Days out in the Peak District this summer
Longer days, warm summer evenings, the world comes abloom with brightly coloured flowers, the wind blowing the sweet smell of grass around, the humming of bees can be heard as they carry out their busy tasks while birds sing their songs and chirp above.
Summer simply makes everything better, and if you are searching for inspiration for things to do on your next trip to the Peak District, or are maybe even considering one, then read on to find out about our recommended spots to make your summer stay truly memorable.
Derwent Gardens is a magical place all year round but particularly in summer. With a main emphasis on water throughout, as several thermal springs emerge around the park and have been used to create water gardens, and other magical pools. Grottos and alcoves also provide unique features within the grounds. There are many paths and trails to take you through the landscaped gardens to include thermal pools, fishponds and the café. Some also incorporate other areas of Matlock, providing you with a great opportunity to explore the Matlock area further and see what excitements the bustling town holds.
A place of many parts, and home to medicinal hydrotherapy after the Romans discovered the thermal springs laying right beneath their feet. Matlock blossomed after the railways were built turning it from a farming, quarrying and mining town to a thriving tourist attraction. The Heights of Abraham is the most popular place to visit within Matlock, with a joyous cable car ride where you can see for miles around.
The Aquarium and Exhibition in Matlock is a fantastic place full of interesting items, from a gemstone and fossil display to an aquarium and thermal pool to a hologram and history display. They even have a Petrifying Well on site, where thermal water was used to spray objects and turn them into stone, with a display of what has been petrified.
Opposite The Aquarium and Exhibition lies The Peak District Mining Museum, in a creative exhibition you can learn the history of the Mining community of Matlock with mining displays, as well as a rock and mineral display which have all collected from around the world and a temple mine where you can get an authentic insight into life underground and even mine for your own fool's gold, galena and crystals!
This summer Matlock will be holding the Summer Food & Drinks Festival the perfect opportunity to indulge in tasty treats and not feel guilty! As well as festivals and of course Matlock's main attractions, the Heights of Abraham, the amusements arcades, shops and unique boutiques, museums and more will be open all summer round for all to enjoy and discover.
Heights of Abraham
Take a cable car right to the top of Masson Hill where there are stunning views of the surrounding valleys and woodlands. Listen to the self-guide audio tours available and learn about the history of what can be seen for miles around. Not only that, at the top of the Heights of Abraham there are two cavern systems deep within the hillside that you can explore. From candle light to a chamber flooded with colour and calcite crystals hidden in their walls it is truly a special place gleaming with history. As you go deep underground, learning of the fascinating journey of the caverns formed over 350 million years ago with guided tours.
The Heights of Abraham will also be hosting a Paranormal evening in the Caverns this summer, as well as summer shows from Mr Punch and Morris Dancers.
Lumsdale Valley and Falls
Hidden on the outskirts of Matlock, there are few obvious signposts so many visitors to the area pass without ever knowing what magic is hidden within the trees. Lumsdale Valley was once a hive of industrial activity, bustling watermills powered by the ever flowing waters of Bentley Brook. Now left to ruin, nature has engulfed the remaining buildings to create a truly magical place plucked straight from a fairy-tale. Waterfalls, pools and streams run through the ruins and alongside Lumsdale Valley, making it an enchanting walk.
It is asked that you respect the delicate nature of this area when you walk through it.
Visiting Chatsworth House and its phenomenal Garden should be a top priority for your summer staycation. Nestled into the heart of the Peak District countryside, this 16th Century stately home welcomes all to enjoy the splendour and heritage that it offers. Take in what lies in its grounds, explore the vast Garden and discover the rich history in its walls with tours around the House.
There are also adventures to be had in the surrounding 1000 acre parkland and woodlands and the River Derwent, enjoy summer picnic and respectfully play in the vast country landscape. You may also see the parks resident sheep and wildlife that call this special place home.
It is truly the perfect most relaxing setting on a warm summer's day, and you can easily spend a full day here. This summer Chatsworth will be hosting events for all the family throughout the summer, including interactive children's workshops, garden games and Farmyard fun! For everyone else, there is a dog agility course, virtual tours of the Paxton Conservatory, bands in the Rose Garden and taster tours of the House and Garden.
With special summer appearances of the Cinema Under The Stars, Gin and Jazz evenings, Bubbles and Bublé and Theatre Under The Stars.
Be transported back in time at Crich Tramway Village. Home to the National Tramway Museum, you can enjoy rides on vintage trams from 1873 onwards. Take a stroll down a period village scene containing a working pub where you can grab a bite to eat, as well as an old-style sweet shop. Visit the onsite exhibition hall and gallery, discovery centres, workshop and tram depots.
You can also stretch your legs through the woodland walks and sculpture trail that are located around the site, peak into the mine at Wakebridge and look at the breath-taking views of the Derwent Valley.
Get lost in the events that Crich Tramway Village will be hosting this summer, such as Crime at Crich a classic 'Who Done It', The Roaring 20s day with live music and lots of Charleston dancing, Classic Motorcycle Day, a Jurassic takeover with Dinosaur Day, A 1950s and 60s Weekend, Steampunk Weekend, Woodland Adventures and so much more.
A hilltop castle built as a retreat in the 17th Century to simply entertain influential and wealthy guests. Every part of this castle is a lavish place, with exquisitely painted ceilings embellished with gold, richly coloured wall paintings and carved marble fireplaces throughout a labyrinth of rooms. Learn how Sir William Cavendish used the castle for banqueting, relaxing and of course partying. With 'cabinets of curiosity' dotted about and exhibitions ready for you to explore, learn of the architecture of this mighty structure all the ways of the people who ran it.
Outside the castle you can walk the walls surrounding the fountain garden and wander the romantic ruined terrace range. You can also enjoy a display of Cavalier horsemanship at The Riding School, where riders wear traditional clothing and of course the horses put on a magnificent display (this is available to watch on weekends, April to September).
Children get a guide jam-packed with fun games, information and extra insights, as well the opportunity to dress up in costumes in the dedicated children's room, or run riot in the children's play areas that also boast a mini Castle.
To keep with traditions from old England, this Summer Boslover Castle will be hosting knights tournaments, legendary jousting, dressage training and so much more.
If sensational views are your thing, then we recommended that you visit Hope Valley. One of the most popular areas of the Peak District National Park, boasting some of the greatest views and most idyllic villages in the region. A great place to start your day of exploring is the small village of Edale, home to the Pennine Way, the start and the end of the UK's first and most famous long distance walking path. The village has a local shop, a café and two popular pubs, a great place to relax after a day of rambling. There are also plenty of opportunities throughout the walk to have a picnic on a warm summers day or just sit, relax in the sunrays and take in the incredible surrounding views. This part of the Peak District is also home to classic walks such as Winnats Pass, Mam Tor and the Great Ridge.
This historic town was once known as Baedaca's Wella, and is bustling with busy streets. There are countless walks through and around Bakewell due to it's central nature, some pass a special place to visit, All Saints Church, one of England's finest medieval churches known to be found in 920 built on a hilltop overlooking the growing town of Bakewell.
The Old House Museum is hidden away behind All Saints Church and is the oldest house in Bakewell. This preserved 15th Century house is an award-winning museum telling stories of the Peak District and showcasing historical objects, from Macedonian ceremonial swords to an elephant's foot, to say that this Museum has it all is an understatement! It's famous five arch bridge is the perfect visit on a summers day, sit by the river listen to the birds sing, watch the world go by, relax in the warm rays and maybe even have a picnic.
Every Monday since the 13th Century Bakewell has been a hive of activity with it's traditional market, the market itself is what turned Bakewell into a flourishing town. In the 13th Century it was the meeting place for many and the only place people could buy and sell produce, clothes and more, and that still continues today. Lastly, you cannot leave Bakewell without trying its infamous Bakewell Pudding, created by accident but truly a delight.
Bakewell will have a visit from the Circus Cortex this summer, host an International Day of Dance with acts and music from around the globe, Carnival Week showcasing a Bakewell take on a Rio de Janeiro carnival, a Country Festival full of live entertainment and so much more.
Walks Around The Area
The Peak District and Derbyshire area is one of the UK's most popular walking destinations. With delightful summer weather comes lots of opportunities to walk and explore the surrounding areas and breathe in the fresh air. With so many walks to try, we collected a few of our favourites for you to check out here.
Peak District Holidays - Where To Stay?
Whether it is stepping out into the countryside to discover sensational views, exploring historical sites, or strolling around the streets of bustling towns, The Peak District has it all.
Are you wanting to extend your adventures now you have found there is so much to see, and are looking for somewhere to stay? We have a number of hotels, inn and holiday cottages in the Derbyshire area that are perfect for a countryside break. View our collection here.