No Favorites
View Full List

10 of the Best Drives in the Peak District

Looking for the most scenic roads to drive on in the Peak District? Look no further!

The stunning Peak District in Derbyshire was the UK’s 1st National Park after being designated in 1951 and this year celebrated over 70 years of National Park status. To celebrate, we here at Ron Brooks, based in nearby Ilkeston & Mansfield, have clubbed together to choose our top 10 Peak District drives.

Surrounded by Manchester, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Chesterfield, Derby, Stoke & Macclesfield, the Peak District covers a huge area in the centre of the UK and welcomes over 13 million tourists per year. If you’ve ever had the luxury of taking a drive through the beautiful landscape, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular!

From quaint, idyllic villages and winding country roads to vast open expanses and unforgiving terrain, the Peak District really is a driver’s paradise. Our list below tries to encompass all of the above to give a true reflection of what makes the UK’s oldest National Park as enjoyable as it is to take a trip through.

Snake Pass

You’ll probably have heard of Snake Pass on the news – it’s usually the first road to get closed due to ice or snow in the winter months and this road is for the faint of heart! It’s closed for an average of 70 days per year due to the bad conditions.

A mountain pass at an elevation of 512m above sea level, Snake Pass is great fun to drive and is set to a stunning backdrop. At 26.1 miles long and with a 10.2% maximum gradient, it has frequently featured in the Tour of Britain and is certainly worthy of its place on our list.

Monsal Head to Longstone Edge

Moving further down towards Bakewell, the Monsal Head to Longstone Edge route takes you across vast, lush greenery, but no shortage of pubs to stop off and refuel at! As you’d expect these places make the most of their location so it’s worth sitting outside in the summer months and soaking up the views of the hills and River Wye whilst you’re grabbing a bite to eat.

This route takes you through a few idyllic villages so be sure to check out the awe-inspiring architecture whilst you’re there!

Winnats Pass

Another hill pass, this time with even bigger inclines (28% in some places!), Winnats Pass gets its name from the swirling winds you’ll encounter on your journey! Lying to the west of the village of Castleton, between the small towns of Hope and Sparrowpit, it spans over almost 6 miles of beautiful scenery.

You’ll even get a view of the incredibly popular Mam Tor valley which is wildly popular with hikers and also features in our list.

Derwent Dams

The Derwent Dams, near Sheffield, are a stunning backdrop for the 8 miles route which is close to one of our other favourites, Snake Pass, which combined make for a great day’s driving! The Toyota Highlander is a great choice for these country roads.

Home of the Dambusters, this location is full of history and stunning woodlands making it a hit with tourists so be aware that the Dams often get very busy, especially in peak times.

Cat ‘n’ Fiddle

Back down between Buxton and Macclesfield, the Cat ‘n’ Fiddle road is another great route named after a pub! Perhaps unsurprisingly, the road winds around the pub itself in a series of complicated hairpins and twists but the views are certainly worth it.

A particular favourite with bikers, the 12-mile Cat ‘n’ Fiddle road takes approximately 20 minutes to drive. It’s super fun but not the easiest to navigate, so much so that average speed cameras have been added along the route to try and curb the levels of accidents amongst motorcyclists.

Mam Tor

One of the most famous walks in the Peak District is Mam Tor. The 517-metre hill is a relatively short walk of under two hours, but the drive is much shorter whilst still leaving you mesmerised by the view of the limestone parts of the National Park. The summit is well worth the physical effort, with some stone steps to help less experienced hikers.

This stopping ground can get fairly busy so if you want peace and quiet and a photo at Mam Tor trig point, opt for a visit during the week.


Buxton is surrounded by the Peak District on three sides so anyone who visits will be immersed in the beauty of it all. Known for its natural thermal springs, it is the perfect stopping ground for anyone who wants a bit of relaxation in nature. Buxton is known as the spa town: who wouldn’t want to visit it?

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, so prepare for plenty of elegance when you swing by. Set on the banks of the River Derwent, in the heart of the Peak District, prepare to take in the breathtaking scenery of the Derbyshire High Peaks. Explore the beautiful garden, woodlands and park, with activities suitable to any age.

Bamford Edge

The Bamford Edge walk is a 5.4-mile loop trail that leads you alongside the river, but can be shortened should you choose to drive and comfortably take in the magnificent sights. The climb will be short but fairly steep and will take you right to the edge of the Ladybower Reservoir with gorgeous natural views that extend beyond what your eyes can see.

Be camera ready for the picturesque trail and if the weather is pleasant, extend your drive along the eastern shore of the reservoir and find the Slippery Stones plunge pool – a hit with youngsters and adults alike.

Eyam to Hathersage

The drive from Eyam to Hathersage is incredible and one that cannot be missed. The goal here is not to simply arrive in Hathersage, but truly enjoy the nature that surrounds you. Even on eerie cloudy days, the road will take you along breathtaking views where woodlands and traditional towns live side by side. The Toyota Prius L Eco is your best choice for a country drive like this: quiet, roomy inside and with plenty of cargo space should you choose to make it an overnight trip.


There you have them: 10 of the best drives in the Peak District to enjoy on your next free day. Remember: drive safe, take some snacks and enjoy the ride!