It’s impossible to think of Derbyshire without thinking of the beautiful Peak District National Park. From scenic walks and cycles to water sports, there’s lots for active families, while the towns and villages are full of lovely stone houses, quiet cafés and traditional shops.

Being at the southern tail of the Pennines, Derbyshire’s landscape consists largely of rolling limestone hills, many of which are carpeted with purple heather in late summer. Lush, green meadows dotted with wild flowers slope down towards deep blue lakes and winding rivers. Craggy outcrops top the crests of the hills where you can sit and admire the views.


Set in prime walking country, Buxton is one of the best campsites in Derbyshire for exploring the region. With a range of outdoor activities nearby, it’s ideal for an active break.

Ideal for:
• Walking
• Cycling
• Active families

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Reasons to visit Derbyshire

The biggest reason to go on a Peak District camping holiday is, of course, to walk or cycle through the spectacular scenery. But there are plenty of other reasons to visit too.

Walking and cycling

The riverside paths and woodland trails of Derbyshire are perfect for tranquil rambles or gentle cycles for all ages and abilities.

Dovedale is a firm favourite among walkers thanks to its easy trail that runs beside the River Dove. Kids will love hopping across the famous stepping stones and looking out for fish and birds along the route. You can even sit on the bank and let the chilly water soothe your feet after a good ramble. If you fancy a challenge, you can climb the steep path up Thorpe Cloud, a limestone hill which sits on the border of Derbyshire and Staffordshire. It’s a tricky ascent but well worth it for the views at the top.

The Monsal Trail, which follows the River Wye Valley, is an excellent 8.5-mile cycling route that’s suitable for the whole family. Pedal in the shadow of vast crags, which tower 100m above you and watch the river change from a rushing torrent to a tranquil lakeland. You’ll also pass through several former railway tunnels and see the great Monsal Viaduct that spans the valley.

Charming towns

There’s also a variety of villages and towns to explore near to our campsites in Derbyshire. Since the Roman times, Buxton has been a popular spa town thanks to its thermal springs, which are said to have healing properties. Taste the fresh Buxton Water straight from St Anne’s Well, or head over the road to experience the thermal, natural mineral water spa. Children will love the 23-acre Pavilion Gardens, which feature lakes, an adventure playground and a miniature railway. There are also two cafés and a coffee bar in the grounds, where you can relax with a coffee or grab a bite to eat.

Set on the banks of the River Wye, Bakewell is a quiet town that gave its name to the famous (and delicious) Pudding. Its streets are lined with stone houses and a medieval, five-arched bridge crosses the river, while bustling courtyards are a haven for painters and photographers. Don’t miss the chance to enjoy an original Bakewell Pudding at the Old Original Bakewell Pudding shop or to shop at the bustling outdoor market each Monday. Children can follow the Bakewell Treasure Trail, play at the recreation ground or try crafts such as pottery painting.

Outdoor activities

When it’s sunny, Derbyshire is the ideal place to let the kids burn off some energy. A host of locations give you the chance to try water sports and other outdoor activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking and orienteering. Blue Mountain Activities have exciting sports for the whole family to try, such as canoeing, raft building and treasure hunts. The more adventurous can brave a rock climbing or abseiling experience.

Carsington Water near Ashbourne has a huge range of water sports for you to try your hand at. Hop into a canoe or kayak to explore the reservoir under your own steam or have a windsurfing or paddle boarding taster lesson from one of the professionals.

Monkeying about in the treetops is fun for adults and children alike, so don’t miss Go Ape at Buxton. You’ll be tackling rope bridges, crawling through tunnels and flying down zip lines in no time, all the while enjoying wonderful views of the surrounding countryside.

Why choose Experience Freedom?

Our Experience Freedom programme gives you access to some Peak District camp sites from which you can enjoy the best of what Derbyshire has to offer. Explore the breath-taking scenery on foot or by bike, try new activities and discover quaint towns and villages, all within a few miles of your base. Click on a site for further details on its facilities, opening dates and the nearby attractions. You’ll also be able to book from the site page using our Search and Book tool.