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Leek is a market town to the south-west of the Peak District. As the Peak District at this point transforms into the Staffordshire Moors, the town is known in equal measure as the 'gateway to the Peak District' and 'Queen of the Moorlands'.
The town itself is pleasant to visit as it runs up the hill next to the Churnet river, bustling with activity (especially on market day) and has mostly Victorian style architecture, constructed with the wealth that silk weaving brought to the town at that stage (notably 1870-1890).
There are numerous interesting buildings from that epoch, typically in red-brick, to be discovered as you explore, including various mills, some of which have now been converted to residential use. (The town also has its fair share of more recent developments around the edges of the town.)
Leek is now best known for its shopping facilities and its market - held in Market Place on a Wednesday since 1207. It also has a reputation as a town where factory-shops sell their products directly to the public at discounted prices, and as a popular destination for antique hunters.
The Nicholson Institute in the town contains a local museum and art gallery.
Places to visit near Leek, Staffordshire
Tittesworth Reservoir has some nice nature walks to be followed
Even closer to hand is the popular Rudyard Lake and steam train - a nice place for a picnic or a romantic stroll next to a lake.
The Peak District region known as the Roaches, a series of very scenic rock formations, is just a few kilometres to the north of Leek.
Alton Towers, the amusement park, is nearby and a common excursion from Leek and visitors to the Staffordshire Moorlands.