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12 Reasons to Take a Short Break in the Peak District

By Molly Scott – 27th February 2021
The Peak District3

Whilst we are all still staying firmly at home, lots of us are starting to look for travel inspiration and even book our much awaited holidays. Rest assured, I think Derbyshire and the Peak District is an equally fabulous destination for a long holiday, but here are a dozen reasons why you should look to take a short break in the Peak District.

 

Easily reached

I know this doesn’t sound very glamorous or rock and roll BUT do you really want to spend two full days travelling there and back, particularly for a short break? Derbyshire is pretty slap bang in the middle of the country so chances are you get here pretty easily, whether by public transport or car. And then start enjoying yourself! Also think of the environmental benefits.

Great places to stay

There is a full range of accommodation from the simplest of campsites to quirky shepherd’s huts to luxury boutique country houses to family friendly woodland lodges to holiday cottages. For a great all rounder I would recommend the Peak Edge Hotel. It’s handily situated to explore the Peak District, has a great bar, expertly made cocktails and a wonderful restaurant.

Hiking and biking

The Peak District was recently voted the fourth best national park in Europe in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards. It has everything you would expect from a world class national park from stunning scenery to extensive walking, hiking and cycling routes. For more details of walks check out the brilliant Peak District Kids and Coco Travel’s best walks in Derbyshire and the Peak District. 

Fascinating history

Derbyshire is often credited as the birthplace of the industrial revolution and Derwent Valley Mills is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Derby Arboretum was the first public park in Britain, and the inspiration for New York’s Central Park. And the picturesque village of Eyam has a gruesome history as the ‘plague village’, all of which means history buffs will be in their element on a short break in the Peak District.

Country houses

Chatsworth House is often described as the jewel of the Peak District and is probably my favourite place on earth. But there’s a multitude of other historic houses and castles to visit. Most with exquisite gardens and parklands. In terms of English Heritage, Bolsover Castle has lots of for kids. If you’re in the National Trust you’ll get excellent value from your membership here. Kedleston Hall, Hardwick Hall, Calke Abbey and Sudbury Hall are all excellent days out with or without kids.

Food

Derbyshire has a wealth of great independent restaurants. From fine dining at the likes of The Peacock at Rowsley or Fischer’s of Baslow Hall to great gastro pubs (read my previous recommendations of The Tickled Trout, The White Hart at Duffield and The Strutt Arms) to amazing street food e.g. at Derby’s weekly Bustler market, all make for great reasons why a short break in the Peak District or Derbyshire more widely is an excellent idea.

Drink

Obviously the Peak District has a plethora of cosy, traditional pubs but if a decent gin menu or perfectly mixed cocktails are more your idea of what makes a fabulous mini break, we’ve got that covered here too! For a fabulous night out head to Darley Abbey on the outskirts of Derby where there are several really lovely independent bars and restaurants nestled in historic mill buildings around the river. In Chesterfield, Bottle & Thyme is famous for its pretty botanical cocktails or seek out a Monk bar, it’s a small local chain with venues in Chesterfield, Belper and Matlock, or Junction which would be the perfect start for a pub crawl up Chatsworth Road. Deeper into the Peak District, The Coolstone in Eyam is great for cocktails, as is the Red Lion at the Peak Edge Hotel.

Picture perfect villages

There are numerous picture perfect, chocolate box villages across Derbyshire and the Peak District. Castleton in the Hope Valley is often quoted as being the fourth most instagramable village in the UK. But also check out Ashford-in-the-Water, Edale, Eyam and the town of Bakewell.

Attractions

From the caverns of Castleton to the Heights of Abraham in Matlock, whatever your preferences, a short break in the Peak District will tick your boxes. With children, check out Peak Wildlife Park, Conkers, Gulliver’s Kingdom or Matlock Farm Park. If budget is tight, for a similar vibe albeit on a much, much smaller scale, we love Matlock Meadows – a free to visit working farm with a café and play facilities (both inside and outside). In South Derbyshire, Bluebells gets great reviews. Alton Towers is also easily accessible from Derbyshire.

Shopping

From the fabulous independent shops in Derby, particularly in the cathedral quarter, around Saddlergate, to the quaint shops of Matlock or Bakewell, there is plenty in Derbyshire to delight shopping fans. Factory shop fans should check out Denby Pottery Village for bargains.

Avoid the Crowds

The Peak District absolutely rivals any of the premier tourism destinations in the UK, but is likely to be far less crowded or feel overly ‘touristy’. Obviously the big/obvious attractions do get busy at peak times but likewise it is entirely possible to stay off the beaten track.

Good value

The cost of living in Derbyshire is significantly lower than in the south. You get a lot more holiday for your money here! Don’t just take my word for it, check out Bursting My Bubbles’ rationale for why the Peak District is great for a cheap holiday! Also watch out for a ‘free things to do’ blog coming soon!

If this list has whet your appetite for a short break in the Peak District please check out my guide to 48 hours in the Peak District for some suggested itineraries. And if you have specific questions about holidaying here, feel free to send me a DM on Instagram. I’m always happy to help.

Enjoy!

 

Molly x

RECOMMENDATION

This is a Girl About recommendation. This means that it was not gifted in return for a review. We only recommend places we absolutely love, and places that we know you’ll love too!

 

Molly Scott Derbyshire
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