Things to do in The Peak District – 48Hrs In The Peak District

By Molly Scott – 10th February 2020, updated June 2020

A Weekend in The Peak District:

The Peak District is famed for its stunning scenery, fascinating history and quaint little market towns and picturesque villages. A weekend in Derbyshire’s Peak District will leave your cheeks rosy and your belly well-fed, but there’s so much more to this area of the country than just Bakewell Tart and muddy boots.

Things to do in The Peak District - 48Hrs In The Peak District

Things to do in The Peak District – A Weekend in The Peak District

Friday Lunchtime in Peak District:

Kick-off the weekend with a light lunch at the Grasshopper Café in the pretty village of Hope before heading to nearby Castleton.

The Grasshopper prides itself on their speciality barista coffee and locally sourced menu. Try their famous grilled cheese sandwiches (e.g. the Brooklyn is made from Welbeck sourdough, Harrington’s mature cheddar, American mustard and pastrami) or their homemade cinnamon waffles.

Friday Afternoon in Peak District: Castleton is one of the most beautifully situated villages in the Peak District and the perfect base for some of the best walks in Derbyshire.

Climb the steep steps up to the atmospheric ruins of Peveril Castle.

For a longer walk, Mam Tor has stunning views of the National Park, including the photogenic Winnats Pass. As one of the most-loved ridge walks in the Peak District, you can see all the way to Manchester on a clear day.

Castleton is the only place in the world where Blue John, a semi-precious stone, unique to Derbyshire and the Peak District can be found. There are various caverns to explore such as Speedwell Cavern which features an underground boat ride to the eerie ‘Bottomless Pit’.

If you’d rather immerse yourself in a more decadent way, consider a spa day or session at nearby Losehill House, a luxurious, boutique hotel and spa. Packages start at a very reasonable £55 for a half-day experience which includes tea or coffee on arrival, 2-hour spa experience, light lunch and choice of treatment. Advanced booking essential.

Things to do in The Peak District – Friday Evening in Peak District

If you’ve been out walking, nothing beats that first cold pint afterwards. There are numerous pubs in Castleton that welcome muddy boots and dogs. The best is probably The George, an old country inn with a cosy bar and hearty pub grub. Their beer garden has stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

If you’d rather fine dine, try the double AA rosette awarded, Grafene at Losehill House. As one of the best restaurants in Derbyshire, it’s also listed by The Times as one of their ’20 best wild places to eat in Britain’.

Saturday Morning in The Peak District:

Chatsworth is undoubtedly Derbyshire’s finest country house. Jane Austen is believed to have based her idea of Pemberley on Chatsworth House. More recently it has featured in cult classic Peaky Blinders. Read more about TV and film locations in Derbyshire and the Peak District here.

Chatsworth has extensive, exquisite interiors, which are breathtakingly beautiful all year round, but something truly magical when the house is dressed for Christmas. The 105-acre gardens are equally impressive. Famous for their rich history, there is something for everyone. On a sunny day, children enjoy paddling in the Cascade.

The RHS flower show draws crowds from across the country in early June.

Families with younger children would enjoy the farmyard with animal handling and milking demonstrations and large woodland playground with rope park, trampoline, slides and water and sand play.


Saturday Lunchtime in Peak District:

Take a picnic or enjoy the range of catering facilities at Chatsworth. The Carriage House is ideal for families and serves freshly made, seasonal dishes using local ingredients in a canteen style. For a more refined experience, The Flying Childers restaurant offers the ultimate English indulgence – a luxurious afternoon tea served on Wedgewood china.


Saturday Afternoon in The Peak District:

You could easily spend the whole day exploring Chatsworth. Various walks can be done around the estate. Or visit the award-winning farm shop at nearby Pilsley.

If you’ve had your fill of Chatsworth, but are still in need of coffee and cake the Village Green café and The Coolstone, both in the picturesque village of Eyam (infamously ‘the plague village’) are well worth a visit.

Or head up to Curbar Gap for beautiful vistas, country walks and Jolly’s, a vintage Citroen van selling good quality coffee and home-baked delights.


Saturday Evening in The Peak District:

For gastronomic delights, The Cavendish in Baslow, arguably the best restaurant in the Peak District has recently been awarded three AA rosettes for culinary excellence.

If a cosy pub is more your style, try The Bulls Head at Foolow, in particular, their own grass-fed beef, or The Devonshire Arms at Baslow, featured in The Times 40 British Summer Pubs. For something just a smidge more refined, try The Devonshire Arms at Beeley which is part of the Chatsworth Estate.


The Peak District Attractions on a Sunday Morning:

If you have not tried the short drive to Bakewell you have missed out the best part of Things to do in The Peak District. This pretty market town is rumoured to be where Jane Austen wrote and based Pride and Prejudice whilst staying at The Rutland Arms.

Feed the ducks during a riverside stroll. Mooch around the local shops and then take home a Bakewell pudding. Numerous bakeries sell them, but The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop is often regarded as the best. Takeaway or enjoy inside or in their sunny courtyard.

If you’re more energetically inclined, The Monsal Trail is a traffic-free route for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users through some of the Peak District’s most spectacular limestone dales. You can rent bikes from Hassop Station.


Things to do in The Peak District – Sunday Lunchtime:

If you’re sticking around for Sunday lunch, try the fabulous roasts at The Bridge Inn at Calver.

Things to do in The Peak District – Where to stay in Peak District?:

For a romantic mini-break opt for The Peacock at Rowsley for rustic, old school luxury and exquisite fine dining, read my review here; Fischer’s Baslow Hall a luxurious country house with Michelin starred dining; the stylish, sumptuous rooms of The Cavendish Hotel in Baslow;  or The Devonshire Arms at Beeley for an upmarket gastropub with an exceptional restaurant. For something a bit quirkier, how about staying in an award-winning shepherd’s hut? Check out The Hut at Eyam.

For a weekend away with friends, try The Devonshire Arms at Baslow, recently listed in The Times Top 40 summer pubs.

For a family trip, Darwin Forest is a 5-star lodge holiday park that is set within 47 acres of stunning woodland.

For a tranquil camping experience check out the family run Dale Farm, a quiet and peaceful campsite set on a working farm.

A good all-round option is the modern, boutique Peak Edge hotel. Check out their Chatsworth Leisure Break which includes breakfast for both guests, a dinner allowance, two Chatsworth tickets, with prices starting at £190 per room.


Peak District Attractions and Places to Stay >> Further afield, I recommend:

The Cow at Dalbury Lees – a beautifully stylish gastropub and luxurious boutique B&B

Ringwood Hall – in particular, check out their newly opened garden secret spa (and read my review here).

Morley Hayes -with rooms boasting beautiful vistas over the manicured lawns of the golf course and countryside beyond, and famous locally for their champagne breakfasts (booking essential).

If you’ve enjoyed this Things to do in The Peak District article please read our latest post Things to do in Kent – 48hrs in Kent 

Molly Scott Derbyshire
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