The Great Outdoors - Walkers Paradise
The wonderful landscape of Dovedale and the Peak District National Park is a paradise for walkers, cyclists and lovers of other outdoor activities. Beautiful walks start from the doorstep of the cottages. So, if you enjoy the countryside you cannot find a better place to relax, unwind and explore it. At the end of the day you have a lovely cottage to come back to and that cosy open fire to laze in front of. If you can drag yourself away, our local pub is just a short stroll.
Cycling and mountain biking are very popular due to the miles of cycle routes along the country lands and former railway lines. Converted former railway lines such as the TISSINGTON TRAIL, HIGH PEAK TRAIL, and the MANIFOLD TRAIL also short sections of the MONSAL TRAIL offer safe traffic-free cycling along relatively level tracks across the most stunning countryside with fabulous views. Cycle hire centres operate at Mapleton (near Ashbourne), Parsley Hay (near Hartington) and Middleton Top (near Wirksworth). TISSINGTON and PARSLEY HAY have tea rooms with excellent foods.
Bridleways and country lanes cross the Derbyshire Dales and the Peak District offering superb riding with spectacular views.
TISSINGTON TRAIL; have good facilities for the horse riders including horsebox trailer parking.
THE SABRINA WAY; another long distance bridleway, passes near Hartington. A leaflet is available from the British Horse Society. www.bhs.org.uk
A year round programme of festivals, events, shows and carnivals means there's always something happening in the Peak District. Below are just a few events which take place every year. For events happening this month click here.
Markets: Bakewell Monday market is the biggest market in the area and in addition there are monthly farmers markets (last Saturday in the month) selling mouth watering locally produced foods.
Ashbourne market is on Thursday and Saturday every week.
Wirksworth market is on a Tuesday every week.
Well Dressing (May - Sept): Well dressings are a custom almost unique to Derbyshire and Peak District and happen in villages from May to September. Springs and wells are decorated with beautiful pictures made of flowers, berries and leaves, with many villages having several dressed wells. A list of well dressing dates is available from Tourist Information Centres.
Festivals, Shows and Carnivals: During the summer there are carnivals, fairs and shows most weekends including:
- Ashbourne Arts Festival (July)
- Ashbourne Highland Gathering (July)
- Ashbourne Show (August)
- Bakewell Carnival (July)
- Bakewell Arts Festival (August)
- Wirksworth Festival (September)
- Bakewell Show (August)
- Chatsworth Country Fair (September)
- Buxton Food Fair (October)
Places to Visit
Houses and Gardens: Where else in England has such a wealth of fine country houses close by, such as:
- Haddon Hall - Haddon Hall is an unspoilt medieval and tudor manor house overlooking the river Wye near Bakewell, with a magnificent long gallery, beautiful tapestries and renowned terraced gardens. There is a restaurant and gift shop in the old stable block. www.haddonhall.co.uk
- Chatsworth - Chatsworth is one of the great treasure houses of England. Chatsworth has magnificent rooms which are filled with treasures collected over five centuries by the Duke of Devonshire. There are 105 acres of landscaped gardens to explore, with a restaurant, gift shop, farmyard and adventure playground. www.chatsworth.org
- Tissington Hall - Tissington Hall is a fine Jacobean manor house in a picture postcard village and has been home to the Fitzherbert family for over 500 years. The Old Coach House tearoom is nearby. Well Dressing is in May.
- Sudbury Hall
- Eyam Hall
- Kedleston Hall
For those children who insist Alton Towers is just 20 minutes away. www.altontowers.com
Places to Eat
We are spoilt for choice in the Peak District with cosy public houses and high quality restaurants all serving good food and drink. Here are just a few local ones to choose from, so treat yourself and leave the cooking to someone else.
- The George at Alstonefield - just a short 5 min drive or 25 min walk away, The George serves excellent restaurant-quality locally sourced food in cosy, warm and friendly surroundings. We would highly recommend a visit. Tel. 01335 310205, Website. www.thegeorgeatalstonefield.com
- Ye Olde Royal Oak at Wetton - A traditional characterful pub located approx 5 min drive or 25 min walk away in the Manifold Valley. Popular with walkers and cyclists and accepts dogs. Tel. 01335 310287, Website. www.royaloakwetton.co.uk
- The Coach and Horses - situated in Fenny Bentley on the A515 north of Ashbourne approx 15 min drive from the cottages. Good home cooked food and perfect for families, especially if you have young children as food is served all afternoon/evening. Tel. 01335 350246