Top 5 Places To Stay In The Peak District + Itineraries

Monsal Dale, Derbyshire


If you’re looking to escape the noise and fancy hitting the reset button, a short break in the Peak District might be just what the doctor ordered.

Where views go on for days. Where the local pubs are as warm and welcoming as their open fires. Where villages transport you into Pride and Prejudice. Where farm-to-plate comes as standard. Where you can just… breathe.

Booking a Peak District short break sounds like a no-brainer, right?

And, as one of the UK’s largest National Parks, and certainly the most accessible, a weekend in the Peak District is an easy choice. Whether you like visiting stately homes, country pubs, and tea rooms or want to take part in a spot of hiking, cycling, or caving – the Peaks have it all. And no matter where you choose to base yourself in the Peak District, you will absolutely come to appreciate why the likes of Bronte, Austen and Conan Doyle set their famous stories to a Peak District backdrop.

But figuring out the best places to stay in the Peak District can be a conundrum if you’ve never visited before. The National Park covers 5 English counties and each corner has a totally different personality. Some places seem untouched by time whilst others were clearly linchpins in the Industrial Revolution. On top of all of that, do you fancy the leafy rolling hills of the Derbyshire Dales or the impressive gritstone edges of the White Peaks? How on earth do you decide??

If you’re in the planning stages of a Peak District weekend itinerary, let us help you figure out where to stay in the Peak District…

Places to stay in the Peak District

Places To Stay In The Peak District…

There are so many great hotels in the Peak District National Park, and I’m pleased to say very good value ones too. As we are only an hour away from the Peaks (we live in Nottingham) this area is well frequented by ourselves and friends and family. It’s an easy weekend away for us and we have been collecting information for a few years now. We felt it was about time we passed on this knowledge to you and wrote about our Top 5 favourite places to stay in the Peak District, a hotel recommendation and a quick short break itinerary to go with them.

Here we go…

Our Top 5 Choices Of Places To Stay In The Peak District

1. Fischers Baslow Hall at Baslow

Restauranteurs, the Fischers, invested in Baslow Hall in 1989 and have since turned the place into an award-winning restaurant and boutique hotel. The food is exquisite and sublime and the rooms are a country manor dream. There was absolutely no doubt our number one spot was going to Fischers Baslow Hall. The only downside is there are only 11 rooms so make sure you book well in advance!

For the best deals at Fischers Baslow Hall click here.

What To Do On Your Peak District Weekend Break…

Fischers Baslow Hall is one of the best places to stay in the Peak District for access to Chatsworth House – the UK’s most dazzling stately home. It’s either 8 minutes away by car or you can walk to it in under an hour, but whatever mode you choose, make sure you put Chatsworth on your weekend itinerary. And whilst you’re on the Chatsworth Estate check out my favourite village in all of Derbyshire… Edensor. It has a cute little tea room and a fascinating old church with a few surprise famous burials. You could easily spend a whole day at Chatsworth, including the hall and gardens. But if you have already visited Chatsworth before then nearby Haddon Hall is a special little Derbyshire gem too. 900 years of history and a wonderfully preserved medieval heritage, Haddon is definitely worth a visit.

Chatsworth House, Peak District

Fischers Baslow Hall Hotel is also ideally located between the White Peaks and Darks Peaks and is the perfect base for a day of hiking. Nearby Baslow Edge and Curbar Edge pull in some of the most impressive views in Derbyshire and one aspect of this area we’ve always loved is the wildlife. Birds of prey, highland cattle and deer freely roam the parkland. For more impressive vistas, Froggatt Edge is a more challenging climb but the views are further-reaching.

Find a little time in your schedule for a visit to Bakewell, a 10 minute drive from the hotel. You’ve heard of the famous Bakewell tart? Well, Mr Kipling doesn’t have a chance around these parts! But the joys don’t stop after a mouthful of sugary-almond heaven – Bakewell has plenty going on and is worth a little wander.

Complete your weekend away with a stroll through the town of Baslow itself and circle back along the River Derwent. Finish up at The Prince of Wales pub on Church Lane for a pint by the fire and a plate of fish and chips.

READ MORE : Things To Do In Bakewell

2. The George At Hathersage

First owned by the 6th Duke of Devonshire and frequented by Bronte herself, The George is a 500 year old coaching inn with 24 bedrooms. Oh if only walls could talk! (The George is even referenced in the book Jane Eyre)

Old beams, stone walls and cosy fireplaces set a welcoming scene for a weekend in Derbyshire. Whereas the bedrooms are contemporary and the food takes a modern twist on old classics – always using local produce and the cream of the crop. The George have perfected hospitality.

For the best deals at The George click here.

What To Do On Your Short Break In Derbyshire…

One of our favourite walks in Derbyshire is through the other-worldly woodland of Padley Gorge. No matter the time of year (and even in miserable drizzle) this ancient forest is good for the soul. And whilst we often visit the area with intentions of carrying on to the nearby Longshaw Estate, sometimes Padley Gorge draws us in and it’s so hard to leave. The thought of some great pub grub at The Maynard nearby is thankfully enough motivation to say farewell to this Derbyshire jewel. Before you leave though, take a trek up to Surprise View (only a 10 minute walk from Padley Gorge) for one of the best views in the Peak District.

Hathersage itself is a cute little Derbyshire town, perfect as a base for a short break in the Peak District. There are a number of first-class restaurants like Maazi’s and Bank House if you didn’t want to eat at The George every night. And, there are ample delis and bakeries if you wanted to pick up a picnic for your stroll through Padley.

There are also a few local curiosities to check out too, like the grave of Little John, Robin Hood’s sidekick, up at St Michael’s churchyard. And a cutlery museum, if that’s your bag!

Ladybower Reservoir in the Peak District UK

Staying in Hathersage also puts you in a great location for visiting nearby Ladybower Reservoir and is well worthy of a full days itinerary. Whilst the southern half of the Peak District is awash with rolling hills and quaint villages, Ladybower and Derwent Reservoirs are somewhat more reminiscent of views you would expect to find in the Lake District. It’s breathtaking on a magnificent level and it’s a sight that will recharge your batteries for weeks to come. We particularly love to incorporate Howden Clough in our hike but if you’ve had enough walking for one weekend then maybe the short hike up to the Bamford Edge vantage point will be enough to fill your soul. These are definitely Peak District highlights you don’t want to miss!

3. Buxton

We have 2 recommendations for where to stay in Buxton; The 5-star Ensana Hotel at Buxton Crescent and Hawthorn Farm Bed and Breakfast.

In our opinion, Ensana Hotel is one of the best Peak District luxury hotels and is a real treat. Expect chandeliers, painted ceilings, stained glass and a beautiful spa at the Ensana for the ultimate pamper experience in the Peaks. If it was good enough for Mary Queen of Scots, it’s good enough for us!

For the best deals at the Ensana Hotel, Buxton Crescent, click here.

A slightly more humble abode, but no less inviting is the nearby guesthouse run by Paul and Sarah, Hawthorn Farm. This beautiful B & B in Buxton is a more budget-friendly option for a 2 night stay in the Peak District and is only a 10 minute walk from the centre. Everything is to the highest standards, the rooms are beautifully decorated and the breakfast top-notch, we would highly recommend.

Your Peak District Weekend Away In Buxton…

Start your weekend in Buxton with a trip to The Buxton Crescent Experience to find out more about this impressively beautiful Derbyshire town. You’ll learn more about the healing spa waters which shaped Buxton’s history through bygone years and put some perspective to the places you’ll visit. Buxton once rivaled Bath as a spa destination and the wealth of holidaymakers has left its mark in glorious ways as you will soon discover.

And once you have some sort of appreciation for why Buxton is one of the best towns to stay in the Peak District, feel free to fill your weekend with art galleries, high tea, a trip to the opera, Pavillion Garden walks and even a little tom-foolery on the boating lake.

Buxton is also great for a night out too. We love the Italian bistro Luciano’s and after dinner, you are spoiled for choice of places to drink – all with a local welcoming spirit where striking up a conversation is as easy as it gets!

If you want to fill the second half of your short break in Derbyshire with some hikes then there are several great local options. The Three Shires Head is a particularly picturesque spot of stone bridges and little waterfalls with some wild swimming spots. And the section of the Monsal Trail between Millers Dale and Chee Dale is a firm favourite with us, although it’s not for the weak-kneed. Or Poole’s Cavern, on the outskirts of Buxton, is a really cool limestone cave that used to be inhabited in the Bronze Age and definitely worth a visit.

Buxton is probably one of the best choices for breaks in the Peak District if you’re travelling by train as transport links are excellent from London and Manchester and you could legitimately get around on foot to most of the places we’ve mentioned.

4. The Castle Inn, Castleton

One of our favourite places to visit is Castleton and The Castle Inn is a great choice for a Derbyshire weekend break. It’s an old coaching inn serving great food and the bedrooms are very nice for a very reasonable price, we think. It’s worth booking the bed and breakfast option as the breakfasts are excellent and you’re going to need it for what we have in store for you.

For the best deals at the Castle Inn in Castleton, click here.

A Peak District Weekend Around Castleton…

Mam Tor is possibly one of the most photographed spots in the Peaks and you absolutely have to make time to see it. Whilst it is one of the highest peaks in the national park there are several ways to get to the top and one way is just a short steep climb from a nearby car park. However, we think Mam Tor deserves your full attention and would recommend embracing a hike along the Mam Tor Ridge path. Mam Tor means ‘mother hill’ and you will be introduced to her children as you walk the ridge and catch sight of the smaller hills surrounding you. It’s a dramatic landscape, made long ago by ancient landslides and somehow intangibly spiritual.

Another quite remarkable place you must see locally too is the insta-famous Winnats Pass – it’s a really cool drive but even more impressive if you manage the climb. It’s a 3 mile circular route from the town of Castleton, so not overly challenging, and the views are very rewarding.

Back in Castleton make sure you check out the jewelry shops full of the local Blue John stone which can only be found here in these hills, it’s quite beautiful. And Castleton Fish and Chips on The Stones are some of the best we’ve ever had.

Your second day in Castleton would be well spent at the nearby Blue John Cavern. It’s a real treat to see and possibly the best cave to visit in the UK! The illuminated limestone caves are very impressive but there are also the Blue John mines, marine fossils and even a dining room.

Finish your weekend off with a meal at The George on Castle Street and order the bangers and mash in a dustbin lid followed by their homemade sticky toffee pudding – you’ve earned it with all those hills and caves you’ve climbed! (Or you could start your weekend off at The George too with their Friday night quiz.)

Castleton would be a great place to stay in the Peak District for a bunch of friends and we have earmarked nearby Candle House by Muse Escape. We haven’t stayed there yet but the reviews are great and it looks amazing, especially if you’re looking for a cottage in the Peak District with a hot tub.

Candle House by Muse in Castleton, Derbyshire

5. The Devonshire Arms in Hartington

Last, but certainly not least, on our top 5 list of weekend breaks in the Peak District is the Derbyshire village of Hartington. The Devonshire Arms is a cosy little pub with tasteful rooms and a hospitable atmosphere. In an area of the Peaks where sadly good accommodation is slightly lacking, the Devonshire Arms comes up trumps. I feel like it’s a little hidden gem in one of the most beautiful spots in the Derbyshire Dales.

For the best deals at The Devonshire Arms, click here.

What To Do In And Around Hartington

The River Dove was my first introduction to Derbyshire many moons ago and the reason I fell in love with The Dales. The trail behind the Hartington Farm shop eventually picks up the River Dove at Beresford Dale and we particularly like to do the circular route which brings you back into the village via Biggin Dale and Reynards Lane. One half you’re overshadowed by limestone edges as you skim the river, the next you have far-reaching views of farmland and cattle – this walk is Derbyshire in a nutshell for me.

You cannot visit Hartington without spending at least half your week’s wages in the cheese shop! It’s world-famous and stocks a whole load of epic cheeses from local and less local creameries, but they’re all awesome!

This really is the prettiest area of the Peak District. Whereas further north could easily be described as more impressive or amazing, the Dales in the south are definitely ‘pretty’. The villages of Ilam, Thorpe, Tissington, Wetton and Milldale are worthy of a picnic and a wander, and you don’t have to look hard for a good country pub, many with views.

If the weather permits you could book a hot air balloon flight from nearby Tissington and really take in the local views. Or if you’d rather keep your feet on the ground but are up for a steep climb, Thorpe Cloud can be quite the challenge but the views are the best reward.

An old railway line known as the Tissington Trail covers 13 from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay, perfect for cyclists and horse riders. Bikes can be hired at multiple places along the trail if you can’t bring your own.

And if you visit the Peak District in the warmer months there’s a spot at Youlgrave for some wild swimming. (We wrote about Youlgrave here)

The Peaks are possibly one of the UK’s best kept secrets but they’re crying out to be explored! We hope we have filled you with inspiration and taken the guesswork out of where to stay in the Peak District.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our readers – every time you book a hotel through links on our blog we earn a little commission. This comes at no expense to yourselves but it does help with our running costs and we really appreciate it. Thank you.

Some more posts you might be interested in…

Our Top 5 Walks With Heavenly Views in the Peak District

Youlegreave, Derbyshire – A Quick Travel Guide

20 Awesome Weekend Break Ideas In The UK

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Trying to decide where to stay in the Peak District? The Derbyshire Dales and Peaks have so much to offer it's hard to know what to choose. We have 5 tried and tested hotels and itineraries we think you're going to love! #Derbyshire #PeakDistrict

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