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Where to stay in the Peak District (2024): Visiting Guide

Where to stay in the Peak District (2024): Visiting Guide

Nestled in the heart of England’s East Midlands, the Peak District is a treasure trove of natural beauty and serene landscapes, beckoning travelers with its charming villages, breathtaking views, and tranquil escapes.

Choosing the right place to stay is key to enjoying your journey through this picturesque region. With options ranging from cosy cottages to luxurious hotels, your accommodation options can be hard to choose from.

Let’s explore where to stay in the Peak District and the accommodations you can expect so you can ensure your holiday is as enjoyable as possible!

Towns_of_the_Peak_District
DouglalCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

🌳 Buxton: The Heart of Heritage (Accessible by Train)

the cresent buxton

Why stay here: Buxton, renowned for its Georgian and Victorian architecture, offers a glimpse into the area’s rich history. With the famous Buxton Mineral Water and the stunning Pavilion Gardens, it’s a haven for those seeking culture and relaxation.

  1. Buxton Crescent Spa Hotel: Luxurious spa hotel in a magnificent Georgian Building
  2. Foxlow Grange By Muse Escapes: Newly renovated apartments on the outskirts of Buxton
  3. Premier Inn Buxton: Budget-friendly, comfortable hotel

🏡 Bakewell: The Quintessential Market Town

love locks bridge Bakewell

Why stay here: Famous for its delicious Bakewell Tarts, this charming town is surrounded by stunning landscapes and is perfect for food lovers and explorers alike. Its weekly markets and quaint shops offer a true taste of the Peak District.

  1. The Rutland Arms Hotel
  2. Millstream Mews Apartment
  3. The H Boutique Hotel

🚶‍♂️ Edale: A Hiker’s Paradise (Accessible by Train)

edale church with hills in the background

Why stay here: The starting point of the Pennine Way, Edale, is the dream location for hiking enthusiasts. Surrounded by majestic hills and serene valleys, it offers some of the best walking routes in the region.

  1. The Old Cart House
  2. The Old Nag’s Head

🏞️ Castleton: For Nature and History Buffs

castelton bridge with stream leading up to peak cavern

Why stay here: Nestled in the heart of the Peak District, Castleton is surrounded by caverns, castles, and nature trails. It’s ideal for those looking to delve into the area’s natural beauty and historical sites.

  1. Candle House By Muse Escapes
  2. Ye Olde Nags Head
  3. YHA Castleton Losehill Hall

🌄 Hathersage: Bronte’s Inspiration

Hathersage village view from hillside - peak district

Why stay here: With breathtaking views and connections to Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre,” Hathersage mixes literary history with outdoor activities. It’s perfect for those who wish to immerse themselves in the landscapes that inspired classic literature.

  1. Broadwood Farm
  2. The Plough Inn
  3. Bike & Boot Inns Peak District (2.5 Miles Away)

🏙️ Manchester or Sheffield: Budget / Mixed City Break

sheffield from above

Why stay here: If you’re looking to soak up nature but still want to make the most of a new city, staying in Manchester or Sheffield on the edge of the Peak District could be a great option. Both offer great accessibility to many of the famous things to do in the Peak District within 1.5 hours or less by car. Another benefit is more options for cheaper accommodation.

You also have Ashbourne and Leek to the south, which are smaller towns on the edge of the Peak District, covering many more options.

Types of Accommodations Available

full english breakfast with view of peak district hills

The Peak District caters to a wide range of preferences and budgets, offering various types of accommodations to ensure a comfortable stay for every traveller. Here’s what you can find:

Hotels: From luxurious spa resorts to budget-friendly hotels, the Peak District has them all. Whether you’re looking for modern amenities, historic charm or dog-friendly hotels, you’ll find ones situated in both bustling towns and secluded countryside locations.

View Peak District Hotels

Bed & Breakfasts and Inns: Experience the warmth of local hospitality by staying in one of the many B&Bs and inns scattered across the region. These accommodations often provide a cosy, home-away-from-home atmosphere, often with delicious local produce.

View B&B and Inns

Self-Catered Properties: For those who prefer a more private or extended stay, self-catered cottages, apartments, and lodges offer the flexibility to come and go as you please. Perfect for families or groups, these properties let you set your pace and cater to your needs.

View Self-Catered Properties

Camping and Glamping: Embrace the great outdoors by pitching a tent at one of the many campsites, or for a more luxurious experience, opt for glamping. With yurts, shepherd’s huts, pods, and even treehouses available, glamping combines the beauty of nature with the comforts of home.

View Camping & Glamping options

Hostels: Ideal for backpackers and budget hikers, hostels provide an affordable and social accommodation option. Many hostels in the Peak District offer shared facilities, making it easy to stay comfortable.

View Hostel Options

Best Places to Stay by Interest

main walking path for stanage edge

The Peak District, with its diverse landscapes ranging from the rugged, heather-clad moors of the Dark Peak in the north to the rolling limestone dales of the White Peak in the south, offers a variety of experiences depending on your interests.

Here’s a guide to finding the best places to stay based on what you love to do:

For Nature Lovers: Stay near Edale or Hope Valley. These areas are gateways to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the Dark Peak, offering easy access to walking and cycling routes like the Pennine Way and the Great Ridge. The scenery here is dominated by dramatic hills and open moors, perfect for immersive nature experiences.

For History Enthusiasts: Consider Buxton or Bakewell, towns rich in history and heritage. Buxton, known for its Georgian and Victorian architecture, including the famous Crescent and Buxton Opera House, offers a glimpse into the area’s spa town past. Bakewell, with its medieval bridge and historic buildings, is quintessentially English and steeped in tradition.

For Families: Matlock and Matlock Bath are excellent choices. These towns offer family-friendly attractions like the Heights of Abraham with its cable cars, caves, and play areas, and Gulliver’s Kingdom, a theme park designed for younger children. The areas are also close to the White Peak, where the terrain is gentler and ideal for family walks.

For Romance: Seek out secluded cottages in the White Peak area, particularly around Ashbourne or Dovedale. These locations offer charming landscapes of rolling hills and limestone valleys, providing a picturesque backdrop for a romantic getaway. Enjoy quiet walks along the Dovedale Stepping Stones or explore quaint villages together.

For Adventure Seekers: Base yourself in or near Hathersage or Castleton in the Hope Valley. These villages are surrounded by iconic climbing spots, caverns to explore, and challenging hikes, including the ascent to Mam Tor or exploring the depths of the Blue John Cavern. The rugged terrain of the Dark Peak is on your doorstep, ready for exploration.

For Relaxation and Pampering: Choose accommodations in Buxton or the surrounding area, where luxury spa hotels make the most of the region’s natural thermal springs. Unwind in historic settings, enjoy spa treatments, and relax in thermal pools, all while being surrounded by the serene beauty of the Peak District.

If you’re on a cheaper budget or want to mix your stay with a city break you could also opt to stay in Manchester or Sheffield which are within 30-60 minutes from many of the the major destinations in the peaks.

Seasonal Considerations for Staying in the Peak District

castleton in the frost

The Peak District’s ever-changing landscape offers distinct experiences across the seasons, making it a year-round destination. Here’s what to consider regarding the best time to visit the Peak District:

Spring (March to May): As the landscape awakens, the valleys are carpeted with wildflowers and the woodlands are filled with bluebells. It’s an ideal time for walkers and photographers to capture the natural beauty. The weather can be unpredictable, so staying in a cosy B&B or a cottage with a fireplace might be wise for cooler evenings.

Summer (June to August): The peak season for visitors, summer offers long days perfect for hiking, cycling, and outdoor activities. Accommodation in popular areas like Bakewell, Castleton, and near the Pennine Way gets booked up quickly, so plan ahead. Camping and glamping sites are particularly appealing, offering a chance to enjoy the great outdoors.

Autumn (September to November): A spectacular time to visit, with forests and moorlands displaying a kaleidoscope of autumnal colours. Cooler temperatures make it perfect for hiking. Consider staying in a lodge or a hotel near areas known for their autumn foliage, such as the woodlands around Edale and the Hope Valley. Booking a place with a warm pub or a cosy living area is ideal as the evenings draw in.

Winter (December to February): The landscape transforms into a winter wonderland, with frost-covered hills and occasionally snow-capped peaks. It’s a quieter time to visit, offering a peaceful escape. Choose a cosy cottage with a fireplace or a hotel with spa facilities to warm up after a day exploring the chilly outdoors. The Christmas markets in towns like Bakewell and Buxton also make for a festive stay.

Tips for Seasonal Stays

  • Book early for summer and autumn, when the Peak District is at its busiest.
  • Check for seasonal offers in winter and spring, when some accommodations might offer discounts.
  • Consider the location based on seasonal activities, such as staying closer to hiking paths or cycling trails.
  • Always be prepared for the British weather, which can be unpredictable regardless of the season. Layers and waterproofs are essential year-round.

Practical Information for Travelers

buxton train station with trains

Getting Around:

  • Public Transport: Reliable bus services connect major towns, though timetables may be less frequent in rural areas. The Hope Valley Line offers scenic train journeys between Sheffield and Manchester, stopping at key villages.
  • Car Rentals: Available in larger towns and cities near the Peak District. A car provides flexibility for exploring off-the-beaten-path locations. View rental car options here.
  • Cycling is a popular way to see the Peak District. Numerous trails, such as the Monsal Trail, cater to all levels. Bike rentals are available in major towns.

Responsible Tourism:

  • Leave No Trace: Preserve the natural beauty by taking litter with you and sticking to marked paths to protect wildlife habitats.
  • Support Local: Choose local produce and crafts to support the community. Many cafes and shops offer items from local artisans and farmers.
  • Be Wildlife Wise: Keep a respectful distance from any animals you encounter and avoid feeding wildlife to maintain the natural balance.

By keeping these tips in mind and exploring the must-visit destinations near your stay, your visit to the Peak District can be both enriching and respectful towards the beautiful environment and local communities that make this region so special.

FAQs

Where to stay in the Peak District without a car?

For those without a car, Buxton is an ideal choice in the Peak District, thanks to its well-connected train station and extensive bus routes. Additionally, the town boasts a variety of shops and restaurants, all within easy walking distance, making it both a convenient and enjoyable base for exploring the area.

Where to stay in the Peak District with a dog?

When visiting the Peak District with a dog, look for pet-friendly accommodations. Many cottages, bed and breakfasts, and hotels warmly welcome dogs, offering the perfect base for you and your furry friend to explore the area’s vast landscapes and walking trails.

Places like Hathersage, Hope Valley, and Bakewell are great options, as they not only provide pet-friendly stays but also have easy access to scenic walks and outdoor adventures suitable for dogs.

Where to stay in the Peak District for walking?

For walking enthusiasts, staying in areas like Edale, Hathersage, or Castleton in the Peak District offers direct access to renowned trails and breathtaking landscapes. These locations are gateways to walks of varying difficulty, from leisurely strolls to challenging hikes.

They also provide a range of accommodations, from cosy cottages to welcoming bed and breakfasts, perfectly situated to start your walking adventures right at your doorstep.