The latest photographs from from Britain’s first National Park, the Peak District.

16 million people live within an hours travel of the National Park located in the centre of England, and many visit the area for day visits or longer holidays every year. It is estimated that as many of 90% of day visitors have been the area previously. Much of the National Park lies within Derbyshire and includes bleak moorland locations such as Hathersage Moor and Stanage Edge along with some of the most beautiful riverside walks to be found like those at Lathkill Dale and Wolfscote Dale. The area is popular with a variety of visitors from walkers, rock climbers and horse riding to cyclists enjoying the many trails in the Peak District.

Ancient villages, market towns and estates are amongst the Peak District’s most popular attractions, particularly Matlock Bath, known as the seaside without the sea with its illuminations in August and September, the unspoilt Haddon Hall near Bakewell and the Tissington and Chatsworth Estates.

In recent years the area has been very popular with film makers who have taken advantage of the stunning scenery and historical locations that Derbyshire has to offer. In September 2011 a new film adaptation of Jane Eyre arrives in the cinema filmed across the Peak District. In 2008 The Duchess starring Ralph Fiennes and Keira Knightley was filmed here as well as The Other Boleyn Girl starring Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman. In earlier years the television series Peak Practice, Pride & Prejudice in 1995 and Elizabeth starring Kate Blanchett in 1998 were shot in the area. The BBC’s Pride and Prejudice in 2005 used a number of Peak District locations including Stanage Edge and Chatsworth House.

It is not just in modern times that the landscape has provided inspiration; artists and authors have long been drawn to the area such as Jane Austen who is said to have stayed in Bakewell whilst writing her famous book Pride and Prejudice and Charlotte Bronte who is thought to have used North Lees Hall as the inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre. The famous 18th century painter Joseph Wright of Derby was inspired to paint many local scenes including Dovedale by moonlight dated 1786.

Copyright Nicky Griffiths 2011.