We all headed to The Peak District for my boyfriends Mum’s 60th Birthday. We stayed in Darwin Lake Holiday Village which offers a range of cottages to accommodate different party sizes. The accommodation was great, it had everything we needed for a weekend away. The weather was bright and sunny which meant we could make use of the hot tub and the outdoor area overlooking the lake.
The cottages were brilliantly situated in the Peak District with tonnes of activities in the surrounding area.
Everyone thought it would be a great chance to cycle since there were so many cycle routes nearby. We looked online and found the two closest cycle routes;
We opted for the second option as there was a lot more to do for some of the party who didn’t want to cycle. We chose to tackle the lower of the three reservoirs; The Lady Bower. A great place to spend your day walking, jogging, biking or even just admiring the views. Closely situated next to Derwent Dam, home of the dam busters for those after a history fix.
The bike hire shop was close to the car park and offered a wide range of bikes including e-bikes. We opted for standard mountain bikes that were £15.00 each for the afternoon. We chose the easiest route as everyone was different abilities and some of the group hadn’t been on a bike since they were children.
Considering this was the easiest route it was defiantly a challenge! The ride started off mainly uphill although it wasn’t too steep and the ground was quite smooth. Midway through there were small sections with loose rocky terrain and a few small steep climbs. The views along the way were spectacular and everyone enjoyed the long descent at the end.
The route was about 15 miles and it took us around 3 hours to complete. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the ride and left feeling very accomplished. Some even said it inspired them to want to start cycling again, so the day was definitely a success!
On the way back to the cottage we stopped in a lovely pub called The Plough Inn, we didn’t get a chance to try their food but it smelt and looked great and they even have rooms if you want to stay in the area.
There is so much to do and see in the Peak District so we didn’t get to explore it all but here are some highlights from our trip;
Famous for the Bakewell Pudding. A beautiful small market town idyllically situated on the banks of the River Wye. There is a lot to see and do including gardens, museums, pubs, coffee shops, and numerous shops selling books, clothes, and gifts. I would definitely recommend The Peacock Inn for some delicious pub food.
We loved spending the day exploring Lea Gardens. A woodland garden specialising in rhododendrons, azaleas and kalmias. The garden is on the site of a medieval millstone quarry. Parking is free and it’s £6 to enter in May and only £3 in June. The onsight cafe overlooks the gardens. Perfect for families of all ages.
Our first visit to the Peak District went even better than we anticipated, we already can’t wait to go back!