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“Excellent Family Holiday” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Darwin Forest Country Park

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Darwin Forest Country Park
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5.0 of 5 Lodge   |   Matlock, Darley Moor, Matlock DE4 5LN, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
UK
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Excellent Family Holiday”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2011

We stayed here for a week with our son (20 months old) and it was perfect.
The lodge was child friendly and very clean. The facilities were excellent - the use of the swimming pool, the free toddler play room, the forest walks and trails.
Although you have to pay extra for certain activities (e.g. the mini golf and the large indoor play centre), it was worth it. The food on site was variable - the cafe attached to the play centre was exceptional, but the food in the pub was just avarage.
Would definatly return again. Overall 5/5.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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521 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (114)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
worksop
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2011

Just stayed for the bonfire weekend and it was great. ,The fireworks were fantastic. We hired 3 lodges which were very clean and spacious and well equipped.We had a hot tub on 1 of the lodges which was a great. The park is very close to matlock and bakewell and well worth a visit, which we did. There were 18 of us all together and on saturday 4 of the men went golfing to allestree park which they enjoyed, the rest of us went for a 6 mile walk through the dales but after 4 miles we came across a pub called the plough, well we never did finish the walk as we ended up playing darts and cricket and drinking, the barmaid was very friendly.Would recommed the park and the plough pub.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wirral
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2011

My partner and I stayed for one week in September and had a thoroughly relaxing time.

The lodge we stayed in was very clean and well equipped, most things that you are likely to need are provided. The soft furnishings are a little tired but perfectly acceptable, I won't go on about the lodges themselves and the facilities in the park, as the other reviewers have already done that fairly accurately. The Forresters Arms is the pub in the park, it's just an ordinary pub serving ordinary pub food, nothing special apart from the high cost and nothing wrong with it.

The park is not not a five star hotel in the woods and anyone who is expecting that has misunderstood what the whole thing is about, it's about relaxing in a beautiful environment and recharging the batteries (especially the camera). This is a great place to just chill out and not have to think about what you are going to do that day, there is so much to see and do within 30 minutes drive of the park (e.g. Chatsworth House and Hardwick Hall, quaint little towns like Matlock and Bakewell, beautiful and historically interesting villages such as Eyam and attractions like The Heights of Abraham) that really it's just not possible to get bored in a week.
Of course it's perfectly possible that this is just not your thing, if that's the case and all you want is laid on entertainment and loud clubs then think before you go.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leicestershire
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 7, 2011

We had a lovely time at Darwin forest. There's plenty to do for young families both on the site and in the vicinity. The new indoor play is a great addition and one of the best we've been to. Free pool is also good. This site offers much better value than other similar parks and we would definitely recommend it for a week or weekend stay.

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luton, United Kingdom
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2011

Another fab short break at this lovely park. Special thanks to the team at the Little Monkeys play centre this is a brilliant facility for kids and they organised a halloween party when we were there which was well organised and good value for money. We stayed in the new woodsman lodges which are beautiful. Swimming pool great and loads to see and do in an around Matlock can highly recommend Chatsworth House just beautiful in the autumn. The only negative comment is The Foresters Inn on the park is dated, overpriced and food is very poor!

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Norwich, England, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2011

had a lovely week here stayed at number 12 was very clean , well layed out and equipped , nice pool although a bit small to be honest shop on site was well priced but did lack variety but was plenty good enough little monkeys was lovely all round although i do think the £3.50 per child was a bit steep as it was the same price for my 1 , 3 and 9 year old so it was costing me £10.50 every time so we only did it twice it was a nice base to explore although 2 weeks would probably be a bit to much here my only real gripe i have is with the foresters inn pub for 2 reasons the guy in there with glasses was the most miserable person i had met for a long while and the food which was ok was overpriced for what it was dont mind paying good prices for good food but this was just ok food with high prices

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Liverpool
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2011

Me and my partner have just returned from a very relaxing week at Darwin Forest Country Park. Here are our honest observations on this wonderful area in which to stay.

Cabin Fever!

The Riber lodge we stayed in (number 52) was well laid out. The kitchen was modern, well kitted out and we cooked a few meals successfully on the integrated oven. There was a large dining table with 4 chairs, but the table is far too close to the sink to get in and out comfortably.

The living room which adjoined the kitchen had a flat-screen TV, dvd player etc. The room was nice and cosy at night with the lights and heaters on. A great bonus for us was the french doors which opened onto a large decking area with a good sized table and 4 chairs.
A downside of the livingroom was the size of the sofa...it was a small 2-seater! and quite uncomfortable if you spend more than half an hour sitting on it....

The bedrooms were spacious and had plenty of storage (we had a 2 bed lodge meant for 4 people so we received a 2-person discount). We slept in the double bed so cannot comment on the 2 singles. The bed was quite firm as were the pillows, and the duvet and cover had most definately seen better days. The duvet was so heavy, it slipped constantly down to the end of the cover and kept falling off the end of the bed. These items seriously need to be replaced in this lodge.

The bathroom is spacious with a fab shower and piping hot water as long as you get a shower first!

We called into the Forresters Arms a few times, and its a friendly and reasonably priced pub. Food is ok. Typical pub grub.

All the lodges are situated in amongst trees which is fab for seeing wild life close up and personal! We had a bird feeder right outside the kitchen window which we stocked regularly with peanuts, much to the delight of Nuthatches, Coaltits, bluetits, greattits and we even saw a woodpecker!!!

Take plenty of peanuts, wild bird seed and sunflower seeds to attract the birds, and also monkey nuts to attract the squirrels.

There are lots to do in the area for people of all age groups. We didn't have dogs or kids so we were able to visit places like Chatsworth House and Hardwick Hall. Both are amazing.

We bought a book on walks of which there are many in the area. the Dovedale walk is easy and also the Minninglow walk.

We went to the plague village Eyam which is fascinating, and also went to Bakewell (Monday market) and Matlock which are both lovely little towns.

One point to note... there is no mobile signal on the site at all... if you stand by the reception, you might get a feint signal.

All-in-all, a great site, well worth the money out of season.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Darwin Forest Country Park

Address: Matlock, Darley Moor, Matlock DE4 5LN, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Derbyshire > Matlock > Darley Moor
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Darley Moor
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — Darwin Forest Country Park 5*
Number of rooms: 110
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
In the heart of the Peak District, Darwin Forest is a 5-star holiday park in a delightful woodland setting. Accommodation is in modern self-catering lodges with everything provided for a great family holiday. Lodges sleep form 2 to 8 people. Facilities include indoor swimming pool, indoor play area, bar/restaurant, tennis, beauty therapy, soft play and woodland walks. Darwin holds the David Bellamy Award for Conservation at Gold standard. Handy for Chatsworth, Bakewell, Haddon Hall and all the sights of the Peak District. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Darwin Forest Country Park Hotel Two Dales

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