Things to do in the Peak District
Arbor Low Stone Circle
Often called “The Stonehenge of the Peak District”, Arbor Low is a Neolithic henge monument set high on the open moorland near the village of Monyash, just a ten-minute drive from Knotlow Farm. Although none of the stones are now standing, it is believed to have been a major sacred site, the size of which has to be seen to be appreciated. You don’t have to pay to visit Arbor Low or the nearby Gibb Hill burial mound, but the farmer across whose farmyard you will have to pass to reach the site levies a modest charge. Arbor Low is managed by English Heritage and if your list of things to do in the Peak District is lacking that winning combination of outdoor exercise and ancient history, then this is the perfect place for you!
Castleton and Peverill Castle
There cannot be more things to do in the Peak District all in one village than what’s on offer in and around Castleton. Roughly a twenty-minute drive from Knotlow Farm, you can start by visiting Peveril Castle (a ruined 11th century castle and one of England’s earliest Normal fortresses). It is managed by English Heritage. The immediate area boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Peak District, including Winnats Pass and the notorious Mam Tor, half of which collapsed in 1974 in a large landslide, contorting the adjacent A625 into the most incredible shapes and structures, which can still be seen today. Castleton village is well worth a visit and has plenty of places to eat out and buy a loved one a gift of local Blue John stone jewellery. The mineral is mined underneath the steep slopes all around the village and most of these mines are open to visitors in the summer months – one of them even boasts an eerie and exciting boat trip inside the mountain.
Chatsworth House needs little introduction, having featured in many TV documentaries and films, the most famous of which are of course, two well-known dramatic productions of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. Chatsworth and the nearby village of Edensor are well worth a visit if you like enchanting interiors, impressive architecture and landscaped gardens on an epic scale. There is also a real farmyard experience and a superb adventure playground, set on the edge of woods behind the house. Entry to either of these is separate from the main attraction, which is of course the house and gardens. The magnificent stable block next to the main house contains a restaurant and shops, and you don’t have to pay anything other than the standard parking charge to access these if you are driving in.