For that quintessential Peak District family holiday, your best option is a holiday cottage. These are often converted barns or old farm houses oozing with character and charm. And as they’re self catering, it’s an easy option for families who want to be on their own schedule. However, these are usually booked on weekly rates. If you book for a weekend, you are still often paying the weekly rate (just something to be aware of).
1. Bluebird Cottage, Parwich
4 guests · 2 bedrooms · 4 beds · 1 bathroom Click here to check prices and book.
Before moving to the Peak District, our favourite place to stay as a family was on this little farm, 2 miles north of Parwich. With a large double bedroom and smaller twin bedroom, the beautiful barn conversion named Bluebird Cottage comfortably sleeps a family of four. This is a home from home, so you have a lounge with TV and a fully equipped kitchen (including dining table, dishwasher and microwave).
There’s a large grassy garden behind the cottage and our boys loved feeding the donkeys. There are also goats and horses on the farm, and if you visit in Spring you’ll see lambs being born and perhaps get to hold one!
There is also Dover Barn next door to Bluebird Cottage, which also sleeps four. The owners of this family-run farm are such lovely people and very down-to-earth. We can’t recommend a stay with them enough.
It’s a great location with beautiful walks on your doorstep, a short drive to attractions such as The Heights of Abraham and Crich Tramway Museum, and the local village down the road has a lovely little playground opposite the pub.
2. Knockerdown Holiday Cottages, Carsington Water
16 different cottages sleeping 4-6 people Click here for more information and to book.
When your day starts with a massage, and ends with a jump in a private pool, you know you’re onto a good thing. Knockerdown Holiday Cottages, just a stones throw from Carsington Water and on the edge of the Peak District National Park, goes beyond being a home from home holiday accommodation. The onsite facilities make it especially perfect for families, with a swimming pool, games room, and playground, and parents will certainly appreciate a little time out at the spa. Plus the location is absolutely spot-on for outdoor-loving families.
There are sixteen self-catering cottages at Knockerdown Holiday Cottages to choose from, and each cottage has its own personality with individual style, sleeping between four and six people. We stayed in Butteron, which sleeps four.
You can read our full review of our stay in Butterton Cottage, Knockerdown Holiday Cottages here.
3. Beeches Apartments, Baslow
4 guests · 2 bedrooms · 4 beds · 1 bathroom Click here for more information and to book.
Beeches Apartments offer two beautiful 2-bed apartments (Chatsworth Retreat & Garden View), just outside Bakewell. Chatsworth House is only a 5 minute drive away and Matlock Bath only a 20 minute drive. It is also a short walk away for one our top family friendly pubs in the Peak District, The Wheatsheaf, which also has a fantastic play area.
In both apartments guests are provided with a high chair, a travel cot and child’s crockery for a stress-free stay. Both have plenty of space inside and lots of storage space. Outside there is a huge shared garden where children can play.
4. Robin Hood Farm, Baslow
4 guests (+1 baby) · 2 bedrooms · 4 beds · 1 bathrooms Click here for more information and to book.
This single-storey cottage consists of two bedrooms, one bathroom and an open-plan lounge centred around a wood burner (starter pack of logs included) with a modern kitchen/dining area. It also includes exclusive access to a large lawned garden (great for football or cricket!) with outdoor dining and additional patio area at the front of the cottage, making it the perfect place to enjoy a dog-friendly, rural retreat.
A breakfast hamper is provided upon arrival, including some delicious local produce that you can rustle up in the well equipped kitchen! There is also a selection of books and games for families to enjoy.
Kate from our Facebook Group says: “The cottage has 2 bedrooms, a hot tub and an enormous garden. At the end of the garden is a gate which takes you out onto an amazing walk for kids up Birchen Edge! Loads of rocks for the kids to climb. It’s brilliant – can’t recommend it enough. Also dog friendly.”
5. Sparrows North, Buxton
8 guests · 4 bedrooms · 4 beds · 4 bathrooms Click here for more information and to book.
Sparrows North is a beautiful period property, just a ten minute walk from the centre of Buxton (check out our guide to visiting Buxton with kids). Set over three storeys, it sleeps eight people across four bedrooms.
This self-catering accommodation has recently been renovated by the current owners to a very high standard. They have cleverly mixed period charm with modern luxury: retaining many of the original features of the property, such as the beautiful fireplaces and sash windows, but including up-to-date features such as underfloor heating, wi-fi, bluetooth speakers and even a Tesla electric car charging point.
The large muddy boot room is a clever idea, and the washing machine extremely handy for families. A cot can be provided on request, and a high chair is provided. There’s also a lovely small garden with open views.
“Every detail has been thought of in this beautiful house and you really are in for a treat from the moment you pull onto the drive. From the White Company toiletries in the bathrooms (to match the White Company bedding and towels) and the amazing hamper which greeted us when we entered the kitchen (filled with a large selection of treats and essentials from the Peak District Deli) to the large selection of family games and the extensive collection of DVDs in the Family Room…it is clear that so much thought and care has been put in to ensuring that your stay is absolutely perfect in every way!”
6. Coachmans Cottage, Stoney Middleton
6 guests · 3 bedrooms · 5 beds · 2 bathrooms Click here for more information and to book.
Set in a peaceful courtyard, Coachmans Cottage is well located for everything the gorgeous Peak District has to offer. The three bedrooms are all a good size and the cottage has been refurbished to a high standard. There is a cosy fireplace in the large living room and the kitchen includes a dishwasher, oven and washing machine. There’s also a big dining room table to eat around. In front of the property is a large courtyard with plenty of parking. Behind the cottage is a pretty stream and the village church.
Chatsworth House is a 15 minute drive away and there are numerous walks from the doorstep. There are plenty of local eateries and the nearby pub and takeaways come highly recommended.
Guests are provided with a highchair and there is plenty of space for a travel cot if you need to bring one.
7. Darwin Forest, Matlock
Darwin Forest is an award-winning lodge luxury resort on the edge of the Peak District National Park. Claire from Tin Box Traveller stayed for three nights with her family, but wish they’d stayed longer!
“We could have easily filled a week making use of the swimming pool, soft play and our own hot tub, as well as exploring Derbyshire. There is lots going on in the park for older kids too: sports, pool games, archery and zorbing. It may sound busy but it’s actually such a tranquil place for a family break. Waking up to lush, green surroundings and the sound of birds chirping in the trees was idyllic.”
Hello! 'Peak District Kids' is the go-to website for parents both visiting and living in the Peak District run by Bakewell-based Mum, Jenny. Find out about the best walks, bike rides, attractions and events for families in the UK's oldest National Park.