A holiday or short break will allow you to explore some of England’s most spectacular scenery; fascinating historical and cultural heritage; and in the towns, villages and hamlets – amongst the prettiest in the country – you will find a warm and genuine welcome wherever you go. The rolling hills, vast moorland and gritstone crags of the Peak District make for a dramatic and varied landscape. Not surprisingly it is a Mecca for walkers, climbers and cyclists looking for peace, tranquility and adventure.
The diverse and engaging region of the Peak District and Derbyshire has benefited from years of careful conservation and management, and is packed with things to see and places to visit.
The variety of landscape is vast; from deep-cut limestone dales, such as Dovedale, Beresford Dale and Lathkill Dale, with fast flowing rivers and gorges, to the bleak and beautiful peat-covered moorlands. Miles of ancient dry stone walls create a spiders-web of footpaths, bridleways and historic tracks providing some fantastic short circular routes for all the family or plenty of rugged terrain for those of you who need something more challenging. There is plenty of scope for the adventurous mountain biker!
The region is steeped in history – from a World Heritage Site and bustling market towns to picturesque villages and palatial country mansions. Discover how the other half lived in stunning stately homes such as Chatsworth and Hardwick Hall or the medieval Haddon Hall, both surrounded by enchanting gardens.
Wander through the genteel streets of Matlock and Buxton, known as ‘the Bath of the North’, and renowned as the site of pure, volcanic mineral water since Roman times. Take a tour of the Royal Crown Derby Visitor Centre to learn more about the oldest surviving manufacturer of fine English porcelain or discover more about the world of science at Snibston Discovery Park with more than 90 experiments to try!
Delve into the region’s rich industrial heritage at the Peak District Mining Museum or at The Silk Mill – Derby’s Museum of Industry and History, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. Take a trip down memory lane at Crich Tramway Village or visit Heage Windmill, the only working stone towered multi sailed windmill in the country. Or why not take a more gentle ride on the Peak Railway at Darley Dale.
Thrill seekers can experience the exhilarating white knuckle rides of Alton Towers, Britain’s biggest theme park. For younger children, Gulliver’s Kingdom has plenty of attractions to keep the whole family amused and to top off your break, witness the spectacular views of the Derbyshire hills aboard a cable car at the Heights of Abraham.
Just 1.5 miles south of the town of Matlock, on the busy A6, Matlock Bath is set in the beautiful gorge of the river Derwent, with attractive riverside gardens, wooded hillsides and rocky limestone crags. A popular tourist destination since the late 17th Century when the spa waters were discovered, its’ heyday was in Victorian, times when it became known as “Little Switzerland” by the poet, Lord Byron.
A popular destination for families, bikers and fun seekers, there are plenty of things to do and see. The Matlock Bath Illuminations are a popular feature from September to the end of October, when the riverside is decorated and the cliffs floodlit to create a magical scene of colour. At weekends there are parades of decorated boats, entertainments and, on certain dates, firework displays.
Things to do; An exciting cable car ride takes you up to The Heights of Abraham, where the wooded country park is crowned with the Victoria Prospect Tower. The Great Rutland and Masson Caverns are former lead mines that have been adapted as show caves. The Grand Pavilion houses a Tourist Point and the Peak District Mining Museum. For youngsters, the theme park of Gulliver’s offers hours of fun and enjoyment. There is also an aquarium and a photographic museum in the village. The Riverside Gardens and Lovers Walks offer gentle strolls away from the crowds, and nearby High Tor affords spectacular views from its lofty summit. The Derwent Valley Heritage Trail runs through the village.
Half a mile south of the village is the shopping complex and working textile museum at Masson Mills. There are lots of places to eat and drink and the village has a variety of gift shops