An hour southeast of Manchester, the Peak District is Britain's oldest national park. The peaks are hardly big; it's the rolling hills that make it popular with hikers and walkers. Others come for the impressive collection of manor homes in a relatively compact area. Don't be put off by the twisting roads; the views from the top of the peaks during the ride are gorgeous. Base yourself in Buxton or Bakewell.
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- Haddon Hall is a quintessentially English manor—no foreign styles to be found. Built between 1180 and 1565, the frescoes and plasterwork are best seen in the Long Gallery. They still bake on the premises.
- Chatsworth House, ancestral home of the Dukes of Devonshire, is called the "Palace of the Peak." Meant to be monumental, the Palladian structure is bolstered by sprawling grounds designed by two famed landscape artists.
- The Peak District Walking Festival, covering the region on foot, runs from late-April through early-May.
- Hardwick Hall, 5 miles (8 km) to the south of Haddon Hall, is a late Elizabethan treasure. Be sure to visit on sunnier days, as the windows and tapestries show best in those conditions.
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