10 best places to stay in the Peak District

Days out, Family, Nature

Posted by Kate W on 19th May 2022

Take a trip to the wonderful holiday destination of the Peak District and you can uncover breathtaking beauty spots, explore the winding streets of charming towns and villages, and enjoy exciting days out at top attractions.

The origins of the Peak District can be dated right back to the Carboniferous Period when this landscape lay beneath a warm, shallow sea and the magnificent mountains and peaks we know today were beginning to be formed from limestone. A spectacular 350 million years later we have the UK’s very first national park, which welcomes over 13 million holidaymakers a year to walk, dine and relax amid remarkable scenery. 

There are many fantastic places to visit in the Peak District and this region is studded with exquisite towns and villages that have grown up around the beauty spots of this National Park. The trickiest bit of your holiday will be deciding which of these locations to visit first!

To begin narrowing down your holiday destination, take a look through our guide to a few of the best places to visit in the Peak District, or head straight over to our collection of Peak District cottages to find your ideal retreat. 

Peak District cottages


Dovedale – best for all-round exploration

Dovedale in the Peak District is a national nature reserve that draws in thousands of visitors every year to its lush fields, spectacular limestone gorge and dense woodlands. The River Dove flows through the heart of this beauty spot providing the perfect place for riverside picnics and paddling during the summer, and peaceful walks among frost-tipped scenery during the winter.

Stop by quaint Dovedale village which appears to belong in a storybook, spot wildlife hiding throughout the unique landscape and hop across the iconic stepping stones; Dovedale has to be one of the best places in the Peak District for a holiday adventure.

Highlights:

  • The Stepping Stones - hop over the stones, take in the limestone gorge and have a wild swim in this area that's been likened to the French Dordogne
  • Thorpe Cloud - a short walk to the top of a small hill that was used in Russell Crowe's 2010 hit, Robin Hood
  • Ilam Rock - this 25-metre finger of rock is a favourite amongst climbers and there's a cave at its base

Dovedale holiday cottages


Bakewell – best for foodies

Home of the delectable Bakewell tart, this characterful Peak District village is made up of winding cobbled streets and characterful stone houses providing a delightful destination for eating, shopping and relaxing – ensure you enjoy a trip to Chatsworth House and Estate for truly serene and impressive surroundings.

Bring your camera along for a photo on the historic Bakewell Bridge which crosses the River Wye in the heart of the village, or if you’re on a romantic retreat make sure you bring along a lock and key for the Bakewell Love Locks Bridge.

Highlights:

Bakewell holiday cottages


Tissington – best for water sports

While most people head to the mountainous Peak District for adventures on land, from Tissington you can visit the beautiful Carsington Water, a reservoir just 7 miles away where you can go windsurfing, kayaking or paddleboarding.

There are many other things to do in Tissington itself, including hot air balloon flights offered by Wickers World. There are also some charming shops and a tea room to drop by, and the scenic Tissington Trail where you could go cycling.

Highlights:

Tissington holiday cottages


Castleton – best for walkers  

Towards the western end of Hope Valley, you’ll find this walkers hub with many fantastic tracks and trails waiting to be explored. It’s set at the base of magnificent Mam Tor, which may be one of the best places in the Peak District and is certainly an unmissable peak to climb if you’re a keen hiker.

Take in enchanting views across valleys and unique geological features as you uncover each bit of this beautiful region. After busy days out and about, rest up at one of the walkers' pubs in the village or grab a tasty takeaway and head back to the comfort of your Peak District holiday cottage to unwind.

Highlights:

  • Mam Tor Circular Walk - take in some incredible scenery when you climb the stone surfaced footpath to the top of Mam Tor
  • Blue John Cavern - home to multiple varieties of the semi-precious stone, this is one of the finest caverns of its kind in Western Europe
  • Winnats Pass - -a National Trust gem, this luscious limestone valley is a sight for sore eyes

Castleton holiday cottages


Eyam – best for history buffs

Ancient Eyam is known for quarantining itself from the surrounding communities during the outbreak of the bubonic plague in the 17th century in order to prevent further spreading the disease. Many people in the village died, and the museum can give insight into the lives of the villagers during this tragedy.

After learning about Eyam’s past, head out and get to know this wonderful corner of the Peak District. The Monsal Trail passes by and is the ideal way to travel this landscape by foot, by bike or even on horseback.

Highlights:

  • Monsal Trail - a walking and cycle trail that passes under tunnels and through the Peak District's limestone dales
  • Eyam Hall Craft Centre - this beautiful manor house was built in the 17th century and has an adjacent courtyard, restaurant and shop
  • Eyam Museum - learn of Eyam's heroic sacrifice during the bubonic plague, where the mortality rate was double that of London

Eyam holiday cottages


Buxton – best for families

This spa town is full of art galleries, ornamental gardens and parks, and stunning Georgian and Victorian architecture, not to mention fantastic natural spaces perfect for family adventures while on holiday in the Peak District.

Visit the Pump Room, Solomon’s Temple, or go walking around enchanting Errwood Reservoir; there are many different ways to spend your time during a family holiday to Buxton. Pop into one of the eateries in town, shop ‘til you drop, then return to a family-friendly cottage to unwind in this charming country town.

Highlights:

Buxton holiday cottages


Hathersage – best for rural breaks

Enjoy the peace of this countryside getaway just north of the winding River Derwent. Hathersage is a small village providing a tranquil holiday destination for anyone seeking the beauty of rural Peak District.

However, just because it’s a quiet location, doesn’t mean you’ll be short of places to visit. Stanage Edge, Longshaw Estate and Sickleholme Golf Club are all within 5 miles, while if you decide on a city day out, Sheffield is wonderfully close, just 12 miles away.

Highlights:

  • Kinder Low - found on the plateau of Kinder Scout, this popular walk boasts fine views over the Edale and its valley
  • David Mellor Museum and Country Shop - pick up a gift for a loved one, be it handmade pottery, glass or woodware, or some jam and honey
  • North Lees Hall - visit the Grade II-listed hall that provided Charlotte Bronte ample inspiration for Jane Eyre

Hathersage holiday cottages


Edale – best for far-reaching views  

This wonderful village near Castleton offers spellbinding walking routes alongside proximity to some of the Peak District’s most impressive panoramas.

Ringing Roger, Grinslow Knoll and Rushup Edge are all dramatic hikes that can be reached via the Kinder Loop long-distance trail, and the climb to the top of each is more than worth it with spellbinding views that should be taken in over a biscuit and a well-earned flask of tea.  

Highlights:

  • Ringing Roger - another Kinder Scout walk that can also incorporate the tranquil and under-used path of Golden Clough
  • Grindslow Knoll - a short walk with lovely views that can be made longer via a scramble up Grindsbrook Clough
  • Rushup Edge - climb to the summit of Mam Tor to get rewarded with amazing views of the Hope Valley

Edale holiday cottages


Ashford-in-the-Water – best for romance  

Ashford-in-the-Water has made our list for being one of the prettiest villages in the Peak District, offering a delightful setting for your next UK getaway.

Stay here for riverside walks, delightful dining, and outdoor adventures into the impressive local landscape. While Ashford-in-the-Water is a restful destination for couples looking for peace and privacy, the market town of Bakewell is 2 miles away offering quaint places to visit and you can follow an enchanting circular walk which connects these two top destinations.

Highlights:

  • Sheepwash Bridge - named by VisitEngland as the best place to play Poohsticks, why not have a game with your loved one?
  • Ashford Parish Church - a peaceful and pretty spot to reflect on life
  • Aisseford Tea Room - choose from the tearoom, the conservatory or the garden to enjoy homemade cakes, breakfasts and other light bites

Ashford-in-the-Water holiday cottages


Leek – best for antique lovers

Leek is a market town set right on the very outskirts of the Peak District, to the south, but offers a host of wonderful places to visit nearby. Brindley Water Mill, Deep Hayes Country Park, RSPB Coombes Valley & Consall Woods, Westwood Golf Club, and Peak Wildlife Park are all wonderful Peak District attractions for families within a 10-mile radius of this fantastic place to stay.

Best of all, this picture-perfect Peak District town is renowned as a hub for antique collectors. The Leek Antiques Market takes place every weekend and is always worth a look, while independent shops and boutiques selling a range of unique and surprising wares can be found dotted throughout the heart of this fantastic holiday destination.

Highlights:

  • Tittesworth Reservoir and The Roaches - popular with climbers, hikers and free runners, this famous rocky ridge includes Ramshaw Rocks and Hen Cloud
  • Rudyard Lake - this 2.5-mile lake offers walking routes, boating, fishing and steam train rides by the reservoir
  • Peak Wildlife Park - see penguins, wallabies and an African village at this park that puts conservation above all else

Leek holiday cottages


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Stay in the Peak District

From tranquil Peak District walks to spectacular Peak District beauty spots, there’s a seemingly never-ending range of places to visit and things to do during your holiday to this unforgettable National Park.

After lazy days wandering quaint villages or out hiking the great peaks, you’ll need the perfect bolthole where you can completely unwind. Take a look through our collection of holiday cottages to discover the best place to stay in the Peak District to suit you and your family and friends.

Peak District 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.