Friday, 29 July 2011 5:25 PM
If you love the great outdoors there are few better choices for a break than renting holiday homes in the Peak District.
The national park has more than 1,800 miles of public footpaths running through some of the UK's most ruggedly beautiful countryside, making it a paradise for hikers.
Perhaps the most famous route through the Peak District is the Pennine Way, which runs for 268 miles from Edale, Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm in Scotland, but you won't have to take on a challenge on that scale to enjoy a walking holiday in the area.
Book self catering accommodation within the national park and you are sure to be close to walks suitable for someone of your ability and experience, whether you are looking for picturesque riverside strolls or testing hikes through the hills.
Choose a cottage close to the village of Chinley and you will discover a wide range of paths nearby, offering you a variety of half or one-day walks in stunning countryside.
Spend the morning tackling a circular route that takes you through farmland and deserted quarries up to South Head, before enjoying a leisurely lunch in one of the area's friendly pubs.
Alternatively, you could hike through the hills and along the Pennine Bridleway to the picturesque village of Edale. The walk, which is just over nine miles long and includes 1,700 ft of ascents, finishes at the famous Old Nag's Head pub. You can choose between walking and getting the train on the way back to Chinley.
The local area also contains other great places for hiking, such as the reservoirs in the Goyt Valley, Lyme Park and the Sett Valley. If you are feeling really adventurous, you may want to try tackling Kinder Scout, which at 2,087 ft is the highest point in the Peak District.
There are lots of routes around the edge of Kinder if you don't want to climb up to the plateau itself and the scenery means it is well worth visiting. Kinder Downfall, the tallest waterfall in the area, is particularly spectacular if you visit on a wet day.
Another good base for walking holidays in the Peak District is Tideswell, which is one of the largest villages in the national park. It is surrounded by excellent terrain for hiking and is the start and finish point for the famous Tideswell Walk.
This nine-mile route will take you to the village of Litton and to Cressbrook Mill, as well as through the stunning surroundings of Miller's Dale and Monk's Dale for a really relaxing day out.