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We’ve found 8 of the best hidden gems in the Peak District that will make your next trip an unforgettable one.

Are you looking to experience the Peak District National Park in a unique and secret manner? Nestled in between the peaks and valleys of this idyllic expanse are a number of obscure yet unmissable landmarks and attractions.

As the summer sun continues to retreat, this is the perfect time of year to get out and enjoy the great outdoors in all its glory. What better place than the UK’s first ever National Park?

Read on to see 8 of our favourite Peak District hidden gems…


1. Lumsdale Falls, near Matlock

Waterfall at Lumsdale

These splendid cascading waterfalls rest within the historic Lumsdale Valley, a stone’s throw from the National Park. Discover these magical falls while strolling the woodland paths winding around a series of ruined mills.

The site boasts a great historic importance, as well as being abundant in striking natural beauty and flourished with wildlife. It stands proudly as one of Britain’s finest examples of a water-powered industrial and archaeological site.

This is one of the area’s true hidden gems, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the popular tourist attractions. It is accessed by walking only, while picnicking and swimming are prohibited to help preserve this unique place of beauty.


2. Toad’s Mouth, Hathersage

Toad's Mouth with View

Find this toad-like rock perched on the eastern hills of the Peaks, looking towards the dominating Mam Tor. The carving of the toad’s eye is thought to be of Mesolithic origin, though nobody knows exactly.

The rock formation marks a picturesque viewpoint of the surrounding landscapes, showcasing rolling fields, towering peaks and steep valleys. This remarkable sight is known as “Surprise View”, as it suddenly appears after turning a sharp corner in the road.

A number of breath-taking walks can be reached from this scenic spot, perfect for embarking on one of the Peak District’s pub walks.


3. Biddulph Grange Garden, near Leek

Biddulph Grange Gardens

This eclectic, one-of-a-kind garden sits in the South West of the region and is just one of many fantastic things to do in the Peak District. Biddulph Grange is a unique National Trust site taking inspiration from a number of cultures across the globe.

While roaming these vibrant gardens, discover features from China, Egypt, Italy and more. Take a walk through the marvellous orchard, or simply take it all in over a coffee in the exquisite on-site tea rooms. Radiant flora, immaculate topiary and features resembling a number of fascinating cultures make a visit Biddulph Grange something to cherish.

Make way to this remarkable Victorian hall and gardens to experience something wonderfully different.


4. Betty Kenny’s Tree, Whatstandwell

Betty Kenny's Tree

This semi-decayed and slightly charred yew tree may seem like nothing special to most people wandering Derbyshire’s Shining Cliff Woods. However, this tree is said to have been stood for around 2,000 years and also inspired the renowned nursery rhyme “Rock-a-bye Baby”.

Legend has it that some Betty Kenny lived in the woods with her husband and eight children. They used the tree’s far-reaching branches as shelter, and even used one of them to rock their babies to sleep. This is said to have been the origin of the well-known nursery rhyme that is recited to infants still to this day.

Venture into this old woodland and look to find this ancient, story-telling tree to uncover one of the area’s quirky, hidden gems.


5. Little John’s Grave, Hathersage

Grave of Little John

The sidekick of world-famous outlaw Robin Hood is said to be buried in the graveyard of St Michael’s Church in Hathersage. Despite the tales of Robin Hood being associated with Nottingham, many of the stories refer to Derbyshire and Hathersage in particular.

In between two hedges at one side of the churchyard, find a stand-out grave separated by a small gate. It reads:

Here lies buried Little John

The friend & lieutenant of Robin Hood

He died in a cottage (now destroyed) to the east of the churchyard

The grave is marked by this old headstone and footstone and is underneath this old yew tree

The size of the grave may appear excessive for a person named “Little John”, however it is said that his size was quite the opposite. It is believed that he was in fact a very tall man called John Little. Robin Hood reversed it for comedic effect.


6. The Plague Village of Eyam

Eyam Plague Village Gravestone

Perhaps the most disturbing of the Peak District’s hidden gems is the “Plague Village” of Eyam, but it is certainly worth a visit.

During an epidemic of the bubonic plague, or “Black Death” back in the mid-1600s, the village of Eyam was severely hit. Selflessly, they vowed to segregate themselves from the surrounding villages to stop it spreading. Today, this charming little village is filled with loving memorials and a museum teaching visitors of the compelling local history.

Head to the village of Eyam for an experience like nothing else you will find.


7. Doxey Pool, near Longnor

Doxey Pool

There are many mysteries surrounding this beautifully located pool, perched on the idyllic Roaches in the southwest of the National Park.

The original attraction to this site was rumours of an evil mermaid haunting the waters. Despite this being undoubtedly false, it certainly adds an eerie feel to the place. Many also believe that the pool is bottomless, while others claim that it is linked underground to the nearby Blake Mere.

One of Doxey Pool’s tales that is definitely true is the colony of Bennett’s Wallabies that have been known to roam the area. It is said that 5 escaped from a nearby zoo during World War II and somehow managed to survive and breed throughout the fickle British weather. There have been sightings and photographic evidence as recent as 2015.

Take the trip to this scenery-engulfed site to appreciate the great outdoors in a different way.


8. Crich Tramway Village, Whatstandwell

Trams in Crich

This one-of-a-kind, reconstructed village is built around the UK’s National Traymway Museum. This is a true gem for lovers of vintage transport, with some of the trams dating back to 1900.

Simply pay your money on entry and enjoy unlimited tram rides around this quirky old village. Stop off at the old-style sweet shop, pub and café for some refreshments. Drivers of vehicles pre-dating 1975 are awarded free admission should you stay for over 3 hours. Tour the museum to learn of the history of the tram, or visit during one of the ever-popular themed events.

For an experience truly like no other, spend a day discovering the traditional quirks of Crich’s Tramway Village within reach of our Crich holiday cottages.


Book a cottage holiday in the Peak District to enjoy any of these unique days out. Also discover more things to do in the Peak District with our handy travel guide.


Image Credits: London Road(CC BY 2.0); David Guyler(CC BY 2.0); David Dixon(CC BY-SA 2.0); Dun.can – (CC BY 2.0); Tony Bacon(CC BY-SA 2.0)

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