Top 10 Choices

Experience Peak District and Derbyshire
Enjoy Staffordshire
The group of cottages at Dove farm, is located in the heart of Britain, on the Staffordshire Derbyshire border and close to the Peak District national Park. We are within easy travel of a huge variety of attractions and activities to suit all ages and interests. Here are our favourite 10 places to visit with your group, because we know that every little helps when it comes to organizing a short break with multi interests in mind. Check out the official tourism sites for our region, to create your own list:
Alton Towers
1. Alton Towers & Splash Landings - famous around the world, this amazing theme park is on our doorstep. Only 4 miles away, it is one of the key entertainment places to visit, Staffordshire. Lots of opportunities for repeat visits. CBeebies land is a huge hit with the little ones whist the thrill and spills of the rides satisfy the adrenalin seekers. Splash Landings is the perfect day out for all weathers and open all year round with its indoor/outdoor waterpark. Remember to pack your swimsuits!
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2. Chatsworth House & Gardens - the home to the Cavendish family and Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Chatsworth is a truly memorable Derbyshire day out and never disappoints. Apart from the house, you can easily spend a day in the grounds and garden, and the children will love the farmyard and playground. A day out for everyone, if not two! Less than an hour’s drive from Dove Farm, through beautiful countryside. Remember too that their Christmas and seasonal events are fabulous if you are planning a Winter short break.
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Sudbury hal
3. Sudbury Hall & Museum of Childhood - there are a host of beautiful National Trust properties within easy reach of Dove Farm and Sudbury Hall is one of our favourites. Only 20 mins away. Set in beautiful grounds, this property has the added attraction of the Museum of Childhood, an award winning, interactive experience for your inner child, whatever your age. Look out for special events at Easter, in the School holidays and Christmas. There is also a café, courtyard of little shops and extensive grounds with a playground. Why not take a picnic for the little ones?
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Trentham estate
4. Trentham Gardens - if you are thinking that you’re not really a garden person, think again. Trentham is a jewel for things to do in Staffordshire, is now a world famous destination. Includes an outstanding shopping village, walks to fill the senses through their restored gardens, children’s play area, a choice of great places to eat and host to all kinds of outdoor events throughout the year from fireworks to music concerts
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Monkey Forest
5. Monkey Forest - located next to Trentham, this magical Macaque experience is one of those Staffordshire attractions to please everyone. This is not a zoo but a genuine walk through experience, so that you can observe the world famous Barbary Macaques in their natural environment. You are able to simply walk through their huge, wooded enclosure and watch them play, be fed and live their family lives – check on the website for arrival dates of babies! There is a playground and cafe too to enjoy.
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carsington water
6. Carsington Water – a fabulous Derbyshire day out and all round crowd pleaser. Easy travel from Ashbourne. This beautiful man made reservoir is ideal for gentle strolling, serious walking, and cycling. Take a jacket – it’s often quite windy. There is a nature trail with bird hides to observe the varied waterfowl, and a flat grassy area to run around on, so take your football – and maybe a picnic too. There are the usual shops and café and visitor centre, as well as a children’s playpark. Tremendous value for money because if you want to, you can go enjoy this jewel of a destination for nothing more than the price of parking your car. Carsington also has a watersport centre, offering sailing and windsurfing, and kayaking as well as organized group activities.
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Memeorial Arboretum
7. National Memorial Arboretum - this amazing space is one of those truly memorable places to visit whilst you are in Staffordshire. There is an ever growing number of areas of remembrance and memorial exhibitions. With regular special events and weekends hosted throughout the year, the NMA provides a unique day out for all the generations. As well as a cafe and shop there are also indoor exhibitions and plenty of outdoor space for children to run around in and enjoy.
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Dovedale & Llam
8. Dovedale and Ilam – combine to create a major Peak District tourist attraction for young and old alike. World famous for its beauty, Dovedale attracts visitors from around the world to its stunning location, iconic stepping stones and beautiful walks. The village of Ilam is also one of Britain’s gems with the National Trust Hall, beautiful church, river walks and obligatory cafe and ice creams. Can get crowded at peak times. All the more reason to book a midweek short break at dove farm cottages!
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Heights of Abraham
9. Heights of Abraham – situated between Matlock and Matlock Bath; an attraction of contrasts in the Peak District. Here you will find the longest cable car ride in England. As you hang over the stunning valley, you will enjoy amazing panoramic views of the river and hills beyond. Then when you get to the top, you have the option for a guided cave tour, deep underground. Usual cafe, park and walks. You can enjoy a fantastic day out, up high in Derbyshire, then when it’s time for tea, descend to visit the little town below with its arcades, famous chip shops and walks along the river.
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Peak Wildlife Park
10. Peak Wildlife Park - Large walk throughs allow you to share space with exotic and small endangered species from across three continents. Whether you love lemurs, have a passion for penguins or want to wander with the wallabies (and feed them with your hand!) this animal park has something for you. Indoor play centre for younger visitors, café and shop. One of those easy Staffordshire days out for guests staying at dove farm. Only 20 mins away. Close enough to pop up with the children and then meet up again with the rest of your group later
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These 10 choices selected from across the borders of Staffordshire and Derbyshire are just the tip of the iceberg:
Local small towns to explore: Ashbourne for gift shops and cafes, and the amazing Ashbourne bakehouse on the market place | Uttoxeter for the practical things in life… and the excellent Bear Coffee | Leek for all round quirky, culture, and foodie stuff. Why not stop off for a look round Coombes Valley Nature reserve, just outside Leek when you drive from Dove farm cottages, off the A523 | Wirksworth for The Star Disc and the lovely Mistral bistro for a hot choc when you walk back down.| Cromford for Cromford mills and the totally amazing Scarthins bookshop | Bakewell for all round tourist satisfaction and Bakewell puddings . You will find convenient parking at the Agricultural centre, with a short walk into town.
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Dove Farm, Mill Lane, Off Dove Street, Ellastone,
Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 2GY
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photo credit: RubyT (I come here for cameraderie!) that one kid via photopin (license)
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