View of the rocky gritstone edge of The Roaches looking over the patchwork landscape, Peak District, Staffordshire.
© George W Johnson/Getty Image
The Peak District turns 70
Seventy years ago, on 17 April 1951, the Peak District became the UK’s first national park. It was the culmination of decades of campaigning for greater access to open spaces, boosted by the 1932 ‘Mass Trespass’ on Kinder Scout, the Peak District's highest point at 2,086ft (636m). Hundreds of people defied the law to walk across moorland to its plateau and public sympathy grew until a National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act was finally passed in 1949.
Our homepage photo shows the soaring rock faces of a striking Peak District landscape known as The Roaches. The 555-sq mile national park spans five counties but this huge gritstone ridge is in Staffordshire. A favourite with climbers and hikers, it reaches 1,657ft (505m) at its highest point, offering stunning views of open countryside. But be warned, on the path along the top of The Roaches is the mysterious Doxey Pool which, legend has it, is home to a malevolent water spirit. Also, keep your eyes peeled for wallabies - five escaped from a private zoo during World War Two and their descendants are still occasionally reported to roam The Roaches.