Christmas 2023 in the Peak District There’s plenty going on in the run up to…
The ultimate guide to a few days in the Peak District
If you’re thinking of coming to the Peak District for a few days here’s the ultimate guide to things to do and see.
The Peak District is famous for its stunning scenery and picturesque walks. Here are some of the best walks in the Peak District:
Mam Tor and the Great Ridge: This circular walk takes you up to the summit of Mam Tor, from where you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The route then follows the Great Ridge, a long ridge that offers stunning views of the Hope Valley and the Edale Valley.
Kinder Scout: This is one of the most famous walks in the Peak District and takes you to the highest point in the area. The route starts in Edale and takes you up to the plateau of Kinder Scout, where you can enjoy views of the surrounding hills and valleys.
Dovedale: This is a beautiful walk along the River Dove, which is surrounded by limestone cliffs and wooded hills. The route takes you past the famous stepping stones and Thorpe Cloud, a small hill that offers panoramic views of the area.
Stanage Edge: This walk takes you along a dramatic gritstone escarpment that offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. The route starts near Hathersage and follows the edge to High Neb, from where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Hope Valley.
Monsal Trail: This is a relatively easy walk along a disused railway line that runs through the heart of the Peak District. The route takes you through several old railway tunnels and across impressive viaducts, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
As well as walks, the Peak District has an abundance of charming villages.
Just down the road from Wheeldon Trees, you’ll find Hartington. This small village has a rich history and has been inhabited since at least the Anglo-Saxon period. The village is famous for its beautiful stone cottages, many of which date back to the 18th century. The village also has a number of historic buildings, including a church, a market hall, and a cheese factory. The market hall dates back to the 17th century and was once used for trading livestock, while the cheese factory produced the famous Hartington Stilton cheese until the 2000s. There’s still the famous Hartington Cheese Shop you can visit today.
Here are some of the other picturesque villages in the area:
Castleton: Castleton is a quaint village surrounded by stunning scenery. The village is famous for its ancient castle ruins and Blue John Cavern, where you can explore underground caves and see unique mineral formations.
Bakewell: this is the ultimate picturesque market town with a charming riverside location. The town is famous for its Bakewell Pudding, a traditional dessert made with flaky pastry, raspberry jam, and almond filling.
Tideswell: a traditional village with a rich history dating back to the 14th century. The village is known for its magnificent church, which is one of the largest in the area, and its picturesque streets lined with quaint cottages.
Hathersage: a charming village surrounded by rolling hills and stunning landscapes. The village is famous for its connection to Robin Hood, and you can visit the grave of Little John in the local churchyard.
Eyam: a unique village with a fascinating history. The village was struck by the bubonic plague in the 17th century, and the villagers famously chose to quarantine themselves to prevent the disease from spreading. Today, you can visit the plague museum and see the historic cottages that were used as isolation wards.
Enjoy Sunday lunch in the Peak District National Park
The perfect accompaniment to any weekend away is surely a great Sunday roast.
The Merchants Yard, Tideswell
According to Google Reviews, the Merchants Yard on St Johns Road in Tideswell is the number one place to get a roast dinner, with all the trimmings. So, what’s on offer? You can choose between beef, chicken, pork or nut roast to be carved fresh at the table. All the trimmings include roast potatoes, homemade Yorkshire puddings, a selection of seasonal vegetables and lashings of gravy. Desserts include treacle tart, spiced pear, stem ginger ice cream, white chocolate cheesecake and plum jelly, poached plum, and mulled berry sorbet.
Bank House, Hathersage
Bank House is nestled in the beautiful village of Hathersage in The Peak District National Park. Formerly a historic bank, now an award-winning contemporary restaurant and cocktail bar, Bank House offers fresh locally sourced seasonal produce and the finest tipples from Europe and beyond.
On the Sunday lunch menu, you’ll find nut roast, loin of pork, Derbyshire roast beef, roast lamb and Sunday sirloin. Accompaniments include cauliflower cheese, creamed cabbage, braised red cabbage and of course, roast potatoes.
Red Lion at the Peak Edge Hotel
Nestled on the edge of the beautiful Peak District National Park, the historic Red Lion restaurant boasts a warm, friendly, relaxed atmosphere serving a fresh and local menu. Furthermore, their eggs are delivered directly from their owner’s farm Walton Lodge, and their bread is baked daily in-house.
On Sundays, it’s all about the Walton Lodge beef and lamb. For vegetarians, there is a nut roast. And, every roast is joined by roast potatoes, cauliflower cheese, spiced red cabbage, Yorkshire pudding and gravy. In addition, if you have room for dessert, try the sticky toffee pudding, whiskey and dark chocolate cremieux, vanilla panna cotta or local Derbyshire cheeses.
The Old Dog, Thorpe
Visiting Dovedale for the stepping stones or walking Thorpe Cloud? The Old Dog offers local, unfussy quality food, drinks and service. Its team extends out to suppliers with local butchers, multiple brewers, bakers and even one of its junior chefs producing his own bacon for the pub. On Sundays, you can expect braised feather blade of beef and slow-roasted herb stuffed pork belly. In addition, every Sunday roast is served with creamed potato, roasted carrots, cauliflower cheese, green beans and extra gravy. There’s no nut roast here. Instead, how delicious does this sound? Roasted hispi cabbage served with garlic and thyme potatoes, sage and onion stuffing and vegan red wine gravy.
Visit a National Trust property
Derbyshire and the Peak District have an amazing collection of National Trust properties to visit during your stay at Wheeldon Trees Cottages.
Whether you’re a member of the National Trust or you’re simply looking for a day out, we’ve made a list of some of the places you can visit while staying at our luxury cottages.
This Elizabethan mansion was built in the late 16th century for Bess of Hardwick. It features stunning architecture, a beautiful walled garden, and a collection of 16th and 17th-century textiles.
The Longshaw Estate is located in the Peak District National Park and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Visitors can explore the woodlands, moorlands, and heathlands. In addition, there’s lots of wildlife to spot including red deer and birds of prey.
Calke Abbey is a baroque-style country house. It was built in the early 18th century and is known for its unique “un-stately” state. The house has been preserved in its natural state of decay, offering a fascinating insight into the lives of the people who once lived here.
A neoclassical mansion built in the 1760s, Kedleston Hall features a stunning Robert Adam interior. In addition, the house is surrounded by acres of parkland and has a beautiful collection of paintings and furniture.
Kinder Scout is famous for its wild and rugged beauty. Visitors can hike to the summit and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Things to do with children
There’s plenty to keep children occupied in the Peak District.
Firstly, visit the Buxton Opera House: this historic venue offers a range of family-friendly shows and performances, including pantomimes, musicals, and plays.
Next, explore Poole’s Cavern and Buxton Country Park: take a guided tour of the impressive limestone cavern, then enjoy a walk through the scenic park, which features woodland, streams, and wildlife.
Spend time at Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens: This beautiful Victorian park features manicured gardens, a miniature train ride, a playground, and a cafe.
Visit the Heights of Abraham: this popular tourist attraction in Matlock offers a range of activities for families, including a cable car ride, underground tours of the caverns, and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Enjoy Gulliver’s Kingdom: this theme park is designed for children between the ages of 2 and 13 and offers a range of rides, attractions, and live shows.
Peak District Mining Museum: this museum offers an educational and interactive experience that will teach children about the history of mining in the area.
Finally, why not take a ride on the Peak Rail: this heritage railway offers scenic rides through the stunning Peak District countryside, providing a unique way to experience the beauty of the area.
Visit a Derbyshire Market
If you love shopping local, why not support our Derbyshire traders? There are lots of markets to choose from across the Peak District.
Here’s our pick of the best if you’re staying at Wheeldon Trees Cottages.
Interesting fact – Buxton is home to the highest market in England at 1032ft above sea level. The regular market is held on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout the year from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm. It provides a great choice from food and household goods to clothes and gifts.
Bakewell Stall Market and Farmer’s Market
The stunning Peak District town of Bakewell has had a market since 1330. The town’s livestock and stall markets continue to attract many visitors. The stall market is held on a Monday in Bakewell Market Place. Expect around 80 stalls. In addition to the Monday market, The District Council operates a farmer’s market on the last Saturday of every month. The popular Bakewell Farmers’ Market is held at the Agricultural Business Centre (ABC) in the town.
Ashbourne’s Thursday market takes place on Shrovetide Walk, between Shawcroft Car Park and the library. You’ll find fresh fish and seafood, Italian pasta sauces and delicacies, a local cheese stall, fruit and vegetables plus gifts from across the region.
Matlock market runs on Wednesdays at Hall Leys Park, Crown Square, Matlock DE4 3SX from 9 am until 3.30 pm.
Regular traders include The Loaf (famous Derbyshire bakery) and stalls selling cheese, fish, brownies and fudge, wool, crafts and soap.
And finally, stay in a luxury Peak District cottage
Wheeldon Trees Cottages has 10 fantastic Derbyshire cottages for you to choose from. We purchased Wheeldon Trees back in June 2021 and since that time we’ve thrown ourselves into refurbishment projects to make it into one of the best luxury retreats in the Peak District Park.
Our first major project was the refurbishment of the Farmhouse. The Farmhouse had never been part of the Wheeldon Trees cottage portfolio as it was where the previous owners lived. We don’t live at Wheeldon Trees. We’re down the road in the market town of Ashbourne.
It took us six months to renovate the Farmhouse and now it’s our most popular property. It has three large double bedrooms.
Two of the bedrooms can be super kings or twins and the huge master suite has a king-size bed and ensuite shower room.
Downstairs there’s a farmhouse kitchen, a snug with a flat-screen TV, a sitting room, a reading room and a powder room. Outside, there’s a wood-burning hot tub which we can confirm is used in rain, sun, wind and snow.
Priestley Cottage, Nadin Cottage and Ollerenshaw Cottage
Following the Farmhouse, we have fully renovated three more cottages – Priestley, Nadin and Ollerenshaw. Each of these has a new vintage-style bathroom, handmade kitchen and luxury new soft furnishings. Priestley sleeps three people, Ollerenshaw two people and Nadin five.
Our latest renovation is Mycock Cottage which sleeps three people. Mycock Cottage is the latest refurbishment to be completed. It’s had a new vintage-style bathroom with a walk-in rain shower, new décor, new soft furnishings and new flooring. The luxury cottage sleeps three people. Downstairs there’s an open-plan living area and upstairs a double and a single bedroom. It has its own private patio.
Luxurious wheelchair-friendly cottage
Sheldon Cottage, our accessible cottage, has been bringing families together for Derbyshire holidays for many years.
Sheldon Cottage is a super luxurious accessible cottage. It enjoys the most amazing views of High Wheeldon and the Peak District National Park and has been fully kitted out to ensure everyone has an amazing break.
All on one level
All on one level, Sheldon Cottage is a wheelchair-friendly cottage with beautiful interiors and offers sumptuous holidays for up to four people. Whether you’re simply looking for a beautiful country cottage or require additional accessible facilities, Sheldon Cottage has lots to offer.
Open plan living
Inside this country cottage, you will find open-plan living with oodles of space. This includes a beautiful hand-made oak kitchen, dining area and large lounge with underfloor heating.
There are two large super-king or twin bedrooms. You simply decide before your visit how you would like us to make the beds and they will be ready for your arrival.
There are also two bathrooms. One is an accessible wet room and the other is a contemporary ensuite shower room.
Outside the main bedroom, you’ll find a patio area with views stretching across acres of Peak District National Park.
Wheeldon Trees Cottages has three dog-friendly cottages and a dedicated dog meadow.
Ollerenshaw Cottage – sleeps two plus one dog
Ollerenshaw Cottage sleeps two people and was fully refurbished in December 2022. You could be one of the first guests to enjoy this luxury cottage which has a brand-new kitchen, oak flooring and a vintage-style bathroom.
Critchlow Cottage – sleeps three plus one dog
Critchlow Cottage sleeps three people and has everything you need for a perfect escape. Spread across two floors, there’s an open-plan living area downstairs with a fully-stocked kitchen and a double and single bedroom upstairs. The bathroom has a walk-in shower and there’s a private south-facing patio.
Lomas Cottage – sleeps four plus one dog
Former cattle shed Lomas Cottage is a luxury dog-friendly cottage sleeping four people with room for an additional cot. There’s an open-plan living area downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs. The bedrooms can either be prepared as super-kings or twins. The bathroom has an over-bath shower and there’s a private patio.
Wheeldon Trees Cottages is much more than just holiday cottages. Dogs have the run of their own dedicated dog meadow and there are plenty of walks directly from your cottage door. Set in 12 acres of prime Peak District land, visitors can enjoy views of Chrome Hill and Dragon’s Back.
We have two dog-friendly locals. Guests at Wheeldon Trees say that our near neighbours, The Royal Oak, offer a very warm welcome to four-legged visitors. All areas of the pub are dog-friendly and they offer an amazing menu of home-cooked food for you to enjoy. Our guests love the Sunday roast menu which offers beef, lamb, pork or roast vegetarian wellington. Another local which is walkable from Wheeldon and dog-friendly are our friends at the Packhorse Inn in Crowdecote. The staff are lovely, the portions large and the draft beer very good. As a result, what’s not to love?
Office and games room
Alongside our cottage renovations, we have also fully renovated the games room and created a bespoke luxury office under the trees for guests to use if they need to work while with us.
Each of our cottages features the talents of local people. Our soft furnishings in all 10 cottages, including blinds and voiles, are made by Derbyshire seamstress Home of Curtains and Blinds. Our hand-fitted kitchens are created and installed by local cabinet maker David Cantrill. Granite worksurfaces are from Impala Stone near Ashbourne and our vintage-style bathrooms are designed by Cheshire-based Bathrooms By Design.
Every cottage has one aim – to provide a luxury stay away from home with everything you could possibly need for a wonderful holiday.
Not just a cottage
We understand that holidays are precious and we only get one chance to make a lasting impression on our guests. Our gardeners care for our 12 acres of Peak District National Park weekly. In 2022 we renovated the games room and it now offers puzzles, board games and a games table for pool, air hockey and ping pong. There’s also a hand-made ash table which seats eight should you want a larger space to dine.
In addition to the new games room, there is an honesty shop, free EV charging, wifi throughout, a children’s play area, free electric bikes to explore the local area (updated in November 2022) and a laundry room.
Looking for your 2023 Peak District Cottage? Click here to view our availability.
You can view our availability and pick your perfect cottage by following this link – view our availability.