The Backbone of England is how the locals describe the Southern Pennine Range, which winds its way through the idyllic Peak District. And your backbone will thank you after you spend a day exploring the beautiful countryside and return to soak in a nice warm hot tub. Our guide will help you find the best locations that will stoke your imagination, relax your spirit and your spine.
Great holiday lettings near Ashford-in-the-Water
Ashford-in-the-Water is found on the River Wye near the centre of the Peak District National Park. The village is known for its old stone houses and quaint cobblestone lanes. It's also home to Thornbridge Hall Gardens, an old English country house and gardens. The gardens are open to the public and a great way to spend a lazy afternoon. A few minutes away you'll find the Monsal Trail, which is built along an old stretch of the Manchester, Buxton, Matlock and Midlands Junction Railway. Now a hiking and cycling trail, it's a little more than 8 miles long and features some photo-worthy landmarks, including the Headstone Viaduct and the former Hassop railway station, now a cafe, bookshop and cycle-hire shop.
Holiday rentals that really pop in Buxton
Surrounded by the Peak District National Park, Buxton has a long history as a spa town and resort. Taking the waters at Buxton has been a ritual with tourists for years, and has became so popular that Buxton's mineral water is now bottled and sold in the UK and across Europe. For a relaxing change of pace, head to the Pavillion Gardens, a restored Victorian garden that also hosts events and fairs and, occasionally, live bands.
Laid back lodges with hot tubs near Castleton
One of the more popular outdoor pursuits in the Peak District is what the locals call ridge walks. Ridge walks are exactly what they sound like, walks along the ridges of hills. One of the most popular in the area is the more than 6 mile Castleton Ridge Walk that loops past the Mam Tor, one of the highest hills in the Peak District. Another must is a visit to Peak Cavern. The natural cavern is one of the largest in Britain and has in the past hosted, among other events, a Joe Cocker concert.
Holiday rentals that won't disappoint in Edale
The village of Edale is about a 45-minute drive northwest from Chesterfield in the Peak District National Park. Home to the The Old Nags Head Pub, which has been serving patrons since 1577, the village is perhaps best known as the southern termination point for the Pennine Way. As one of the most famous hiking trails in England, it snakes along the Pennines, better known as the Backbone of England, and ends just across the border in Scotland, 268 miles to the north.
Unwind at the perfect holiday rental in Edensor
A town built to plan is probably the best way to describe Edensor. After the 6th Duke of Devonshire decided he needed a better view from his estate, the old village was knocked down in the 19th century and the current, more visually pleasing, village was built in its place. The houses in the town are a unique mix of architectural styles, from mock Tudor to chalet-style cottages. The estate in question was the spectacular Chatsworth, House, one of the most renowned country houses in the UK and the traditional home of the Cavendish family. The house and garden are open to the public and are a great way to spend an afternoon. Several restaurants are also located on the property, serving local English fare and afternoon tea.
Getting back to nature with an idyllic holiday rental in Longnor
Longnor is a small village in the southwest of the Peak District National Park. The village's Longnor Craft Centre is a good place to grab a cup of coffee and a pastry. It's also a great place to look out over the old cobbled market place. Some of the more scenic hikes in the southern part of the park are easily accessible from Longnor, including the trail that will take you to Blackmere Pond, known to locals as Mermaid Pond because it's waters are said to be haunted by a mermaid. Longnor is also a great jumping off spot for a trip to The Roaches, a rocky ridge that hangs out over the Leek and Tittesworth Reservoir and is a popular spot for climbers from across the UK.