Spend three charming days exploring the epic and magnificent countryside of the Peak District and discover the wonderful cuisine of the county. We’ve compiled some of the best things to do in and around Derbyshire, including photographing Monsal Head along the popular Monsal Trail and relaxing with a picnic, lunching in a former railway station, the aptly named Station Cafe; visiting Losehill House Hotel and Spa for rejuvenation and relaxation; enjoying a wild bite to eat at The Orangery restaurant or a traditional Bakewell Pudding in The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop; marvelling Haddon Hall’s enchanting splendour; a quaint night’s stay at the Devonshire Arms, Pilsley; experiencing home-brewed beer at Thornbridge Hall and Gardens; and fine dining at Fischer’s Baslow Hall.
Three wonderful days in and around the Peak District and Derbyshire! Follow this itinerary and we guarantee that you’ll get your fill of good, wholesome food, local delicacies, an abundance of history and culture, plus plenty of good beer and wine from the county. Of course, there is so much more to explore and experience in the Peak District, but for that, you’ll need a longer trip. As the seasons change, so does the experience so you can come to visit all year round, and we hope you do!
Morning: Monsal Trail
Start off in the heart of The Peak District at the Hassop Station. Saddle up and hire bikes before embarking on the glorious Monsal Trail. This picturesque stretch of disused railway line and tunnels runs for eight-and-a-half miles and follows the valley of the River Wye. Dotted along the way you’ll come across several points of interest, such as the Monsal Dale, Monsal Viaduct and Monsal Head, one of the most photographed viewpoints in the area. A particular highlight is taking a moment to admire both the River Wye running through limestone dales and the historic viaduct in all their glory.
With such breathtaking scenery and plenty of places for the most perfect picnic spots, stop for some light refreshments and take in the epic views.
Lunch: Hassop Station Cafe
If a picnic is not your preference, return your bikes at Hassop Station and stop at the Station Cafe for a hearty, and very well-deserved lunch. A former railway station, Hassop Station has been transformed into an elegant café overlooking the Monsal Trail. The cafe menu offers a wonderful selection of delicious food and snacks that have been locally sourced from around the county and made fresh on the day. In addition to the cafe, there is also a brimming bookshop and gift shop, where we encourage you to pick up some souvenirs before you leave to remind you of your trip.
Afternoon and early evening: Losehill House Hotel & Spa
After lunch and for the rest of the afternoon, you should now be feeling fully refreshed and rejuvenated. If not, we’ve got just the remedy. Take a leisurely drive to Losehill House Hotel and Spa nestled between Lose Hill and Win Hill. Dubbed ‘the best kept secret in the Peak District’, this wonderful hotel is hidden in the heart of the district against a backdrop of rolling hills.
Losehill House is the only four-star hotel in the area and the ultimate treat to recharge and invigorate your mind, body and soul. The spa includes a luxurious indoor heated pool, sauna and outdoor hot tub offering panoramic views of the hills, in addition to a list of lavish spa treatments.
Wrap up in that sumptuous robe, put on your fluffy slippers and fully relax during your stay.
Evening: The Orangery Restaurant
Rest and relaxation can be hungry work, so after taking all that time to unwind in the spa, enjoy a beautifully presented, and equally delicious meal in The Orangery. The restaurant’s award-winning menu is fresh and seasonal, sourcing local ingredients wherever possible, offering an authentic taste of England and its fantastic produce. The Orangery has also been named one of the 20 best wild places to eat in Britain by The Times.
Meals here are bold, colourful and full of flavour. After an unforgettable three-course meal (or seven-course meal if you’re especially hungry) savour a quick night-cap at the bar and retreat to the comfort of your stylish and cosy bedroom for a good night’s rest.
Morning and early afternoon: Haddon Hall and Bakewell
Leaving the Hope Valley bright and early, head to the quintessential English market town of Bakewell. Set along the banks of the River Wye, quaint stone buildings and picturesque courtyards decorate the landscape, creating the most idyllic scenery.
Heading just two miles south of Bakewell, you will find the enchanting Haddon Hall, a medieval manor house nestled in terraced gardens overlooking the River Wye. It’s hard to believe that this elegant estate was once abandoned and had stood neglected for some two hundred years before being rescued and restored by the 9th Duke and Duchess of Rutland in the 1920s. It should come as no surprise that this estate has been the location of many well known films such as ‘The Other Boleyn Girl’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and ‘Pride & Prejudice.’
Thanks to continuous restoration and care, Haddon Hall is now the elegant stately home that we see today and is begging to be explored and admired by all. You’ll be enveloped by the immersive history, captivated by the Tudor architecture and will marvel the authentic 17th century kitchen. Take time to wander the immaculate courtyard and gorgeous gardens and imagine a romantic time gone by that’s lovingly kept alive by the generous custodians.
After a busy morning, head to The Square in the village, and find The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop for the town’s namesake and world-famous treat. After all, you can’t visit Bakewell without trying a Bakewell Pudding! There is also a gift shop with a selection of lovely treats and souvenirs, and you can even buy an Original Bakewell Pudding to take home with you… if you can wait that long.
The Devonshire Arms on the Chatsworth Estate
For a charming country stay, head to The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley, a traditional English 18th century inn located on the famous Chatsworth Estate. The Chatsworth House is a short drive away, or a picturesque walk if you would rather take in the scenery firsthand.
This traditional country pub serves food from the nearby farm shop alongside local ales, meaning dinner will definitely be a charmingly special experience.
You have a choice of thirteen rooms in which to stay, each with their own style, but with luxury and comfort being the priority. If you would like that extra bit of opulence, why not stay in one of the four poster farmhouse rooms? Designed by the Duchess of Devonshire herself, these rooms are delightfully traditional and fitted to the highest standard.
Morning: Thornbridge Hall & Gardens
Next stop is the impressive Thornbridge Hall & Gardens. The house itself is a Grade II listed Jacobean country house, with 12 acres of quintessentially English gardens. The garden is divided into specific areas, the Water garden, Koi Lake and the Italian garden, in amongst three temples, various statues and two grottos.
Most significant of these gardens is the immaculate terraced lawns. Standing from the house and looking out across the perfectly preened gardens to the countryside beyond is a truly special experience.
In addition to these beautiful gardens, there is a brewery located within the grounds of Thornbridge Hall; you can’t miss the earthy smell of fermented hops! The first craft beers were produced in 2005 right here in the grounds of Thornbridge Hall, and you can also take a guided tour of the brewery to see exactly how these fine ales are brewed.
Lunch: Fischer's Baslow Hall
Once upon a time, Fischer’s at Baslow Hall used to be a charming little manor house on the outskirts of Baslow, in the heart of the Peak District. Today, it’s still just as charming as ever and is a stunning boutique hotel that makes for the perfect lunch stop. The award-winning chef creates spectacular dishes using the finest local ingredients.
Food here in this Michelin star restaurant has a flare of classic French with all the heartiness of fresh Derbyshire produce. It’s worth noting that many of the vegetables are tended from the kitchen garden. The vibe is relaxed and friendly, so take your time, unwind and savour the wonderful atmosphere and a hearty meal and a glass of crisp wine.
Any good dinner deserves a long, refreshing stroll afterwards. Fortunately, Fischer’s Baslow Hall is a stone’s throw from many iconic walks, which are an absolute must for any visitor and the perfect way to round off your trip.
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