Home to breathtaking landscapes, the Peak District is an idyllic escape in the heart of the UK.
Designated as Britain’s first National Park in 1951, the area offers everything from inspiring tors and stately homes, to hidden caves — you can’t help but be drawn in by the intriguing, patchwork history of the peaks. So pack your walking boots and doggy supplies and head to the Peak District — you won’t be disappointed.
Dog-friendly days out and attractions in the Peak District
- Heights of Abraham, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire — journey from the valley floor to this hilltop park by taking your dog on a cable car. You can enjoy stunning views of the Derwent Valley and Peak District on the ride before exploring the park which includes over 60 acres of woodland. The park opens on a seasonal calendar — usually every day from late March until November — so check opening times before visiting. Dogs are not allowed in any of the buildings, play areas, or in the caves. For more information visit www.heightsofabraham.com or call 01629 582365.
- Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Derbyshire — dogs are not allowed in the house, farmyard, or play areas but Chatsworth is still a ‘must visit’. Enjoy a walk in the stunning gardens to discover rare plants, hidden summer houses, contemporary art, and incredible water features, including the cascade and the willow tree fountain, all against the backdrop of one of England’s finest stately homes. Dogs must be kept on leads. For more information visit www.chatsworth.org or call 01246 565300.
- Treak Cliff Cavern, Castleton, Derbyshire — visit the caves at Treak Cavern and discover one of the Peak District’s treasures. Blue John stone is an ornamental mineral and the site is the only place where it occurs naturally. The limestone caves are also home to fossils, stalactites, and stalagmites. Dogs on leads are welcome. Guided tours are available. For more information visit www.bluejohnstone.com or call 01433 620571.
- Peveril Castle, Castleton, Derbyshire — the ruins of one of the earliest Norman fortresses in England rise high over the village of Castleton. The steep walk up to the castle is worth the effort to take in the spectacular views and the remains of the historic castle which was visited by kings. Dogs are welcome on leads. The site is run seasonally so check opening times before visiting. For more information visit www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/peveril-castle or call 01433 620613.
- Ilam Park, Ashbourne, Derbyshire — originally designed as an idyllic setting for the Tudor mansion of Ilam Hall, the area is now protected by the National Trust. Although dogs are not permitted in any of the shops or tea rooms the area has loads of great dog walks and is recommended as a good base to explore the White Peak area, which offers lots of places for you and your dog to explore. Routes you can follow can be downloaded from the National Trust website. Be sure to visit the beautiful valley of Dovedale and the famous stepping stones which cross the river. For more information visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ilam-park-dovedaleand-the-white-peak/visitor-information
- Crich Tramway Village, near Matlock, Derbyshire — a short drive outside the boundary of the national park is the tramway village, home to the National Tramway Museum. Visit the fantastic exhibitions and relive a bygone era by taking a tram ride. There is also a woodland walk and sculpture trail for you to explore which has great views across the countryside. Dogs are welcomed but must be on leads and can go anywhere except in catering establishments or the children’s play area. For more information visit www.tramway.co.uk or call 01773 854321.
Dog-friendly places to eat in the Peak District
- The Packhorse Inn, Little Longstone, Derbyshire — if you fancy tasting fine cuisine made with local produce then stop off at the Packhorse. The creative menu includes venison, rabbit, and buffalo reared in the county. Dogs are welcome at the pub which is located just off the Monsal Trail, a traffic-free path for walkers along a disused railway line. Formore information visit www.packhorselongstone.co.uk or call 01629 640471.
- The Bulls Head, Monyash, Derbyshire — this traditional village pub serves a great range of classic dishes and real ales. Dogs are welcome too — a fact it advertises on the website. There are always water bowls available and although dogs cannot go in the restaurant you’ll have the full pick of the menu in the bar. For more information visit www.thebullsheadmonyash.co.uk or call 01629 812372.
Dog-friendly places to stay in the Peak District
The Dog and Partridge Country Inn, Swinscoe, Derbyshire — situated on the edge of the Peak District the hotel has special dog-friendly rooms. There are extras too: dog food is available and all meals can be served in the bar so your pet can join you at mealtimes. If you want to head off without your dog, he can be left in the room and staff will walk him for you. Prices start from £55 per night. For more information visit www.dogandpartridge.co.uk or call 01335 343183.
The Strines Inn, Bradfield Dale, Sheffield, South Yorkshire — set in the heart of the countryside near the Strines reservoir, this 13th century inn is steeped in history. There are three rooms, each with four-poster beds and unique furniture and artefacts, including one room with a bath tub screened off from the rest of the room. Breakfast is served in your room and dogs are welcome in the pub, which serves hearty classics. Prices start at £65 per room and there is a £5 charge per dog. For more information visit www.thestrinesinn.webs.com or call 0114 2851247.
Geocaching in the Peak District
Geocaching is an exciting treasure hunt where players use a GPS device to find containers, called caches, hidden in the countryside. It’s a great way to go exploring with your dog.
With so much delightful countryside, the Peak District is an ideal place to hit the treasure trail. As well as the caches hidden by individual players, the National Trust has hidden 15 geocaches of its own in the Peak District. You can download locations for the caches at www.geocaching.com or for more information about the National Trust caches visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/white-peak/things-to-see-and-do/geocaching
The Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation (PDMRO)
The PDMRO consists of seven civilian mountain rescue teams. Each team has its own equipment and is trained to help rescue from moorland, cliffs, and even crashed aircraft. There are also several qualified search dogs and handlers who help the teams in the peaks, primarily in locating missing walkers and climbers. Dogs are usually trained to air scent as this is an efficient way to search large areas. It is estimated that one dog is equivalent to 20 searchers in good conditions and many more in poor conditions. Hopefully, you won’t need to see one of these clever canines The area is very popular during your visit.
Longshaw Estate walk guide
There are hundreds of dog walks in the peaks. From a mini-expedition up some of the biggest tors to a trek across moorland, you’re spoilt for choice. If you just fancy a gentle stroll packed with great sights and local history head to the Longshaw Estate.
The Longshaw Estate and Burbage Brook walk is one of many trails designed by the National Trust and can be downloaded from its website; visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/longshaw/things-to-see-and-do/walking/
On the circular walk you’ll see Longshaw Lodge, which was a shooting retreat for the Duke of Rutland; you’ll pass the duke’s pond, as well as a hill fort, ancient woodlands, and protected moorland.
Dogs are welcome too, with around half of all visitors to the area bringing their pets with them. As there are lots of animals and wildlife around, keep your dog on a lead.
At a glance
Distance: 3.6km (2¼ miles).
Time: 45 minutes.
Terrain: Good footpaths.
How to get there: The visitor centre is situated off the B6521, just before the road joins the A6187 Hathersage Road.
- From the visitor centre, cross the drive and take a left. Walk along the path by the fence and go through a small gate. Turn right, heading downhill before going through another gate.
- Stay on the downhill path all the way to the Longshaw pond.
- Follow the path around the pond, then down the hill through Granby Wood.
- You’ll see the information barn which has loads of details about the history and wildlife of the estate; dogs are allowed to visit too. Next, go down the path to a small gate, cross the road, and pass through another gate further up the road. The meadow here hosts the Longshaw Sheepdog Trials every year, thought to be the oldest sheepdog trials in the country. Across the meadow you can see the flat-topped hills of Carl Wark which is a Bronze Age hill fort.
- Cross the bridge over Burbage Brook. To your left is Padley Wood. If you want to extend your walk take a detour and explore the ancient, oak woodland.
- Walk upstream by the side of the brook.
- You’ll reach another bridge; cross over it to the path on the other side. You’ll notice the stone path; National Trust rangers repaired this path using an old technique known as stone pitching, which is the embedding of stones into the ground like cobblestones.
- Stay on the path and look out for Toad’s Mouth Rock on the roadside to the left — a famous rock formation that looks uncannily like a toad! At the junction, near a small stream, turn right and go through a gate. Continue through the wood until you reach a white gate.
- Having gone through the gate, cross the road to the entrance lodge of Longshaw and return to the visitor centre.