Written by larapiegeler
The Peak District is one of England’s remaining wild places. It’s protected, well-loved and infused with tradition, legend, history and the words of, among others, Charlotte Bronte, Sir Walter Scott, William Wordsworth and of course, Jane Austen.
Peaceful Rowsley was the perfect base for us, not least due to its boutique Peacock Hotel. Perched on the village crossroads, it mixes quirky colours with retro pieces (such as our fantastic antique bed), has excellent facilities and a clever but hearty menu.
On arrival, we took the biggest breath of fresh air possible, at the Heights of Abraham. Reached by a cable car, they’re a glorious natural viewing platform (and there are caves to explore if you have time).
We made the ten-minute drive to Chatsworth House on day two, which was enough to occupy us until early evening, with its era-spanning art collection, high-ceilinged, antique-stuffed rooms, ornamental gardens and a maze you could lose children in. Try not to visit in the height of Summer; paddling kids and exposed beer bellies ruin the lines of the huge Cascade waterfall, and the sculpture-dotted clearings and secluded, pond-side seats are undoubtedly much lovelier when discovered unoccupied.
We found medieval Haddon Hall to be smaller, but light-filled, quieter and equally beautiful (and, yes, it was a ‘Pride and Prejudice film set too). The resident Manners family oversee the surrounding Haddon Estate, through which the naturally well-stocked Wye and Derwent rivers run, and an afternoon’s fishing is within very easy reach since the latter flows through the Peackock’s back garden. Reception sells day permits. Or, if you’re a keen climber, cart your equipment to Matlock, home of some of the best crags in the UK.
We had to try a Bakewell Pudding - the namesake of the market town – on our last day. The market only operates on Mondays but the puddings are fresh every day (and nothing like those white-iced travesties from the supermarket). We picked up enough locally-sourced treats during our browse around the delis for a monster picnic lunch, which we ate amongst the heather on Stanton Moor, the site of many Bronze Age landmarks including the Nine Ladies. The views are stunning, and the silence is blissful.
Departed from London By Car Duration 4 days Car Hire £218
Nights The Peacock £232.50
Entrance to Chatsworth£15
Entrance to Haddon Hall £8.50
Admission to the Heights of Abraham, inc cab fare £10.50
Haddon Estate fishing per rod per day £65
Picnic lunches £15
Extra Peacock restaurant dinner £50
Two Peacock bar dinners £55
Lunches on the move £20
Lunch at Chatsworth’s Cavendish Rooms £23
An Old Original Bakewell Pudding Company pudding £5
(All costs are given per person, based on two sharing.)
There are no posts. Why not be the first to have your say?