The Peak District, United Kingdom
When to go
Generally speaking, you choose between clouds and crowds: summer brings tourists and daytrippers; autumn and winter mean short days and pot luck with rain or shine. When the rest of Yorkshire and Derbyshire are bathed in sunshine, Snake Pass may be blizzard-whipped.
PlanesThe main international hub is at Manchester; Ryanair flies to Leeds Bradford from Dublin and Shannon | alongside domestic services operated by Flybe. Air Southwest and Eastern Airways fly into both Manchester and Leeds Bradford from half a dozen regional airports.
TrainsThe Peak District’s major hubs provide excellent rail links: Stockport is on the mighty West Coast Main Line connecting London and Edinburgh, and has direct links with Cardiff, Nottingham and Ely. Chesterfield is an hour from Birmingham, two hours from London St Pancras, and less than four from Edinburgh. You can also travel to Matlock via Derby, and Edale, at the start of the Pennine Way, from Sheffield or Manchester.
AutomobilesThis most accessible of wildernesses is yours off the M1 from London or Leeds | the A6 from Manchester or the A38 from Birmingham. The single-carriageway A628 between Manchester and Barnsley passes through the Peak District National Park; the A57 from Sheffield to Glossop runs through the scenic (but precarious) Snake Pass.
TaxisTo go door-to-door, try County Cars in Chesterfield (+44 (0)1246 557755), Matlock Taxis (+44 (0)1629 584195), or Buxton Radio Cars (+44 (0)1298 23457). Peak Premier Travel in Youlgreave, near Bakewell (+44 (0)1629 636877), offers taxi tours for up to six people.