The best places to stay in the Heart of England

Rural, Destinations

Posted by Kate Atkin on 11th April 2024

The pretty village of Whitchurch in Shropshire reflected in the river

From the rural beauty of the Shropshire Hills and the Peak District National Park to the buzzing centres of Derby and Hereford, the Heart of England offers a perfect blend of history, culture and the great outdoors.

Our guide to the best places to stay in the Heart of England encompasses the five destinations of Derbyshire, the Peak District, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Warwickshire. So, whether you’re looking for a peaceful countryside escape or a fun-filled staycation in a lively city, read on to find the perfect setting for your next break.

Or if you’d like to jump straight into our collection of holiday cottages in the Heart of England, then click the button below.

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A montage of Snakes Pass in the Peak District, Castleton village, and Darley Abbey Mills in Derby

Derbyshire: best place for history and culture

Slap bang in the middle of the UK, our Derbyshire holiday cottages are surrounded by breathtaking scenery and abundant history. This beautiful county in the East Midlands is home to a variety of picture-postcard landscapes, including the enchanting woodlands of The National Forest and the dramatic peaks and tors of the Peak District National Park. Both offer vast playgrounds for a host of outdoor activities.

Or, if you’d prefer the bright lights of the city, then make the most of the attractions, shopping, restaurants and entertainment venues of Derby. Sitting on the banks of the River Derwent, this dynamic city boasts a wide selection of things to see and do, such as Derby Cathedral, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, and Pride Park Stadium.


  • Conkers – a family-friendly attraction in the heart of The National Forest
  • Derby Cathedral – scale 189 steps to the top of this magnificent Gothic building
  • Derwent Valley Mills – discover the county’s important role in the Industrial Revolution at this UNESCO World Heritage Site

The best places to stay in Derbyshire

A montage of a hiker in the Peak District, the cable cars at the Heights of Abraham, and a dog crossing the Dovedale Stepping Stones

Peak District: best place for outdoor enthusiasts

Nestled within the boundaries of Derbyshire is the iconic Peak District National Park. Rolling across the Pennines' southernmost hills, this verdant paradise is a mecca for those who enjoy fresh air and spectacular scenery. From our holiday cottages in the Peak District, don your hiking boots and set out on scenic walks across dales, moors and valleys. Scale sheer rock faces and icy mountain peaks, or delve below the surface into a labyrinth of underground caverns.

Alternatively, follow winding trails around sparkling lakes and reservoirs, and seek out some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. There is so much here to discover, you’ll soon see why it’s one of the best places to stay in the Heart of England. That’s without mentioning the myriad of ancient stone villages awaiting exploration, such as Castleton, Eyam, and Bakewell where the famous Bakewell Pudding originates.


  • Chatsworth House – a historic stately home which played a starring role in Pride and Prejudice
  • The Heights of Abraham – a country park and show caverns reached via a cable car over a deep limestone gorge
  • Monsal Trail – a traffic-free walking route through some of the national park’s most captivating landscapes

The best places to stay in the Peak District

A montage of an apple orchard, a couple canoeing down the River Wye, and the Malvern Hills

Herefordshire: best place for foodies

When it comes to beautiful places to stay in the Heart of England, Herefordshire is a haven. This gloriously green county sits on the border between England and Wales and is home to not one, but two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty: the Wye Valley and the Malvern Hills.

At our holiday cottages in Herefordshire, you can enjoy a slower pace of life. Canoe along the River Wye, enjoy an idyllic countryside stroll through the Golden Valley, and discover a host of black-and-white market towns laden with cosy pubs and enticing restaurants. From the famous Herefordshire cider to delicious artisanal cheeses and farm-to-table produce, this West Midlands gem is a foodie’s paradise.


The best places to stay in Herefordshire

A montage of walkers in the Shropshire Hills, a steam train on the Severn Valley Railway, and Ironbridge Gorge

Shropshire: best place for a peaceful countryside break

Shropshire is one of the UK’s most rural counties, perfect for those looking for places to stay in the Heart of England where you can relax, unwind and bask in the tranquillity of the countryside. Straddling the English/Welsh border, it is blessed with some of the most mesmerising views in the country, particularly in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Walkers staying in our holiday cottages in Shropshire will be spoiled for choice with the endless array of hiking trails on offer.

Foodies should head to Ludlow, Shropshire’s gastronomic capital and home of the famous Ludlow Food Festival. Or if you’d like to discover the county’s rich history, then step back in time at one of its many castles, stately homes and museums.


The best places to stay in Shropshire

A montage of the Coventry Canal, Shakespeare's Birthplace, and Warwick Castle

Warwickshire: best place for literature lovers

Stay in one of our holiday cottages in Warwickshire to revel in the heart of Shakespeare’s England. The famous wordsmith and author of Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, and Hamlet was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. Visit Shakespeare’s Birthplace during your visit or witness one of the Bard’s renowned plays live at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Warwick Castle, which was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, is another of Warwickshire's major attractions and flaunts lots of exciting events throughout the year.

As well as enjoying a fascinating past, Warwickshire has a range of things to do for outdoor lovers too. Explore its country parks, take a peaceful boat trip along the Coventry Canal, or meander through the gardens at Stoneleigh Abbey.


The best places to stay in Warwickshire

Discover your perfect holiday in the Heart of England

With so many beautiful places to stay in the Heart of England, now is the perfect time to book a relaxing getaway. From romantic cottages for couples to fun-filled houses for the whole family, our self-catering accommodation in the Heart of England is sure to create a wonderful setting for a memorable break.

Our Heart of England cottages

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.