Our guide to the best walks, cycle trails and climbing routes in the Peak District.Read more...
Peak District - Eating and sleeping
Apart from Derbyshire oatcakes and Bakewell pudding, the Peak District is not known for its distinctive local dishes, but the area is foodie heaven. With cattle-grazing lowland pastures and flocks of sheep on the hill farms, the Peak District is not short on quality butchers, farm shops and farmers’ markets – supplying organic beef and lamb along with great local cheeses, farm-produced ice cream and crusty pies. I was greatly encouraged when chatting to local businesses (cafés, pubs and restaurant owners) to discover that many of them source local produce wherever they can, whether it’s flour, beef, lamb, dairy products, fruit or vegetables.
The Wincle Brewery is just one of the many local producers in the area © Helen Moat
Although some of the big-brand coffee shops are sneaking into Peak towns, local tea rooms and cafés continue to thrive, while pubs resist big corporations or closure by buying in local, handpicked ales or starting their own micro-breweries. A few of them have their own in-house bakeries or make their own cheese, concentrating on preparing quality, locally produced dishes. Many of the pubs combine good food and beer with home-spun entertainment – resurrecting ancient customs or holding mini-festivals and weekly music sessions, some of the best in the country.
When choosing accommodation in the Peak District, you'll be spoilt for choice – there are hundreds of options to choose from. To help you with your decision, I’ve opted for places that are a little bit special in some way. They cover a wide spectrum: boutique hotels, country manors, homely B&Bs, farmhouse barn conversions and cottages, yurts, eco-pods, shepherds’ huts, camping barns and campsites with breathtaking views. There’s a Victorian boathouse and a hunting tower, just to name a few of the more unusual properties. Some of them have been chosen for their historical links, imposing architecture and landscaped gardens; others for their cosiness, eco-friendly approach and helpful owners who pay attention to detail. In all of them, I’ve looked for accommodation that provides guests with good value for money.