Things To See & Do
Derbyshire with its many beautiful dales and the ancient Peak District National Park is located in central England amidst some of the most beautiful and varied scenery England has to offer. The landscape varies from lush green pastureland with gently rolling hillsides to rugged and colourful heather covered moorland, the spectacular dales from Ashbourne and northwards provide some beautiful scenery with landscapes and rivers abundant with wildlife. Rugged limestone walls or green hedgerows divide this wonderful patchwork landscape whilst cliffs and rocky outcrops to the north of the county provide stunning panoramic views. The perfect countryside for walkers and cyclists of all ages to explore.
Hillside Croft is located in the centre of Derbyshire and is the perfect base to explore all this beautiful county has to offer. This large, luxury, historic Derbyshire self catering cottage is just 5 miles from the historic market town of Ashbourne known as the gateway to the Peak District. Ashbourne is full of historical buildings with narrow streets and alleyways. Explore the many antique shops, craft shops and galleries or relax and dine in the cafes and restaurants. St Oswalds Church is worth a visit. Just 2 miles from the cottage is Carsington Water and 5 miles to the east takes you in to the UNESCO world heritage Derwent Valley home of the cotton mills. An endless choice of places to visit for all tastes and abilities.
Historic Houses and Museums
For lovers of historic buildings and beautiful gardens there are many stunning places to visit, the stately Chatsworth House home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, step back in time at Calke Abbey or explore Kedleston, Hardwick or Sudbury Halls owned by the National Trust. We have also Renishaw Hall, Haddon Hall, Tutbury Castle, Eyam Hall everyone worth a visit. Some are National Trust, English heritage or privately owned.
NT ( National Trust) EH (English Heritage) or P (Private)
Chatsworth House (P)
Hardwick Hall (NT)
Sudbury Hall (NT)
Kedleston Hall (NT)
Calke Abbey (NT)
Renishaw Hall (P)
Bolsover Castle (EH)
Wingfield Manor (EH)
Tissington Hall (P)
Tutbury Castle (P)
Sudbury Hall - Museum of Childhood
Masson Mill - Cotton Weaving Museum
Belper Mill - Cotton Museum
Crich Tramway Museum
Kedleston Hall - African collection
Midland Railway Steam Train museum
The Old Silk Mill Museum
Derby Museum/Art Gallery
Activities abound in Derbyshire, the terrain with rocky outcrops give the chance for climbing and abseiling, rapids for canoeing, hot air balloons, hang gliding and caves and potholes are accessible for the experienced with several caves adapted for tourism and family visits, such as the caves at Castleton and Buxton. For families there are many activities, such as boating, and cycling, walking, roller skating, to walking . Go Ape is a must. There is quad biking, land rover safaris, karting, archery, paint ball and laser tag to name a few- enough to keep all the family happy.
Wildpark Leisure – Quad bikes, Laser Tag, Paint Ball, Archery
The Yeavely Estate - Clay pigeon shooting, archery
Tissington Trekking Centre – pony trekking
Caves at Castleton- Peak Cavern, Treak Cliff, Blue John, Devils Arse, Speedwell Cavern
Cycling – Carsington Water, Middleton Top, Tissington, Parsley Hay, Manifold Valley, Hartington
Golfing – Ashbourne, Matlock
Swimming- Ashbourne, Matlock, Derby
Roller Skating- Rollerworld Derby
Ice Skating – Nottingham Ice Rink
Canal Boat trips
Boats at Belper River Gardens
Walking & Cycling
Derbyshire and The Peak District is covered with a labyrinth of footpaths, making walking and rambling a popular attraction. From gentle walks suitable for all the family to difficult terrain which will challenge even the most experienced walker. The area is excellent for cycling and there are cycle hire centres at Carsington Water, Ashbourne, Tissington, Parsley Hay, Middleton Top and the Manifold Valley with trails adjoining the hire centres. A walk down beautiful Dovedale and over the stepping stones is a must.
Dales for walking
Trails for Cycling
High Peak Trail
Gardens & Shopping
There are some beautiful gardens to visit in Derbyshire; the many Historic houses in the area have some stunning gardens to explore, such as Chatsworth House, Renishaw Hall, the Rose gardens at Haddon Hall and The Walled garden at Calke Abbey are particularly beautiful. The Rhododendron gardens at Lea open in March and are stunning when in full bloom. There are many open gardens throughout the year in the National Garden scheme and others throughout the county where the whole villages have open gardens. Of particular note are the Secret gardens at Winster, open for the weekend in mid July. Many of these gardens sell plants and there are many garden centres for you to browse for that elusive plant.
A great area for shopping with many outlets around the county, many located in the old Mills down the Derwent Heritage trail. Some beautiful towns and villages to visit and shop include Ashbourne, Wirksworth, Buxton, Matlock Bath, Belper and Wirksworth.
Masson Mill- Matlock Bath
De Bradeli Mill – Belper
Peak Shopping Village Rowsley
Hartington Cheese Factory
Ashbourne – antiques, galleries, and gifts
The Potteries- Stoke
Chatsworth Garden Centre
Fairways Garden Centre- Clifton
Theme Parks & other Attractions
For thrills and spills there are some great places to visit, Alton Towers being perhaps the most well known, but for our smaller guests enjoy a day at Gullivers Kingdom or a wet weather day trip to Waterworld. Trentham Gardens and Monkey Forest is a treat and a chance to get up close to the monkeys, or enjoy the chimps and animals at Twycross Zoo.
Alton Towers – Theme Park
WaterWorld - Stoke
Gullivers Kingdom – Matlock Bath
Heights of Abraham- Cable cars and Cave
Drayton Manor Zoo
Trentham Monkey Forest
Peak Wildlife Park
Ashbourne is famous worldwide for Royal Shrovetide Football held in February each year on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, held nowhere else in the world its a site not to be missed. From May onwards there is a chance to visit the many well dressings to be found in many of our picturesque villages, the privately owned village of Tissington with the beautiful Tissington Hall and well dressings is a lovely place to see. Chatsworth House private home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire hosts the Chatsworth Horse Trails during mid May each year and from 2017 the RHS Chatsworth flower Show and gardens during the first 2 weeks of June.
In late June and early July and lasting for 3 weeks is the Ashbourne Arts festival, where art and culture of all types is represented, including dancing, music, comedy, plays, opera painting and exhibitions. Ashbourne agricultural show at Osmaston Park is held in mid August each year. September sees a famous cycle race through the town. The Dovedale Dash, cross country 4. 3/4 Race is at the beginning of November , On New Years day is the annual bridge jump at Mapleton for the very hardy.
Throughout the year and around the county are fetes, carnivals, open gardens , Steam and vintage vehicle Rallies, Agricultural Shows and so much more for your enjoyment.
Shrovetide Football – Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday
Ashbourne Agricultural Show – Mid August
Ashbourne Arts Festival – June /July
Dovedale Dash- Beginning November
Mappleton Bridge Jump – New Years Day
Chatsworth Horse Trials – Mid May
Chatsworth RHS Gardens and flower show – June
Bakewell Agricultural Show – beginning August
Hartington Show – Mid September
Carsington Water- Miscellaneous events through year
Well Dressings- search Well Dressings Derbyshire
Village open Gardens- search open gardens Derbyshire
"I organised a hen weekend at Hillside Croft recently for 12 professional women who wanted a different kind of hen weekend, that involved mostly relaxing and eating but also some walking and running. This cottage is beautiful, feels luxurious, is very well maintained and so is the perfect place to relax.
The kitchen is well equipped, hot tub a real treat, beds comfy with good quality linen. Log burning fire and beautiful bathroom were also a hit. The large dining room was perfect for long slow breakfasts and evening meals for everyone.
On organising the weekend Pat was very helpful answering my endless questions patiently and clearly.
A beautiful part of the Peak District. I would recommend this idyllic, secluded cottage to anyone. Many of the ‘hens’ asked how I found it and were very impressed. The cottage was pivotal in making the weekend a success and by Monday is was quite missed by all!"
"Just a quick message to say how much we enjoyed staying in Hillside. The property is stunning. You have restored it to the highest standard and it was a great experience living in such a fantastic house for a few days. We all enjoyed it so much."