it can be really atmospheric!

Now cared for by the English Heritage, Arbor Low is open and accessible for the public at most times throughout the year. You can find out more about this interesting place on the English Heritage website.

Where is Arbor Low Stone Circle?

The Arbor Low stone circle can be found just off the minor road that joins the villages of Parsley Hay and Youlgrave, around 12km south of Buxton. If arriving by car, Parsley Hay is located on the A515, but there is also a bus service (the 181 bus between Hartington and Sheffield) that passes along the road.

While Arbor Low is an English Heritage site, it is accessed by walking across private working land, for which the owner charges £1 per person.

Arbor Low Stone Circle Walks

With its location on the limestone plateau, Arbor Low is surrounded with walking opportunities. One particularly popular route is the walk from Monyash – a charming mining village – into the idyllic Lathkill Dale. You’ll pass abandoned mines, rolling farmland and weathered limestone cliffs – all a prime example of the tranquil scenery the Peak District is so well-known for. You can find more details of this lovely walk here.

For those looking for a longer walk, the nearby village of Parsley Hay is ideally located for exploring both the High Peak Trail and the Midshires Way.

5. Dovedale

Dovedale is a beautiful little valley just a short distance from Blore Hall. This popular beauty spot is around three miles long and has been carved out of the countryside by the River Dove, which flows through the valley on its journey through the southwestern Peak District. Now in the care of the National Trust, Dovedale is home to an iconic set of stepping stones, which have been in place across the water since Victorian times.

Dovedale walking routes

No visit to Dovedale would be complete without trying one of the area’s many walks. At the southern end of the valley, Thorpe Cloud is a hill that rises from a picturesque wooded ravine. A walk to its summit is a popular route with day-trippers and provides beautiful panoramic views of the valley and outlying countryside. Find out more here.

You can also find an excellent walk of about two and a half miles from Ilam Park that incorporates the Dovedale stepping stones on the National Trust website.

Dovedale car park

There are National Trust car parks at Ilam Park (DE6 2AZ) and Dovedale (DE6 2AY), both of which are cash only – please bring the correct change with you. Prices start at £3.50 for up to 4 hours, while all-day parking is £5.  National Trust members park for free. However, both car parks do get very busy, particularly on weekends, bank holidays and school holidays, so it is worth getting there early or having alternate plans ready. Parking on the narrow roads or grass verges is not allowed, as it blocks access.

Dovedale stepping stones

If you decide to visit the Dovedale stepping stones, it is very worth packing a picnic and stopping here for a little while for some food, and even a paddle. It’s a wonderful location surrounded by breathtaking scenery, while the stones themselves have drawn visits for centuries.

The sixteen limestone-capped stepping stones were placed way back in the 19th Century, providing a unique way to hop, skip and jump across the River Dove. Looked over by rolling hills, picturesque valleys and ancient woodland, the stones really are like something out of a story book. They even contain fossils, which you can spot as you step across the water. The stepping stones do get busy, so to ensure parking and avoid any queues to cross the river, we’d recommend arriving as early as possible.

Don't miss... the best views in the Peak District by car

One of the lovely things about the Peak District is that you can enjoy some amazing scenery both by foot and in the car. If you don’t fancy scaling any great heights, the weather turns or you need something a little more accessible, why not take some time to explore our four best car-friendly viewpoints?

  1. Winnats Pass: This road takes you through a spectacular limestone gorge between Sparrowpit (SK17 8ET) and Castleton (S33 8WP).
  2. Monsal Head: From Monsal Head (DE25 1NL), take the B6465 towards Great Longstone. On the way the road will down into the Monsal Dale, with beautiful greenery and great views across the hills and of the traditional bridge. There’s also a couple of eateries where you can park up.
  3. Derwent Dams: The Derwent Dam (S33 0AQ) in the Hope Valley is a lovely drive alongside the water. There is a viewpoint to stop and enjoy, as well as beautiful scenery. Please note that parts of the road are closed on Sundays and Saturdays/Bank Holidays between Easter and November, although blue-badge holders may still access it.
  4. Chatsworth: We spoke about Chatsworth earlier in the blog, but the drive up to the house along the B6102 provides wonderful views of the estate. You could then park in the house’s park and pop into the nearby café.
Luci Ackers

Luci Ackers

Luci loves getting out and about for a good cycle ride or easy-going walks in the countryside, and thoroughly enjoyed the time she previously spent working for the National Trust. Her love of writing started from a young age and on rainy days nothing beats curling up in a secret corner with a good book.

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