Activities
Activities
Peak District While many people visit us just to enjoy life on the farm there's also an enormous amount to do locally. Countryside enjoyment starts with some of the best walking and cycling in the country on a network of bridleways and footpaths which start on the doorstep. There's a trekking centre in the village so you can enjoy the same on four legs.

Some of England's best loved country houses are on the doorstep. A visit to Chatsworth House and gardens, the water staircase, maze, and a picnic by the river, finishing off in the spectacular adventure playground if you've got children with you,  makes for a truly glorious day out.
Peak District For more structured entertainment Buxton Opera House has great family productions as well as higher-brow opera and ballet, the local 'classic' cinema screens exclusively new releases, and Alton Towers is a short drive away. The various caves in Buxton and the Hope valley provide a fascinating insight into these natural and man-made caverns and are always popular with the children.

For more ideas have a look at the sections below.
Walking and riding
Stepping Stones The Peak District is known as one of the world's most spectacular national parks and it's easy to see why. The countryside varies stunningly between lush river valleys, hill pasture, and dramatic moorland, all covered by footpaths and bridleways making for some of the most wonderful walking and riding in the country.

Our driveway leads to a bridleway on the famous Three Shires Head network, from here you can reach many of the district's network of paths and quiet roads ideal for exploring the spectacular Peak District, many of which pass great country pubs for a well-earned lunch. Chrome Hill is a favourite hike starting from the next valley to ours.
Walking Cycling
Forest including the Trans Pennine Trail and purpose designed cycle tracks along former railway lines like the High Peak and Tissington Trails, the Five Pits Trail and the Sett Valley Trail. There are also many opportunities for mountain biking, with certain areas specially designated for off-road cycling. If you're bringing your own bikes there's free storage on-farm, and if you aren't you’ll find numerous cycle hire centres, such as Shipley Country Park, Carsington Water and Derwent Information Centre, where you can hire a bike for a few hours or a few days. There's lots more information at the Peak District's cycling site.

Riding
Riding
There's a riding centre in our village who can arrange treks of any distance to suit all abilities. The less experienced can sign up for lessons at the local riding school.

Country houses
We're surrounded by some of England's most beautiful and exciting country houses, all between 20 to 40 minutes drive from us. Many have spectacular gardens and children's playgrounds.

Chatsworth House Chatsworth House is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire and home to the Cavendish family since 1549. The house is truly splendid and contains a collection of wonderful paintings. The garden is one of the most important in England, and has a maze, Cascade (water staircase) and a natural pressure fountain which can reach nearly 300 feet. There's a visitor farmyard and really excellent adventure playground.
Haddon Hall Described as "the most perfect house to survive from the middle ages" Haddon Hall, a fortified medieval manor house dating from the 12th Century surrounded by terraced Elizabethan gardens, is the home of Lord and Lady Edward Manners whose family have owned it since 1567. Its beauty and atmosphere never fail to enchant and it's featured in many films and TV programmes including Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightly and Dame Judy Dench.
Tatton Park is one of the UK’s most complete historic estates. The 16th century Old Hall, Tatton Hall, Japanese and Italian gardens, rare breeds farm and children's playground is set in 1,000 acres of deer park created by a royal charter in 1290, and is host to over 100 events annually. The park is very popular and is a wonderful place for a family day out, it's also been used for numerous film locations including Casanova and Brideshead Revisited.
Lyme Park is perhaps best known now as the the backdrop to where Colin Firth's Darcy meets Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice. The largest in Cheshire, the Grade I listed, 16th century mansion is surrounded by formal gardens and a deer park. The magnificent estate was granted to Sir Thomas Danyers in the mid 14th century for his service to the Black Prince in the Battle of Crécy; it passed to the Legh family some 50 years later.
Little Moreton Hall Little Moreton Hall, one of the finest examples of timber-framed domestic architecture in England, is a moated 15th-century half-timbered manor house dating from 1450. It's been described as "a ginger bread house lifted straight from a fairy story".
Biddulph Grange Biddulph Grange "...boasts one of the most extraordinary gardens in Britain: it contains whole continents, including China and Ancient Egypt - not to mention Italian terraces and a Scottish glen." It was developed by James Bateman in the mid nineteenth century using money from his father's coal and steel businesses.
Gawsworth Hall Originally from Norman times Gawesworth Hall was rebuilt in 1480. The estate belonged to the Fitton family one of whom was Mary Fitton, maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth I. It has been said that to see Cheshire you must see Gawsworth Hall, and on a tour of the house’s historic rooms you will see fine paintings, furniture, sculpture and stained glass.
The home of the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire Capesthorne Hall was built in the early 18th century. This distinctive Jacobean style house with Georgian Chapel and delightful gardens and lakes is set in over 100 acres of parkland, and has been the family home of the Bromley Davenports since 1726. The collection includes fine art, marble sculptures, tapestries, Regency, Jacobean and Rococo antiques from throughout Europe and America and the Far East.
Country life
Milking Get involved in local farm life, visit farm shops, the ice cream farm, or wander around our alpaca fields. This is great badger country: in the evening there's nothing so exciting as watching the dusk exodus of tens of badgers off on their nocturnal rounds.
Alpacas
On-farm we can organise a meeting with our alpacas, and our local beef farmer is very welcoming to visitors wanting to meet some cows.


There's a fishing lake at Danebridge Fisheries in Wincle (3 miles), it also has a small fishing pen suitable for young children (guaranteed trout catch). Fishing More extensive fishing and the nicest swimming is at Rudyard Lake (20 minutes by car) which has a sailing club, boat hire, and a mini steam train.

The College of the Peak and National Stone Centre and the The Derbyshire Eco Centre run wonderful courses in many rural and 'eco' themes like dry stone walling, stonemasonry, building with straw, timber self-build, heritage roofing, geo-conservation, paving, letter cutting, and cane seat making. Many of which have 'taster' days for the whole family. Book early though, these courses are very popular.

Arts Derbyshire has details of numerous courses and workshops including photography, life drawing, water colours, and dancing.
Family visits
If you're looking for a day off from walking but still have some energy left I can suggest a range of great days out.
Rudyard Lake Fishing, sailing, and swimming
All the local towns have swimming pools. At Rudyard Lake there's fishing and swimming, and also a sailing club (they run sailing courses in summer), boat hire, and a mini steam train.
Peak Rail
Larger steam trains are at Churnet Valley Railway (30 minutes) or Peak Rail in Rowsley (20 minutes). Peak Rail can organise 'self drive tuition'!



Climbing the Roaches Climbing, abseiling, and caving
For the inexperienced or those looking to hone their skills there's an indoor climbing wall at Upper limits in Leek (15 minutes drive): great fun. And for the more experienced the Roaches (and here for a video), one of England's best known climbing areas, is 5 minutes drive away. Aspire Adventure Activities run day (and longer) courses in climbing, abseiling, caving, mine exploration, and orienteering.

Welsh beach Beaches
Blackpool (Pleasure Beach and theme park) is served by a direct train from Buxton station. The beach is good but crowded with all Blackpool's uniquely British seaside shops and stalls. Much less populated and more beautiful is the north Welsh coastline from Prestatyn westwards to Anglesea. Blackpool by train from Buxton takes 2.5 hours. The north Wales coast is about 2 hours drive.

Canal boats
Self-drive narrowboats can be day-hired from Macclesfield (20 minutes) or Congleton (25 minutes) on either the Macclesfield or Trent and Mersey canals.

Speedwell cavern Sub terranean
These are always popular with the children. There're many caverns nearby: some natural, some erstwhile mines, including Pools Cavern (Buxton), and Blue John, Speedwell (only accessible by boat), and Peak caverns in Castleton (20 minutes).


Not for the faint hearted...
Spend the day swinging from the tree tops at GoApe in Buxton!

Falconry
Try your hand at some falconry at the Falconry Experience at Roliston (about 1 hour's drive)

Golf
Buxton, Macclesfield, and Leek all have golf courses.

Local towns
Macclesfield was the centre of silk production in the 18th century. Many of the mill buildings are still standing and there are several museums covering this great part of our history. Buxton (10 minutes drive) is a spa town and was built by the Romans, there's lots to see here including some fine Georgian architecture. It's our nearest town and probably has all you'll need in terms of local shopping.
Entertainment
Buxton Opera House Buxton Opera House has an excellent 7-day programme of family entertainment as well as some opera.

Try a visit to 'the Glyndebourne of the north', Clonter Opera offers intimate theatre of operatic productions as well as Jazz and other musical events. It's about 30 minutes drive and they'll cater for your interval dining if you don't want to take your own picnic.

Macclesfield has a great 'classic' cinema showing almost exclusively new releases.

Quadbiking Go-carting is available in Buxton, and paint balling, laser tag, quad biking, archery, crossbow, and pistol shooting in Ashbourne.

Alton Towers And if the children really do beat you into submission then you'll probably end up at Alton Towers, the UK's largest theme park (25 minutes)!