The Student Guide To Things To Do In The Peak District
Everyone likes to explore the countryside, especially in the warmer months, and thankfully, whilst studying in Sheffield you can be at the Peak District National Park in no time at all.
Considering more than a third of the city is within the boundary of the park!
That’s what makes this South Yorkshire city so amazing to live and study in, you can enjoy the buzz of the city centre or venture out to the great outdoors, you’ve got the best of both worlds here.
Known for its stunning landscapes, rich cultural and industrial heritage, the Peak District is a popular destination for hiking, cycling, climbing and sightseeing.
We’ve put together this guide of the best things to do in the Peak District for students to keep you busy when you’re not in uni.
So, get your best hiking boots on and let’s get going!
1. Go For A Hike
Possibly the most popular out of things to do in the Peak District is to go for a hike to explore the stunning landscapes and scenic trails.
If you’re looking to save money and want to get outdoors to escape the hustle and bustle, why not plan a day to go for a walk around?
You don’t have to be an expert hiker to head to the national park, there’s plenty of different walking routes for experts and beginners with more than 550 square miles!
For those who aren’t experienced walkers, the Padley Gorge walk is a lot less inclined than other trails.
If you’re after a more high peak trail rather than a leisurely walk, Mam Tor is said to be a great peak offering iconic views!
If you’re not sure which walking route to follow, you could even do a walking guide from the Ranger Tours.
When you’re done, treat yourself to a nice picnic if the weathers nice.
2. Cycle Through The Hills
If you’ve brought your bike to uni with you, or you’re lucky enough to live in a student accommodation with a bike scheme, be sure to cycle through the rolling hills and picturesque villages of the Peak District National Park.
Cycling is not only a fun activity to do with your mates but it’s also a great way to boost your wellbeing and appreciate spectacular scenery.
So, why not ditch the bike machine in the gym for a ride around the beautiful surroundings of the Peaks?
There’s plenty of traffic-free trails that make for an easy-ish cycle route so no matter your cycling capabilities, you can find a route to suit you!
The Peak District National Park website has a dedicated section to cycle routes so, if you’re wanting to get on your bike go take a read.
3. Take On The Challenge Rock Climbing
We’re not suggesting you should go and find the best rock climbing and abseiling locations in the Peak District and take on the challenge by yourself, but rather get involved in a guided trip.
When it comes to things to do in the UK’s first national park, this activity is sure not one for the faint hearted.
But, if you’re up for the challenge and you and your mates are adrenaline junkies, why not give it a go?
Some of the most popular climbing spots include Stanage Edge, Froggatt Edge, Curbar Edge, and Burbage.
Each climbing route varies from easy to hard so choose the location you think matches your skill level.
Don’t worry, there’s car parks nearby to the routes so you’ll only be a short walk away.
Stanage Edge is only 20 minutes from Sheffield and is a great climbing spot.
If you want to get involved in a rock climbing experience head to the Lost Earth Adventures website.
4. Explore Underground Caves
The Peak District’s huge landscape offers students with tons of things to do.
For a more unique activity, you can explore the underground caves through a tour and go below the ground – if you’re feeling brave that is.
There are many other caves you can explore for free whilst walking around the Peak District like Thor’s Cave and Robin Hood cave.
Although, you should definitely make sure you pack the essentials if you’re doing this, and don’t forget a torch!
The caves which aren’t part of walking tours also get extremely busy at peak times (more so in summer).
So, bear this in mind if you’re wanting to explore them.
The Peak Cavern, also known as the Devil’s Arse is a super impressive cave which you can journey on down to the ground and explore.
Did you know, it’s the largest natural cave entrance in the British Isles? Go and see it for yourself by booking a tour!
5. Have Fun Canoeing
This next activity is one to do in the summer months for sure -it’ll be a bit chilly otherwise.
If you’re looking for things to do in the Peak District National Park, canoeing is a really fun activity to do with your pals.
You can take in the breathtaking views and it makes for a great bonding session with your mates, just remember you may get wet so dress appropriately!
Not to worry, if you’ve never been in a canoe before there’s fantastic introductions available
Not sure where to head for some water sports activities?
There’s Carsington Water, Tittesworth Reservoir, the River Derwent at Matlock and the Peak Forest canal.
6. Visit Chatsworth House
Set in the heart of the Peak District, Chatsworth House is a popular destination for visitors, known for its art, history and family.
Home to the Devonshire family, the house has been passed down through 16 generations and offers over 30 rooms to explore.
The 105-acre garden has spectacular views and is a great place to take a wander around – you’ll also get the most Instagram worthy pictures.
There’s even an estate farm shop which is jam packed with fresh and locally sourced produce, as well as restaurants and cafes in walking distance for you to stop off at and grab a bite to eat or a coffee to re-fuel.
It’s a little further afield from Sheffield by car or public transport, but nonetheless if you’re looking for things to do in the Peaks, definitely do not give this place a miss!
Address: Bakewell DE45 1PP
7. Go Camping
We know, camping in the outdoors isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and some of you probably can’t hack being in a tent at festivals, never mind in the Peaks.
But, for those who want to explore the surrounding countryside of this beautiful national park, camping is a fun-filled activity to do with your mates.
We’re not suggesting you should pitch up a tent anywhere you see fit at the national park, there’s tons of different campsites with easy access to Sheffield city centre so you can enjoy a trip.
For a big adventure, escape your student flat for the weekend and ditch the comfort of your own bed for a sleeping bag – when you put it that way, it doesn’t sound all too great.
Trust us, you’ll enjoy the stunning scenery and feel all that bit closer to nature.
Discover the best student friendly campsites and give it a go!
8. Attend A Festival
Remember what we said about camping at festivals, eh?
There’s tons of special events and festivals which take place across the Peak District every year.
If you’re a music lover, there’s Y Not Festival which offers 3 days of music, food and drink, performing arts, comedy, workshops in the heart of the Peak District.
Why not go, aye? (we’ll stop with the puns now).
There’s also the Great British Food Festival at Hardwick Hall which is a 2 day festival that celebrates great food and drink with amazing entertainment and live music – sounds like a good time!
Whilst studying in Sheffield, make the most of the convenience and attend a festival within the Peaks.
How To Get There From Sheffield?
Wondering how to get to Peak District National Park from Sheffield?
There are various different ways to get there including by public transport and car.
You can travel by car and be there within around 32-minutes from Sheffield, depending on traffic.
There are excellent local rail networks into Peak District National park from Sheffield if you’re wanting to travel by train, as well as bus services which will take you to different areas of the Peaks.
To find out more about the public transport links to take you to this national trust site, check out the official website.
As you’ve discovered, the Peak District National Park offers so many wonderful things to do for young people, and is super easy to get to whilst living and studying in Sheffield.
What’re you waiting for? Head out and explore this natural beauty – it spans around 555 square miles so there’s plenty of superb views to see all year round!
Whilst living in Sheffield, there’s plenty of buzzing spots to head to. You should check out our post on the Top 8 Ecclesall Road Pubs Revealed.