Derbyshire is a county of dramatic contrasts and breathtaking beauty. Wedged between Derby, Sheffield and Manchester the Peak District is its crowing glory. The Pennine Way starts its journey north from the hamlet of Edale.
The magnificent flat peaks, and windswept moorlands shrouded in mist inspired one of our best-loved authors, Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre was set in the village of Hathersage.
Dovedale, best known of the limestone dales is defined by narrow gorges, hump backed bridges, crystal clear brooks and drystone walls enclosing neat fields as far as the eye can see. Contented sheep and cattle graze pristine pastureland.
There are unspoilt villages, such as Alstonefield, Tissington and Hartington, where the hiker will find country pubs with coal fires, casket ales and locally produced dishes chalked up on a black board.
The market town of Ashbourne is delightful (with a proper country market) whilst the Georgian spa town Buxton is the home of the flourishing Buxton Opera, which produces over 450 shows during the year.
There are magnificent stately homes and gardens to visit: Chatsworth, Haddon Hall, Hardwick Hall, Calke Abbey, Sudbury and Tissington Hall.
Around Castleton are deep underground caves and disused mines to explore.
For the more sedate visitor the Peak Railway from Matlock to Rowsley takes passengers by steam train through a slice of perfect English countryside. To round it all off: bakewell tarts for tea from one of Bakewell’s tearooms.
If you want to enjoy this beautiful county, but not pay top prices then our selection of the best places to stay in Derbyshire can certainly assist. We'd suggest you look at:
You might think that all the best places to stay in Derbyshire should be set in stunning countryside, but these couple tick all the boxes:
Check out our selection of the best places to stay in Derbyshire and start to plan your visit.
Stylish country pub with occasional antiques and great bathrooms, interior designed by the Duchess of Devonshire. Good food from the Chatsworth Estate, and walks from the door.
Nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire
Exquisite bed & breakfast in a pretty, unspoilt village in peaceful rural setting on the southern edge of the Peak District. Mix of family home and mini boutique.
Ancient ivy-clad hotel, steeped in history, perfectly placed for a night at the Buxton opera in July. Four poster beds and good food. Traditional.
Castle Donington, Derbyshire
Beautifully located on the banks of the River Trent, the Priest House Hotel offers fine dining and luxury accommodation with easy access to both Derby and Nottingham. Very close to East Midlands airport it is ideal for business and leisure travellers alike.
Nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire
Imposing 17th century manor with lovely garden in an unrivalled, rural position not far from Dovedale. Secluded, quiet, with great walks in all directions. Well suited to children, and great views. Pub with walking distance for dinner. Large bedrooms.
Understated elegance in this glorious country house hotel set in sweeping parkland. Comfortable, sometimes chintzy bedrooms, four posters, roaring fires, and a quiet setting, where you order 'luncheon'. Well suited to families.
Small, pretty country house hotel surrounded by beautiful countryside, perfectly positioned for walking in the Dales and Peak district. Fly fishing also available. Comfortable rooms and a gourmet restaurant - quiet and relaxing. Family suites.
Civilized, genteel small country house hotel in traditional Derbyshire village. Floral and chintzy, good afternoon teas, fine garden on the riverside.
17th century manor first opened as a hotel in 1820. Recent renovation has created a stylish mix of traditional and contemporary, with luxurious trappings and outstanding food in the middle of the Peak District. Come for walking and fly fishing on a seven mile stretch of river.
Stylish country pub with boutique bedrooms and good food close to Chatsworth. Excellent for local sightseeing and walking. Good, contemporary style brasserie.
Beautiful country house hotel in the heart of the Peak District. Stunning views of the Chatsworth estate and countryside. Open fires, oak beams, antique furnishings. Award-winning restaurants and fantastic walks.