The Peak District National Park is a glorious place to visit at any time of year, but February offers some advantages for the visitor. Here are six reasons to book a self-catering holiday in the Peak District as the first tender signs of spring begin to appear.
1. Value for Money
The first (and maybe the best) advantage is that there may be some great deals available. These low season weekends and mid-week breaks are often available to book with discounts. For example, at Riverside House, there are still the first two February weekends available with 20% off, so grab some friends and family and getaway! Holiday Cottages are such lovely places to come home to at the end of a day in the great outdoors – especially in winter.
Perhaps one of the best things about visiting The Peak District out of season is that cosy feeling after a long walk when snuggled up with a crackling log fire. Grab a book, a cup of tea or maybe a glass of wine and relax. If it is dark, chilly and snowing outside, there really is nothing like a real fire. If having a crackling log fire to warm your toes appeals, then look for a cottage that gives you plenty of free logs and kindling.
2. Peace, Quiet and Views
Our favourite reason for visiting at this time of year is for the peace and quiet. There are fewer walkers on the trails, fewer cars on the roads and more views to soak up on your own. It can feel as if you have the whole place to yourself, so it’s an ideal time to unwind and recharge the batteries. That’s doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to do. Many places stay open, and there’s plenty of local markets to visit, and on a crisp, cold and clear February day, the sound of silence at the top of a peak with far-reaching rural views is unbeatable.
One of our favourite views is that from Monsall Head across Monsall Dale. It’s probably one of the most photographed views in Derbyshire; such is its beauty.
You can also enjoy a good walk along the Monsall Trailto reach it. This eight-mile walk and cycle path (once a Midland Railway line) runs from Bakewell (Coombs Road) to Blackwell Mill in Chee Dale.
3. Peak District Pubs
With peace and quiet in mind, the local village pubs are often more relaxing at this time of year with fewer tourists.
Why not enjoy some real ales and log fires along with some locals and find out what we think is at the ‘heart’ of the Peak District? You'll also find a healthy selection of traditional hostelries that serve terrific food - perfect for long lazy lunches on a winter afternoon.
4. Local Markets & Farmers Markets
The Chesterfield flea market is a great place to pick up a bargain or find a long-lost valuable antique or two. It is open Thursdays from 9-4.
If you want to have a double whammy of market fun, the High Road Food Hall at New Mills is open Thursdays 5.30 – 7.30 pm. Check out the artisanal foods, local beers, breads, locally sourced meat and much more. Other markets are Bakewell on Mondays (9-4), Ashbourne on Thursdays and Saturdays (both 9-4) and Wirksworth Tuesdays 9-2.
As holiday cottages have such well-equipped kitchens, why not plan a few meals created from fresh and deliciously tasting local produce? Spend an hour or two browsing the stalls at a Peak District Farmers market in
Bakewell - Last Saturday of the month at the Agricultural Business Centre (9 am-2 pm)
Buxton on the first Thursday in the month at The Pavilion Gardens (9.30 am – 2.30 pm)
Leek – on the third Saturday and third Wednesday of the month in the Market Square
Matlock: The invitingly-named ‘Make it Bake it Grow it’ market is held on the third Saturday of the month at The Memorial Hall and Gardens 9 am-2 pm.
5. Matlock Farm Park
If you visit in February with young children, Matlock Farm Park is an ideal time to visit with more opportunity to get up close to the animals.
The Park has just opened the Rainforest Play Barn - perfect for wet-weather days when you need to get the children out of the house to burn off some energy someplace warm and dry.
The Farm has special winter entry rates, adults £7 and kids £5, and no extra charge to enter the Rainforest Play Barn (warm and cosy too!).
For children with energy to burn, take them to The Adventure Playground and/or The Farmyard at Chatsworth House; there’s a fantastic woodland playground, sandpits, trampolines, slides and a rope park.
It's a perfect place for families to enjoy some proper fun together during the February half term.
The farmyard offers some cuddly animal petting opportunities and a pirate-themed tractor-trailer ride for children, which runs from the 16-24th February (2019).
So, what are you waiting for? There are plenty of good reasons to visit the Peak District in February! Click the link to any of the cottages featured to find out more about them and their availability, or, for a wider choice, visit our Peak District Holiday Cottages Page.
Add Your Own Recommendations
If you have any other suggestions for Peak District places to visit in February, please leave a suggestion in the comments section below. Please note that these are moderated to ensure only relevant comments are published.
Grateful Thanks to...
Wendy Boast has kindly contributed this article, whose two Peak District holiday cottages (view them here) have been popular with out-of-season visitors for many years. The unlimited supply of logs for their wood burners might have something to do with that!