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The most fabulous dog-friendly Peak District attractions holiday cottages

Days out

The most fabulous dog-friendly Peak District attractions

Elianne Reed 09 October 2019

While walking in the Peaks is one of the principal reasons that those with both two legs and four flock to this beautiful area, traversing the countryside and conquering the summits of Derbyshire isn’t all that the Peak District has to offer the canine vacationer. If your dogs are anything like those at Canine Cottages, they also love doing fun non-walkie activities with their humans on holiday, whether it’s visiting a stately home or castle, jumping aboard a vintage steam train or just enjoying any activity where they’re allowed to tag along.

Ideal if you’ve got an older or poorly dog who can’t manage too much walking, the great selection of dog-friendly attractions in the Peak District means that all of the family can be catered for on a trip to this area. We've put together some suggestions of paw-friendly attractions and dog-friendly places to visit in the Peak District that will welcome both you and your four-legged family members - just sit back, put your paws up and have a flick through our top canine adventures in the Peaks.

Best 3 family dog-friendly attractions

Discover Buxton Tram

Buxton Tram
From Instagram: @ilovebuxton 

 

Take a leisurely tour around the Peaks with the fantastic ‘Wonder of the Peaks’ route. Showing off the best of Buxton, there is an optional route to stop off at the two million-year-old limestone caverns of Poole’s Cavern and Buxton Country Park. Only guide dogs are allowed in the caves themselves, so we suggest one of the adults takes the kids to see this natural wonder, while the other has a peaceful walk with the hound around the country park. Get together for a sweet treat in the dog-friendly café afterwards and then jump back on the tram to head home.

Why your dog will love this:

The promise of a walk around the lovely Buxton Park and Grin Low Woods while the noisier little members of the family are busy cave-spotting.

Best for:

Dogs who don’t get car sick and who might like a quick snooze while you see the sights.

Cottages nearby: 

The Heights of Abraham

Heights of Abraham
From Instagram: @justysiaphotography

 

For a second fun activity, how about a pet-friendly canine cable car? At the famous Heights of Abraham at Matlock Bath, you will find a maze of trails up Masson Hill, a pair of grand showcase taverns, and cable cars that cross the valley to give you and your canine chum a lovely view below. It’s a great opportunity for a selfie of you both, but make sure your dog feels safe and doesn’t look down if he shows any signs of vertigo! Since most of the attractions at the Heights of Abraham are outdoors, well-behaved dogs on leads are more than welcome, just remember that they can’t go into any of the caverns or buildings.

Why your dog will love this:

A lovely walk followed by a ride in a cable car with their very own favourite humans? What’s not to love?

Best for:

Dogs with a head for heights.

Cottages nearby: 

Crich Tramway Museum

Crich Tramway Museum
From Instagram: @peter_napier

 

For something that doesn’t require too much effort, the award-winning Crich Tramway Museum will do the trick. Not only an excellent day out for children, who will love collecting their old penny to pay the conductor for the 1-mile tram ride, the mutt-loving staff also encourage dogs to hop aboard too! Now we like this idea very much as why should a) you miss out just because you have a dog with you and b) your pup miss out when he would also like a mile-long tram ride and a bit of Peaks history?

Why your dog will love this:

Because the staff are lovely and encourage dogs to hop aboard and look around the museum. There’s also the opportunity to have a bit more exercise at the Woodland Walk & Sculpture Trail if you’ve got an active dog with you.

Best for:

Those canines who can’t (or won’t) walk far and who prefer moseying around interesting old buildings.

Cottages nearby:

Best 3 historical dog-friendly attractions

Chatsworth

Chatsworth

Hounds who like the finer things in life should be taken by their servant humans to the elegant stately home of Chatsworth House. Like most historic properties, dogs cannot be taken into the main house (just as well or they may never return home with you) but the estate does welcome them on leads in their gorgeous grounds.

Why your dog will love this:

Striding majestically through parkland, master of all he surveys… we say let him dream.

Best for:

Dogs who love Downton Abbey on a Sunday night.

Cottages nearby:

Mam Tor

Mam Tor

You can’t visit the Peak District without spending a day at Mam Tor, one of the most famous historic landmarks in the Peaks, thought to be constructed in the late-Bronze Age and possibly one of the earliest hillforts in Britain. From glorious sunrises across the panoramic hilltops to traversing the hard ground covered in glistening ice crystals by the frosts of winter, you and your dog are guaranteed a wonderful experience.

Why your dog will love this:

This historic landmark allows dogs all over, not just in the parks and gardens. With no restrictions here, they can experience a bit of history underfoot without having to be tied up anywhere. There are both on-lead and off-lead areas, making it ideal for both runners and keepers.

Best for:

Dogs who love a long hill walk in the bracing wind with breathtaking views at the top.

Cottages nearby: 

Peveril Castle

Peveril Castle

Take an afternoon trip to Peveril Castle near Castleton, one of the UK’s oldest existing Norman buildings. Standing high above the village of Castleton, these imposing ruins make a great morning out and should be followed by a hearty lunch at one of the dog-friendly village pubs. For exuberant hounds, we suggest a climb to the top of the hills for the spectacular views across Hope Valley – just make sure that you take a picnic and lots of water for your canine chum if you want to stay up top.

Why your dog will love this:

Inquisitive hounds are allowed in the castle and visitors' area on a lead and there’s a picnic area and lots of flat grassy areas for a spot of lunch and snooze in the sun afterwards – bliss!

Best for:

Fit dogs who can handle the hill climb up to the castle.

Cottages nearby: 

Best 3 dog-friendly National Trust attractions

Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak

Ilam

Dogs on leads are more than welcome at our first National Trust property. Our canine chums will be blessed with lots of walking routes all around, with some lovely scenery along the way. Walk through woodland and hike up to the summit of Thorpe Cloud or take a gentle riverside stroll alongside the River Manifold and cross the Dovedale stepping stones over the River Dove. Bear in mind that there is livestock on many parts of the estate, especially lambs in the springtime, so pups do need to be kept under control.

Why your dog will love this:

A mooch around the village of Ilam with its gorgeous Alpine-style cottages will make cosmopolitan canines feel they have stepped off the plane straight into Switzerland.

Best for:

Dogs who like travelling but who don’t have a pet passport.

Cottages nearby:

  • Church View, Ashbourne 6 miles (sleeps 1 dog and 2 humans)
  • The Snug, Ashbourne 6 miles (sleeps 3 dogs and 6 humans)

Lyme

lyme

You’ll recognise this majestic stately home on the edge of the Peak District as it was once famously used as the setting for the glorious Pemberley in the TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Set in 1400 acres of grounds with a deer park, you and your pups can blow the cobwebs away exploring the wider estate, traversing through woodland, meadows and across moor. This is one of those dog-friendly places to visit that you will never forget.

Why your dog will love this:

There are frozen yoghurt dog treats available to buy at the Timber Yard Café for after long, hot walkies.

Best for:

Dogs who like their walks to be full of variety and fun, followed by a sticky teatime treat.

Cottages nearby: 

Hardwick Hall

Hardwick Hall

Slightly east of the Peak District National Park, Hardwick Hall has an amazing 900 acres of parkland and welcomes canine friends across both its parkland and stable yard. After a bracing walk, stop for a coffee in the Stableyard where your dog can sit with you on the South Terrace or take a picnic lunch to the lovely grassy area at the back of the Hall and laze in the sun for an hour or two. There are also water bowls for the thirsty pooch at both the Visitor Centre and Gatehouse. Just be wary, as always, of livestock and keep dogs on leads in the park.

Why your dog will love this:

Lots of walkies on offer around the hall with some linking to the Teversal Trail, as well as birds to watch on the lake and lots of sniffs around the woodland.

Best for:

Hounds who like a bit of après-walk on a day out – there are plenty of areas to enjoy a yummy biscuit and get a drink of water or even take an afternoon siesta when it all gets too much.

Cottages nearby: 

  • Stowe Cottage, Middleton 18 miles (sleeps 2 dogs and 2 humans)
  • Spinners Cottage, Crich 15 miles (sleeps 2 dogs and 4 humans)

Best 3 quirky or unusual activities you can do with your dog

The Peak Rail Heritage Line

Peak Rail
From Instagram: @anthdamatomusic

 

For dogs who enjoy a bit of transport history (and who wouldn’t?), head over to this heritage railway line. Running between Rowsley and Matlock, these wonderful steam trains travel at a slow pace so that you can all sit and watch the world go by together. When you eventually get to Matlock, you’ll find lots of dog-friendly pubs and coffee shops, so you won’t need to leave your pooch unattended at any time. 

Why your dog will love this:

He or she can sit on your lap (size permitting) and view the beautiful Peaks countryside through the window, followed by some yummy crumbs at a local coffee shop.

Best for:

Elderly dogs who cannot walk far but who still have an interest in seeing the countryside.

Cottages nearby: 

The Monsal Trail

Monsal Trail

Don’t miss the Monsal Trail, which has lots of canine-friendly pubs en-route for those dogs with humans who like to stop off for a pint of local ale on their country walk. Following the line of an old railway, and much of the River Wye, the route is traffic-free and flat with some spectacular scenery. Popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders, it passes through multiple railway tunnels along the route, four of which are lit up.

Why your dog will love this:

There are no hills on this one and no cars, so pups are free to run to their hearts' content. Just watch out for two-wheeled and four-legged traffic coming by and keep animals close when others are nearby.

Best for:

Train-spotting canines who don’t mind the absence of trains as long as there’s a nice long walk involved.

Cottages nearby: 

Eyam ‘Plague’ Village

Eyam Plague Village
From Instagram: @kristieee1

 

Well, we said quirky and there’s nothing more unusual than a day out at a plague village! Immerse yourself in this amazing story of villagers who, in the 17th century when the plague was rife, closed themselves off from the outside world to stop the spread of disease. Visit key locations in the village and the National Trust’s Eyam Hall as well as the village stocks and museum – the latter is dog-friendly if your canine chum can be carried!

Why your dog will love this:

Regardless of its sad history, it’s now a lovely picturesque village to visit, with various dog-friendly tearooms to stop at before heading home.

Best for:

Dogs who don’t mind a tale or two about the Black Death.

Cottages nearby: 

Come and stay with us in the Peak District!

After long days sightseeing and exploring, your adventure hounds will need somewhere to rest tired heads and weary paws. Bring them home to one of our selection of dog-friendly cottages in the Peak District and get ready for more fun Peak adventures.

 

If you want to find out more about the Peak District, check out our complete dog-friendly guide to the Peak District.

Dog-friendly Peak District

 

For dog-friendly things to do all over the country, have a read through our ultimate guide to days out with your dog.

Ultimate doggy days out

 

Please note all distances to attractions from cottages are approximate.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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