Why You Should Rent a Holiday Cottage in Derbyshire
Think Derbyshire, think Peak District. Wild in the north and gently beautiful in the south, Britain’s first National Park is probably the number-one reason to take a holiday cottage in Derbyshire. But there’s plenty more besides in this green and central county, from lofty cliffs reached by cable car to imposing castles and stately spa towns. Whether you’re looking for serious hiking or a relaxing family escape, a cottage here gives you some of the country’s finest landscapes to explore.
Peak District Walks (and Bike Rides, and Climbs…)
The Peak District’s lower-lying southern areas are lush and green, with a history of arable farming; Dovedale is one of the classic walks here, following the River Dove past impressive tors and pretty villages. But as the region rises towards the Pennines, it becomes altogether more rugged, with heather-covered moorland and eruptions of gritstone like the spectacular Stanage Edge – a favourite haunt of hikers, bikers and climbers alike. Easily accessible walks include the path around Derwent water reservoir and the eight-mile Monsall Trail, a former railway line that passes through old tunnels and over high viaducts; for something more challenging, scale Mam Tor or Kinder Scout for some of the best views around.
Country Towns and Villages
Take a holiday cottage in Derbyshire and you’ll discover towns that linger on in your memory. In Castleton, home to the Peak Cavern cave (look out for concerts there, particularly at Christmas), you’ll find a charming and bustling high street lined with traditional pubs, while Bradfield is a quintessential English village, complete with cricket green and duckpond. Bakewell, famous for the local pudding flavoured with raspberry jam and almonds, boasts a beautiful riverside and a cluster of local food stores and bike hire shops, and Hathersage, a popular centre for outdoor activities, has a heated outdoor pool surrounded by rolling hills (March-October).
The Heights of Abraham is a true one-off – it’s a clifftop estate that dates back to the 1780s, and can now be reached by cable car. You’ll need a head for heights, but once you’re up there the panoramic views of the Derwent Valley are breath-taking. There’s also loads for little ones to explore, including caverns and an adventure playground. Step further back into history at Bolsover Castle, the spectacular residence of 17th-Century playboy and Civil War general William Cavendish, or at elegant Chatsworth, one of the country’s best-loved stately homes. For something more energetic, there’s a Go Ape centre in Buxton Country Park, close to the stunning Poole’s Cavern show caves.
Founded by the Romans, Buxton was also a popular spa town in the Edwardian and Victorian eras – and as you’d expect, it’s packed with elegant buildings and historic attractions. Visit the old thermal baths or the unmistakable twin-domed opera house, and relax in the lovingly restored Pavilion Gardens, a trove of winding paths and ornamental lakes with its own miniature railway. The town is also famous for its pure spring water – a fact not lost on the local Buxton Brewery, who use it in a growing range of craft beers.