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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.

Dementia Friendly Places in the Peak District

February 8, 2024
February 8, 2024 - Dementia Friendly Places in the Peak District
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Exploring dementia friendly places in the Peak District: Accessible attractions for all to enjoy

The natural beauty and peace and quiet of the Peak District can provide a calm and comforting environment for people living with dementia and help to foster positive memories. Luckily, there are plenty of dementia friendly places to discover when you visit!

We know that staying active helps people with dementia to live well and remain independent. Holidays and days out are a part of life and help with physical and mental wellbeing for people living with dementia, their friends, families and carers.

To help you explore this breathtaking region, known for its dramatic scenery, historic sites, and charming villages, we are sharing our curated list of places and attractions thoughtfully selected for their accessibility and serene atmospheres. From the timeless elegance of Chatsworth House and Gardens to the nostalgic allure of vintage cars at the Great British Car Journey, each destination can help you to savour moments of joy and connection with your loved ones.

Top 20 dementia friendly places to visit in the Peak District

Chatsworth House Gardens

Often described as the jewel in the Peak District’s crown, Chatsworth House and Gardens provide a peaceful and sensory-rich environment. You can take your time wandering through the magnificent rooms of this historic house before exploring the many garden walks. We recommend visiting the sensory garden before tea and cake in the Carriage House Café in the 18th century stable block. There is a Changing Places toilet outside the main house for those that need a level of physical accessibility.

No trip is complete without a visit to the award-winning Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop, located a short distance from the house in the pretty village of Pilsley. There’s a huge selection of quality food and drink to tickle your taste buds, many from local producers and suppliers.

Chatsworth Garden Centre is also a horticultural haven, offering a sensory-rich environment with vibrant flora and accessible pathways. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks among the plants, engaging their senses in the process. Adjacent to the garden centre, The Vines Restaurant beckons with its tasty menu and you can enjoy the outdoor seating overlooking the gardens surrounded by nature.

Cromford Mills

Sir Richard Arkwright's Cromford Mills are known as ‘The birthplace of the modern factory system’. Built in 1771 by Sir Richard Arkwright, it was the world’s first successful water-powered, cotton-spinning mill.  The mills are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the visitor centre provides engaging exhibits that may trigger positive memories.

Sir Richard Arkwright's Cromford Mill

In the main yard, there are various shops, including antiques and bric-a-brac, Cromford Cheese Shops and Arkwright’s Café, with snacks, light meals, and delicious scones! There’s both indoor and outdoor seating available. Just note that the yard is slightly uneven with some cobbles. There are various events throughout the year including antiques fairs, artisan markets and spinning demonstrations.

Make it a full day out and stroll along the towpath of the Cromford Canal and feed the ducks or take to the water on a horse drawn barge. Cromford Wharf also has a Changing Places facility.

Bakewell

The picturesque town of Bakewell is known for its beautiful riverside walks and quaint architecture.

Padlocks on the bridge in Bakewell

The serene environment and charming surroundings make it an ideal place for a leisurely stroll and there are lots of smaller independent shops. It’s also worth a visit to The Old House Museum based in a Tudor town house with exhibits related to social history, costume and textiles, archives and decorative applied arts. A real step back in time! During the summer months, the museum also offers guided tours of Bakewell Town.

A visit to The Original Bakewell Pudding Shop for a real taste of the Peak District is a must. The handmade Bakewell puddings, created using an ancient, top secret recipe, have been sold from the same building since 1860!

Tissington Trail and village

A former railway - now a trail and nature reserve - the Tissington Trail provides a peaceful traffic-free, walking and cycling route with wonderful views of the undulating countryside. The flat, well-maintained path offers ease of access.

After a trip up the trail, venture into the village of Tissington and enjoy a bite to eat at Herbert’s Tea Rooms or wander round Tissington Nursery, housed in the estate’s Old Kitchen Gardens. Pop over to On A Wick and A Prayer candle workshop or if you want to get creative enjoy an hour or two at Tissington Craft Corner.

Carsington Water and RSPB reserve

Carsington Water and RSPB reserve provide opportunities for gentle walks and birdwatching, creating a soothing experience. With its open waters, muddy shorelines and native woodland, it provides perfect natural habitats for all kinds of birds including kingfishers, buzzards and grebes. For the more adventurous, there are also water activities including paddle boarding, canoeing, sailing and fishing. Or you can hire a bicycle or tramper to explore the trails.

Bird watching at Carsington Water - a calming, dementia friendly activity in the Peak District

At the main visitor centre, you can immerse yourself in the Wonderful World of Water exhibition with fun hands-on-experiences before heading up to the first floor café to admire views of the reservoir over a cuppa.

Dementia-friendly walks

Getting outdoors, you can join a dementia-friendly walk at Whitworth Centre Darley Dale which take place on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 2pm. The walks are lead by trained leaders who have a good understanding of dementia and are ideal for those living with dementia and carers supporting loved ones to enjoy meeting up, being outdoors and sharing experiences. And there’s tea and cake too!

Pavilion Gardens, Buxton

The Pavilion Gardens in Buxton, with its well-maintained green spaces, provides a peaceful retreat for visitors. Wander along the gentle paths, explore the gardens, enjoy the colourful floral displays, watch the ducks on the pond, or stop off at the café for an ice cream. A wonderful family day out for all ages with boating lake, miniature railway and play areas too.

Pavilion Gardens Buxton

Poole's Cavern and Buxton Country Park

Poole’s Cavern, on the outskirts of the spa town of Buxton, is an ancient natural limestone cavern with huge limestone galleries, and crystal stalactites and stalagmites. Formed over millions of years ago, it has been a firm favourite with travellers since the seventeenth century, and the guided tours are fascinating. It’s a great winter or wet weather option as the temperature in the cavern remains a constant 7°C all year round.

Poole’s Cavern is part of Buxton Country Park so you can combine your visit with the short walk through Grin Low Woods up to Solomon’s Temple to admire the stunning views over Buxton and beyond.

Buxton Opera House

Buxton Opera House, with its stunning architecture and cultural significance, provides a dementia-inclusive environment for enjoying theatrical and musical performances. The accessible facilities and welcoming atmosphere make it an ideal spot for a leisurely afternoon matinee.

Great British Car Journey

A nostalgic journey through the history of British cars, The Great British Car Journey provides an engaging experience with its collection of classic automobiles, fostering positive reminiscence. The attraction is all on one level and there are audio tours and visual displays with fascinating facts about each vehicle. Visitors can also take a trip down memory lane and have a drive in “dad’s car”.

The Great British Car Journey - a dementia friendly and accessible day out

Crich Tramway Village

Crich Tramway Village offers a unique and accessible experience with vintage trams, allowing you to step back in time and enjoy a leisurely ride through picturesque surroundings. You can also book a ride on a wheelchair accessible tram. The recreated period street, with its pub and shops, will evoke memories of times gone by. You can also enjoy the woodland walk with panoramic views.

Peak Rail

Peak Rail offers a nostalgic train journey through the picturesque Derbyshire countryside, providing a gentle and enjoyable excursion. Make it an extra special occasion and indulge in afternoon tea on board the steam train.

Northern Lights Cinema

The Northern Lights Cinema is a small 51 seat cinema in Wirksworth and takes pride in being dementia-friendly, implementing various initiatives to ensure a positive experience for visitors with memory-related challenges. Staff members undergo training to better understand the needs of individuals with dementia, and the cinema environment is designed to be calm and accommodating. Special screenings may include adjustments such as subdued lighting and lower volume levels to create a sensory-friendly atmosphere.

Eyam Village

Explore the historic village of Eyam, which became famous during the bubonic plague outbreak of 1665-6, when the inhabitants quarantined themselves in a famous act of self-sacrifice to prevent the spread of the prolific disease. Villagers would come to place money in six holes drilled into the top of the boundary stone to pay for food and medicine left by their anxious neighbours. The tranquil streets and informative plaques make for a dementia-friendly visit and you can learn more at the Eyam Museum, before stopping off at one of the village cafes.

David Mellor Museum

The David Mellor Museum showcases the broad spectrum of the renowned designer’s work from teaspoons and metal work to the modern traffic light. The serene setting allows visitors to appreciate craftsmanship and design in a calm atmosphere. You can also visit the Riverside Café for a tasty treat or two of delicious local produce.

Hardwick Hall

Hardwick Hall is often described as “more glass than wall” for its grand architecture with exceptionally large windows, designed to showcase the extreme wealth of Bess of Hardwick during a time when glass was very expensive. The extravagant Tudor house and expansive gardens provide a peaceful setting for a dementia-friendly visit, allowing you to appreciate the rich heritage.

Winnats Pass

Winnats pass has “wow” factor! Surrounded by limestone hills, Winnats Pass is widely regarded as one of the most scenic drives in the Peak District, leading down to the village of Castleton.

Steeped in folklore, the name "Winnats" is thought to be derived from the Old English word "wind gates," referring to the strong winds that often funnel through the pass. Millions of years ago, the pass was carved out of the limestone plateau by the erosive power of the River Wye, forging a deep, narrow gorge with high-sided limestone cliffs on either side. However local legends talk of a giant named Finn who created the pass by tearing a path through the mountains!

Castleton

Castleton, with its charming village atmosphere and historic sites like Peveril Castle, offers a quiet and delightful setting for visitors to explore at a leisurely pace, with small independent shops, cafes and pubs. Castleton is the only place in the world where the semi-precious stone Blue John, unique to the Peak District and Derbyshire, can be found and there are numerous show caverns.

Treak Cliff Cavern

Treak Cliff Cavern offers an accessible underground adventure, allowing visitors to explore the illuminated caves with ease. The Dream Cave has the largest known deposit of the rare fluorite Blue John mineral. The distinctive bands of blue, purple, and yellow hues make Blue John highly prized, particularly for jewellery making. The guided tours are conducted at a relaxed pace, making it an inclusive experience for those seeking both adventure and tranquillity.

Monsal Head and Hotel

Overlooking the iconic Monsal Dale, the viewpoint from Monsal Head offers stunning panoramic views of limestone dales and the meandering river below. The tranquillity of the surroundings makes it an ideal spot for contemplation and relaxation. Nearby, The Monsal Head Hotel offers warm hospitality, and is a charming setting for a relaxing visit. Whilst in the area, why not stop off at Hassop Station on the Monsal Trail and hire a bike or take a hike before tea and cake in the cafe?

Peak Wildlife Park

For animal lovers, Peak Wildlife Park is the perfect place to get up close and watch the animal antics in a spacious and natural environment, promoting a sense of wonder and calm. They have an impressive conservation programme and the latest addition to the park is a family of polar bears.

Dementia-inclusive accreditation logo for dementia friendly holiday accommodationWhether you're seeking historic charm, scenic vistas, or cultural richness, the Peak District welcomes you with open arms. As providers of dementia-inclusive accommodation, we are committed to highlighting dementia-friendly experiences for all.

We hope our selection of dementia-friendly attractions and places to visit in our local Peak District has inspired you and helps you plan your holiday with us at Hoe Grange. It’s so important to make the most of every opportunity to engage those living with dementia and to spark moments of joy and connection.  I’m sure there are lots more places and ideas to add to our list. We would love to hear from you about your positive dementia-inclusive experiences so we can share them with everyone!

Felicity 

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Hoe Grange Holidays Tripadvisor Comments...

  • star rating  We had a lovely time staying in one of the incredibly well equipped pods. I bought my pony along and we had some great rides on the high peak trail.... read more

    plopster1
    June 7, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Rainster cabin for a long weekend 6 th to 9 th September. This was my 5 th visit to the amazing Hoe Grange. I had visited before... read more

    Jan Horsman J
    September 17, 2019

    star rating  Loved every minute of our stay, and so did the family and friends that came to stay. Excellent facilities in our cosy Hipley log cabin. By far the best... read more

    krimpenijssel
    October 25, 2019
  • star rating  We wanted a complete break and some peace and quiet and this was perfect. The caravan was secluded with beautiful views over the countryside. Everything was spotlessly clean and well... read more

    joanne B
    June 4, 2019

    star rating  We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    David H
    October 25, 2019

    star rating  We've just returned from our second visit to Hoe Grange. The suggested riding routes with stunning scenery were enjoyed by my daughter and I while the menfolk were delighted with... read more

    Jdrichie12
    July 11, 2019
  • star rating  We have just returned from a short stay in one of the pods on site at Hoe Grange Holidays. We couldn’t recommend them enough. The pod has everything you could... read more

    Catboy86
    August 17, 2019

    star rating  Stayed last week, from 6th to 13th September in the log cabin called Hipley. This was amazing, it was our first visit but certainly not our last. Gold standard disability... read more

    548julie
    September 14, 2019

    star rating  On arriving at Hoe Grange in a downpour, we doubted if we’d made the right decision to go glamping, but after the warm welcome from David and a quick tour,... read more

    karenmD4738KD
    June 25, 2019
  • star rating  Second visit to the accessible holiday cabins at Hoe Grange. David and Felicity were as helpful and friendly as ever. We had a welcome pack of freshly baked bread, butter,... read more

    Charlotte M
    August 7, 2019

    star rating  Myself and my sister travelled to Costa Rica and Panama via Viva Holidays Ltd. The holiday was exceptional and one to be treasured forever. Andrew at Viva Holidays... read more

    Paula C
    July 4, 2019

    star rating  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

    L9943KBlesleym
    April 3, 2020
  • star rating  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

    Big_Al_0000
    July 16, 2019

    star rating  It's been three years since we last visited but once we arrived it certainly didn't feel like it!
    We stayed in Hipley again which had had a refurbished wet... read more

    ElizabethA717
    September 21, 2019

    star rating  Lovely place to holiday near to interesting locations and easy access to the High Peak trail and Carsington Water. Part of a working farm with fresh produce to enjoy during... read more

    Angie B
    August 3, 2019
  • star rating  What can I say?
    Absolutely superb!
    We have just returned from a family weekend staying in Daisybank cabin and the Skylark pod.
    It was our first trip away with my... read more

    Wheelieuser
    June 13, 2019

    star rating  Recently spent a week in "Pinder" and had a lovely time. The location is stunning - the site is nestled in a beautiful valley on the edge of the Peaks... read more

    Peachey167
    July 16, 2019

    star rating  What a lovely weekend away! We stayed in the lovely gypsy caravan, which was a wonderful and really unique experience. We took along our two horses, who also had a... read more

    rachelthomas2015
    June 18, 2019
  • star rating  Felicity and David made us feel very welcome right from our booking. The pods are well equipped and spotlessly clean. The area is very peaceful with great views and we... read more

    Adventurer_12121
    January 30, 2020

    star rating  We love this place. Very wheelchair friendly, really well equipped and comfortable, with easy access by car to lots of places of interest particularly Crich Tramway Village, Chatsworth, Bakewell and... read more

    dghiggs61
    October 25, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in the Skylark pod last October (2018) and had a lovely time. There was homemade, rustic goods (bread, biscuits etc) when we arrived. Felicity and David who run... read more

    KBarry
    September 15, 2019
  • star rating  lovely surroundings real farm country with chickens paying you a visit nice decking area to chill at the end of the day accommodation very good plenty to do nearby... read more

    vincent s
    July 28, 2019

    star rating  A beautiful place to stay! Amazingly run family business! Everyone were very welcoming, friendly and cozy! The skylark pod we stayed in was very clean, cozy and well equipped! The... read more

    sophiee249
    January 2, 2020

    star rating  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

    Tiggywinkle15
    November 5, 2019
  • star rating  Arrived and was shown to our pod, fantastic location and the pod was very good indeed plus we had home made bread and milk and tea and coffee. A... read more

    mickvfr
    July 28, 2019

    star rating  Another great holiday at Hoe Grange - such a great place for us all to holiday as a family - this time with a baby, a 3 yr old, a... read more

    Thesamps
    October 4, 2019

    star rating  We stayed in Skylark, one of the two glamping pods available at Hoe Grange in February 2020.

    Felicity & David welcomed us when we arrived to show us around... read more

    HelenLCarter
    February 6, 2020
  • star rating  We stayed for a night in one of the cabins . The cabin was spotless and very well equipped , lots of extra touches were added like fresh eggs and... read more

    Ajtravels14
    February 3, 2020

    star rating  For the second year running, we have had a great family holiday at Hoe Grange. We had one cabin for the week, for two sisters and our elderly wheelchair-using... read more

    EJYork2013
    June 25, 2019

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