There are many things for the younger members of your party to do around and about all our Party Houses in the Peak District.
Firstly, how about a list of free activities? The RSPB Coombes Valley Nature Reserve near Leek, has lots of trails for youngsters to follow, a Young Woodland Loop which is suitable for walking with pushchairs, and often hosts children’s events. It is free to enter!
At Tittesworth Water, near Meerbrook, there is a lovely free children’s playground (and a tea room for the Mum’s). On the other side of the lake, The Lazy Trout beckons for lunch, with a garden for the kids to enjoy (and beautiful views over the Roaches).
The Manifold Valley is also a great place to go for a walk as it is a disused railway line. So it is both flat and also tarmaced, which means it is suitable for pushchairs. Brown End Cycle Hire at Waterhouses (at one end of the Manifold Valley) gives discounts to Party Houses guests and you can also hire bikes with little trailers for the wee ones behind!
There are plenty of activities, for example on wet days;
Pottery painting in the heart of the Potteries, we especially like Royal Stafford and Bridgewater China (especially as a Mum can buy great factory seconds bargains at the same time!).
Pottery Painting at Royal Stafford Pottery
How about getting the kids to catch their own tea? There is a childrens pool at Danebridge Fisheries in Wincle where they can catch their own trout! www.danebridgefisheries.com
Visit the Museum of Childhood at Sudbury Hall (National Trust) . Re opened in 2008 after multi £ millions have been spent, it was good before and is fantastic now!
Heights of Abraham in Matlock is great for all ages. You travel from the valley floor in cable cars to the top of the hill for fantastic views. There are show caves to walk around, a fossil factory and great walks as well as childrens playgrounds. The cafe is lovely too. www.heightsofabraham.com Tel – 01629 582365
Visit Styal Mill. This is a National Trust property which explains and demonstrates the life of those working in a cotton mill (including the house where the children apprentices lived complete with the leeches they used for medical purposes and a school room). If ever your children shout ‘it’s not fair’ take them here to remind them of how lucky they are, compared to those youngsters of the olden days!
Water World at Festival Park in Stoke claims to be the largest water flume park in the country – a good one to wear them out! (But get there close to opening or late afternoon to avoid the bigger queues for the flumes).
Conkers near Ashby-de-la-Zouch (www.visitconkers.com) has both indoor and outdoor attractions and is the award winning National Forest centre (open daily – except Christmas Day)
Trentham Gardens has a variety of activities for the kids to enjoy. There is the Trentham Monkey Forest – the only place in Britain where you can walk amongst 140 Barbary Macaques who are free to roam throughout 60 acres with you (www.monkey-forest.com). Also at Trentham are the fantastic, recently renovated, gardens opened by HRH Prince Charles. For the younger ones the gardens have an adventure playground, a series of gardens designed by local children and the Bare Foot Walk where you walk along a pathway of different textures from water to sand to fir cones! For older ones, try out Aerial Extreme – a tree top challenge course 40 feet up in the air(www.aerialextreme.co.uk)
Peak Wildlife Park is just in the next village from Hamps Hall and Barn and no more than 20 minutes from any Party House (Winkhill, Near Leek, ST13 7QR). It is the UK’s largest bird park, with a huge variety of birds from Penguins to Flamingoes and also has many small mammals like Meerkats, Wallabies and Giant Tortoises. You can pay extra and be a Keep for a Day or have close up visits to the penguins and other animals. There is also a very large Jungle Bounce Bouncy Castle for the kids. It also has a lovely tea rooms and is open all year round (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day). 01538 308880.(http://www.peakwildlifepark.co.uk)
Kingsley Bird and Falconry Centre has a large number of owls, hawks, falcons and eagles. You can take a guided tour or book a special event where you can handle or fly the birds! www.kingsleyfalconry.co.uk or call 01538 754784
Visit Hill Billy Ice Cream in Wildboarclough. Made on the farm (you can see all the baby animals too), it is fresh and delicious.
The Rudyard Lake Steam Railway, Rudyard Station, Rudyard, Near Leek, ST13 8PF is a narrow gauge steam railway that runs alongside the Rudyard Lake for a 3 mile return trip. It is approximately half the size of a full scale narrow guge railway so great fun for all the family. trains run whatever the weather and have covered carriages. For ‘big kids’ you can also go on a Steam Driver Course and drive your own train! Alternatively why not hire a private charter for your group? Tel: 01995 672280 www.rlsr.org
The famous Alton Towers is about 20/30 minutes away, or a bit further is Gulliver’s Kingdom at Matlock Bath (you can also take a cable car ride here) or Drayton Manor Theme Park near Tamworth. As well as the scary rides, Drayton Manor has a zoo and the famous Thomas Land – 12 themed rides based on the Thomas the Tank Engine characters (www.draytonmanor.co.uk).
For fun in the outside without spending any money, a treasure hunt can be enjoyed by adults and children alike. See our page on Orienteering and Treasure Hunts for more ideas.
Instead of the indoor climbing wall, take them to The Roaches where they can scramble around on rocks for real. Don’t panic, we are not suggesting that they climb the huge rock faces, but there are a number of big boulders laying all over the ground, just right for active youngsters.
Messing about on the rocks at The Roaches
This is just a selection of ideas if you have any specific interests let us know and we will try to help find the local equivalent.
In the stocks at Eyam village