discover superb places

We are all drawn to the mountains and landscapes of North Wales and the Lake District, but there is so much more within a few hours of travel from the Liverpool city region.

The Peak District National Park was designated in 1951, the first National Park in Britain. The real upland wilderness is the Dark Peak - more specifically, the grough-driven blanket bogs of the Kinder gritstone-based high moorland plateau. Other parts of the Peak District will at least bear old paths and packhorse tracks, but Kinder is bleak and barren bog. The gentler White Peak is no less spectacular, but the landforms are altogether different and much influenced by the underlying carboniferous limestone, supporting dairy farming in its river-cut dales. Dovedale has long been one of the most popular beauty spots in the area - Izaak Walton came here to fish and Lord Byron compared it to Greece and Switzerland. From Edale, the Pennine Way National Trail begins its boggy journey to Kirk Yetholm in Scotland, some 268 miles to the north. Possibly the most popular part of the Peaks is around Castleton, where there are hills such as Mam Tor (shown in the image) to climb and gorges to wander through. You may experience a sense of melancholy in the plague village of Eyam.

Wharfedale is the most visited of the Yorkshire Dales. It never fails to captivate with its rich and varied scenery. Away from the honeypots of Bolton Abbey and Grassington there is a wide choice of excellent footpaths across liberating open moorland. On the moors between Grassington and nearby Hebden extensive remains of lead-mining remind you that life was once much harder for Dales folk.The Dales are renowned for their outstanding natural beauty and dramatic scenery, as at Malham Cove, a favourite with walkers, rock climbers and botanists alike. Above the cove lies a spread of limestone pavement, one of britain's rarest habitats. Or perhaps walk with the Brontë sisters across the rugged moors above their home Haworth?

Elsewhere, mystery surrounds the tales of witchcraft and stone circles, while the joys of wilderness walking lead you into the rolling fells of the Forest of Bowland, the quiet reaches of Eskdale and to the very summit of the Pennines.

The huddled range of the Shropshire Hills rises abruptly from fertile plains. Stiperstones is the last outpost of these hills - a mysterious spread of rocks over a pocket of sweeping moorland.

The Howgills are rounded grassy mountains, cut by deep valleys leading to their remote heart. They are in the 'no-man's land' between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.