Have you been to the Peak District yet? Chances are, you haven’t. When it comes to exploring the UK, people often choose the Cotswolds or the Lake District for a Bank Holiday weekend. Such a shame! And the reason why I’ve created a mini Peak District bucket list for you.
If you visit the Peak District, a day in Dovedale is an absolute must. It’s a beautiful valley in the south part of the much bigger Peak District National Park. Think (big) hills, caves, limestone rocks and beautiful green scenery. Famous elements include the stepping stones and Thorpe Cloud. Dovedale can get busy, especially on sunny days, so if you want to avoid the busy-ness go earlier in the day.
2. Thorpe Cloud
When in Dovedale, you climb Thorpe Cloud, a 287 meters high limestone hill. Granted, it’s not for the faint hearted – or should I say less sporty ones among us – but once you’re on top of that hill I promise you it’s worth the blood, sweat and tears. The view is absolutely stunning and there is a certain peacefulness surrounding that hilltop.
3. The George
All that walking makes you hungry and what’s a good old countryside hike without a big lunch in a beautiful countryside pub, right? The George is exactly what you want after a long walk; low ceilings, a burning log fire and – most importantly – good food. On warmer days you can enjoy a well-deserved break on the terrace in front of the pub surrounded by a myriad of English cottages.
4. Ye Old Gate Inne
Speaking of great pubs, Ye Old Gate Inn – since 1616 by the way – is another one to put on your list. They do a great Sunday roast, so if you can, go here after you’ve been on a long, Sunday morning walk through the fields filled with sheep. Portions are huge here,
so make sure you work up a – very – big appetite!
Not far from Dovedale lies Ashbourne, a lively little market town. Although I haven’t been there myself unfortunately (apart from a grocery shop at the local Waitrose), it’s meant to be a cool place to visit, especially on market days – which are Thursdays and Saturdays. On the cobbled market place you can buy some lovely fresh products from local producers and if you’re into antiques, Ashbourne is your go-to town. It’s also a good place to be based if you’re visiting the Peak District.
6. Chatsworth House
A little bit further up in the Peak District National Park lies Chatsworth House – a ‘lavish stately home with noted art collection’ according to Google – but also the home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. You can visit the house as well as the massive gardens surrounding it – or you can choose to do just one or the other. If the weather’s nice, I’d say go for a relaxed stroll through the gardens as there is so much to see: think rocks, little streams, fountains, a maze, some interesting looking pieces of art and a whole lot of things we didn’t even get to see on our visit.
7. Hoe Grange
Although there are many B&B’s and campings you can spend the night at when visiting the Peak District, I wanted to mention the one we went to, because it’s such a great place (and no, I didn’t get paid to write this!). We stayed at Hoe Grange Farm in a pretty little log cabin. It was very cute on the inside, but for me the best part was the fact that it is surrounded by fields – and in our case little lambs. The entire place is environmentally sensitive – which is a nice plus – and we had a hot tub on our terrace meaning we could enjoy a late night bubbling session while looking up at the stars. In one word: great. They also have these glamping pods that looked fabulous; if it’s just the two of you that could be a cool experience.
There are a lot more things you can do in the Peak Disrict of course, but I think I’ve covered a nice selection for you in this post. Next time you’ve got a long weekend coming up and you want to discover a beautiful part of the UK, you know where to go.
PS. A big thank you to Tosh, Agathe & Elliott for their pictures!