Places to Visit
The Peak District National Park
The beautiful countryside of the Peak District National Park is best enjoyed on foot and if you enjoy walking there is a wide variety of walks from challenging moorland to less strenuous (ie flat!) dales. You don’t need to get in your car if you don’t want to – there is a footpath just outside the front door. We are minutes from the magnificent Manifold and Dove valleys with their stunning gorges and rolling hillsides. Both have flat tracks and trails along the rivers making them accessible for those who require a leisurely stroll. The Tissington, High Peak and Monsal trails which are former railway lines now converted into leisure routes for walkers and cyclist are a short drive away. If you require something a little more challenging Hill House is also only 6 miles from The Roaches, the famous millstone grit outcrop which is popular with walkers and climbers. We will advise you about our favourite walks in the area, most of which end at a pub! We particularly recommend a circular walk starting and ending in Hartington and taking in Beresford Dale and the walk from Wetton to the spectacular Thor’s Cave.
No visit to the Peak District is complete without a visit to Chatsworth House, historic home of the Dukes of Devonshire, which is close to Bakewell and around 40 minutes from Hill House. The house, gardens and grounds of Chatsworth are well worth a full day’s trip.
Younger members of your party ( and maybe some older ones too!) will be keen to visit Alton Towers, the UK’s premier theme park, which is only 20 minutes away. We dare you to try Oblivion! Alton Towers
Churnet Valley Railway
If you would prefer a rather gentler ride we would recommend the Churnet Valley Railway, a historic steam railway that is run by enthusiasts. Trips take you through beautiful countryside known as Staffordshire’s “Little Switzerland”.
During spring and summer many Peak District villages proudly display their Well Dressing. The true origins of Well Dressing are lost in the mists of time. According to many sources, it developed from a pagan custom of making sacrifice to the gods of wells and springs to ensure a continued supply of fresh water. Like many folk traditions, it was later adopted by the Christian Church as a way of giving thanks to God for His gift to us of water. Well Dressing involves pressing flower petals, cones, seeds and fruits onto a clay base of a picture, often of a biblical or local scene. We can advise you on a wide variety of other activities in the area such as Go-Karting, horse riding or even falconry.
Our nearest town is Leek. If you don’t know Leek you are in for a pleasant surprise. It is a lovely, unpretentious market town full of independent shops, including a large number of antique shops. Wednesday is market day and there is also an antiques market every Saturday and the indoor Butter Market which is held every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday . One Sunday each month sees the “Locally Leek” street market promoting local food and drink. Don’t leave without trying the famous Staffordshire Oat Cakes. Leek also has an astonishing choice of supermarkets for a small town. It has large Sainsbury and Morrison superstores as well as more modest Waitrose, Asda and Aldi.
Rather grander, but no less friendly, is Buxton. Buxton is the highest market town in England. As a historic spa town it has a number of architecturally impressive Victorian buildings, including its Opera House which hosts a wide variety of shows and musicals (though rarely Opera!). The Palace Gardens occupy the centre of the town and give the whole town a really green feel. The drive from Hill House to Buxton is only around 20 minutes takes in some spectacular moorland views.
Slightly further afield (but only 30 minutes away) is Bakewell, the “Queen of the Peak District”. It is a bustling market town and can get a little crowded, especially at weekends. Mondays is market day. You must try a Bakewell pudding – not a Bakewell tart! There are several claimants to the title of the “Original Bakewell Pudding Shop”. Which one is best is a matter of taste, so try them all and make your own mind up.