Whether you’re looking for spectacular scenery, delicious seasonal food and drink or an outdoor adventure, there are so many great reasons why autumn is the best time of year to visit the Peak District and Derbyshire. Whether you're discovering or rediscovering the area, always explore responsibly, respect the area and local communities, maintain social distancing and plan ahead to make sure you Know Before You Go.

1. The glorious displays of golden colour
If you’re looking for spectacular scenery, then autumn might just be the best time of year to visit the Peak District and Derbyshire. In the autumn months, local landscapes are ablaze with colour, with bright reds, oranges and yellows taking over from the greens of summer. Snap stunning photographs of woodland waterfalls at Padley Gorge, soak in beautiful surroundings of the Upper Derwent Valley at Ladybower, and take an autumn stroll through the gardens and parkland at Chatsworth.  

2. Refreshing walks and bike rides

With misty mornings, crisp autumnal air and hazy sunshine, outdoor activities at this time of year are as good as, if not better, than during the summer. Enjoy great local walks through ever-changing landscapes or plan a two-wheeled adventure using our handy cycle guides, which include routes for all abilities in the Hope Valley, Matlock, Bakewell and Ashbourne. Crossing the Monsal Trail's eye-catching Headstone Viaduct is a not-to-be-missed experience for all abilities (the route is flat, easy and linear)! If the weather takes a turn for the worse, don’t worry because…

3. Cosy pubs
Roaring fires, low ceilings, atmospheric surroundings and delicious local food and drink – there’s nothing better than a Peak District pub for escaping the weather or recharging your batteries after a day of exploring. You’ll be spoilt for choice for pubs in the Peak District and Derbyshire such as (with plenty of picture-perfect pub walks, such as the Royal Oak at Hurdlow, pictured, where you can work up an appetite too). Which brings us on to…

4. Fantastic food and drink
A change in season brings a change in menu, and the Peak District and Derbyshire’s fantastic food and drink offer gets all the more exciting in autumn with seasonal specials aplenty. Discover local delicacies ranging from the famous Bakewell Pudding to the tasty Hartington Cheese and after a day of exploring, indulge in delicious, freshly-sourced produce found on the menus of quality local eateries.

5. Peace and quiet
There’s no denying that following the summer holidays, the autumn months are a more relaxed time to visit the Peak District and Derbyshire. Visit in autumn and you’ll be able to enjoy and appreciate those tranquil beauty spots even more, allowing you take in the stunning landscapes at your own leisure.

6. Cosy places to stay
Thinking about going away this autumn? Nothing beats a cosy break in the countryside! Whether you're discovering or rediscovering the Peak District and Derbyshire, there are so many things to do that we know you'll want to stay for longer than a day. Choose from cosy self-catering cottages, luxury woodland lodges and handsome hotels (including the luxury new Buxton Crescent Hotel which opens on 1 Oct) on our places to stay page.

7. Amazing attractions
Whether you're looking for family fun, historic houses, heritage attractions or spectacular show caverns to explore, you're sure to find it in the Peak District and Derbyshire. Some of the area's most unique sites remain open in the autumn months, with exciting seasonal activities to enjoy. Plan a day trip to the fascinating show caverns in Castleton (and search for unique Blue John stone), take a cable car ride to the Heights of Abraham, discover the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire at Chatsworth, meet furry friends at Peak Wildlife Park and Matlock Farm Park, and ride a vintage tram at Crich Tramway Village.

8. Wonderful wildlife
Autumn is one of the best times of year to spot the Peak District and Derbyshire’s rich and varied wildlife and experience the real sense of change across our natural environment. Will you be lucky enough to spot red deer on the moors? Or maybe you'll discover rare fungi in the woods. The autumnal moorland on the Peak District’s Eastern Moors may act as camouflage for the russet-coloured coats of the red deer, yet their rutting routine is hard to miss and makes for a stunning sight every October (just make sure you’re at a safe distance).

Time to plan ahead

We can’t wait to welcome you to the Peak District and Derbyshire, but as things are a little different at the moment, we recommend booking tickets and experiences in advance to avoid disappointment. Whether you’re looking for fine dining or family fun, enjoy the full range of everything the area has to offer and show your support for local businesses by booking attractionsactivities and places to eat and drink at visitpeakdistrict.com.




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