The Peak District National Park’s wild, wonderful landscape of moors and valleys encompasses part of the Pennines and provides access to some of the UK’s best cycle paths, walking trails and climbs that wind their way through the topography. It's home to country estates, druid circles, gritstone escarpments and the Bakewell tart – but it can also be home to you and yours, with our round up of the best Peak District holiday homes to take over as your own, from cute cottages to converted pubs.
The Stocking Mill, Ashford-in-the-Water
A converted 19th century mill, this Grade II-listed cottage sleeps four and is filled with original features such as a (fully-functional) fireplace, low ceilings and a recess in the living room where workers once collected their wages. But interiors are fresh and fun, with a framed print of Pete McKee’s The Snog on the wall, colourful ceramics by the Yorkshire Tile Company, smart hardware by local craftspeople at the Coppermill Workshop and mill memorabilia, such as antique spools harking back to the building’s history.
On arrival, you’ll find postcards from Tweed Hands Co and goodies from Chatsworth Farm Shop (plus extra treats like Lindt bunnies on your pillow at Easter) as well as plenty of information on Ashford-in-the-Water and its surrounding area. You’re perfectly positioned for supper at the Bulls Head, Monsal bike trail and a visit to Chatsworth House.
From £217/night with a two-night minimum
Rocking Stone Cottage, Bakewell
Dating back to 1700, this restored barn is just inside the National Park and within a 15 minute drive of Haddon Hall and Chatsworth House. We love the main bedroom’s huge arched window and views overlooking the lush landscape, which is home to llamas, lambs, Belted Galloway cows, kestrels and Cracker the Shetland pony. In spring, head to Clough Wood, where you’ll find a carpet of bluebells.
In keeping with the property’s enduring style, owner Rachael has dotted the cottage with antiques from Bamford’s Auctioneers in Rowsley and personal pieces from her travels, such as a Chinese altar table that used to live in her Hong Kong apartment and salvaged armchairs reupholstered in heather-toned tartan wool. For proper pub grub and plates of local produce, head to the nearby Druid Inn or the Red Lion.
From £130/night with a three-night minimum
Crewe & Harpur, Longnor
Ever wanted exclusive access to your own village pub? The Crewe & Harpur in Longnor was converted from a 19th Century coaching inn into a home-come-hotel to rent, with cottages in the courtyard and bedrooms in the eaves sleeping up to 34. Peak Inside Interiors honoured the building’s heritage by maintaining the exposed stone walls and beamed ceilings (plus plenty of pub trinkets like black and white pictures, books and trophies), while fine-tuning the bedrooms to cater for big groups, families and friends.
Buxton brewery Whim Ales supplies kegs to the pumps, so you can master the art of pulling your own pint, and there’s no better place to drink it than on the paved patio out back, which overlooks the River Dove. Weather not playing ball? The bar retains all the charm of a working pub – with the added benefit of no last orders.
From £2,041/night with a two night minimum
Call shotgun on the family-sized bedroom with floor-to-ceiling views of the Derbyshire countryside at Hillcroft, a carefully converted Sixties bungalow-turned-multistorey near the market town of Ashbourne. Structured to make the most of the panoramic vistas, glossy surfaces, uncluttered design and folding glass doors open the space up to bring the outside in.
Elsewhere industrial light fittings, curvaceous bathtubs and Jack Vettriano prints add a slick sense of style while an open plan design means, even if you fill it with the 24 it can sleep, you’ll feel like you have all the room in the world. The property also partners with Sauced Here, a local business that sources produce from several nearby suppliers so you can skip the supermarket and enjoy fresh, seasonal food without the hassle.
From £2,174/night with a two-night minimum
The Barn, White Peak
This beautiful barn conversion in the White Peak was designed ‘upside down’ to make the most of late afternoon light in the living areas, which used to be part of the Red Lion pub. Have coffee at the breakfast bar or gin and tonics by the fire – this place is comfortable, cool and unfussy, eschewing the area’s usual leather sofas and pine panelling for soft, unobtrusive textures and a clean, white palette.
The cosy bedrooms sleep up to four but, if you’re booking a mini-moon or romantic staycation, we can’t think of anywhere better for two to hole up away from the world. Book a table in advance for The George, an award-winning dine-out destination with a local menu of Cumbrian wood pigeon, Croft Cottage pork and braised Mayfield lamb.