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“a wonderful retreat” 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
north wales
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
43 helpful votes 43 helpful votes
“a wonderful retreat”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 1, 2012

Have just come back from a week here.
We booked a 2 person dog friendly lodge.
I have to say it exceeded my expections by far. The lodge was lovely and clean with everything you could need including towels, t towels, wash up liq, etc. It had a sauna and spa bath with a tv in the lounge and bedroom. Lovely king size bed - all as the brochure really but sometimes the brochures fool you ! but not here. Considering some of the places we have stayed in with a dog this is excellent.
The only thing to note - but this was not a problem for us -was we couldnt get a phone signal on the site.
The park is very clean and well laid out. We had a takeaway from the pub - which as a previous review stated was being done up - but the carpet was being put dowen while we were there so I think it will be complete very soon. There is also a cafe to get breakfast or a bacon buttie - so no need to cook !
The pool is lovely and clean and very relaxing. There is a shop with all the basics.
Its about 5 min from Two dales where there is a pub and take away and 8 min from matlock where there are shops and restuarants.
I think this is defineitly a place where you need a car - but is close to all the towns.
Overall - very very relaxing if you want to get away from it all.
Not the cheapest place to go to but well worth the money.
We will return soon !!!!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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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520 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
mk
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2012

Just stayed for one week at the hoeseasons lodge nr Matlock. Lovely walks around the estate. And loads of villages / towns nearby with a good range of activities.
The swimming isn't the most child friendly so would recommend taking floats and toys but very clean.
The lodge was a dog friendly one so I wasn't expecting it to be that great, however it was really clean and didn't smell doggy! Also had dishwasher tablets etc so well thought out!
The only minor negatives were the pub/ restaurant was a little old but they were working on it when we were there. I wouldn't chose to eat there though.
Also the Internet access was one per house so I couldn't use my iPhone when my husband was on the laptop.

Places to visit: the cable car, playground and carvern at Matlock.
Howden reservoir
Bakewell
Ashover rock

We will be returning next yr!

  • Stayed March 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2012

We went for a weekend for my partners birthday with our pet. We stayed in an Elvaston lodge and this was very nice, modern, clean and fully equipped with everything you could possibly need. We didn't use any of the facilities on site apart from the Foresters Inn, so can't comment on anything else. Regarding the Foresters Inn, this was an average sought of place, nothing to rave on about. There were refurbishment works going on so some wall paper was hanging off and the place was thick with dust. Also, they had no toilets in there at the time of our visit and so you had to use porta-loos outside. We only sampled the drinks and some take-away chips, but these were lovely.

Also, the shop on site is very well stocked with cigarettes, wine and some yummy items and also has dvds which you can rent out for a cosy night in.

Overall Darwin Forest is an excellent base for exploring the Peak District. It is perfect for complete tranquility and peace and quiet, which is exactly what we were after and especially pleased you can get no mobile signal (which maybe bad to some!). Overall, we will defiantly be visiting again to get away from it all :).

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sutton Coldfield, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2012

Darwin Forest is a vast place which is easy on the eye. We went Mon-Fri and it seemed like a good deal. There were very few families there when we were present and you could imagine it being a little over run during the peak times. The skyline riber cabin was very nice, but it did seem a little close to the pub, the advantage being there wasn't long to walk to get to the amenities. The cabin itself was clean and well laid out, but it could get warm quickly. We used the hot tub a few times but without a cover above and good privacy it felt a little awkward. The first impression of reception, was not exactly beaming smiles and an embracing welcome. The place was quiet and could've been beautifully tranqual if it wasn't for the masses of structural work going on around the park, everyday one could hear JCB's, Trucks revving up. There was a contant ambient sound of work vehicles in and around the cabin. One evening they parked a JCB right in front of our main view. This was the biggest dissapointment during the stay. I appreciate work has to be done to maintain the site, maybe a warning should have been sent to customers and the opportunity to cancel. The holiday was further distrupted when the shower had a vast pool of water emerge on its first attempt of use. I was barely in for 2 mins before the pool of water had appeared. The sealant had completely gone around the edge and the most disappointing thing is that if anyone had checked it prior to our stay it would've been immediately obvious. Later in the week the dishwasher leaked again because the cleaners and site staff didn't check if it had been emptied. The maintenance guy who was quite brilliant sorted out the leak and we saw him a number of times around and he was always churpy and friendly. I didnt get a sense of any senior management being around, overseeing the park. The only site shop serves for emergency things needed, quite pricey. The Monkeys Kingdom was a place we visited only once with our 3 year old and it was very busy at a mid week lunchtime. Tables were'nt really cleared quickly enough which was a shame as the staff seemed lovely, just busy. The free soft play room is much smaller and for kids under 5 but it was great for a morning play as it was mostly empty and it would seem a better daily option. On the other side of Monkey Kingdom is a cafe which was virtually empty and we had meals over 2 nights from 4.30pm. The food was good, fresher than I thought it would be and reasonably priced, don't expect a varied hot food menu as it is really only a cafe. The chips were nice and the service quick. The walks around the site are well laid out, just mind the vehicles. Overall I didn't get incredibly excited about the place. Gullivers world and Heights of Abraham were closed mid week before the season starts in late March so beware. You need an outlet from the park to make the most from it. The final evening was spoilt by some late revellers in the park who were very noisy and inconsiderate coming out of the pub. I would've thought there was a warden to sort it out. I was tempted to get out of bed and give someone a call but a number wasn't handy or a phone signal to make that call which was a little unnerving. I'm sure our bad experiences aren't that common, but I can't help being disappointed with the whole place, it a shame beacause it has the potential to be very good.

Room Tip: Make sure major site work it over before you book and stay there.
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Pinelogger, Manager at Darwin Forest Country Park, responded to this review, March 23, 2012
Thank you for your feedback on Trip Advisor. For two mid-week days, at a relatively quiet time of year, we were carrying out resurfacing to roadways at the top end of the park. This was well away from your lodge, but it did involve vehicles occasionally passing by on the roadway. The JCB should not have been parked anywhere near your lodge, even though the driver considered it to be well screened behind an 8ft plus high fence. We are very sorry if this essential work disturbed your holiday. In terms of placing on the park, we encourage guests to let us know if they prefer a lodge in a secluded spot or one closer to the main facilities. We do our best to accommodate guests' wishes.
Apologies too for the standard of the shower sealant, which I gather was remedied whilst you were there.
We acknowledge that the screening on this hot-tub could be improved and we intend to do this right away.
Once again we are very sorry for these shortcomings and ask that you contact us directly to give us the opportunity to put this matter right for you.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Derby, United Kingdom
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2012

Spent 3 nights in a v,i,p with hot tub, with my husband and three small children. Once again beautiful lodge, very modern and clean. All equipment up to high standards. Beautiful spa, woddlands walks and fun in the swimming pool. Cannot fault this place. Highly reccomended x

Room Tip: peveril v.i.p
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  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 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.
Newark-on-Trent, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 29, 2012

we too loved darwin forest and are considering coming back this year, we too would love to bring our dog in the bar when we have a drink, it would mean a great deal to us, why is it you say you have to go with the majority who you say wou;d prefer not to let dogs in bar, i believe alot o people would feel the same and would like the option to maybe sometimes take their dog with them? generally my dog is better behaved and quieter than my 3 year old when we go out for lunch/tea. as long as dog owners are responsible , i dont see why there should be a problem, it would make your holiday experience alot more enjoyable.

  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2012

i've come here for a week break during the school hoildays and our cabin is not far from the goal posts and main enterance. Its lovely, hardly heard kids screaming or cars driving about. the cabin is made to a VERY hight standard. nice SONY appliances and many other creature comforts. on a whole its been lovely for my husband, our nearly 2 year old and myself. lots to do for all ages, Hubby has been off for a swin, i've been in the spa and gym and little one had the play center which was great fun....only bad point to add.......its the last day here tomorrow :(
kind regards

Room Tip: let the staff know what you want and you can't go wrong.
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  • Stayed February 2012, 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
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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