Rating ★★★★★ (5/5)
The Chapel, Ashover, Derbyshire, from £299 for 7 nights
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A weekend in an unspoilt village on the edge of the Peak District with walking trails and fabulous places to eat on your doorstep… what could be more perfect?
The Chapel near the village of Ashover ticked all the boxes in terms of location and accessibility to the Peaks. Whether you're a foodie looking for tempting local dishes or are never happier than when you're out enjoying the fresh air, this cottage, just a few miles from the towns of Matlock and Bakewell, is the perfect base.
Our cottage, converted from a Methodist Chapel, couldn't have been cosier - just what we needed when the weather turned to snow over the weekend! When we arrived there was a very welcome basket of goodies and essentials from the owners Garry and Liz waiting for us on the kitchen table.
Beautifully decorated and well equipped, The Chapel is compact but perfect for a romantic stay for two, and a dog if you have one! Through the stable door is a large room with living and kitchen areas and a staircase leading to the mezzanine level, with a comfortable king-sized bed and vellum windows. The bathroom was downstairs with a double-sized shower.
The property is very well-maintained – there wasn't a speck of dust anywhere, and – as we quickly discovered to our pleasure – the ground floor has underfloor heating!
We had a fabulous three-course meal at The White Horse at Woolley Moor, just a five-minute drive from The Chapel. For provisions, we found the Marsh Green Farm Shop on the Matlock road very well stocked! They also have a cafe serving filling breakfast and lunches, perfect before a day in the hills.
There are various walks around Ashover (maps and directions were provided by the owners) but if you love to cycle, you must head to the Monsal Trail, starting at Bakewell. The Peaks are (naturally) very hilly, but this purpose-built traffic-free path is flat and ideal for a leisure cycle with family. The trail, along a now disused railway line, is eight miles long and passes through the most spectacular scenery, wending its way over viaducts and through railway tunnels which are carved through the hills. A fabulous day out whether you are a walker or a cyclist and the route is suitable for wheelchair users and those with mobility problems.