Alongside its natural splendours, this charming upland area of England is home to welcoming country pubs, cosy cafes and contemporary restaurants.

The friendly Cooper’s Café in Edale is popular with ramblers due to it being the southern outpost of the 268-mile Pennine Way. It’s an ideal place to fuel up for a day outside, with fulsome cooked breakfasts, soups and lemon cake. Or if you prefer, settle down in front of the wood-burning stove and choose something from the bookshelf (01433 670 401; Newfold Farm; cake from £1).

Located just outside Hepworth village, The Hepworth overlooks the Holme Valley in Yorkshire, where much of Last of the Summer Wine was filmed. The restaurant’s dining room is a stylish affair – wood panelling, private booths and a piano in the corner – with a modern British menu to match. Its traditional lunches include braised Yorkshire beef with horseradish mash (Sheffield Rd; mains from £8).

Dowds, in the market town of Glossop, has a somewhat unassuming exterior, but inside you’ll find a smart little dining room with a reputation for fine English food cooked with flair and imagination. The menu is updated monthly in line with the seasons, and you can expect the likes of seared pork belly, black pudding and candied apple (01457 855 444; 110–112 High St West; closed Sun & Mon, Tue lunch; three-course menu £23).

Beamed ceilings and a cosy stone fireplace welcome visitors to The Miners Arms, the sole pub in the former leadmining village of Eyam. From the outside, the building looks younger than its 380 years. The menu consists of pub staples like fish and chips, alongside elaborate specials such as venison steak (Water Lane; closed Sun eve; mains from £8.95).

Tradition is everything at Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Inn, a Castleton alehouse set in a timbered, 17th-century coach house on the town’s main road. As traditional as it may be, the pub’s menu has a few twists, such as spicy chorizo-topped burgers and a wild boar casserole, best accompanied by award-winning cask ales such as Silk of Amnesia. If you don’t want to leave, they’ve got 10 comfy rooms upstairs (How Ln; mains from £8.50).

In 1845, Charlotte Brontë stayed at the George Hotel in the village of Hathersage, and used the landlord’s name, Morton, in Jane Eyre, which she was writing at the time. The landlord may have changed, but The George’s rambling stone exterior remains largely intact. Inside you’ll find a restaurant offering fresh takes on British classics, like redwood smoked salmon with mousse, and pork wrapped in ham with pig’s cheeks (Main Rd; three-course menu £36.50).

Set on the Chatsworth Estate in Beeley, The Devonshire Arms has retained its cosy looks in the old part of the inn, with low-beamed ceilings and an open fireplace. As well as a superb kitchen, serving dishes such as partridge with red cabbage, it has a well-stocked wine cellar, plus local cask ales (Devonshire Sq; mains from £12).

The proper Bakewell tart is, as any resident of the town will tell you, a pudding, not a tart. Many shops in Bakewell profess to be the progenitor of the pudding, but The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop has a very strong claim. Puddings-to-go come in hefty sizes here – try a smaller one with cream tea (The Square; cream tea with Bakewell pudding £6.50).

The regal Fischer’s at Baslow Hall looks like a typical 17th-century manor, despite being built in 1907. Behind the creeper-covered walls of this small hotel in Baslow is a Michelin-starred restaurant, where dishes such as crab and Bloody Mary cannelloni and bilberry panna cotta are served in the Edwardian-era dining room (Calver Rd; three-course menu from £48).

The Peak District National Park is accessible by road via the M1 and M6. Neighbouring cities such as Manchester, Sheffield, Derby and Stoke-on-Trent are the best gateways to the park by train. The Hope Valley Line runs between Manchester and Sheffield, calling at Edale, Hope and Hathersage stations (Sheffield to Edale from £12.80), while the Derwent Valley Line runs from Derby to Matlock (from £11). Buses run between Nottingham, Derby and Manchester and local services run within the national park (PeakPlus day ticket £6).

Where to stay
Castleton’s Causeway House is a B&B set in a 14th-century cottage of slate and oak timbers, with five guestrooms (three are en suite). Hearty breakfasts include kippers, hash browns and Derbyshire oatcakes (from £65; Back St).

The Riverside House Hotel in Ashford-in-the-Water is a great base for exploring the national park. Its rooms feature four-poster beds and most have views over the gardens to the River Wye beyond (from £145; Fennel St). The East Lodge is an impressive country house hotel set in 10 acres of landscaped gardens. Its elegant suites feature plush fabrics and ornate four-poster beds. The restaurant serves a fine breakfast (from £375; Rowsley).

The article 'Mini guide to the Peak District’s restaurants and pubs' was published in partnership with Lonely Planet Traveller.