Secret Peak District
- Mike Smith
15th April 2017
The Peak District is a land of high moors and narrow gorges, dark gritstone edges and white limestone cliffs, bleak plateaux and lush valleys, fine churches and grand country houses, stone-built villages and spa towns. In 1951 much of the region was designated as Britain’s first national park, now one of the most visited national parks in the world.
Because the Peak District is familiar to millions, it might be thought that it contains few secrets, but this is not the case. Some of the area’s most charming villages and country estates are situated well away from the normal tourist trails and one of its most beautiful valleys has a fascinating secret history. The countryside contains mysterious stone circles, and tracks that are the fossilised remains of some of the country’s earliest railways.
Although some of the larger settlements are well known, they contain much that is hidden. Bakewell has many secret ingredients other than those found in its famous pudding and some of Tideswell Church’s celebrated wood carvings are tantalisingly hard to spot. The spectacular domes of Buxton’s buildings are the outer skins of some wonderful ceilings, and the Georgian and Victorian façades of Ashbourne’s buildings are masks that conceal suprising Tudor origins. Join Mike Smith as he shows that there are many aspects of the Peak District that should not be taken at face value.