Browse through our blog posts to find out what life is like at Hoe Grange Holidays along with some great ideas for days out in the Peak District.
Welcome to the Peak District and to Hoe Grange Holidays, our accessible self-catering log cabins on the edge of Matlock, between Bakewell and Ashbourne.
We welcome everyone here and are passionate about the service we provide for guests with accessibility needs. For anyone with additional needs – be that limited mobility, a wheelchair user, neurodivergent, those with autism or learning difficulties or dementia – we are proud of our well-designed log cabins.
Not only are the log cabins wheelchair accessible and equipped with a wide range of specialist equipment they’re cosy and offer a real home from home. [read more about our accessible holidays in the Peak District here]
We’re also proud to say that the Peak District and Derbyshire is one of the most accessible destinations in the UK and the region’s tourism businesses are working hard to provide quality facilities and services for all.
But enough about us, we’re here to help you have a memorable stay in the Peak District. To do that, we’ve put together this three-day itinerary of some of our favourite accessible places to visit in the Peak District and included lots of insider tips to help you get the most from your stay.
Start your stay at Hoe Grange Holidays with a step back in time to the world’s first successful water-powered cotton spinning mill. You may be thinking what’s so special about a mill, but this isn’t just any old mill; Cromford Mills is the birthplace of the modern factory system and a cornerstone of the Industrial Revolution.
Built by Richard Arkwright in 1771, its impact on life across the world was huge, and it’s well worth spending the day there.
Just a 15-minute drive from Hoe Grange, Cromford Mills is the northern gateway to the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site so it’s a big deal in its own right.
But one of the reasons we love it so much for an accessible day out is because, as you’d expect from a mill, it’s next to water, the Cromford Canal. Running alongside the canal, the towpath is wheelchair-friendly and leads up to High Peak Junction, a peaceful spot with views over Cromford.
The Wheatcroft’s Wharf Cafe opposite the mill is a great spot for lunch (it has level access) before exploring the rest of the site. Despite being a historic Grade I listed building, a large proportion of Cromford Mills is accessible for wheelchair users, and trip hazards are kept to a minimum.
Audio guides are available and for autistic people, staff will happily fast track you through any queues. We really appreciate the attention to detail the staff go to at Cromford Mills, and we’ve found it makes for a really welcoming experience for all.
Other accessible features include a Changing Places toilet across the road at Cromford Wharf (these can make a huge difference to some so it’s great to know there’s one by the canal) and an audio track for the videos in the Video Centre and the Arkwright Experience. For the full description of the site, click here for Cromford Mills’ Accessibility Guide.
When you’re finished at the Mills, don’t miss exploring the Beyond the Mill Walls area, a beautiful riverside meadow with wild flowers, accessible picnic benches and gorgeous views over Willersley Castle and St Mary’s Church. For the visually impaired, the meadow also has tactile chainsaw sculptures to explore.
If you have time, it’s well worth taking a trip on the Birdswood barge, a historical narrow boat that journeys along the Cromford Canal. Either board one of the scheduled trips, or charter a private cruise and get up close to the wildlife that calls the canal home. The horse drawn trips are very peaceful and relaxing.
There is plenty of delicious food and drink to choose from today. If you've stayed before you know how David loves chocolate so top of our list are the exceptionally tasty and beautiful hand-crafted chocolates made by Martin at the Taylor-Wilde Chocolatier in Cromford village just a five-minute walk from the Mills.
Next door to the chocolate shop you’ll find Parkys Eatery, which serves one of our favourite ‘proper’ cream teas – with crustless triangle sandwiches, delicious cakes and cream scones for £19.50 per head. Whilst it isn’t wheelchair accessible inside and doesn’t have a disabled toilet, on a summer's day you can sit outside. It’s also dog friendly and it's great to see such a selection of vegan options.
Lastly, pop into Cromford Mill Cheese Shop to buy some cheese. You’ll be spoilt for choice, but our favourites are Dovedale Blue (a creamy soft blue cheese made from milk produced within 12 miles of the Dovedale valley) and Peakland White (a crumbly and tangy traditional white stilton). The Miller’s Damsel Buttermilk hexagonal crackers are a must to go with them!
Whether it’s your first time staying with us at Hoe Grange Holidays or your fifth, spending the day at 16th century Chatsworth House is a must. Home to the Cavendish family since the 1500's, the stately home is everything you’d expect from one of the grandest in English history. It is set in an idyllic spot on the River Derwent in over 1,000 acres of parkland and formal gardens.
But before getting stuck into everything that Chatsworth has to offer, on the drive there you’ll pass through the pretty market town of Bakewell, which is well worth stopping at for a cuppa and a Bakewell Pudding from the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop. The Bakewell pudding, rather than the tart of Mr Kipling fame, is the truly authentic local speciality and the recipe is a closely guarded secret!
There’s a café on the first floor and a well-stocked shop on the ground floor selling artisan breads and of course the famous Bakewell Pudding – you can even post one to your friends and family around the world!
One of the reasons we highly recommend a visit to Chatsworth House is because of the staff. They are so welcoming and accommodating, it’s a real treat to experience. The house and grounds are home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Incredibly Chatsworth has been home to the Cavendish family for 16 generations!
The house and its contents have evolved over five centuries and it has one of Europe’s most significant art collections, including everything from Old Masters and Ancient Egypt artefacts, to contemporary ceramics and computer portraits.
Over 30 rooms are open to the public in the house, and our favourites include the Painted Hall and the Sculpture Gallery. A lift provides access to each floor of the house, allowing wheelchair users and people with reduced mobility to cover the entire visitor route; visitors with visual impairments receive a complimentary audio tour of the house when buying admission tickets. You'll find the Chatsworth Accessibility information and map useful and it’s worth calling ahead if you’re planning to visit. The staff are very friendly and can accommodate most requests given enough time.
There is so much to explore in the grounds as well. If you’re visiting with children don’t miss the farmyard, where you can get up close to the animals and watch the cows being milked. The adventure playground with a zip wire, and the huge sand pit and water play splash areas are always popular.
For those with limited mobility the 45-minute garden buggy tour at £15 is the best way to see the impressive gardens and parkland, much of which remain as they were when created by Capability Brown in the 1760s. Keep an eye out for red and fallow deer, and the Ring Pond, the Rockery and the Cascade. The Cascade is one of our favourite spots in the gardens – we love simply sitting on the sloping grass and splashing about in the water. It's not often you're allowed to sit on the lawn in formal gardens!
This year Chatsworth also has a stunning display of gigantic sculptures in the park. Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man exhibition is on from now until 1st October.
On your way back to Hoe Grange, call in at the new Chatsworth Kitchen at Peak Village in Rowsley. Everything on the menu is sourced from the estate and its local community of farmers, producers and makers. A real taste of the Peak District.
After all the excitement of the previous two days, it’s time to take things a little slower with a trip to Carsington Water, just a 10-minute drive from Hoe Grange.
A peaceful spot at the edge of the Peak District, Carsington Water has only existed since 1991, yet the reservoir feels older than that, sitting comfortably among its wooded shores and gently sloping hills.
Lots of walking routes and wheelchair-friendly trails circle the reservoir, so visitors with mobility issues can loop the whole eight-mile route if you wish. Two of the four bird hides are easily accessible, and there’s a Wildlife Centre, where you’ll find a RSPB shop staffed with knowledgeable staff happy to share advice on the best places to spot local buzzards, kingfishers and lapwings.
At Carsington, there are reed beds, ponds, wildflower meadows and native woodlands, so a day spent here makes for a wonderfully sensory experience.
And if you fancy getting out on the water, Carsington Sailing Club runs twice-weekly sailability sessions for people with disabilities. Taking place on Wednesdays and Saturdays, the sessions are a great opportunity to experience the tranquillity and freedom of being on the water, or to progress your dinghy sailing skills.
What better way to round off our 3 day itinerary than with some delicious pub grub at the dog-friendly Miners Arms at Carsington. Expect a warm welcome, and great pub food, freshly cooked using local produce from trusted suppliers.
We spent four nights at Hoe Grange and had a lovely time. The location is fantastic and right next to the High Peak Trail. The cabin was very clean and... read more
We stayed in Pinder cabin and had a lovely stay, the cabin was spacious and comfortable, nice and warm after cold days out. The children loved meeting the animals and... read more
What a wonderful find. As our first experience of needing accessible accommodation we could not have wished for better. Beautiful well equipped lodges in lovely surroundings. We stayed in both... read more