As a Derbyshire girl, I love nothing more than heading out into the countryside. I’m so lucky to live in such a beautiful place and over the years I’ve come across some amazing places to visit. I know that life with children can be a little hectic and that getting out into the fresh air can often be a massive help, to blow the cobwebs away. So I’ve put together some of the best days out in Derbyshire with kids. Where possible I’ve added the best eateries too, a day out isn’t made without a good bit of grub to go with it!
The Plague Village and one of my favourite days out! Eyam is packed with history, education, fun and food. There’s a museum and visitor centre, as well as plaques dotted throughout the village to give you a good insight into Eyam’s colourful history. Some of the stories will stick with you for a long time after you’ve read them. There’s a great park for the kids, a football pitch and miles of walks to tire everyone out.
Our go to eaterie is Eyam Tea Rooms. It’s a lovely little tea room offering hot and cold food, accompanied by a warm welcome and excellent customer service. There are other places to grab a bite too, this is just our personal favourite!
- St. Lawrence Church, Eyam.
- Eyam Hall – unfortunately no longer a National Trust property, but still worth a look nonetheless.
- Mompesson’s Well – a short drive out of Eyam, but has history that is sure to pull at your heartstrings!
Hardwick Estate –
National Trust Hardwick Estate has something for everyone, especially the kids. It’s stable yard is always full of outdoors toys and activities and the gardens offer hours of exploration for the littles. There’s often a trail for them to complete, I can recommend the Easter trail with chocolate reward! There’s a trail inside the Hall too, giving the kids an insight into the history of the estate and Bess of Hardwick, as well as the Hall’s final occupant Duchess Evelyn.
Also on site is Hardwick Old Hall, which is an English Heritage property but is also free for National Trust members. This offers miles of views over the estate and its well worth climbing the seemingly endless steps to get to the top! Hardwick is also the home of Stainsby Mill, a working Victorian flour mill. This property has kids trails, flour grinding and also sells freshly ground flour.
Hardwick has a gift shop, second-hand bookshop and restaurant which serves a scrummy beetroot and chocolate cake. It serves breakfast and lunches too, I can vouch for both options, as well as the coffee!
- Lady Spencers Walk – tree swings, den making, tree climbing and so much more.
- Fairy doors – can your littles find them?
- The ponds and ice house – perfect for a walk and a picnic.
Carsington Water –
With a restaurant on site, as well numerous indoor and outdoor activities, once you get to Carsington you won’t have to leave for hours. Carsington has an interactive visitor centre, which the kids will love. It has a bird hide, huge playground, bike hire and water sports. It has its own ‘beach’ perfect for the kids to explore and a monument at the top of a spiral incline, when you get to the top the view is fabulous. Carsington is all about outdoor fun and it takes some beating!
- Playground – with a suitable area for every age group.
- Visitor centre – packed with interactive activities, making your trip fun and educational.
Bakewell is, in my opinion, one of the most picturesque towns in Derbyshire. With the River Wye running through it, it has walks to suit all abilities. Gift shops are around every corner and for those who love a sweet treat, you can even get your hands on a tradition bakewell tart! There’s a huge playing field with football ground, play area and tennis tables. You won’t go hungry in Bakewell either, there are fish and chip shops, oriental and Indian takeaways and pub lunches galore.
- Bakewell cattle market – every other Monday and a real treat to see.
- Market day – every Monday morning.
- Fish – look into the water as you walk down the river, you’ll see huge fish making their way along the bottom.
Chatsworth House –
Arguably the grandest house in Derbyshire, Chatsworth House is packed with history, food and activities for all. Not the cheapest day out, but if you make a full day of it you’re bound to get your moneys worth. The gardens are huge and during the summer months, the kids can paddle in the shallow falls. There’s also a farm shop, cafe and garden centre a short drive from the house, we are regular visitors to the farm shop cafe – they do a mean breakfast!
- Chatsworth Animal Farm – also has an adventure playground.
- The maze – found in the gardens, this maze is a lot fun for everyone.
- Chatsworth at Christmas – an amazing sight, these are the BEST decorations I have ever seen!