About the stunning Peak District
England’s most accessible outdoor destination, the Peak District is known and loved by millions for rich experiences offering relaxation, inspiration and adventure.
Discover and experience a place of contrasts and hidden gems, full of ancient customs, local food, rural traditions, festivals and events. An area of stunning natural beauty, with moors and dales, rivers and valleys, reservoirs, springs and caverns, with at its heart the Peak District National Park. Spanning four English counties in the heart of the country, the area is home to dozens of fascinating market towns & pretty villages, world famous attractions, heritage sites and breathtaking landscapes (see the Roaches below right).
The Sunday Times in September 2009 says “Staffordshire reveals its secrets slowly. It is an unsung county, particularly amongst the chattering classes, yet it contains some of the most dazzling landscapes in the British Isles – an English Switzerland. It is wild country: high limestone plateaus are crisscrossed with silvery stone walls and deeply incised with wooded valleys where waterfalls crash over boulders and alders hang on precipitous banks (see photo of Moothercap Moor below left).
The Staffordshire Moorlands encompass the southern portion of the Peak District National Park and then continue southwards to the edge of the Potteries at Stoke on Trent. For many years visitors have been delighted and surprised by the area. As long ago as the 17th century, a Dr Plot visited the area “My mind was heightened to see such vast rocks and such really stupendous prospects which I had never seen before”. More recently, John Higgins says “I often take walkers over The Roaches, and it matters not what time of year or which season: I never fail to be taken in by the scenery and totally immersed in the natural beauty. Views unfold that are unrivalled anywhere else in England….” Buy the “White Peak OS Map” to tempt yourself for what’s in store on your arrival.
The Peak District was the first of the UK National Parks, reflecting it’s beauty and importance. The Peak District has miles of fabulous upland moors and pretty valleys and is internationally important. More carbon is stored in UK peat than in the forests of Britain and France combined. It is home to much wildlife – some of it rare. Near Party Houses Peregrine Falcons have been nesting, curlews fill the skies in the summer and rare white winter hares can be seen.
All Party Houses are situated in the Peak District in the heart of England. The Peak District National Park is a very beautiful area and also has the bonus of being pretty much in the middle of England, and therefore convenient if guests are travelling from different parts of the UK. To quote from the Sunday Times of 27 April 2008 ” The Peak Distirct can be a revelation.. rugged without being daunting… cloud-scudding breezes accross vast, open skies and an impressive range of destinations and activites within easy reach”
Approximate distances are as follows:
- Birmingham: 47 miles
- Bristol: 134 miles
- London: 147 miles
- Leeds: 78 miles
- Manchester: 32 miles
The nearest airports are Manchester and East Midlands
Nearest train stations are Stoke on Trent (London Euston approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes) and Buxton.
Alton, Staffordshire, ST10 4DB
Take an unforgettable journey into the magical world of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at Alton Towers. An amazing adventure that’ll take you for the first time ever into the heart of the splendiferous Factory itself and on a ride inside the wondrous Great Glass Elevator. Make a break of it and stay at one of our uniquely themed hotels including Cariba Creek indoor waterpark and our luxurious Spa.
Open: Daily from approx Easter until the end of the Autumn half term holiday (Park may be closed for special events), 9.30am until one hour after rides and attractions close. For information on prices and opening times please check their website.
Cheddleton Valley Railway
Station Road, Cheddleton, Staffordshire Moorlands, ST13 7EE
A truly beautiful heritage railway deep in the heart of the Staffordshire Moorlands. Enjoy a 10.5 mile return Steam train ride between Cheddleton and Froghall incorporating the Splendour of Consall Forge and the Churnet Valley. There are special events at Christmas and on other occasions.
Open: Trains every Sat, Sun – March til end October, Steam trains every Saturday & Sunday, Wednesday in June, July, August and October. Half term and every day throughout August. Phone to check before travelling.
Peak Wildlife Park
Winkhill, Nr Leek
Both indoors and outdoors at the zoological park of The Moorlands. Birds, mammals, reptiles, aquarium, children’s pets and farm. Talks, displays, picnicking, play areas, shop, and excellent disabled access. New – visit the Penguins!
Manifold Valley Visitor Centre
Hulme End, Staffordshire, B5054
Based at the end of the Manifold Track in the former ticket office of the Leek and Manifold Light Railway, the centre provides direct access to the Manifold Track. An information service with a wide range of books, leaflets, maps and souvenirs is available. Permanent exhibition on the Manifold Valley. Scale model of the Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway celebrating it’s Centenary Year. Car park, picnic tables, cycle racks and fully accessible toilets. Open: Please telephone Leek Tourist Information Centre for opening times and more details: 01538 483741.
Biddulph Grange Garden – The National Trust
A National Trust, recently restored garden. It is a series of world garden rooms. Fabulous fun to explore for keen gardeners and children alike! A mid 19th Century garden designed by James Bateman, featuring the Egyptian Court, Chinese Garden and Temple, Pinetum, Fernery, Rock Gardens and tree lined avenues.
Mow Cop Castle
Mow Cop, Nr Biddulph, Staffordshire
Stunning views of North Staffordshire and the Cheshire plains can be seen from the remains of the castle.
Cheddleton Flint Mill
Cheddleton, Leek, nr. Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST13 7HL
Cheddleton Flint Mill originates from the 18th century and uses two working watermills for grinding flint. South Mill was modified in 19th century and now contains displays describing its relation to the pottery industry.
Off Buxton Road (A53) , Meerbrook, Leek, Staffordshire, ST13 8SW
Site open from 7.30am daily, Visitor Centre open from 10.00am daily (except Christmas Day). Closing times vary seasonally. Set in the heart of the beautiful Staffordshire Moorlands, Tittesworth Water has something for everyone
Outside there’s a children’s play area for all ages, refreshment kiosks – serving snacks, ice cream and drinks, a sensory garden, 2 bird hides, 2 walks and copious amounts of grass to keep the kids happy. You’ll also find an undercover BBQ area, so the British weather needn’t spoil your fun and plenty of picnic tables dotted around the site.
In the Visitor Centre, we have a new redesigned shop, 80 seater restaurant, serving everything from bacon baps in the morning, Staffordshire Oatcakes for lunch and cream teas in the afternoon. The centre also houses award winning toilets, including disabled and baby change facilities. The visitor centre has easy access to all areas including disabled parking facilities and wheelchair access to picnic tables and play equipment.
RSPB Coombes Valley
Six Oaks Farm, Bradnop, Leek, Staffs, ST13 7EU
Peaceful walks in secluded oak wooded valley. Many types of woodland birds can be seen as well as butterflies, flowers and other wildlife. Open 9am-9pm or dusk if earlier, closed Xmas Eve & Xmas Day.
Deep Hayes Country Park
Sutherland Rd, Longsdon, Stoke-On-Trent, Staffordshire, ST9 9QD
A 143 acres of woods, meadows and pools, with plenty of facilities, including a visitor centre and toilets.
The Staffordshire Moorlands borders the Derbyshire Peak District to the north and The Potteries to the south. Both are also interesting places to visit and accessible within a very short drive.
The Wedgwood Visitor Centre
Winner of the Heart of England Tourism Awards 2004, visitor attraction of the year. The Wedgwood Visitor Centre is an Audio-guided tour and includes an Exhibition area, real working factory tour, Hands on Demonstration area, Exclusive Shop, Factory Seconds shop, restaurant, Josiah’s Bistro and Film Theatre.
Open: Mon – Fri 9.00am – 5.00pm,
Sat 10.00am – 5.00pm, Sun 10.00am – 5.00pm.
Please ring for factory tour availability and admission prices or email: [email protected] Full disabled access.
Emma Bridgewater Factory Shop & Pottery Cafe
Two shops selling a wide variety of tableware, gifts, seconds and best quality bargains. Emma Bridgewater Pottery Cafe where you can paint your own pottery and a cafe offering refreshments.
Open: Mon-Sat 9.30am-5.30pm
Gladstone Pottery Museum
Award Winning preserved Victorian pottery factory complete with bottle ovens. Explore a maze of passageways and workshops. Skilled pottery demonstrations daily. Opportunity to throw a pot, make china flowers and decorate pottery to take home. Also, Flushed with Pride – the story of the toilet, tile gallery and 1890s doctor’s surgery.
Open: Everyday 10.00am-5.00pm
Allow at least 2 hours for a visit
Royal Stafford Factory Shop & Ceramic Cafe
Stoke on Trent
Visit the Royal Stafford Factory Shop and enjoy savings on a wide range of Tableware. In the Ceramic Cafe create your own colourful design on a selection of Tableware Giftware.
Open: Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 5.00pm (Factory Shop)
Monday – Saturday 9.30am – 5.00pm Final Studio time 3.00pm (Ceramic Cafe)
Spode Visitor Centre
Visit Spode for a truly unique experience. Decorate your own piece of pottery. Enjoy fully guided Factory tours, Museum, Blue Italian Restaurant and assorted factory and retail outlets.
Open: Mon – Sat 9am – 5pm, Sun 10am – 4pm.
Trentham is one of the most important historic gardens in Britain and is being returned to its full glory. With fabulous Italianate gardens and a vast lake, Trentham is a great day out for garden lovers. Trentham has so much more to offer and discover from extreme outdoor pursuits to leisure and retail, and a monkey forest, with hundreds of live monkeys for the children. The Village shopping offers heritage, recreation and craft shopping with restaurants, bars and cafe’s and at its head will be Trentham Garden Centre. Thousands of free car parking spaces.
Open: Year round.
Home to the Buxton Festival and a variety of wonderful shops and, of course, the spa waters still flow freely (many people bring empty bottles to fill up!). Buxton is situated about 12 miles north of Leek, about 12 miles from Toft Hall and 8 miles from Roaches Hall.
Ashbourne or the “Gateway to Dovedale” is situated about 14 miles east of Leek and about 7 miles from Hamps Hall and Hamps Barn. The town has many interesting individual shops and plenty of tearooms, restaurants and pubs.
Other key places to visit in the Peak district include Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall as well as many dozens of pretty little Moorlands villages. In particular, try Hartington for its cheese, Waterfall for the Red Lion Inn, and Longnor for its craft gallery, tea shop and Upper Limits climbing centre (for all the family).
Grindon village (3 miles from Hamps hall and Hamps Barn)
For big city life Derby and Stoke on Trent are both relatively close. Derby is billed as Englands most central city, which measn that 6 million people can access the City in less than an hour. It is home to Donnington Grand Prix Circuit, Pride Park (Derby City’s home ground) and is one of only 5 cities in the UK with a UNESCO World Hertiage site in its city centre. Stoke is famous for its wonderful Potteries factory shops and factory tours.