Celebrate 2014 with 14 Peak Park challenges

Stanage Edge in the Peak District - a haven for wildlife, walkers and climbers
Stanage Edge in the Peak District - a haven for wildlife, walkers and climbers

Residents and visitors in the Peak District National Park are being encouraged to enjoy all that the area has to offer through the winter months.

The national park offers fantastic opportunities for pastimes including cycling, walking, photography and wildlife watching on dry days.

And when it rains there are plenty of cafes, shops, pubs, visitor centres and other attractions to discover.

Here are 14 suggestions to get you out and about:

n Build a bird box or feeder

Celebrate National Nest Box Week at the Moorland Centre, Edale. Saturday and Sunday February 15 and 16, 11am to 3pm. Find out how to feed wild birds and create bird feeders from recycled items. Booking essential 01629 816211.

n Camp

Brave the elements and camp at North Lees campsite near Hathersage, open for winter camping on Friday and Saturday nights, then every night from March 22. Tents only, best for small tents.

n Cave in

Go down a cavern - see stalagmites and stalactites in Castleton where there also lots of cafes, pubs, gift shops and the Peak District National Park Visitor Centre.

n Cook

Try culinary adventures at Tideswell School of Food from fishing, foraging and shooting to preparing, cooking and serving your catch - www. tideswellschooloffood.co.uk

n Cycle

Or walk or horse-ride through old railway tunnels on the Monsal Trail-– 8.5 miles along an old railway route between Bakewell and Wyedale.

n Delve into the past

There will be a day-long series of lectures on Peak District and Derbyshire archaeological projects over the past year at Chesterfield’s Pomegranate Theatre on Saturday, January 11, Archaeology Day 2014. Book on 01246 345777.

n Eat, drink and be merry

Try seasonal locally-brewed beers in a traditional pub - visit Bradfield, home of the Bradfield Brewery which owns the Nags Head Inn in Loxley. Find out more at www.bradfieldbrewery.co.uk

n Learn and discover

Build a den at Longdendale environmental centre on Sunday, February 2 from 1.30pm to 3.30pm or dissect owl pellets on Sunday March, 2, 1.30 pm to 3.30pm.

n Mountain bike

Burn off extra Christmas calories on a mountain bike. Derwent cycle hire is open every weekend from 10am and open every day from Saturday February 15.

n Navigate

Learn a new skill or brush up your navigating knowledge - without compasses on Saturday, January 11 (Edale) and Saturday, March 22 (Trentabank). With compasses on Saturday, February 8 (Fairholmes), Sunday, March 9 (Grindleford Station), Saturday, March 22 (Edale) and Sunday, March 23 (Dove Stone). Booking essential on 01629 816211.

n Steam ahead

Take a trip on a steam train with Peak Rail. Regular weekend trips Jan-March between Rowsley and Matlock - www.peakrail.co.uk

n Volunteer

Want to give a bit back to the national park in 2014? Have a look at the opportunities for volunteering at http://bit.ly/KmpqnO

n Walk with a ranger

For winter wanders up hill and down dale in January, February and March, check out guided walks with a National Park Ranger. Booking essential on 01629 816211.

n Watch wildlife

Look for mountain hares at Derwent Edge on Sunday, March 2, 11am to 3pm. It is a five-miles walk from Fairholmes Visitor Centre. Booking essential 01629 816211. Also you can see the largest heronry in the Peak District on the shores of Trentabank Reservoir in the Macclesfield Forest. There are also ravens and other birds of prey, red deer, goldeneye and goosander.

Find out about all activities at www.peakdistrict.gov.uk