New national park visitor guide spotlights Peak District's historic churches

A new online visitor guide published to mark the 70th anniversary of the Peak District National Park is encouraging people to seek out some of the area’s most historic and beautiful places of worship.

The National Churches Trust has produced a guide covering all 15 of the UK’s national parks, and highlights 14 sacred spots in and around High Peak.

Sarah Crossland, engagement manager for the trust, said: “This year marks the 70th anniversary of the designation of the Peak District as the UK’s first national park, and our new ExploreChurches guide makes it easy for visitors to find some of the country’s most beautiful churches.

“These stunning buildings, many of which date back to medieval times, are the jewels in the UK’s heritage crown. No visit to a national park is complete without discovering these beautiful churches, each with an amazing story to tell.”

All Saints in Bakewell is recommended in the guide for its history stretching back to at least the Anglo Saxon era.

The guide’s top pick for the area is St Edmund’s, in Castleton, which is described as: “Lying in the lee of mysterious Mam Tor, locally known as the 'Shivering Mountain', Castleton is one of the most beautifully situated villages in the White Peak.

“It is the only place in the world where the semi-precious stone Blue John, unique to this small area, can be found. St Edmund’s provides a haven of peace and tranquillity in this busy tourist village.”

Other nearby churches recommended include St Anne’s in Buxton, St Leonard’s in Monyash, St Michael & All Angels in Taddington, St John the Baptist in Tideswell, All Saints in Bakewell, and the Good Shepherd in Wardlow.

Author Bill Bryson, a vice-president of the trust, said: “It is impossible to overstate the importance of churches to this country. To me, they are the physical embodiment of all that is best and most enduring in Britain.

St Edmund's in Castleton is singled out as one of the best destinations for Peak District explorers.

“Nothing else in the built environment has the emotional and spiritual resonance, the architectural distinction, the ancient, reassuring solidity of a parish church.”

“So, when you visit the Peak District National Park, why not discover some beautiful churches in this most breath taking and treasured landscape?”

To explore the guide and information on all the locally listed churches, go to

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