10 of the best places to stay in Derbyshire

Rural, Destinations

Posted by Kate Atkin on 13th May 2022

Castleton in Derbyshire

In the Heart of England lies Derbyshire, a vast county offering the finest blend of outdoor adventures, thrilling attractions and culture – not to mention delicious local delicacies like Bakewell Pudding!

This glorious pocket of the East Midlands is also home to the Peak District National Park where ancient stone villages and spectacular stately homes are folded into the creases of wild, heather-strewn moorland, sweeping dales and craggy hills.

Whether you’re looking to take your first steps on the Pennine Way, journey through a labyrinth of underground caverns or follow the trail of Hollywood film locations, there are so many things to do here. So, we have found some of the best places to stay in Derbyshire that are certain to make your next staycation the most memorable yet.

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For more inspiration, have a read of our guide to the 10 best places to stay in the Peak District too.


Buxton in Derbyshire

Buxton: best place to stay for some relaxation

Surrounded by the dramatic Derbyshire Dales, elegant Buxton has been welcoming visitors to enjoy the healing properties of its natural thermal springs, and its superb setting 300 metres above sea level (the highest of any market town in England), since Roman times.

The town’s famous water, which rises from the earth at a constant temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, provides the focal point for luxurious spa treatments in the Grade I-listed, The Crescent. So, if you’re in need of a little R&R, you can see why Buxton is one of the best places to stay in Derbyshire. That’s without mentioning the town’s grand Victorian and Georgian architecture, stunning ornamental gardens and an excellent selection of shops, restaurants and tearooms.

Highlights

  • Devonshire Spa – experience a range of treatments within the striking Devonshire Dome
  • Buxton Opera House – hosts festivals, theatre, music and comedy shows
  • Pavilion Gardens – 23 acres of landscaped gardens, lakes and a miniature railway

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Matlock in Derbyshire

Matlock: best place to stay for families

Settled in the picturesque, wooded gorge of the River Derwent, Matlock is a former spa town and one of the best places to visit in Derbyshire with kids due to the variety of attractions on offer. The town is split into Matlock and Matlock Bath, separated by the river. Beautiful Matlock is the quieter of the two, with its neighbour Matlock Bath reminiscent of a bustling seaside resort town, offering a riverside promenade lined with gift shops, amusement arcades and cafes.

For a fun way to see the sights, hop aboard one of Peak Rail’s heritage steam trains from Matlock Station and chug through the surrounding countryside. Alternatively, hike up to the Pic Tor War Memorial for a bird’s eye view, or rent a rowing boat to admire the scenery from the water.

Highlights

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Bakewell in Derbyshire

Bakewell: best place to stay for foodies

Idyllically situated on the banks of the River Wye and peppered with mellow stone buildings, quaint courtyards and a medieval five-arched bridge, Bakewell is one of the most picturesque market towns in Derbyshire – a magnet for painters, photographers and sightseers alike.

It is also a haven for foodies with myriad welcoming cafes, pubs and restaurants; an excellent farmers’ market which sells a variety of cheese, meat and fresh vegetables from some of the Peak District’s best producers; and its famous dessert, the Bakewell Pudding. A handful of bakeries sell this legendary pudding which was created by mistake by a local cook in the mid-19th century, and you simply cannot visit Bakewell without trying one!

Highlights

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Derby in Derbyshire

Derby: best place to stay for a city break

Packed with shops, eateries, attractions and history, Derby is one of the best places to stay in Derbyshire if you’re looking for an exciting cultural break. This cosmopolitan city is famous as one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution and hosts many museums reflecting the area’s heritage, including the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill.

If you're after a spot of retail therapy, the chic Cathedral Quarter offers independent boutiques, relaxed bistros and bars, and green spaces, while Westfield Derby boasts an array of shops and food outlets, and a 12-screen cinema complex.

Highlights

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Ashbourne in Derbyshire

Ashbourne: best place to stay for history buffs

Known as the gateway to the Peak District, Ashbourne is a fantastic base from which to explore the great outdoors and has a thriving centre brimming with ancient architecture and independent shops. If you’re looking for towns in Derbyshire with some interesting history, there are more than 200 listed buildings here, found among the town’s winding streets, hidden alleyways and cobbled yards.

Stroll along the main street and discover atmospheric almshouses, a 16th-century school, and St. Oswald's Church with its lofty spire. The busy marketplace is the central hub of the town, with numerous places to eat and drink. And you’ll find all manner of unique shops, showcasing everything from exclusive fashion to fine antiques.

Highlights

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Wirksworth in Derbyshire

Wirksworth: best place to stay for arts and crafts

Nestled in the verdant Ecclesbourne Valley, Wirksworth is one of the oldest Derbyshire towns, with abundant character and timeless charm. Originally a mining town and now famous for its limestone industry, you can wander its narrow lanes and discover olde-worlde buildings and little craftsmen’s workshops tucked away in cobbled passageways.

Every September, the town plays host to the Wirksworth Festival which celebrates its rich history, local artists and picture-postcard setting. More than 150 artists throw open their doors for visitors to browse and buy original and affordable art as part of the Art & Architecture Trail – and it’s a great opportunity to take a look inside some of the most historic and quirky homes in the region.

Highlights

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Baslow in Derbyshire

Baslow: best place to stay for a romantic getaway

Lying in the shadow of a spectacular gritstone escarpment of the same name, the attractive village of Baslow enjoys some of the Dark Peak's most dramatic scenery. It is tucked away on the northern fringe of Chatsworth Park, and is home to a delightful selection of eateries, a smattering of boutiques, and gorgeous thatched cottages set beside the babbling River Derwent.

Besides the draws of the village itself, Baslow is perfectly positioned to discover some of the highlights of the Peak District National Park. Tick off the impressive gritstone edges of Baslow, Curbar and Froggatt, or take a more sedate stroll along the Derwent Valley Heritage Trail straight through the village. And no visit is complete without admiring the opulent rooms and romantic grounds of Chatsworth House.

Highlights

  • Fischer’s Baslow Hall – indulge in a special meal at this award-winning fine dining restaurant
  • Baslow Edge – climb to the top of this steep edifice for breathtaking views
  • Goose Green – lay out a picnic blanket on the village green, bright with daffodils each spring

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Hathersage in Derbyshire

Hathersage: best place to stay for literary lovers

If you’re looking for Derbyshire towns and villages that have been a source of inspiration for literary greats, then Hathersage is a great place to start. This endearing moorland village sits near the base of Stanage Edge in the Peak District and has connections to several legendary heroes and literary heroines.

In the village churchyard, visitors can see the reputed grave of Little John, one of Robin Hood’s Merry Men, and supposedly once a resident of Hathersage. And some of the locations in Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Jane Eyre, bear a close resemblance to places in the village, including North Lees Hall which is thought to have been the model for Thornfield Hall.

Highlights

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Castleton in Derbyshire

Castleton: best place to stay for magnificent caves

Found at the head of the Vale of Hope, Castleton is a rural village in Derbyshire, boasting pretty limestone cottages and enveloped by rolling, emerald landscapes. While this chocolate-box village offers a lovely selection of independent shops, galleries, tearooms and restaurants, most people flock here to explore its four underground show caverns, which are some of the best in the country.

Peak Cavern is the resurgence of a huge river system, and its enormous entrance is the biggest in Britain. Blue John Cavern and Treak Cliff Cavern are decorated with incredible stalagmite and stalactite formations and contain the treasured blue and yellow stone, Blue John. And at the foot of Winnats Pass is Speedwell Cavern, where you can enjoy an exciting boat ride along an underground canal and peer down a 'bottomless pit'!

Highlights

  • Peveril Castle – built by William Peveril in 1086, son of William the Conqueror
  • Mam Tor – a 517-metre-high hill overlooking Castleton, owned by the National Trust
  • Cave Dale – a popular walk with awe-inspiring views, also known as the secret valley

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Edale in Derbyshire

Edale: best place to stay for walking

Don your hiking boots and head to Edale, a small, sleepy village at the southern end of the Pennine Way – the classic, long-distance route to Scotland. To the north is the edge of Kinder Scout, the highest point in the Peak District National Park and to the south is the Lose Hill Ridge, with wonderful walks along the top and far-reaching views.

From Edale, you can step out in pretty much any direction and explore wildly beautiful uplands, with mighty gritstone summits, moorland streams and waterfalls. You’ll find some of the best walks in the Peak District here. There are also a few welcoming places to quench your thirst or refuel after a long day in the hills, from a traditional tearoom to a couple of cosy pubs with crackling fires.

Highlights

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Stay in a self-catering holiday cottage in Derbyshire

Treat yourself to a memorable break in one of our holiday cottages in Derbyshire. From countryside cottages in the heart of the Peak District to chic city apartments in Derby, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay within our collection of self-catering accommodation.

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Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.