Selling the charms of the Peak to UK’s city dwellers

A new billboard campaign to attract tourists to visit the Peak District’s iconic landmarks has been launched in two of the country’s biggest cities.

The Go Peaks drive will see more than 120 giant billboards showcasing five iconic impressions of the Peak District greet commuters as they arrive in Manchester and Birmingham.

The images – including Chatsworth House and a stunning Peak District view from a tent – will go up around Manchester and Birmingham’s city centres, train stations and main commuter routes.

The campaign by Visit Peak District and Derbyshire aims to inspire people in major cities around the Peak District to visit the destination and to increase the tourism industry’s contribution to the local economy by five per cent.

Currently only five per cent of people in Manchester and three per cent in Birmingham choose the Peak District as a destination.

David James, chief executive of Visit Peak District and Derbyshire, the area’s official tourist board, said: “We are aiming to inspire people living and working in Manchester and Birmingham to travel just a short distance to the Peak District and enjoy all it has to offer.

“Time is never more precious to people than it is today – and with the Peak District less than an hour’s travel time for more than 16 million people, it’s the holiday and short break destination of a potentially enormous market.

“Our focus is firmly on promoting the Peak District as a fantastic place to visit and stay, as well as creating real jobs and real benefits for the economy and local businesses along the way.”

On Facebook , news of the campaign got the thumbs up. Paul Heathcote said: “I think the Peak District is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy cities.”

On Twitter, Taz Taylor added: “It’s already overcrowded – it’s about time the local council sorted out some free car parking spaces.”

The campaign is being funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund as part of a campaign called Growing Tourism Locally, led by national tourist board VisitEngland.

Top attractions include:

Chatsworth House, seat of the Duke of Devonshire and has been home to his family, the Cavendish family, since Bess of Hardwick settled at Chatsworth in 1549.

The stately home will reopen its doors to the public on March 10. Visit for details.

Haddon Hall has welcomed visitors for hundreds of years and its beauty and atmosphere never fails to enchant.

In his book England’s 1,000 Best Houses, Simon Jenkins described Haddon Hall as “the most romantic house to survive from the middle ages”.

Visit for details.

Padley Gorge is a deep, narrow valley situated near Grindleford.

The area is a popular hotspot for walkers and is considered to be one of the most mystical and mythical parts of the Peak District. The area boasts ‘wish trees’ – barks covered in coins left by walkers desperate for a spot of good luck.

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