Upland area in England
The Peak District is an upland area in England at the southern end of the Pennines. Mostly in northern Derbyshire, it includes parts of Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. It is usually split into the Dark Peak, where most moorland is found and the geology is gritstone, and the White Peak, a limestone area of valleys and gorges that cut through the limestone plateau. The Dark Peak forms an arc on the north, east and west sides; the White Peak covers the central and southern tracts. It became the first of the national parks of England and Wales in 1951. Proximity to Manchester, Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Sheffield brings millions of visitors each year. Some 20 million people live within an hour's journey. Inhabited from the Mesolithic era, it shows evidence from the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages. Settled by the Romans and Anglo-Saxons, it remained largely agricultural; mining grew in importance in the Middle Ages. Richard Arkwright built cotton mills early in the Industrial Revolution. As mining declined, quarrying grew. Tourism arose with the railways, thanks to the landscape, spa towns at Buxton and Matlock Bath, Castleton's show caves, and Bakewell, the park's one town. Walking, cycling, rock climbing and caving are popular pursuits.