20 Fab Things to Do in The Peak District - A helpful Video Guide
Alton Towers is arguably one of the most popular destinations in Alton, but neighbouring attractions like Cbeebies Land, Dimmingsdale, and Ilam Park among many others also deserve a visit! A trip to Alton Towers is a delight for kids, but adults could also enjoy their time in, and even out of of the amusement park with the plethora of activities to do and places to explore in the areas nearby:
Exciting things to do with the Kids in The Peak District
1. Try the Rides in Alton Towers
Alton Towers Resort, or AltonTowers, is one of England’s biggest theme parks. It is located in Staffordshire, and officially opened to the public in 1860. Alton Towers first welcomed guests on a regular basis after the opening of Alton railway station. The funds raised from railway excursions was to maintain the preservation of the grounds.
Alton Towers is open from mid-March to early November, while many of its hotels and amenities are open all year long. It is occasionally closed midweek during the quieter months. However, special events are held throughout the year, like Alton Towers Scarefest (Halloween event), and a season-ending fireworks display conducted during the last three days of the season.
Where is Alton Towers?
Relaxing things to see in The Peak District
Dimmingsdale is a beautiful valley haven for walkers, hikers, and those seeking serenity and impressive scenery.
Dimmingsdale is situated in the middle of Alton and Oakamoor and is handled by Forestry Commission and Staffordshire County Council. It features magnificent lakes, streams, and glorious rivers together with a mixture of verdant greeneries and large sandstone rocky outcrops that create a stunning scenery and an incredible habitat for wildlife.
The valley is also an ideal habitat for woodland flowers. During spring, the slopes boast of a carpet of bluebells, wood anemones and wood sorrel. While in the summer, ferns, foxgloves and blackberries flourish.
Where to find Dimmingsdale
Refreshing things to do in The Peak District
3. Alton Towers Waterpark
Alton Towers Waterpark, previously named Cariba Creek, is a water park located inside the Alton Towers Resort, in Staffordshire, England. It is themed to simulate a tropical lagoon, connecting the Splash Landings Hotel with indoor and outdoor water attractions.
After the opening of the Alton Towers Hotel in 1996, there were plans developed for another hotel that includes a water park. Originally named Splash Landings, the name of the then Alton Towers Waterpark changed to Cariba Creek when the hotel was obliged to drop the Calypso Springs name sometime in 2003.
Next to the new hotel, the water park opened in June 2003, but underwent a temporary closure while pending construction work was completed. Initially after opening, the water park was only exclusive to hotel guests. In 2004, however, the park made tickets available to all visitors.
Where to find Alton Towers Waterpark
Things to see and do for Vintage Enthusiasts in The Peak District
4. Edward and Vintage
Anything vintage has a classy and nostalgic feel about it , and in Edward and Vintage, visitors will never run out of things vintage and sweet. It is situated in the center of the Peak District, and housed in the old post office in Tissington village. It is frequented by locals and visitors to enjoy a tasty handmade ice-cream in the lovely gardens of the cottage after a tiring day of exploring. Their cocoa fudge and other childhood sweets are the highlight of their quaint and charming store.
Moreover, the owner of the shop is very much hands-on and their customer service is just as sweet as their treats, which make every visit to Edward and Vintage well worth your while.
Where to find Edward and Vintage
Things to see and do with the family in The Peak District
5. Peak Wildlife Park
Peak Wildlife Park, located in the heart of Staffordshire Peak District, offers a one-of-a-kind and immersive animal experience. The park features big walkthroughs that let guests encounter exotic and endangered animals from across three continents, face-to-face. Some of the animals that Peak Wildlife Park houses are penguins, lemurs, and wallabies, which guests can feed by hand.
There is also a regular keeper on-site to cater to the guests’ needs. For the kids, there is a play area available for their enjoyment, and it includes large bouncy castles, space hoppers, and trikes. The good thing too is that while enjoying this amazing wildlife park with loved ones, guests also help contribute to the preservation and conservation of earth’s most remarkable animals.
Where to find the Peak Wildlife Park
Free things to see and do in The Peak District
6. Ilam Park
Ilam Park is a huge country park, owned by the National Trust, bordering the remains of the nineteenth-century mansion of Ilam Hall. The Park is interweaved by walking trails, with links to trails further afield. The park measured around 158 acres, on both sides of the River Manifold.
A majestic sigh from the Italianate Garden is Holy Cross church, a Victorian refurbishment of an old medieval church, itself a rebuilt of an earlier Saxon church. That early church was constructed around the shrine of St Bertram. The ornate carvings in front of the church show scenes from the saint's life, and in the southern chapel is a 13th-century altar table which serves as St. Bertram's shrine.
Where to find Ilam Park
Cultural things to see and do in The Peak District
7. Gladstone Pottery Museum
Gladstone Pottery Museum near Alton Towers is the sole complete Victorian pottery factory from the olden days when coal burning ovens made the finest pottery. Traditional skills, original workshops, and the vintage cobbled yard and large bottle ovens take visitors back in time. Gladstone Pottery lets visitors explore the bottle kilns and exhibits in the principal ancillary rooms: the engine house, saggar making workshop, and the slip room.
Guests can also visit the gift shop and tea room to have a go at throwing a pot, creating a bone china flower or decorating pottery. Visitors are reminded to please allow two to three hours for their visit. The shop and cafe, which serves an array of drinks and light lunches, are also open to non-museum visitors.
Where is the Gladstone Pottery Museum
Architectural marvels to see in The Peak District
8. St. Giles Church
St. Giles' Church is a Catholic church situated in the town of Cheadle, Staffordshire, England. This Grade I listed Gothic Revival church was conceptualized and designed by Augustus Pugin. It is by far the tallest building in the town, with a spire height of 61m / 200ft.
The significance of St. Giles' is in the fact that it is the product of one brilliant mind. Pugin understood the principles of architecture and Gothic art and knew how to apply them. It is what distinguishes Pugin as the primary architect of the Gothic Revival, and St. Giles' as his masterpiece and the perfect epitome of what he believed an English Gothic church should be.
Where is St. Giles Church
Things to see and do with the family in The Peak District
9. Uttoxeter Racecourse
Uttoxeter Racecourse is a National Hunt racecourse in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, England. Since 1907 it has been the countryside home to racing in Staffordshire. With twenty-five events annually, from the Midlands Grand National to Family Fun Days, from Music Live Racenight to the Beer Festival Raceday, the whole family is sure to enjoy here because there is truly something for everyone.
Providing conference and event facilities for meetings, banquets, weddings, music festivals, exhibitions, caravan rallies and even car shows, Uttoxeter Racecourse offers acres of space flexible for any kinds of event.
Where is Uttoexter Racecourse?
Pampering yourself in The Peak District
10. Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat
Moddershall Oaks, once a charming country property, has been turned into a splendid setting for an adult-friendly spa retreat center and wedding venue. It is a family run business, with ten luxury hotel suites that are wonderful for weekend spa breaks, a quick break from the hustle and bustle of the city or an escape from home.
There are spa day packages available that offer relaxation and pampering to cater to a range of budgets. The outdoor area has a bespoke outdoor vitality pool with water jets and a soothing outdoor Kelo pinewood Sauna. There is also a restaurant that offers a spectacular view of the property and delicious food. Moddershall Oaks is the perfect place to relax, destress, and indulge in comfort and tranquility.
Where to find Moddershall Oaks Country Spa Retreat
Historical things to see in The Peak District
11. Croxden Abbey
At its peak in the thirteenth century, Croxden Abbey in Staffordshire, England, housed around 70 monks. After its suppression in the 1530’s, the Croxden Abbey was converted into a farm. The church roof was also removed, leaving it to rot to the elements.
Nevertheless, there is still a lot to be seen. The remaining parts even now are stunning and they give a vivid picture of how striking the abbey would have been.
The well preserved remnants have stories to tell and even more interesting details to share.
A fraction of the southern section of the Croxden Abbey has endured the passage of the time and the rough elements too. Some parts of the infirmary and the 14th century abbot’s lodging, and the sacristy can be also seen.
Where to find Croxden Abbey
Mysterious things to see in The Peak District
12. Money Tress
In other places, people toss coins in wishing wells in exchange for their wish coming true, but in Dovedale, coins are pressed into trees for the same intent. ‘Money Trees’ are an odd marriage between manufactured metal and nature, and a result of a tradition that dates back to centuries before.
Dovedale’s Money Trees are believed to have pagan roots, and the belief that any sickness you a suffering from will be healed when you force coins into the trees. A lot of these trees are just dead stumps, but some are still alive. Unfortunately, forcing metal into them can be harmful; there has been already a report of an oak tree in the Highlands dying from metal poisoning.
Getting to the Money Trees in Dovedale
One-of-a-Kind things to do in The Peak District
13. Kingsley Bird & Falconry Centre
Kingsley Bird & Falconry Centre near Alton Towers has one of the most diverse collections of birds of prey in the country. It is a great place for visitors to see & learn about the birds. The center is located alongside the Churnet Valley with panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. The offer day packages where guests are toured around bird enclosures and backdoor operations to have a deeper understanding about these magnificent winged creatures.
It retains the biggest remaining concentration of semi-natural woodland in Staffordshire and is noted for its high natural flora value and breeding bird populations. All 5 species of British owls breed here in addition to several raptor species. There are also othea bird species ranging from snowy owls, falcons, eagle owls, barn owls, and even kookaburras.
Where is the Kingsley Bird & Falconry Centre
Adrenaline-pumping things to do in The Peak District
14. Target-shooting at Doveridge Clay Sports
Doveridge Clay Sports facility is located between Stoke on Trent and Derby, making it ideally perfect for clay shooting as well as clay shooting lessons in the Midlands. The shooting grounds cater to all abilities and they offer an array of shooting lessons for beginners or for those who just want to practice their shooting skills further.
The Bramley Family owns Doveridge clay Sports and they have been managing Doveridge Clay Sports Club for the past 16 years, sharing their own experience to clients who pass through their door. Their knowledge and experience allow the Bramleys to give guests the best clay pigeon shooting in the Midlands by combining this with competition-standard grounds and facilities.
Getting to Doveridge Clay Sports
Vintage things to see in The Peak District
15. Norbury Manor
Norbury Manor is a fifteenth-century Elizabethan manor house and the adjacent thirteenth-century stone-built medieval Norbury Hall, also known as The Old Manor in Norbury near Ashbourne, Derbyshire.
Norbury Manor was first owned by the FitzHerbert family from the twelfth century, awarded to William Fitz-Herbert in fee-farm by the Tutbury Priory in 1125. The manor house constructed by William FitzHerbert in the mid-fourteenth century is still impressively well-preserved. The Old Manor is noted for its historic architectural structures including a rare king post, medieval fireplace, a charmingTudor door and some seventeenth-century Flemish glass.
Meanwhile, the neighbouring Tudor house was built by Ralph FitzHerbert in the mid-fifteenth century and renovated in about 1680, but maintains many of the original features.
Where is Norbury Manor?
Meditative things to do in The Peak District
16. Peak Pilgrimage
The Peak Pilgrimage is a long-distance footpath walk from Ilam to Eyam designed to be enjoyed by all, regardless of age. The clear, thorough directions written in the guidebook and the welcoming ambiance within all the churches visited are conducive for relaxing and creating a connection with God and one’s self.
Nowhere is the walking more relaxing, accessible, soul-restorative, and contemplative than in the Peak District National Park. Nevertheless, Peak Pilgrimage is not necessarily taken on foot - for those with less time car/bike journeys are still acceptable. The journey and the experience is the main event, no matter how it is taken.
Getting to the Peak Pilgrimage
Eccentric things to see in The Peak District
17. Beamhurst Museum
Beamhurst Museum is a privately-owned museum which is also open during the weekends. If first welcomed the public in August 2010 and were already flooded b visitors in a matter of days. The uniqueness and eccentricity of the collections and the diverse variety of items to see make Beamhurst Museum stand out. It houses more than a thousand items related to Uttoxeter. The museum features a vast collection of unique clocks, prams, bikes, enamel signs, brewery memorabilia, music boxes, barrel organ, petrol globes, pumps, small carriages, bottles, lamps, radios, pottery and a lot more. They also have antique watercolours as well as impressive oil paintings.
Where is Beamhurst Museum?
Gastronomic and historic places to try in The Peak District
18. The Star Inn
The Star Inn is a family-owned and family-run tavern and restaurant. The present owners bought the pub in January 2016 . They are also relatives of a local family who previously owned the Star from the early 1900’s until 1973. The building since then hadundergone many improvements in its interiors and externally.
The Star Inn has a colourful history dating back to the early 1600’s. Located in the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands, the structure has been at the center of village life in the hamlet of Cotton for hundreds of years. It has been a coach house, a courthouse, and a grocers. A lot of these initial features are still intact in the building today, including the old metal bars on one of the windows of a room that was once a holding cell for the courthouse.
Getting to The Star Inn
Best places to dine in The Peak District
19. Queen's at Freehays
In the charming village of Freehay, a short distance from Alton Towers is the wonderful "Queens at Freehay" Public House and Restaurant. The vintage building dates back to the 18th century and is surrounded by mature trees and a well-tended and manicured garden. Stepping over the threshold, though, guests will be pleasantly surprised to see a refreshingly contemporary interior with bright décor and posh tables and chairs.
Their a la carte package offers something to cater to every taste and appetite with two daily specials menus for fresh fish and meat dishes. The fine cuisine is available every lunchtime and evening. Kids are always welcome, and they will sure to enjoy the delectable dessert Queens at Freehay offers.
Where is Queen's at Freehays
Stress-relievers to try in The Peak District
20. Cruise through Cromford Wharf to Leawood Pumphouse
The full Birdswood Friends of the Cromford Canal experience is a two-hour cruise leaving from Cromford Wharf and back to Cromford Wharf. During a Regular-powered boat trip, guests may choose to ride on the boat one way and explore the area fully or walk on.
They will also have the chance to have a tour of the back cabin and a short description of how the families lived on that very boat. While the boat is turning around, passengers are invited to take a short walk of 300 meters to appreciate the panoramic views of Leawood Pumphouse and the Aqueduct over the River Derwent before the return trip back to Cromford Wharf.