The Peak District is an excellent short break destination for all sorts of reasons. Whether you’re looking for a foodie break, a romantic mini-break, a trip with family or a weekend away with the girls or your dog, a weekend in the Peak District is always a good idea.
The first National Park in the UK and recently voted the fourth best national park in Europe in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. There’s everything you would expect from a world-class national park from stunning scenery, fascinating historical sites and extensive walking, hiking and cycling routes.
Molly Scott, a blogger from Derbyshire is going to share some of her top tips with us:
A romantic weekend in the Peak District
Whatever sets your heart alight, there’s a Peak District weekend break to suit. There is a range of accommodation options from cosy little shepherd’s huts to luxurious high-end hotels. Take a romantic stroll around the pretty market town of Bakewell where it’s rumoured that Jane Austen wrote and based Pride and Prejudice whilst staying at The Rutland Arms. There’s also the rugged beauty of the moors. If you fancy staring out wistfully or gazing into your loved ones eyes, head to Stanage Edge.
Peak District weekend breaks for walkers and hikers
The Peak District is a walkers’ paradise. In fact, it’s one of the most popular places in the UK for walking and hiking. The ‘Ethels’ are a brand new hillwalking challenge. Like Scotland’s Munros or the Lake Districts’ Wainwrights, the Ethels are hoped to be a long term draw to the Peak District. There are 95 Ethels, i.e. hilltops over 400m above sea level and some significant lower prominent hills that stand out in their own right. They’re named after Ethel Haythornthwaite, the founder of what is now countryside charity CPRE Peak District and South Yorkshire. You can track your progress on a free app.
If hills aren’t your thing, the Monsal Trail is a 8.5 mile, traffic-free route for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users through some of the Peak District’s most spectacular limestone dales. It runs from Blackwell Mill, in Chee Dale to Bakewell. The trail is on an old railway line so is fairly flat and very accessible. You can even walk through the old train tunnels which are well lit. There’s a large pay and display car park at Hassop Station where you can also rent bikes, and relax in their extensive café facilities. There’s also a small children’s play area. From Hassop Station you can easily walk to Bakewell in one direction (just over a mile and a half) or the magnificent views at Monsal Viaduct (2 miles).
Peak District weekend breaks for food lovers
The Peak District has a wealth of great independent restaurants. From fine dining to moreish street food, we really do have it all here.
For fine dining, The Peacock at Rowsley and Fischer’s of Baslow Hall both have excellent reputations locally. I’ve not yet tried Fischers but definitely rate The Peacock at Rowsley for perfectly executed exquisite fine dining. If pub grub is more your thing, The Devonshire at Beeley is a wonderful example of a high-end gastropub/country inn.
In terms of local delicacies there’s the obvious Bakewell pudding (definitely not tart!), but also check out Hartington stilton and delicious Derbyshire oatcakes. Many places will serve oatcakes as part of their breakfast menus but you can also buy these Derbyshire delicacies from delis and farm shops.
Family-friendly Peak District weekend breaks
The Peak District is a wonderful destination for families. There’s lots of outdoorsy fun to be had and compared to lots of other parts of the country it’s relatively inexpensive.
There are dozens of family-friendly attractions throughout the Peak District. A personal favourite is the gardens of Chatsworth House for a wonderful family-friendly day out. On a sunny day, children enjoy paddling in the Cascade. Families with younger children would enjoy the farmyard with animal handling and milking demonstrations and a large woodland playground with a rope park, trampoline, slides and water and sand play. Picnics are also welcomed at Chatsworth (or there is a range of on-site catering facilities).
Dog-friendly Peak District weekend breaks
The Peak District is a perfect destination for dog lovers. There are obviously lots of places to walk your four-legged friend.
In terms of accommodation, The Devonshire Arms in Beeley on the Chatsworth Estate is an award-winning, stylish country inn that’s serious about food. They welcome dogs in the bar area while you eat. There are also dog-friendly hotel rooms. Or for luxurious dog-friendly accommodation in Derbyshire, The Peacock at Rowsley also has dog-friendly rooms. The hotel happily provides dog food and water bowls. You can leave dogs in the room alone whilst you dine or they can accompany you to eat outside in summer. Although note that dogs are not allowed in the bar, restaurant or lounge.