Log fires, oak panelling and plenty of original features make this 17th century manor house perfect for weekend breaks or family getaways in Derbyshire. The hostel is in a lovely, unspoilt area of the Peak District – just right for activity breaks, walking holidays and cycling holidays.
The accommodation forms a base to explore the tourist attractions of Alton Towers and Chatsworth House nearby. But you don’t even need to leave the hostel – don’t miss giant outdoor chess and games room which are all great for family fun breaks.
The YHA Hartington Hall Hostel
Family rooms and dorm beds are available as well as our self-contained luxury suite, The Roost, in this 124 bed hostel. Perfect for families, YHA Hartington Hall also has giant outdoor chess and a games room. Look out for Eliza’s Restaurant for an evening of delicious dining! On entry to the hostel, you’ll be awed by our original features – traditional decor, wood panelling and stone flooring all add to the character of this great hall. If you’re a cyclist, we also have plenty of stuff to look after your bike.
Fancy a little bit of luxury? This self-contained suite is set away from the hostel and has its own living area, kitchenette, bedroom and bathroom. Think cosy blankets and rustic beds – perfect for a romantic weekend away or your first night as a married couple.
YHA Hartington Hall Bell Tents
Get all the fun of camping but without any of the set up stresses with these beautiful bell tents – part of the YHA Glamping experience. These spacious tipi-like tents are fully kitted out with a double futon bed and three single futons plus all bedding and can sleep four/five people. They also have eco-friendly solar lighting, and comfy bean bags for you to chill out on during the day plus bedside tables, a coffee table, rugs and soft flooring.
There are two tents at YHA Hartington Hall which are available to book for stays between May and September.
YHA Hartington Hall Land Pods
These fully waterproof structures sleep up to four adults and are slightly elevated off the ground for a comfortable night’s sleep under the stars – you can even open the roof for a better view! With LED lighting these cosy pods include all beds and bedding, making them a fine choice for anyone wishing to have a Peak District holiday with a difference.
One of the most varied national parks in the country is also its oldest. The 555 square miles of the Peak District are packed with things to do. Nature lovers, birdwatchers, school groups, and people interested in history can all find something fun to do there. We tried five different kinds of Peak District days out. Which ones do you like?
For people who like to watch wildlife Dovedale is known for its beauty, with its steep slopes, ash forests, and a river that is as clear as a vodka drink. When we went, which wasn’t during the school break, both banks were already full of people just strolling around for fun. But one great thing about Dovedale is that it gets quieter as you walk. There’s more wildlife to see when it’s quiet. We found a beautiful, quiet spot by the river near Sharplow Dale, put our feet in the water, and waited.
First came a pair of mallard ducks, then a family of six ducklings and their fussy mother. We saw a chaffinch and a naughty coal tit in the alder trees that provided shade for the river. On the ground, a grey wagtail flew back and forth along the edge of the water. There were fish and grayling in the river itself. The graylings were so well hidden that they looked like they disappeared in an instant. But what really got my attention was a little brown bird pelting quietly upriver. Its wings were beating just above the water, and you could tell it was a bird because it had white feathers on its chest.
Dippers are the birds that make Dovedale unique, but they aren’t always easy to see. We followed it upriver, and ten minutes later we saw it again, busying itself on the far bank. It flew back and forth, and at one point it submerged totally. Some people may not like Dovedale, but if you give it enough time, you can see the benefits.
For people who walk during the day There are ten YHAs in the Peak District, and each one has its own treats for walkers who want to spend the day in the Peak District. We stayed at YHA Edale, which is the park’s most northern hotel, as a base for a nice walk up to the edge of Kinder Scout. Hikers love the plateau for its part in the right-to-roam movement, but it’s particularly hard to get around on foot. This walk, however, stayed on the edges of the grassland. With a map and the basic knowledge to read it, getting lost was about as likely as running out of jelly beans (we had plenty).
The path we took took us from the hotel across to Edale and then up the long, fun, steep slope of Grindsbrook Clough. Once we got to the plateau, we went around Grindslow Knoll and kept going west on the well-marked trail. The most important thing to remember is to keep the steep part of the descent on your left. After a couple of miles of beautiful rim walking, we came across the Pennine Way, which went down Jacob’s Ladder and slowly wound its way back towards Edale. Along the way, we saw many of those crazy giant rock formations that seem to have bubbled out of the moor for no reason. A great walk. Give yourself four or five hours.
To food lovers This is the most important thing you should know about Bakewell puddings. Pies are what you call them, not tarts. They also don’t look much like the Mr. Kipling kind. Many people think of Bakewell as the “capital” of the Peak District, but the town has been known for its puddings since the 1860s, when a stressed-out cook tried to make a strawberry tart but poured the egg mixture over the fruit instead. These days, there are two restaurants that say they are the “original” ones. So that we could do study, we took samples of both. Which one should I pick? We started at Bloomers (“we have the original recipe,” the server said, “the other place has the original premises”) and then went to the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop, which was much busier. What was the verdict? We love an outsider, but even though we thought Bloomers would win, the OOBPS did better: they had a better texture, flakier dough, a fresher taste, and a fuller flavour. Please give us more!
For the past One of Britain’s least-known ancient sites is just a ten-minute drive from YHA Youlgreave. It’s hidden away on high fields in the White Peak. Arbour Low is a circle of stones that has been called the “Stonehenge of the North.” It is thought to be about 4,500 years old. We got there early in the morning (bring a pound to put in a tin to get through the farmyard) and had the place all to ourselves, except for two other guests who left soon after. The stones are flat instead of standing up; the idea is that early Christians pushed them over because they thought the pagan symbols were too much. Regardless, it’s a very eerie place. The henge’s thick earth walls offer wide views of the hills, and the limestone slabs themselves whisper stories of people who lived in the past. We saw a gift of fruit, flowers, and feathers on the centre stone as we walked around. Few tourists take the time to see Arbour Low, but those who do remember it.
To help families There are many beautiful stately homes in the Peak District. Some of them, like YHA Hartington Hall and YHA Castleton Losehill Hall, are now hotels. But Chatsworth, the family home of the Duke of Devonshire, is the most beautiful, largest, and grandest of them all. There are acres of fields and lakes on the grounds alone, which are enough to make you fall in love. But besides the setting and history, it’s also family-friendly.
We didn’t know if we should spend more time exploring the house or just staying in the yard and grounds during our visit. The outdoors won. The Little Explorers’ garden path has a human sundial and a real hedge maze. There is also a working farmyard with donkeys, sheep, and even milking demonstrations, as well as a forest adventure playground that might or might not have trampolines, diggers, and zipwires. It’s not likely that kids will have a lot of energy to burn when they get home.