Peak District over May Bank holiday(32 Posts)
So in a moment of madness I booked a glamping trip for our sons first birthday next weekend. We are staying in the peak district near Bakewell and I'm now very worried its going to be a wash out with the 3 of us stuck in a glorified wooden shed for 3 days while it rains.
Would love Recommendations of places near Bakewell to visit, we have a car so can travel wherever. I know there is not likely to be much centered around toddlers but he loves a stroll in his pram and we also have a carrier we can put him in.
If it's raining:
Matlock Bath Aquarium
Peak Rail Steam Train- Operating between Rowsley South and Matlock Platform 2, it's a decent distance of 4 miles and it's perfect for a short ride with LOs. At the Darley Dale Station the waiting facilities feature railway books and books for pre-school children, plus a selection of DVDs. Right beside this is their small museum.
Heights of Abraham
If it's not raining:
Hall Leys Park - the paths are well surfaced so great for pushchairs. Lots of ducks to feed, a miniature railway and lots of play equipment.
Heights of Abraham
Matlock Farm Park
We’ve just been to the peaks with dc over Easter and loved it (when it stopped snowing and raining!) but yours is a lot younger. We did the heights of Abraham and, to be honest, I wouldn’t bother with such a young child. The playground for younger kids is okay but the whole thing is very expensive for what you get - the cable car lasts about 2mins, the caves are good but Poole’s cavern in Buxton was equally good (and half the price), and it’s geared towards older children really. and it was about £17 each for adults.
I would do things you and dh are interested in with dc at that stage. Long pub lunches, reading a book while baby naps, generally relaxing <wistful> or scramble up some peaks if that’s your thing - we loved Longshaw estate for that in particular.
Thanks for this, hall leys park sounds great and yes pub lunches are one of my very fav things
If you're out for a stroll you might do best to stick with more established paths or higher ground - the rain this winter has left the ground really wet, with a lot of the springs flowing in the White Peak dales and soggy valley paths (which are of course great splashy fun for slightly older kids).
It would also be worth checking the facebook pages for any caves you like the look of (I'll second Poole's Cavern and also Peak Cavern in Castleton) as they sometimes shut when the water level's been high and it's been very wet again this week.
If it's really chucking it down and you fancy venturing into Sheffield, I recall Weston Park Museum being good for kids. Longshaw is nice too (and the car park doesn't flood like other NT sites).
And thinking about it, a friend shares the Trips with a Tot FB page, which is Sheffield based but might be useful.
Yes I have been on many a soggy peat boggy walk in the peak disttict before having my son. Will def try to avoid!
Anyone know if buxton is worth a visit?
We quite like Buxton - there’s often a band in the bandstand and stuff going on in the Pavillion (craft fairs and the like), and the kids love the playgrounds in the park. There’s some nice independent shops up towards the Opera House, and Scriveners Bookshop up beyond the market place is worth a visit, though not massively toddler friendly.
Otherwise, cycling or walking the Monsal Trail from Miller’s Dale is fun and quite easy going (you can hire all manner of bike trailers for smalls). Like DamsonGin, I am also a fan of the Fox House. We’ve also recovered from many a wet walk with plates of chips from the cafe by Grindleford Station. It used to be famous for astonishingly grumpy service, but it’s changed hands now and last time we went it was disappointingly friendly and efficient!
Outdoor (heated) swimming pool at Hathersage is another option.
I live here - so honest advice incoming!
You're correct in that there's not loads for the kids to do if it's raining, though we've learned after many years to just ignore the rain and let the kids get muddy - not really an ideal solution for a toddler though.
I'd avoid Matlock if I'm honest - it has the feel of a rundown seaside town, only with less to do. Lots of arcades and "dine in" fish and chip shops. Some reasonably priced antinque shops though (the only time we venture there). The aquarium is okay and very cheap, but very small! More like a pet fish store, with a very large collection of holographic pictures?! Perfectly reasonable for the price though, just don't expect it to last more than 0.5-1hrs. There's rowing boats and sometimes a fun fair, but nothing's "naice".
Heights of Abraham I would, again, avoid. Better caves in Castleton (including one with a boat ride), and the cable cars aren't very good at all. There's a fabulously eccentric man in the junk shop in Castleton who's been there for decades too, if you end up there. Crazy, but definitely worth a browse of his shop if only for the experience! He loves scooters.
Across the path from him is another old boy, who has a gift shop with a cafe above. The trip advisor for his cafe is HILARIOUS, he's even made the Daily Mail as "britains grumpiest shopkeeper". If you have a tenner to burn, go there for a tea served in a cafetière and be forced to buy one of his scones. Just don't say you're a walker or a tourist - he HATES walkers and tourists. There's a new/refurbished visitor centre there that's just opened too.
There's an indoor soft play at the Peak Shopping Village near Chatsworth, haven't been yet but the only one I'm aware of there being in the area, and by all accounts pretty good.
Some bits of Buxton look very nice but it's pretty rough. I think business rates must be very low, because Costa and a few other shops are cheaper and there's no empty shops. I get the feeling they've tried to gentrify it and failed - last time we were in Buxton we watched a homeless man steal an old ladies shopping then proceed to have a piss and smoke crack in the Waitrose/M&S car park. The locals all avoid like the plague. Good bookshop, not worth taking the baghead gauntlet to get there though.
Chatsworth is nice, but expensive and not very child friendly. The farm there, however, has a great play area and animals and is only £6 entry so you don't have to buy a house ticket. Loads of walks round the grounds too, and lots of baby deer and sheep when we drove through the estate this morning! Nice tearooms in Edensor, farm shop is pricey but nice (pick up a Chatsworth leaflet from somewhere, they usually have 10% off farm shop vouchers in them - we keep a stack for our weekly shop).
Peak Wildlife Park is out your way a bit but probably your best bet. Indoor play area and you can go in the enclosures with lots of the animals! Reasonably priced, BOGOF pizzas later in the day and really very good.
Eyam is interesting and has a small museum. Loads of interesting history, plague graves all around the village. The church has a good amount of information about this too. Worth a walk up to Montpesson's well, even if just to look at the field of llamas you pass on the way! Great park in eyam too, it's just a bit hidden (take the path behind the church).
I also second the outdoor pool at Hathersage!
In short, the villages are all lovely, picturesque and full of little hidden gems. The towns are pretty grim (with the exception of Bakewell itself, Old House Museum is good if you're there!) with not enough on offer to make it worth going to them.
The trip advisor for the hilariously bad tearoom in Castleton.
It's so worth the money for the sheer hilarity. You always leave with a good anecdote!
Thank you so much everyone I am feelong a lot more posotive reading this after checking the weather forecast again!
Now I'm worrying about what we are going to do in the evening after our son is in bed. Was hoping to sit outside the 'teny' sipping wine and having intellectual conversation but we might get stuck inside with him.
The outside pool in Hathersage is heated by the way. We even went fir a dip the weekend before Christmas. In Hathersage, the cafe at “Outside” is very child friendly.
There is an indoor pool in Buxton. Carsington Water has some nice walks, playground and a wee beach.
If you are out that way, please Scarthin Books in Cromford is worth a visit, if only to see how many books it is possible to squeeze into one building.
Carsington water was great when we visited a couple years back. This time we went to little rascals soft play in Buxton and it was pretty good (for soft play) - there was a decent bit for babies and it was heated.
If you decide to sack off the camping part then I highly recommend the place we stayed in in tideswell. Airbnb and the host was amazing. Good value too.
For walks we mostly went north to the dark peak as our two love scrambling up rocks. Stanadge edge was pretty kid friendly and we saw a few baby carriers in use.
We haven't taken the little one swimming yet, is the heated outdoor pool on different levels or is it deep all along, if you know what I mean?
See you in Derbyshire.
DD1 is doing an Introduction to the Hills guide camp so we're all going "home" so we're in the same county. It's one of my favourite places in the UK (OK I'm biased as it's where I'm from). Have fun.
The Hathersage outdoor pool has a shallow end, enough to walk around, but then gets deep quite quickly. Even though it heated, I'd only go if it's warm, as the changing rooms are outside too. Private cubicles etc, but still outside. Check their public swimming times though, they have a lot of events. Hathersage outdoor pool.
Is the grumpy owned cafe in Castleton connected in any way to the Grindleford Station cafe, which is famous for all it's rude and passive agressive notices instructing customers? They do lovely chips though.
Longshaw estate is a lovely National Trust place to walk around.
Take a blanket or use your sleeping bag to cosy up outside the pod in the evening.
We’re going to Grindleforf Cafe gir our wedding anniversary tommorow! We used to live in the Hope Valley and got married in Bakewell. It has a “special” place in my heart that caff.
That's lovely BRS. Have a lovely day and some chips and a pint of tea for me.
And see how many of the cafe's rules you dare to break
We are taking the dc fit the first time since they were tiny. They are 6 and 9, I imagine they’ll have broken all the rules within seconds.
@barbara we're en route to Grindleford cafe now! It is open on a Sunday, right?
Always love a new grumpy cafe owner and I've got serious chip cravings. Please tell me they're the thick-cut but crispy type.
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