Wonderful Things to Do in the Peak District for Couples
Planning a getaway with your other half? The Peak District has plenty to keep you and your partner entertained
There’s no better place for a romantic getaway than the Peak District National Park. There, we said it. With its windswept moors, charming villages, and picturesque countryside, it’s hard to not to fall in love with (and in) the Peak District. It’s even served as the filming location for the scene where Elizabeth Bennet dreams of Mr Darcy in Pride & Prejudice. Very romantic. Here at Plum Guide, we pride ourselves on going above and beyond for our guests in every way we can, so this romantic trip will be very, very hard to beat. We know exactly where to stay, what to do and what to see, so you’re in good hands. With that being said, sit back, relax and let us show you the very best things to do in the Peak District for couples.
Hike along the Monsal Trail
If you’re an outdoorsy couple, then the Monsal Trail is a must. This traffic-free route runs for 8.5 miles, and takes you through some of the national park’s most scenic limestone dales. Situated between Blackwell Mill in Chee Dale and Coombs Road in Bakewell, the trail actually follows the former Midland Railway line. Most of the route was only opened to the public in 1981, and today you can explore its full length, including four impressive railway tunnels. How you choose to explore is your choice, whether you want to lace up your walking shoes or hire a couple of bicycles - it makes no difference to the scenic sights. Once you’re all tired out, take a rest at the former ticket station at Millers Dale, now a cafe selling delicious local treats.
Embark on a tour of the Peak Ales brewery
For those of you into your craft beer, a trip to a brewery is one of our most recommended things to do in the Peak District for couples. Starting off in a barn on the Chatsworth Estate, the Peak Ales brewery grew so significantly that a new 20-barrel plant had to be moved to the village of Ashford in the Water - you'll have to help them out and take some of that ale home. Take an engaging tour of the new brewery and learn about the brewing process from start to finish, before heading to the original barn for a tasting session. Now a gin distillery, shop, and brewery visitor centre, the original barn is where you can sample the whole range of Peak Ales or Chatsworth Gin. You are also strongly encouraged to pick up your very own mini keg, or take home some Peak Ales merchandise. Enjoy a cold pint in the courtyard and take in the beautiful surroundings of the Chatsworth Estate, one of the most popular visitor destinations in the national park. We wonder why.
Take a trip to Castleton
The Peak District is full of charming market towns and villages that look like they belong on a postcard, and Castleton (surrounded by hills and under the watchful eye of Mam Tor) is one the prettiest of them all. Although you can get here from the Hope Valley, we recommend driving through Winnats Pass, a dramatic limestone gorge and one of the most scenic drives in the entire national park. If you’re feeling fit, climb up to the romantic ruins of Peveril Castle for some breathtaking views - of the area, not your partner. Alternatively, head deep underground to the village’s famous show caves - Treak Cliff Cavern, Peak Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Blue John Mine all offer tours which take you through miles of underground passages, rivers, and chambers. Some of the finest examples of the semi-precious stone Blue John can be found here, so keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse. This blueish-purple gemstone is unique to Castleton, and you can buy handmade Blue John jewellery from shops in the village (the perfect way to drop some hints).
Make your way from Mam Tor to Lose Hill
Couples who hike together, stay together. Although a list of walks in the Peak District would be endless, the 6.5 mile walk along the ridge from Mam Tor to Lose Hill is certainly one of the most impressive. Starting in Castleton, the walk takes you up to the summit of Mam Tor - also known as the ‘Shivering Mountain’ for its landslips, the views from up here are breathtaking. From the summit, walk up to the top of Back Tor and then onto Lose Hill Pike, all of which have far-reaching views of the Peak District. Enjoying each other’s company too much? Why not extend the route to an 8 mile walk to include a riverside stroll back to Castleton. End the hike with a well-deserved pint at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn.
Spend a day at Ilam Park
If you’re looking for relaxing things to do in the Peak District for couples, a trip to Ilam Park is just what you need. Owned by the National Trust, this country park is spread out across 158 acres on both banks of the River Manifold, and is home to Italian gardens, riverside walks, and the magnificent Ilam Hall. There are numerous walks starting from the park, including the Ilam Dovedale circular walk, which takes in the famous Dovedale valley, and its charming stepping stones. For something a little longer, try the 10 mile Ilam to Letton loop, taking you through the rolling green countryside and woodland. Back at the park, grab a bite to eat at the tea rooms or have a picnic in the grounds of the quaint Norman church.
Dive into some wild swimming
It may be miles away from the coast in either direction, but the Peak District is a fantastic place for wild swimming. Dotted with natural pools, tarns, and rivers, you won’t find a more scenic swim than this. One of the most romantic spots is the Three Shires Head on the River Dane, where a picturesque waterfall plunges into a series of pools - the water is notably crisp and clear flowing straight from the surrounding hills. Another equally scenic location is Chee Dale near Buxton, a steep-sided gorge offering a dramatic backdrop to your swim in the River Wye. From here, you can also take one of the walking trails that meanders along the river, leading to the nature reserve. If at some point you find yourself in Bakewell trying the village’s famous puddings (a must-do), make sure to stop by Youlgreave. Located on the River Bradford, this swimming area has been carved out of rock, with fresh water running right through it. The lush grassland on the banks of the river is a lovely place to sunbathe and enjoy a picnic - the ultimate couples activity.