Peak District rocks in UK's top ten best counties for outdoor adventures

Derbyshire is among the top ten best counties in the United Kingdom for outdoor adventures.

Rock climbing, canoeing, camping and walking feature high in the list of pursuits as people make the most of the dramatic and picturesque landscape.

Derbyshire has 1,339 outdoor activities, putting it at seventh place in a table compiled by Millets, the outdoor clothing, sports and camping kit company.

Our county is ranked third for rock climbing with 332 routes, ninth for its 15 lakes, tenth for its 18 canoeing/kayaking bases, tenth for its 215 campsites and 11th for its 757 walking/running trails.

Climbing at Stanage Edge is a popular activity in Derbyshire. Photo by Lost Earth Adventures/Richard Goodey

At the other end of the scale, the Adventure Index shows Derbyshire fares poorly for mountain bike trails. With only one such trail logged, the county comes in at 72nd out of 86 places.

Derbyshire’s imposing gritstone faces of Stanage Edge, the Roaches or Windgather Rocks are popular destinations for climbers.

Richard Goodey, director at Lost Earth Adventures, said: "With 20 million people living within one hour of the Peak District and arguably the best rock climbing in the UK we’ve seen our bookings for climbing courses and taster sessions rise by 300% from 2019. With climbing growing in popularity year-on-year we're struggling to keep up with the demand. Now we’ve the go-ahead to travel and holiday in the UK, people are eager to find excitement on their home turf. This has led to a massive increase of people searching for adventure and excitement in the British countryside. "

A trip to Carsington reservoir will give water sports fans the opportunity to hire a kayak while others can launch a new hobby by learning how to canoe. For more details, go to

The Monsal Trail attracts 300,000 visitors every year.

Camping is particularly popular this year as more families choose to spend their summer on a staycation. A relaxation in planning laws enabled Chatsworth estate launched its first pop-up sites this month, offering luxurious glamping near Chatsworth House and a campsite in Baslow, both of which are open until September 6.

Richard Palmer, managing director of Devonshire Hotels & Restaurant Group, said: “If planning laws were further relaxed either this year and next, we’d certainly look at the possibility of opening both sites for longer periods and being able to welcome more guests on to the Chatsworth Estate.”

Joanna Shimwell runs a camping site at Dale Farm in Great Longstone, offering 30 pitches for tents, motorhomes, small caravans and campervans. She said: “It’s in a rural setting on a working farm,surrounded by fields with sheep and cows. There are walks, cycle trails and much more on our don’t need to take out your car once you arrive, there’s so much in the immediate area.”

The Monsal Trail is among Derbyhire’s most popular walking routes, drawing 300,000 visitors a year. The 8.5-mile, traffic-free trail through spectacular limestone dales in the Peak District was opened 40 years ago.

Campers at Dale Farm, Great Longstone, have walks, cycle trails and beautiful countryside within easy reach.

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Colourful canoes at Carsington Water. Photo: Shutterstock/Sophie2019