Peak District National Park State of the Park


The number of tourist visits to an area the size of a national park is difficult to measure  and not easily quantified. Moreover, there are a plethora of methods for assessing visitor numbers to an area with no standard method available. Each type of survey or method has pros and cons and often shows different visitor numbers for one area.

For instance, Economic Assessment Models estimates that the total number of tourist days spent (or visitors spending over 3 hours) in the Peak District National Park and influence area is around 12m per annum for the last five years. In contrast a study commissioned by the PDNPA in 1996 'Assessment of Visitor Numbers Report' estimated in excess of 22 million tourist days each year.  The reason for the difference is methodology of each study. The latter study includes any type of visitor, for any length of time; economic models such as STEAM do not attempt to capture all types of visitor like this study. The Visitor Survey 2005 showed a significant proportion (48%) of people making short trips into the Peak District of less than three hours.

Current State

The STEAM model is used to assess and model total visitor volume across the Peak District.

Day visitors and staying visitors follow a distinct seasonal pattern peaking in the summer months from May to September. The peaks in August and September are likely to highlight the impact of large organised events such as the Bakewell show.


Like many areas and destinations similar to the Peak District, tourist numbers or volume is highly seasonal. However, the geographical location of the Peak District means this area will always attract large volumes of people for short periods of time. This puts pressure on services and the environment especially in the high peak season through summer.

External Links and Downloads

See Tourism Page

Sustainable Tourism (National Park Management Plan)

Access for All (National Park Management Plan)