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Camping and caravan holidays in the Peak District

Walking above Derwent Reservoir. (Pic by T. Chalcraft via Wikimedia Commons.)

Landscape-wise, the Peak District doesn’t quite know what it’s at. But that’s why we like it. There’s highland, lowland, farmland, limestone, crags to clamber up, moorland to wander on and caves to wander in, with plenty of places along the way for a Peak District pit stop: the area has several local breweries, farmers’ markets stuffed with local produce and something mouth-watering called the Cake Trail to waddle along and sample some of the best Peak District produce – Bakewell pudding very much included.

Taking in most of Derbyshire as well as chunks of Cheshire, South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and Staffordshire, the Peak District National Park was the first designated national park in the UK, created after the hardy hikers of the Kilder Trespass demanded open access to Britain’s moorland (hurrah). The country’s first long distance walking trail, the Pennine Way, starts here too at the Old Nag’s Head pub in Edale; it’s part of around 1800 miles’ worth of paths and trails including the High Peak Trail and the Tissington Trail, and bridleways for mountain bikers and horse riders for when you get sore feet.

Here are a few of our Peak District campsites and caravan parks, with more tips and inspiration for a Peak District break below:

Callow Top Holiday Park: This award-winning family park at Ashbourne in Derbyshire has its own microbrewery on site as well as a fishing lake, heated outdoor pool, bird hide, live entertainment, pubs and adventure playgrounds. Pedal the Tissington Trail from right outside the park – you can hire bikes on site – or pack the kids into the car and take them to Alton Towers just over the border in Staffordshire. Callow Top has grass pitches for tents, electric hardstanding pitches for tourers and motorhomes, and the holiday home Dovedale Cottage, sleeping up to five.

Rivendale Caravan Leisure Park: Also at Ashbourne, Rivendale is set in pasture and woodland with wildlife ponds and a fly fishing lake, with meals available in the converted stone stable restaurant. Campfires and barbecues are allowed on site. There are hardstanding electric pitches for tourers and motorhomes, camping pods and family camping pods sleeping up to four, and heated lodges with double glazing and Egyptian linen.

Beaver Hall Equestrian Centre: Based four miles from the village of Leek in the Staffordshire moorlands, Beaver Hall offers pony rides and riding lessons and is five minutes away from the bike and walking paths of the Manifold Valley. Ashbourne, Buxton and Stoke on Trent are all within a half hour drive, with Alton Towers less than seven miles away. Beaver Hall has hardstanding pitches for tourers and motorhomes, is open all year round and welcomes dogs. Campfires are allowed.

Campsites in the Peak District – and elsewhere on Pitchup.com – can also be found using our postcode search: enter the postcode of a Peak District attraction into the ‘Search for’ box on the left to find sites within five to 60 miles. Some suggestions for things to do in the Peak District:

Climbing: Locals and visitors have been hanging off crags in the Peak District since the nineteenth century and there are thousands of routes to get a toehold into on both limestone and gritstone, with climbing instruction available for the uninitiated. Burchen Edge is good for beginners; those with more experience can tackle severe climbs with delightful names like Medusa, Debauchery and Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

The Edale Valley. (Pic by Evilbish via Creative Commons.)Caverning: A more peaceful form of Peak District rocking. Start off in the village of Castleton for four show caves: Blue John, Treak Cliff, the Peak and the underground boat trip at Speedwell Cavern, then make your way to Matlock Bath for a cable car to the limestone caverns. Poole’s Cavern, on the edge of Buxton, has huge limestone caverns for underground exploring and woodland walks around Buxton Country Park after resurfacing.

Walking: Have a go at the 46-mile Limestone Way, the 55-mile Derwent Valley Heritage Way or section off parts of the Pennine Way for long-distance walking in the Peak. If just reading that makes your feet sore, there are hundreds of Peak District miles sliced into shorter walks: 7.5 miles around the upper Dove Valley and Pilsbury Castle, the Shivering Mountain ridge walk past Kinder Scout and Hope Valley, and a refreshing walk from Cordwell to Cutthorpe Circular with four real ale pubs along the way. You can also find details of walks in the ‘Local Attractions’ section of our Peak District campsite listings: click on the route you want and zoom in on a map in 2D, 3D, bird’s eye, road and aerial views. There are also detailed Ordnance Survey maps on each listing when zooming in on the area from the 'Location' tab.

The Cheshire Peak: The Cheshire section of the Peak District has the Cheshire Cycleway, walks up to White Nancy, deer-spotting at Tatton Park and heritage centres in Macclesfield and Chester as well as National Trust properties, landscaped gardens and historic buildings like Chatsworth House. Pit stop areas include the market town of Congleton, fine food in a Cranford setting at Knutsford, and the village of Alderley Edge, known as the champagne capital of Britain with several quality restaurants.

Royal Shrovetide football: Our favourite type of football. Ashbourne in Derbyshire has been famous for its two-day football game since medieval times, with ‘exuberant’ being probably the most tactful description for it and with thousands turning up each year to watch or have a kick about. Less energetically, Ashbourne is popular for antique shopping, listed buildings and its pubs, with around a quarter of buildings in the town an inn or brewery at one point. For more Peak District townly activity, try the spa town of Buxton, getting literary at Hathersage’s North Lees Hall, said to be the inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre, or going on the trail of the pudding recipe at Bakewell.

More ideas for Peak District pastimes can be had on each of our listings under ‘Local Attractions’, with a round-up of things to do near your campsite alongside details of local activities, National Trust properties, must-sees, pubs and bike routes.