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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.

Top 15 family friendly things to do in the Peak District

December 18, 2023
December 18, 2023 - Top 15 family friendly things to do in the Peak District

Hoe Grange is the ideal base for family friendly holidays from which to explore the Peak District. There’s nothing better than getting outdoors for some family fun, flying a kite, packing up a picnic, romping over the fields and cycling along the High Peak Trail. Whether you’re staying for a weekend break or a full week there’s plenty of things to see and do with a young family.

There's so many family-friendly things to do in the Peak District. Reach the heights in a cable car, go underground exploring the many caverns, take to the water canoeing or sailing, ride on a tram or steam train, get up close to farm animals or experience the thrill of theme parks. With so much to do a single stay in our child friendly log cabins may not be enough!

I was going to make this blog the top 5 family friendly days out, but there are so many exciting things to do in our local Peak District area that I have ended up with 15. There are still quite a few more I could add!!

Top 15 family friendly things to do in the Peak District

1. Get outdoors at Carsington Water

Just 3 miles from Hoe Grange, Carsington Water is a great day out for children, with three large play areas for different ages. Toddlers will love the short walk to Stone Island counting the brightly coloured butterflies along the way and peeping through the stone spy holes.

butterfly walk at Carsington

Or take your binoculars and walk along to the bird hides to watch waders and wildfowl around the water’s edge. Keep your eyes peeled for buzzards soaring overhead. Count the wooden sculptures as you go and stop to climb the bombing tower, which has looked out over the reservoir since WW2. The visitor centre has an exhibition all about water and there are often nature events and activities to keep the kids busy.

The traffic free paths are ideal for families with young children, walkers, cyclists, horse riders and wheelchair users. You can hire bikes, go sailing, paddle boarding or canoeing at the water sports centre.

2. Cycle along the High Peak Trail to Middleton Top

You can access the High Peak Trail from the farm fields and cycle 5 miles along the traffic free track and though a tunnel to Middleton Top Engine House.

Inside there is the original pair of steam driven stationary engines which were used to wind railway trucks up and down the steep 1 in 8 incline. These two beam engines were bought in 1830 at a considerable cost of £2000 and remained in use until 1963. They are very impressive when fired up and in full steam on open weekends.

Middleton Top Engine House

The heavy wagons full of limestone were moved up and down the steep hill by attaching them to a pulley system with chains. To counterbalance the load one set of wagons would be descending as another set ascended at a maximum of 8 miles an hour.

Whilst there you can grab a drink at the little café and enjoy the stunning views. There's lots more information on family cycling and easy going cycle routes on our webpage.

3. Ride the cable car up to the Heights of Abraham

Take in the stunning views as you ride up to the Heights of Abraham in a cable car. Once at the top there is plenty to entertain the kids from fossil hunting and panning for gold to having fun on the adventure playground. Walk along to Tinkers Shaft viewpoint or climb the Victoria Prospect Tower to see for miles. Tickets include a tour of the magnificent show caves. It’s a full, action packed day out so you might want to pack up a picnic or you can pop into the café. Open from February.

Heights of Abraham play area

4. Get dressed up and go back in time at Sir Richard Arkwright’s Cromford Mills

Cromford Mills is the home of Sir Richard Arkwright’s first mill complex, and the birthplace of the modern factory system. It is now an internationally recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The visitor centre is free to under 16s and kids will love learning about water power and the children who used to work there. Find out about the mighty Sir Richard Arkwright who built the mill and the machines that made him a very rich man.

Cromford Mills

There are plenty of activities including water dipping in the mill yard, enjoying a hot chocolate or ice cream in the cafes, feeding the ducks on the canal, or explore the Beyond the Mill Walls area by the river. There’s a Scavengers' Scramble trail, and a den building area. You can take to the water on a canal boat called Birdwood which is sometimes pulled by a heavy horse.

Canal boat at Cromford Canal

5. Canoeing on the canal

If your kids love splashing around, why not have a go at canoeing on the Cromford Canal? It’s a fun activity for the whole family and the ideal place to learn how to paddle properly as the canal is shallow and safer than a fast-flowing river.

Peaks and Paddles outdoor Adventure Activities also offer canoeing on the River Derwent for the more experienced

6. Take a walk on the wild side at Peak Wildlife Park

Come face to face with exotic and endangered animals from across the world at Peak Wildlife Park. The children will love getting close up to the penguins, lemurs, and meercats, as you wander right through their enclosures. Find out more about the larger animals including zebras, polar bears, and deer.

Peak Wildlife Park

You can help feed the farm animals and pet the small tame animals too, or even book a Be a Keeper experience.  You could spend a full day out as the children can run wild on the play areas before tucking into the delicious wood-fired pizzas on offer!

7. Steam ahead to Peak Rail

There is nothing more exciting than a seeing a train in full steam pulling into the station and hearing the whooshing sound and squealing of brakes as it comes to a standstill.

Peak Rail Rowsley

The Peak Rail trains run from Matlock through to Rowsley South, where there is a large turn table for the trains. With a day ticket you can ride up and down as many times as you like! Look out for the themed events and kids go free days.

8. Get a ticket to ride on a tram at Crich Tramway Village

Take a step back in time and wander through the period street at Crich Tramway Village, recreated using buildings rescued from towns throughout the UK and rebuilt brick by brick to give an authentic feel.

Spend the old penny given to you as you enter the village on a ride on one of the electric vintage trams. Good to know for those with pushchairs and wheelchairs that there is often an accessible tram in use, so everyone can enjoy a trip up the track.

Crich Tramway Village

Take a wander through the exhibition shed full of old trams before exploring the fabulous woodland walk and both outdoor and indoor play areas. Worth noting that children under 4 go free and they often hold themed event days with lots of child-friendly activities.

9. Meet the animals Matlock Farm Park

Whist we have farm animals here at Hoe Grange, our sheep and cows are not as tame as those at Matlock Farm Park! Children will love feeding the animals or riding a pony before letting off steam on one of 3 play areas.

10. Visit the ice cream parlour at Matlock Meadows

Another open farm but Matlock Meadows has the added attraction of delicious homemade ice cream served in the café. What could be better than zero food miles? You can watch the cows being milked and know where the ice cream is made. Younger children will love the indoor play area with pedal tractors.

11. Go underground at Poole’s Cavern

Going underground is a great rainy-day option! Poole’s Cavern is on the outskirts of the historic spa town of Buxton and has some vast limestone galleries, with Stalactites and Stalagmites. The interesting features, including Hagrids’ Hat, to are bound to capture the children’s imagination.

There is a great exhibition area explaining the formation of the cavern and it’s history. Good to know that the first part of the cavern is wheelchair accessible and unlike other Peak District caves there are not too many steps to climb.

12. Travel through the treetops at Go Ape

Once you’ve been underground, you can go on an adventure through the treetops at Go Ape, which is next to the Cavern. Enjoy fun with your family on the high ropes, across wobbly bridges, before zooming back to earth on the zip wire.

13. Hunt the Gruffalo in Grin Low Woods

Poole’s Cavern is also part of Buxton Country Park, so if it’s fine you can walk through Grin Low Woods up to Solomons’ Temple. Built on a Neolithic burial mound Solomon’s Temple offers stunning views across to Man Tor. Watch out for the Gruffalo characters along the way!

14. Chatsworth Farmyard and Adventure Playground

Children love feeding the farm animals but the outdoor adventure playground is amazing, complete with water and sand play area, a huge zip line, and rope park. My son Michael used to love digging in the biggest sand pit ever and getting really dirty! Keep an eye out for the children’s activities and trails set throughout the year

Adventure Playground at Chatsworth House

photo by Chatsworth House Trust

15. Gulliver's Kingdom

Ideal for little ones, Gulliver’s Kingdom is a fun theme park on the edge of Matlock Bath aimed at children aged 3 to 13 years old. With over 20 rides across 6 themed areas, you can keep the children entertained for hours. Climb high above the Crows Nest Quest or take the plunge on the log flume, or ride the cycle monorail 300ft above Derwent Valley. There’s some great little rides for under 5s in Toyland too.

The theme park is set upon a steep hillside, so our advice is to start at the top and work your way downhill before taking a chair lift ride back to the top.

Gully mouse

We hope our blog of family-friendly things to do has inspired you to get active and have some family fun on your staycation at Hoe Grange. There are still many more places to visit and things to do so I might have to write another blog!

Just a note to make sure you check the attraction websites for up-to-date information on opening times before you visit. Make sure you book your tickets well ahead.

We look forward to hearing all about your family adventures when you stay with us!


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Hoe Grange Holidays Tripadvisor Comments...

  • 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  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

    April 3, 2020

    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  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 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

    June 7, 2019

    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

    July 16, 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

    June 13, 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

    July 28, 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 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

    June 18, 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

    September 15, 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

    October 25, 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

    June 25, 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

    September 14, 2019

    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

    November 5, 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

    October 4, 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

    January 30, 2020

    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

    September 21, 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

    August 17, 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  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  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

    January 2, 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

    June 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

    July 11, 2019
  • 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

    February 3, 2020

    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  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

    October 25, 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

    July 16, 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

    February 6, 2020

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