The Peak District
Whether this is your first visit or you've already discovered the joys of the breathtaking landscapes, bustling market towns and the area's outstanding cultural and historical heritage, there's always lots to discover! The stunning and diverse scenery of the Peak District and Derbyshire makes it a paradise for walking, family cycling, mountain biking and adventure sports such as caving, rock climbing, hang gliding and paragliding, but there's also plenty to do for those with a more relaxed approach to nature and the great outdoors!
The Peak District was the first National Park to be established in England and is now the most visited in Britain. It a very popular place for self catering holidays as there is so much to do in the immediate area. Also the Peak district is in the Heart of England, so it makes a good base for exploring further afield.
In this section on our website we aim to give you a few suggestions of places you might like to visit while you are staying at with us. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list as this would need a website in it's own right!
Chatsworth House is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, and has been home to his family, the Cavendish family, since Bess of Hardwick settled at Chatsworth in 1549.
The house is set in huge a parkland, overlooked by wooded, rocky hills. The house contains a unique collection of paintings, furniture, sculptures, books and other artefacts.
Many parts of the house are open to the public as are the formal grounds. There is also a farm and play area for the children. Beyond the formal grounds, the parkland and woods are free to walk around and offer superb views of Chatsworth House and the surrounding areas.
Haddon Hall is probably the finest example of a medieval manor house currently in existence in England. The hall is one of the seats of the Dukes of Rutland and along with Chatsworth House sits on the banks of the River Wye, just south of Bakewell.
The manor of Haddon was originally in the hands of the Peveril family (just after the Norman Conquest), but was forfeited to the Crown in 1153. It then passed to a tenant of the Peveril's, William Avenal, and was acquired in 1170 by Richard Vernon, who had married Avenal's daughter. The Vernons were responsible for most of the buildings at Haddon Hall, apart from the Peveril Tower and part of the Chapel, which were already there in 1170. The Long Gallery is the only significant part which was added later.
Haddon Hall has always passed from one person to the next, it has never been bought or sold!
Sitting on top of the ridge to the south of Castleton, is Peveril castle. It has suffered over the centuries but is well worth exploring, and the views are fantastic once you get to the top. Constructed by William Peveril, son of William the Conqueror, the castle was used as a hunting lodge by Henry II, King John and Henry III, and the crumbling ruins offer swoon-inducing views over the Hope Valley.
Black brook Zoological Park and Peak Wildlife Park
;Opened in 1991, Blackbrook Zoological Park is the largest bird park in the UK. Set in over 30 acres of Staffordshire countryside, with stunning views from every angle, the park is a haven for over 300 species of birds and animals. The vast collection at Blackbrook attracts visitors every year from all over the world to view the many species and the beautifully landscaped areas that have been lovingly created. www.peakwildlifepark.co.uk/
Our Conservation and Wildlife Park, located in scenic Peak District National Park of Derbyshire, is set in 50 acres of landscaped grounds and is home, not only to a unique collection of birds and animals, but to many wild birds and mammals. www.chestnutcentre.co.uk
Chrich Tramway Village
Unlimited tram journeys calling at various stops along the mile long track. Stretch your legs on the sculpture trail and enjoy breathtaking views. A journey through the history of trams, taking in horse, steam and electric trams.http://www.tramway.co.uk/
Heights of Abraham
Visit the Heights of Abraham in the heart of the Peak District and you'll soon discover that the spectacular cable car ride high above the Derwent Valley is just the start of a truly unique day out! www.heightsofabraham.com
Buxton is a beautiful old market and spa town in the very heart of the Peak District. It is the highest town in the whole of England. It is a great base to explore the rest of the Peak District National Park and is well known amongst other reasons, for its bottled water. You can fill also fill empty bottles straight from a natural thermal spring, which bubbles up under the 18th century circular baths, aptly named The Crescent.
Buxton is on the boundary between the grit stone and limestone areas of the Peak District - the Dark Peak and the White Peak, with the River Wye meandering through a gorge flowing underneath the town. The warm waters provided a place of pilgrimage in the past and has been visited by royalty over the years (Mary Queen of Scots visited Buxton to sample the warm waters of the baths because it helped her with her rheumatism). There are so many stunning villages neighbouring Buxton, but it is also a great place to set off on hundreds of walks which start from the town. It is certainly a mix of shopping, hustle and bustle, but there are certainly many opportunities to escape from it all and simply take off into the countryside.
Key parts to visit are the Buxton Opera House, Pavilion Gardens, Market Place, Spring Gardens (Shopping centre and street). There are shops galore, with cafés and bars littered around the town for respite. Spring Gardens is pedestrianised and has a wide range of shops from Waitrose, Marks & Spencer, but has a lot of specialist designer boutiques. Cavendish arcade has a vibrant mix of fashion, antiques, second-hand bookshops and craft shops.
There is a Museum and Art Gallery (near the marketplace is situated. This was traditionally the heart of the town and along with the geology and archaeology of the area, there is a brilliant display featuring the history of the Peak District in the Wonders of the Peak time tunnel.
Eyam, (pronounced 'eem',) is a beautiful, historic village in the Peak National Park in England. Eyam is famous due to the Black Death of 1665. An outbreak of the plague was contained when the villagers decided to isolate from the surrounding communities. It is also known that some of the village population were genetically unique and naturally immune to this very deadly disease. Some of their descendants still live in Eyam.
There is plenty to do and see in the village. There is a visitors centre, craft centre
Millers Dale and the Monsal Trail
Running from Bakewell to Near Buxton is a former railway line has been converted to a walking and cycling track called the Monsal Trail. Recently all the tunnels have been reopened so you can walk or cycle from Bakewell to near Buxton on the old railway itself, and there are numerous other tracks and country lanes nearby. The old paths are still there that bypassed the tunnels when they were closed off, so you can add variation to the return walk by using these. The nearest bike hire is available at either end of the trail. Walkers on the Monsal Trail follow the line of the old railway or deviate off along additional footpaths through fields and beside rivers.
Buxton Country Park
Old mine working on the outskirts of Buxton were cleared and covered with a tree plantation by one of the Dukes of Devonshire. This has now developed into country park with footpaths leading to Solomon's Temple on Grin Low. If you fancy a half mile walk, it provides superb views over beautiful Buxton.
Ridge Walk Mam Tor to Losehill
This is a popular walking area and the paths are clearly marked and well made. Our walk was from Hope going up Losehill then across to Mam Tor. We then went down , round near to the various caverns and into Castleton. From there we took a level path back to Hope.
The views from Mam Tor and the ridge walk to Losehill are stunning. The ridge if fairly level in the middle section but rises quite steeply at either end to the tops of Mam tor and Looshill.
It a circular walk around 8.5 miles long
Quad Biking & Paint balling
Go Ape have a tree based ropes course near Pooles Cavern on the edge of Buxton. This is great fun and well worth a visit goape.co.uk/days-out/buxton
Cycling and Walking Holidays in the Peak District www.peak-tours.com
Ladybooth Equestrian Centre offer Pony Trekking / Escorted Rides which are suitable for the complete beginner to the more experienced rider. All the treks are escorted and are only suitable for people aged 12 or over, and range from 1 Hour to a Full Day. For children under the age of 12 we offer the Farm Ride - a chance to experience the thrill of riding out - whilst still remaining on our farm land.
Buxton Riding School During the school holidays we have "OWN A PONY FOR A DAY!" and also "RIDING HOLIDAY WEEKS" This includes hiring a pony for a week (or bring your own if you have one), learning to look after them and get them ready for a show.
For the older more experienced riders this includes cross country riding, dressage and show jumping!
www.abseilingderbyshire.co.uk Abseiling Derbyshire Millers Dale Bridge provides the most spectacular Peak District abseil site. Here you can have your Derbyshire abseiling adrenaline rush, jumping off a man-made structure, a redundant one at that, so you are now helping us recycle!
There are several caves that are open to the public and that are easy to access - i.e. you don't need full caving gear and no diving under water to get to hidden tunnels! These include Pooles Cavern, Blue John & Treak Cliff Cavern, www.speedwellcavern.co.uk Speedwell cavern, Peak Cavern. Most of these are in and around Castleton with the exception of Pooles cavern which is in Buxton.