The Peak District forms the southern end of the Pennines and much of the area is uplands above 1,000 feet , with a high point on Kinder Scout of 2,087 feet . Despite its name, the landscape generally lacks sharp peaks, being characterised by rounded hills and gritstone escarpments . The area is surrounded by major conurbations, including Huddersfield, Manchester, Sheffield, Derby and Stoke-on-Trent.
The National Park covers 555 square miles of Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and South and West Yorkshire, including the majority of the area commonly referred to as the Peak. Its northern limits lie along the A62 road between Marsden and Meltham, north east of Oldham, while its southernmost point is on the A52 road on the outskirts of Ashbourne in Derbyshire. The Park boundaries were drawn to exclude large built-up areas and industrial sites from the park; in particular, the town of Buxton and the adjacent quarries are located at the end of the Peak Dale corridor, surrounded on three sides by the Park.
The town of Bakewell and numerous villages are, however, included within the boundaries, as is much of the west of Sheffield. As of 2010, it is the fifth largest National Park in England and Wales. In the UK, the designation „National Park“ means that there are planning restrictions to protect the area from inappropriate development and a Park Authority to look after it, but does not imply that the land is owned by the government, or that it is uninhabited.