Wet, wet, wet
As wonderful as the Peak District is, we acknowledge that the weather doesn’t always play ball. But our National Park is always a fantastic place to enjoy, whether the sun’s shining or whether it’s raining cats and dogs.
If you find yourself caught out in the rain, here are our suggestions for the Top 5 Rainy Day Activities in the Peak District!
1. Stay dry in one of our magnificent country houses
With so many beautiful country estates to choose from in the Peak District, you won’t have a problem staying dry while enjoying the very best of culture and history.
Soak up the splendour of Chatsworth House with its awe-inspiring interiors and priceless art collections, or explore the romantic retreat of Haddon Hall, steeped in history. Admire the grandiose Hardwick Hall, once home to the mighty Bess of Hardwick and now owned by the National Trust, or discover the treasures of Bolsover Castle (now owned by English Heritage).
Spend a rainy day exploring a Peak District country house and you’ll be willing the sun to stay away for longer!
2. Explore our history in fascinating museums
The Peak District is an ancient landscape with a fascinating history of human habitation from the very earliest days. Explore any of our wonderful museums and you’ll discover everything from the pre-historic treasures found in the area, to the intriguing and sometimes tragic social and industrial history of the Peak District.
The Buxton Museum is a great place to discover more about the archaeology, geology, history and art of Buxton and the Peak District. Or find out about the area’s history of lead mining and how it shaped the landscape at the Peak District Lead Mining Museum. You can even pan for ‘gold’ here! The inspiring bravery of the villagers of Eyam in the face of the plague is told at the Eyam Museum, and it’s a story not to be missed.
3. Go underground!
The Peak District has a wealth of wonderful show caves to explore. They’re fascinating and beautiful … plus they’re dry when it’s raining outside!
For a full day out no matter the weather, you can’t do better than to explore Poole’s Cavern in Buxton. The vast limestone caverns with their crystal stalactites are an incredible sight to behold. There’s also a cafe and a shop, selling gems and mineral samples, jewellery and a whole range of Peak District products.
Or discover the home of the rare mineral known as Blue John at Treak Cliff Cavern or Blue John Cavern in Castleton. If you fancy exploring an underground cave system by boat – and who wouldn’t?! – head to Speedwell Cavern. Or take a peek in the Devil’s Arse, as Peak Cavern was once known, and learn about the last cave-dwellers in the UK, who lived here until 1915.
4. Ride the rails
Why not stay dry and warm on board a train when it rains, and let the Peak District countryside glide past you?
The fabulous Crich Tramway Village is a great place to spend a rainy day, with plenty to keep the whole family happy. It’s home to the National Tramway Museum, with more than 60 vintage trams for visitors to admire in (dry!) exhibition halls. There’s also a recreated period village on the site, complete with a pub, café and olde-worlde shops. Best of all, you can ride an historic tram out into the surrounding countryside and look at the views from a dry carriage!
Or if you prefer your trains to travel further out into the landscape, head to Peak Rail, a heritage steam and diesel line that runs between Matlock and Rowsley. The stations on the 19th Century line are all beautifully preserved, and the surrounding countryside is stunning.
5. Get outside anyway!
When all else fails, don’t forget that humans are actually pretty waterproof. Wrap up well and get outside anyway – and there’s no better place to explore in the rain than some of the Peak District’s many ancient woodlands.
Woods take on a completely different character in the rain. You can shelter beneath the trees and enjoy the calm stillness that descends over the place, listening to the raindrops falling around you. Streams and rivers become rushing torrents, and waterfalls appear where there were no waterfalls before. If you’ve got kids with you, it’s great fun to splash in puddles and shallow streams wearing your wellies!
The Peak District has some fabulous woodlands to explore, but you would struggle to find much better than either Padley Gorge or Wyming Brook, both recognised as Sites of Special Scientific Interest for their wildlife and plant life. Both are very accessible, even in the rain, and are perfect places to visit no matter what the weather is throwing at you!