Last month, we looked at some of the best things you can do in Manchester during the warm summer we’re currently enjoying. Now, we turn the focus to the other of Davis Blank Furniss’s two locations, with our Glossop-based office being on the outskirts of the beautiful High Peak, a part of the Peak District.
The High Peak is home to picturesque towns and villages, and breathtaking, stretching spots of untouched nature. There’s plenty to do here throughout the summer, with some of the best ideas listed below:
1. Explore one of the many cave experiences
The High Peak boasts many natural caves, that have become popular attractions all year around for visitors to the area. In the summer, it’s the perfect idea for those trying to get out of the sun, with a fascinating, educational trip underground.
The lovely village of Castleton can probably be considered the High Peak capital of caves, with one cavern in the village itself, and three more on the outskirts. Peak Cavern, known locally as “The Devil’s Arse”, has the largest natural cave entrance in the whole of the UK, with the towering cliff splitting open in the south of the village being a must-see site.
Just down the road is Speedwell Cavern, an old lead mine with a boat trip through the flooded tunnels, while also in the area are two Blue John mines, the only places in the UK you’ll find the unique mineral. Treak Cliff Cavern is still mining Blue John to this day, but is also a stunning show cave open to visitors, while Blue John Cavern offers an hour long tour through its winding caves.
It’s not just Castleton that offers caves though. In one of the southernmost points of the High Peak is the spa town of Buxton, where you’ll find Poole’s Cavern. Guided tours of the limestone caverns take place regularly throughout the day, with many fascinating sights to see along the way.
2. Enjoy one of the many scenic hiking routes
Keen walkers and hikers will thoroughly enjoy a trip to the High Peak, with so many invigorating routes to take with stunning views the end result.
Those who want to get up high and see for miles, won’t go wrong with a walk up Kinder Scout, the Peak District’s highest point at 636 metres. Walkers and climbers can spend a good day in the area with a fully satisfying treak to the peak, offering views of the nearby Kinder Reservoir and Ladybower Reservoir, and on clear days, much further out to the surrounding towns and cities.
Mam Tor is another highlight, peaking at 517 metres high, and being known as “Shivering Mountain” due to the active landslides that happen around the hill. With more than 4000 years of landslides in the area, there are now a series of smaller surrounding hills, leading to Mam Tor getting its name that translates as “Mother Hill”.
A walk across the Great Ridge between Castleton and Edale is also recommended, as is a walk to the top of Win Hill that offers views for many miles.
3. Relax in a beautiful park
There are many lovely parks to enjoy this summer, mostly in the towns and villages of the High Peak.
In the spa town of Buxton, you’ll find two great options. The Pavilion Gardens is one such place, dating back to 1871, and now offering 23 acres of landscaped gardens to explore. There’s plenty to keep the family busy too, with play areas, a boating lake, and an ice cream parlour for the perfect summers day snack.
Also in the town is Buxton Country Park, the location of previously mentioned Poole’s Cavern. It’s not just caving though – the park is a huge space, with much woodland to explore. There’s a GoApe treetop adventure course on-site for those seeking some adrenaline thrills, as well as picnic areas, a shop, and cafe. One of the park’s highlights is the climb up to Solomon’s Temple, a folly built in 1894 on a site of Bronze Age archaeological significance.
In Glossop, you’ve also got the lovely Manor Park, another great place for the family to enjoy, with miniature railway rides, woodland walks, play areas, a cafe, and a sensory garden.
4. Walk around a winding reservoir
If hiking up hills isn’t your thing, but you still do enjoy a walk in a beautiful environment, a trip around a reservoir is highly recommended.
Ladybower Reservoir is one of the most well known reservoirs in the area, stretching across 520 acres and being a popular spot for local tourists. You can visit multiple on multiple occasions to try different routes around the reservoir, taking in new sights each time. There are also public toilets on site, and a couple of close pub restaurants to sit down and relax by at the end of the day.
Branching out from Ladybower is Upper Derwent Reservoir, and Howden Reservoir, split in two by an impressive dam. The dam is the location of the practice runs that the 617 Squadron took during the second world war for the famous “Dambusters” raids.
5. Stroll around a museum or visit a historic building
There are plenty of museums and historic sites to visit in the High Peak.
In the town of Buxton, you’ll find the excellent Buxton Museum & Art Gallery featuring two key exhibitions. “Wonders of the Peak” revolves around the history of the Peak District, looking back at the local people within the past few centuries, to how nature has shaped the land throughout the past one million years. The museum is also home to the “Boyd Dawkins Study”, a room which is home to a wide range of important artefacts, with a particular focus on scientists Sir William Boyd Dawkins and Dr J Wilfred Jackson.
In Castleton stands an 11th century castle, overlooking the lovely village below. Peveril Castle was built at some point between 1066 and 1086, and although is now a ruin, has been maintained over the years to restore and preserve as much as possible. Now looked after by English Heritage, the castle is open to the public, along with a visitor centre packed with information about the history of the landmark.