I spent three nights on the edge of Derbyshire’s breath-taking Peak District at Hoseasons Landal Darwin Forest site. As we were a party of five celebrating my Mum’s birthday, we booked the Haddon Classic Vogue 3 Spa lodge which slept up to six people.
The lodge came fully equipped with everything that we needed for our long weekend, and it was lovely to be able to rest my tired little legs in the outdoor hot tub on the veranda after a day of exploring.
Onsite, there was a chargeable gym with a swimming pool as well as activities for children such as Little Monkeys Play Centre, archery and mini golf. I particularly enjoyed the free walking trails through the forest each morning.
I have always wanted to visit the Peak District, but for some reason I’d never got round to it until my Mum suggested that we spend her birthday weekend there.
We arrived into Derbyshire at around lunchtime on the Friday, and headed straight to Bakewell. Bakewell is an adorable little village which is also home to the Bakewell Pudding. A trip to Bakewell would not be complete without a visit to The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop where I picked up a slice to see what the fuss was about. I can confirm that it was delicious.
Lunch was at a local pub called The Red Lion, where I tried some more local delicacies – a Derbyshire oatcake filled with cheese and ham.
After spending a couple of hours in Bakewell, it was time to check into the lodge at Landal Darwin Forest, just a short 20 minute drive away. Our home for the weekend was in lodge number 90.
The evening was spent in the private hot tub, playing board games and eating good food.
Saturday was going to be our only day with real good weather; the weather forecast for the Sunday was heavy rain. All day. We started the day by heading up to the Heights of Abraham, which cost £19.00 per adult. After taking a short cable car ride across the Derwent Valley to the top of Masson Hill, we were greeted with fantastic views of the surrounding area. The cable car at the Heights of Abraham was Britain’s first alpine style cable car!
We took a 45 minute guided cave tour around the Masson Cavern which was quite interesting, and involved a lot of steps! There’s also another cave at Heights of Abraham – Rutland Cavern – but we didn’t take the guided tour for this one.
Although the views at the top were lovely, we found the Heights of Abraham to be a little overpriced for what it was but we still had a nice couple of hours there.
Once we were finished at the Heights of Abraham, we took the cable car back down to the bottom and found a nice little local pub for lunch. Just a short drive away, in between the Heights of Abraham and Lumsdale waterfalls was The Sycamore Inn pub. I had a very yummy bacon, brie and cranberry toastie!
After lunch it was time to explore some more of the Peak District and we headed to Lumsdale Valley. We parked by Highfields School in Upper Lumsdale and the waterfalls were just a short walk from there. Lumsdale Valley is home to the remains of water mills dating back to the 16th Century. We spent an hour or so admiring the picturesque valley before heading onto our last stop of the day.
From Lumsdale Valley, we drove approximately 50 minutes to Dovedale, Ashbourne and hopped over the stepping stones across the River Dove. It was a shame that we were on a time limit before sunset because it would’ve been nice to spend some more time here and follow one of the walking trails. At Dovedale, you can also climb Thorpe Cloud.
Before we knew it, it was starting to get dark so we made our way back to Landal Darwin Forest for the evening.
The weather forecast for Sunday was correct; it rained and it rained. Storm Ciara was in full force. To prevent us from getting cabin fever, we did decide to embrace the rain and drove to Matlock Bath where we had a brisk walk up to Pic Tor War Memorial.
The afternoon was spent back at the lodge, before the rain eventually eased off and we went out in search of some dinner. We found a lovely little pub back in Matlock Bath called the Rose Cottage, where I had some delicious fishcakes washed down with some gin.
Unfortunately the weather prevented us from making the most of the Sunday; I had so many things on my list that I wanted to do whilst in the Peak District such as climbing Mam Tor or visiting Kinder Scout. Hopefully I will get round to doing these things next time I visit the Peak District!
Check-out on the Monday was by 10am, and just as we were leaving it started to snow!
The Peak District was truly breath-taking and I am already trying to plan another trip there!
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