Today on Book Hugger we have a guest post from Molly! Molly Scott is a Derbyshire blogger at www.lovelylocalindie.com, passionate about sharing the very best small businesses in the county. Here she shares her reasons why the Peak District is a must-visit UK destination and why you should take a short break in the Peak District.
I know this doesn’t sound very glamorous or rock and roll BUT do you really want to spend two full days travelling there and back, particularly for a short break? Derbyshire is pretty slap bang in the middle of England so chances are you get here pretty easily, whether by public transport or car. And then start enjoying yourself! There are clear environmental benefits to minimising travel.
Great places to stay
There is a full range of accommodation from the simplest of campsites to quirky shepherd’s huts to luxury boutique country houses to family-friendly woodland lodges. For a great all-rounder, I would recommend the Peak Edge Hotel. It’s handily situated to explore the Peak District, has a great bar, expertly made cocktails and a wonderful restaurant.
Hiking, biking and wild swimming
The Peak District was recently voted the fourth-best national park in Europe in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. It has everything you would expect from a world-class national park from stunning scenery to extensive walking, hiking and cycling routes.
Derbyshire is often credited as the birthplace of the industrial revolution the picturesque village of Eyam has a gruesome history as the ‘plague village’, all of which means history buffs will be in their element on a short break in the Peak District.
Chatsworth House is often described as the jewel of the Peak District and is probably my favourite place on earth. But there’s a multitude of other historic houses and castles to visit. Most with exquisite gardens and parklands. I also Thornbridge Hall https://lovelylocalindie.com/2021/04/08/thornbridge-hall-gardens/ which is smaller but just as beautiful. It has a slightly alternative vibe and is great for children who’ll no doubt love their famous rubber duck fountain.
Further afield, Bolsover Castle has lots of for kids. If you’re in the National Trust you’ll get excellent value from your membership in Derbyshire. Kedleston Hall, Hardwick Hall, Calke Abbey and Sudbury Hall are all excellent days out with or without kids and are less than an hour from the centre of the Peak District.
Take a Short Break in the Peak District
Derbyshire has a wealth of great independent restaurants. From fine dining at the likes of Peacock at Rowsley or Fischer’s of Baslow Hall to great gastro pubs to amazing street food e.g. at Haddon Hall’s regular Mercartum. Check out the local delicacies of Bakewell pudding (definitely not tart), delicious Derbyshire oatcakes or Hartington stilton.
Obviously, the Peak District has a plethora of cosy, traditional pubs but if a decent gin menu or perfectly mixed cocktails are more your idea of what makes a fabulous mini-break, we’ve got that covered here too! The Coolstone in Eyam is great for cocktails, as is the Red Lion at the Peak Edge Hotel.
Picture perfect villages
There are numerous picture-perfect, chocolate box villages across Derbyshire and the Peak District. Castleton in the Hope Valley is often quoted as being the fourth most instagramable village in the UK. But also check out Ashford-in-the-Water, Edale, Eyam and the pretty market town of Bakewell.
Avoid the Crowds
The Peak District absolutely rivals any of the premier tourist destinations in the UK, but is likely to be far less crowded or feel overly ‘touristy’. Obviously, the big/obvious attractions do get busy at peak times but likewise, it is entirely possible to stay off the beaten track.
The cost of living in Derbyshire is significantly lower than in the south. You get a lot more holiday for your money here!
If this list has whet your appetite for a short break in the Peak District please check out Molly’s guide to Peak District weekend breaks over on her blog.