Hope Valley in the Peak District
© Daniel_Kay/Getty Images Plu
The UK's first national park. Happy birthday to the Peak!
Sixty-eight years ago today, on 17 April 1951, the Peak District became the UK’s first national park. The aim was to ensure public access to the open countryside and protect it from inappropriate development. Stretching into five counties but located mainly within Derbyshire, the park covers 555 square miles and has a mix of private and public lands. Within the park boundaries, you'll find towns, villages, historical sites and herds of cattle and sheep grazing in the lush hills. About 1,600 miles of hiking trails in the park traverse rolling hills, pastures and moors. Bonus for the thirsty hiker: the trails also pass by some of the best pubs in England. One popular trail is called Pennine Way, a 267-mile route from Edale, in Derbyshire, to just inside the Scottish border.