When it comes to days out in the Peak District and Derbyshire, we're spoilt for choice. From stately homes and show caverns to farm parks and heritage sites, the area is packed with an incredible amount of family-friendly attractions and activities that are great fun, whatever the weather. So if you're struggling for ideas this Bank Holiday weekend, here's our guide to 10 of the best days out in the Peak District and Derbyshire.

Bolsover Castle


1. Bolsover Castle, Bolsover

This fairytale Stuart mansion is the perfect place to pretend you're a knight or on a cavalier catwalk - whilst appreciating the amazing views of the North East Derbyshire town below. The English Heritage's Bolsover Castle has lavish rooms, a romantic ruined terrace range, a stunning wall walk, interesting exhibitions, extensive grounds and a play area – plus family-friendly events including Cavendish Horse displays of dressage in the historic Riding School.
 


Matlock Farm Park


2. Matlock Farm Park, Matlock

Animal-lovers will delight in the hands-on experience at this family-friendly Farm Park near the market town of Matlock. Meet the sheep, llamas, goats, fallow deer, meerkats, horses, pigs and peacocks, then get up close to cuddly animals such as rabbits and guinea pigs, or bottle-feed lambs and handle baby chicks in the petting barn. Have a horseback adventure on a pony ride, race on the go karts and let the little ones burn off some steam in the indoor play area before enjoying freshly-made food in the cosy cafe.
 


Chatsworth House


3. Chatsworth House, near Bakewell

Home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth is regarded as ‘the jewel in the Peak District’s crown’. Discover the history of the Cavendish family - who have lived here since the 1550s - and explore over 30 magnificent rooms ranging from the Painted Hall, to the family-used chapel, regal State Rooms and beautiful Sculpture Gallery. Add to this over 100 acres of glorious gardens, 1,000 acres of sweeping parkland, a Farmyard and Adventure Playground, brilliant restaurants and one of Britain's best Farm Shops, and you've got the recipe for a perfect family day out.


Cromford Mills


4. Cromford Mills, near Matlock

Visit the world's first water-powered cotton spinning mill at the heart of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, an area described as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. View interactive displays, games and puzzles that tell the captivating story of how this valley changed the world in the 18th century with the growth of the British cotton industry and its global impact. Step back in time on a tour, then take a narrow boat ride along scenic Cromford Canal, where you'll find horse-drawn boats on selected dates.


Peak Wildlife Park


5. Peak Wildlife Park, near Leek

Come face-to-face with exotic and endangered animals from across three continents. Whether you love lemurs, have a passion for penguins or want to meet the meerkats and wander with the wallabies - and hand-feed them - the park has something for everyone. Don't miss the regular feeding times and talks, or a visit to the cafe, which serves freshly-made lunches and refreshments.


The Heights of Abraha,


6. The Heights of Abraham, Matlock Bath

Visits to this hilltop country park start in spectacular style - with a cable car journey across an incredible limestone gorge. At the top, you'll discover acres of beautiful hilltop woodland to explore, two stunning show caverns with guided tours available, adventure playgrounds, heritage walks, and great places to eat and drink - including the Vista Bar and Restaurant with lovely views of the Derwent Valley below.
 


Treak Cliff Cavern


7. Treak Cliff Cavern, Castleton

Famous throughout the world for its unique deposits of the rare Blue John stone - an amazing purple mineral found nowhere else on earth - Treak Cliff Cavern houses some of the most beautiful cave formations in the UK. After enjoying a tour of the cavern, take part in the 'hands-on' Blue John Experience - where you can polish your own piece of Blue John Stone to take home.


Poole's Cavern


8. Poole’s Cavern and Buxton Country Park

On the fringes of the famous spa town of Buxton (which also happens to be the highest market town in England), visitors can head underground to explore vast limestone caverns. See the crystal stalactites and stalagmites that have lined the chambers for millions of years, before exploring the country park woodlands with a stroll to Grin Low and Solomon’s Temple viewpoint. Adventure-lovers can get their thrills on the GoApe high wire tree top adventure!


Crich Tramway Village


9. Crich Tramway Village, near Matlock

Young visitors will love making the most of the unlimited tram rides on the recreated village street at Crich Tramway Village, home of the National Tramway Museum. Alongside vintage trams, there are play areas, tearooms, workshops and galleries. Craft activities are held throughout the summer, and there are regular, exciting events such as Horse Tram Days. The popular WWII Home Front event in August allows visitors to step back in time to the 1940s - with vintage trams, military vehicles, re-enactors, wartime fayre and music.


Denby


10. Denby Pottery Visitor Centre, near Ripley

Next to the famous working pottery, Denby Visitor Centre is set in a cobbled courtyard with award-winning shops. Take a tour of the craftroom or factory - where you can enjoy hands-on activities suitable for everyone - and learn more about unique Derbyshire clay. Watch the paintress painting in glaze then have a go painting on plates, or learn about mould-making before making your own souvenir to take home. Pick up a bargain in the Denby Factory Shop, browse the small museum and round-off your day with freshly-prepared delights in Bourne's Restaurant.


Make the most of your trip and stay the night in the Peak District and Derbyshire. From cosy cottages to hotels and B&Bs, we've got your accommodation covered. For events in Derbyshire and the Peak District, click here.

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