Christmas in the Peak District
If the Peak District is your home for the holidays then you are in for a festive treat, there really is something for all the family. We have got cosy country pubs with warm fires and great food, scenic walks for working off the Christmas indulgences, stately homes dressed for Christmas, beautiful markets towns lit up with festive decorations and fabulous shops for those all important Christmas presents, and that's just for starters! Us locals love Christmas in the Peak District so here is our comprehensive festive guide to help you make the most of your seasonal getaway in the Peaks!
Country Pubs, Roaring Fires and Hearty Food
You just can't beat trying out one (or several!) of the many great pubs and cafes of the Peak District, and whiling away a few hours at Christmas time is even more special. You can't beat sitting by a roaring log fire, sampling local ales and enjoying some fantastic festive food! Our top 10 Peak District pubs to visit this Christmas are:
1. The Royal Oak in Hurdlow
2. The Flying Childers in Stanton in the Peak
3. The Manners in Bakewell
4. The Packhorse in Little Longstone
5. The Bulls Head in Foolow
6. The Blind Bull in Little Hucklow
7. The Church Inn in Chelmorton
8. The White Lion in Great Longstone
9. The Yorkshire Bridge Inn in Bamford
10. The Devonshire Arms in Beeley
Find the perfect present in one of our beautiful market towns.
What better way to spoil your family and friends than finding a truly unique gift. There are some amazing independent retailers in the Peak District and Derbyshire and many of them can be found in our pretty market towns of Bakewell, Ashbourne, Buxton, and Wirksworth. These are our favourite shops where you will be guaranteed to find something truly special...
For the clothes lover it just has to be Brocklehursts of Bakewell
Brocklehursts is a family run business based in the heart of the Peak District National Park. It began life from the back of the family Land Rover, visiting local farmers and attending agricultural shows back in the early 1960's. Over the intervening 50 years it has gone from strength to strength and now comprises two shops in Bakewell itself, a roving exhibition unit and a mail order business, all striving to bring you the best country clothing in the country. If you are looking for something extra special, head to their original Bridge Street shop, in the heart of Bakewell, where you can find the Personal Tailoring Service from Magee.
For a unique gift made locally seek out Handmade Design in Ashbourne
Handmade Design is based in the heart of Ashbourne. Bringing together unique handmade, upcycled and vintage items, stocking over 50 locally designed and handmade gifts, homeware and crafts.
For those that love a tipple head to Buxton and step into the Beer District!
Possibly one of the best beer shops you will ever visit! Beer District is an independent retailer of Beer, Cider and Spirits, stocking over 300 bottled beers and 100 Gins and Gin Liqueurs. From Craft Beer to Local Real Ales and Belgian Classics, they have a huge variety of top quality products brewed by talented independent breweries both local and from across the globe. Their ever expanding Gin selection is a highlight and they focus on superb Peak District based distilleries as well as Gin from far and wide. They also stock a growing range or Rum, Whisky and Vodka. This small, friendly and enthusiastic team has a passion for products and for giving great customer service to everyone that enters their store. They also have many of the Gin ranges open for samples so you can try before they buy!
For the food lover there are lots of fabulous farm shops in the area so check out our previous blog which lists our top 10!
Bracing Winter Walks
The lull between Christmas and New Year can be confusing for most...you're not quite sure what day of the week it is and you're in a perpetual cycle of eating of turkey sandwiches and Quality Street. Now is the perfect time to head outdoors and set off for a blustery winter walk to work off the festive overindulgence! Here are our top 3 walks that will reward you with some stunning views of the Peak District...
1. Monsal Head - Ashford Lane, Monsal Head, Derbyshire DE45 1NL
Map reference: SK 185715
Ordnance Survey: Ordnance Survey: Explorer OL24, Landranger 119
Refreshments: Monsal Head Hotel, which sits directly above Monsal Dale; Hobb’s Café is next to it for tea and cakes.
2. The Roaches - Roach Road, Upper Hulme, Leek, Derbyshire ST13 8UA
Map reference: SK 005621
Ordnance Survey: Explorer OL24, Landranger 118
Refreshments: Roaches Tea Rooms a little further along Roach Road
View on Peak District Map
3. Mam Tor, Sparrowpit, Peak Forest, Derbyshire S33 8WA
Map reference: SK 127836
Stately Homes transformed into Christmas wonderlands
It's safe to say that the Peak District & Derbyshire has its fair share of stately homes, royal residences and medieval manor houses. If you have never been to one of our landmark houses then Christmas is definitely the time to take a tour. Here is our top 3...
Discover one of the oldest houses in the country this Christmas. Packed with an exciting calendar of events in the run up to Christmas its the perfect place to get in the Christmas spirit. One of the highlights of their festive calendar is their candlelight tours available on 6 Dec, 7 Dec, 13 Dec, 14 Dec, 18 Dec, 19 Dec, 20 Dec, 21 Dec
2. Hardwick Hall
Take a trip over to Hardwick Hall, the formidable home of 'Bess of Hardwick' who first created Hardwick in the 1500s. Step into the Hall (Wednesday to Sunday) amidst an abundance of lights, creating a captivating Christmas atmosphere. As you walk through the entrance hall, two huge sparkling Christmas trees welcome you. Lights of all kinds will keep the Hall aglow as you make your way up the stairs and through the rooms opened up especially for Christmas. Families can enjoy a festive trail to take around with them around the hall. Within the gardens yew trees will be dramatically lit, guiding you to the stableyard where you will find delicious treats in the great barn restaurant and surprising delights in the shop.
Discover lands, following in the footsteps of explorers Phileas Fogg and Amelia Earhart. You will be lead on a festive adventure around the globe as you travel from a Nordic winter wonderland, through blossom trees in Japan, to a baroque Spanish church on the journey of a lifetime.
Take the kids to Christmas Panto!
If you want next Christmas to be even more magical, then you need to book tickets to the Panto! The Peak District is home to one of the most beautiful opera houses in the country. Buxton Opera House is nestled on the banks of the Pavilion Gardens. Lovingly restored to its former glory in 2001, Buxton Opera House is an exquisitely beautiful Edwardian theatre and one of the country's finest examples of Frank Matcham theatre design.
This Christmas Buxton Opera House brings you Cinderella! Starting from Thursday 12th Dec 2019 through to Wednesday 1 Jan 2020. Christmas pantomime is a real family favourite, so don’t miss out.
Don't worry if Panto isn't your thing, The Pavilion Arts Centre is just next door and features a 360 seat Cinema bringing all the latest blockbusters to the Peak District and loads of Christmas classics including It's a Wonderful Life, The Grinch, Elf, Miracle on 34th Street and loads more! Check out their calendar for a full list of screenings
The one not to miss...Castleton at Christmas
Set against the back drop of the mighty Mam Tor, Peveril Castle and Winnats Pass, Castleton is one of the prettiest villages in Derbyshire. With its streets of limestone cottages, independent shops and cosy pubs, its a great place to visit at any time of the year but at Christmas it is a sight to behold. The local community come together every year and decorate the streets with beautifully lit Christmas trees outside nearly every shop, cafe, and pub. Attracting visitors from all over the country as well as locals making their annual pilgrimage, it really is unlike anywhere else in the country.
From December, events and festivities ramp up, with Santa's Grotto, a Christmas Tree festival at St Edmunds Church, a Christmas Market at the Hollowford Centre and unique to Castleton, carols concerts by candlelight in Treak Cliff and Peak Cavern. These festive events are truly magical and often accompanied by mulled wine, hot refreshments and mince pies. Remember to wrap up warm though it gets cold in those caves! On top of all the festive events, many of the local shops staying open late so you can pick up some unique presents for loved ones. Be sure to visit the local cafes for a brew, mulled wine and mince pie to accompany you on your wanderings through the village and why not finish up in one of the fabulous pubs for some hearty warming dishes, we recommend The Bulls Head Hotel
The full Calendar of Events and more information can be found at Visit Castleton