Riding House Farm (near Castleton) has two cottages--we stayed three nights in Milkmaid's Cottage, which has two storeys, with kitchen, living room and full bathroom downstairs, and a large bedroom with superking bed ('king size' to Americans) and another full bathroom upstairs.
The cottage was genuinely comfortable (the bathrooms were modern and sparkling clean) with antiques upstairs. The setting, a working farm with sheep and beef cattle, was very quiet (and very far back off the main road, so ask for directions or you'll get lost like us).
The owners, Denise and David (whose house is attached to the cottages), were too nice for words. We found a welcome card and a complimentary bottle of wine and box of chocolates in the cottage, and Denise came over two days later on my birthday and gave me a birthday card (I briefly mentioned my birthday when checking in). She and David also rescued my husband when he broke his tooth by sending us to their dentist (who saw my husband immediately). Denise sent us a thank-you card for our stay after we got home. No one's ever done that before!
The cottage was £30 a night less expensive, and a lot more luxurious, than 'posh' hotels in Buxton and Bakewell (and cheaper than most B & Bs we considered in the Peak District).
David directed us to a public trail behind the farm that took us along the ridge between the Hope and Edale Valleys. Getting to the ridge is a very (!) steep climb, but the views were fabulous and the walk along the ridge to Mam Tor very easy, with great views of Peveril Castle too.
Skip the Castleton pubs and eat at the George Hotel in Hathersage (three-course gourmet meal for £16 a person if you go between 6:30 & 7:30pm). Also talk to David about the state of British farming--my husand and I learned more from him in an hour than from years of reading newspaper reports.
Bolsover Castle, Haddon Hall and Hardwick Hall (by far the best) are worth a visit, but we thought Chatsworth House was too commercial (and expensive). But the views (especially around Castleton and Hathersage) are the real reason to visit the Peaks.
- Also Known As:
- Riding House Farm Castleton, England