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Chatsworth House reopened to the public on Saturday 24 March and the current exhibition is all about dogs.

This four-legged exhibition reflects the Cavendish family's love of dogs.  Included are paintings, drawings, sculptures, photos and contemporary art, including a huge sculpture in the gardens by Ben Long. There are dog friendly works of Constable, Gainsborough, Landseer and Stubb.

If you decide to take your four-legged friends with you please note that House itself doesn't allow dogs except guide dogs, although part of the restaurant is now dog friendly inside.   The courtyard area around the restaurant and shop also has plenty of seating outside and it is all dog friendly.

There are also some great dog friendly walks around Chatsworth including Stand Woods and lots and lots of steps up to the Tower folly and two lakes further up, which are well worth wandering around.

If you come with children and visit the farm there are areas to leave your dogs securely teathered so that you can all visit the animals.

All in all Chatsworth is highly recommended for dog lovers and their four-legged friends.


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Posted by on in Self Catering

Sniff out these dog friendly holiday cottages in the gorgeous Peak District National Park and treat your dog to a holiday in 2019.

Riverside House and Valley View holiday cottages accept up to five dogs at both cottages.  There are loads of lovely walks from the doorsteps of both cottages and dog friendly pubs all within walking distance. 

And it gets even better at Riverside House holiday cottage as we have just introduced a doggy welcome pack. 

Contents for our four-legged visitors will include:

  • dog treats
  • poop bags
  • dog shampoo
  • dog bowls with non-slip mat
  • dog bed
  • dog throw
  • dog towels

Other benefits of staying with multiple dogs at Riverside House:

  • Pleny of downstairs space with open plan layout and easy to clean flooring
  • Outside taps for washing down after muddy walks
  • Safe, fully enclosed grassed and patio area
  • Cosy, warm log burner with fire guard for relaxation after the long walks
  • Walks from the door including the traffic free Monsal Trail (just across the bridge at the back of the cottage and up to the Trail)
  • Very dog friendly pub, The Angler's Rest, one mile from the cottage
Get in touch to book a 2019 break that is very dog friendly, contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Here's our very own Conor, enjoying a holiday in the Peak District at one of our holiday cottages. (The cottage in the picture is Valley View with stunning views over Dovedale). 

Many holiday cottages will only accept one or two dogs at the most.  That's where we are different from the rest.

You know your dogs and pets deserve a holiday as much as you do and that's why our large self catering cottages accept up to five dogs at any one time.  So if you are on holiday with family members and friends you can all bring your four-legged friends along too.

There are walks galore from the holiday cottages.  At Valley View enjoy walks along the river Dove or the nearby Tissington Trail and at our other cottage, Riverside House, there's the river Wye and Monsal Trail right on the doorstep.

And just like you, your dogs will love snuggling up to our cosy log fires.  We don't stint on logs either, when you book with us you get an unlimited free supply of logs and kindling to use during your stay.  

If you'd like more information on taking your dog on holiday with you, or details about our short break prices for 2018, get in touch now!

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Travelling with you dog and taking them on holiday with you is great fun.  After all why should your pet be left at home or left in kennels?  That's the beauty of self catering holiday cottages like Visit Peaks, as up to five dogs are welcome when you stay with us.  

There are some things you need to bear in mind though when travelling with your dog.   Hot weather is an issue for dogs as they are unable to cool off as easily as we can.  Dehydration, heat stroke and sunbrun can be the result of overheating.

When travelling by car with your dog make sure that your pet is not thirsty and stop at regular intervals to give him water. Frozen food is also ideal to help them cool down, why not try freezing bananas? Also make sure your car is well ventillated and that your dog is not shut up in a stuffy boot.  You dog will need to be securely fastened with a dog seat belt or in a crate, but do make sure they can move and change positions too.

Look out for signs of heat stroke; lethargy, rapid panting, lack of coordination, vomiting and diarrhoea and possibly seizures. If you see any of these symptoms take your dog straight away to see a vet.

Do not leave your dog in a hot car, even if you have parked in the shade or with the windows open.  It can take a few minutes for your dog to overheat.  Make sure you take your dog out of the car when you are stopping for a break and take him with you.

Walk your dog at cooler times of the day, first thing in the morning is ideal and avoid 11 am to 3 pm on hot days.  And walk on the grass rather than tarmac as it can get very hot.

Why not plan your journey for earlier in the day when it is cooler?  Even if you arrive before check in time you could go for a walk with your dog (if not too hot) or stop in a shady spot where you can all relax.  Why not pack a picnic for you and your dog?  Remember to take plenty of water for your dog!  

If you want more information on our dog friendly holiday cottages contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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Posted by on in Peak District

Do you love visiting traditional English pubs?  The Peak District has loads of pubs, many traditional, some modernised and plenty serving delicious hearty food.  Being a walking area many of the pubs in the Peak District welcome walkers and dogs so it's ideal for a day out, short break or longer stay, when you can take in one or a few pubs on a walk!

We've recently updated our list of recommended pubs with comments and suggestions that we hope you will find helpful.  Some of our favourites include the Red Lion, Litton; The Old Dog, Thorpe, The Church Inn, Chelmorton, The Coach and Horses, Fenny Bentley and The Devonshire Arms Hartington.

We base our reviews on friendliness of landlords and staff, quality and value of the food, range of beers and wines and how walker and dog friendly they are.  We also include some suggested walks to take in the pubs too.

One pub that is nearly on the list is The Angler's Rest in Milldale.  We are delighted that there are new reviews on Trip Advisor that are getting excellent comments.  Hopefully it will be on the list soon!

For more information contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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More and more of us are taking our pets and dogs on holiday and days out.  The family holiday should be just that, a holiday for all the family including your four-legged friend.

We've been taking our dogs to the Peak District for many years and we've found some great places for a day out with your dog.

Here's are top five.  

1. Crich Tramway Village

A great day out for all the family including your dog!  On arrival collect an old penny and use this to ride the trams with your dog all day.  There's also a woodland walk and scultpure park, but dogs do need to be on a lead.   The Old Red Lion pub is a popular stopping off point on the recreated street scene and dogs are welcome here too for a refreshing drink.  There's plenty on offer for the kids too, so this really is a great day out.

2. Treak Cliff Cavern

Treak Cliff Cavern is the only place in the world where Blue John Stone natuarly occurs.   There are fabulous chambers in the caves to see and stalactites too.  All can be explored with your dog alongside.  Dogs are welcome in the Cavern and the shop on a lead. The Cavern is located in Castleton, a lovely village worth exploring, and there are plenty of dog friendly pubs so ideal for a refresment stop.

3. Peveril Castle

Also located in Castleton are the ruins of the castle keep.  It is well worth walking up to the top for some splendid views of the Hope Valley as well as exploring the ruins including a medieval lavatory.  This is a National Trust site with an easy (but steep) path to the top and there are benches along the route.  There's a shop and interactive visitor centre with plenty of information about the Castle and its history.  Dogs are allowed on a lead.

4. Chatsworth House

Although dogs are not allowed in the house itself (please note that assistance dogs are allowed in all areas of the site) this is still worth a visit with your four-legged friend.  Dogs are allowed on leads in the gardens, maze, scultpure park and waterworks so there is plenty of great outdoor space to explore.  If you are visiting the farmyard or adventure playground there are posts to tie up your dog just outside these facilities.  Posts are also provided outside the restaurant as dogs are not allowed in, but there are plenty of outdoor seating areas in the old stables area where you can sit, relax and eat with your dog.  If you want to venture further afield there are some lovely walks just outside the Chatsworth estate.  

5. Tideswell, a dog friendly Peak District village

A hidden gem in our view and a great village to spend a morning or afternoon browsing the shops, visiting the pubs and cafes, many of which are dog friendly.  Our top picks for dog friendly cafes are Vanilla Kitchen (dogs allowed inside) with great cakes, lunches and more and The Dairy Parlour cafe (dogs allowed inside) with its' own deli too.  If you fancy a pint or glass of wine The Horse and Jockey, The George, The Anchor (10 mins outside the village) and The Red Lion (nearby in Litton) are all dog friendly.  For something a bit different we've recently tried the friendly Stella's Kitchen with Caribbean, African and Tapas style food, which allows dogs inside the restaurant.  Other things to do include a visit to the Tideswell Cathedral, the Aladin's cave that is the second hand bookshop in Tideswell, the rock shop and buying some yummy supplies at Tindalls bakery and deli.  Look out for Tideswell Well Dressing in June, the Food Festival in May and the Eroica Bike ride in June.  Finally, a great dog walk can be found at Tideswell Dale, just 10 minutes outside of Tideswell.  If there are no sheep in the surrounding areas you can let your dog off the lead and its traffic free all the way to Litton Mill.  

So what's stopping you?  Take your dog with you on a day trip or holiday to the Peak District.  There's plenty for all of you to enjoy!

For more information contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 07980 390 520



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Posted by on in Self Catering

Don't leave your best four-legged friends at home when you go on holiday.  Bring your dogs on holiday with you and all the family will enjoy a self-catering cottage break.

Holiday cottages are ideal for pet friendly holidays, especially when located in the lovely British countryside.  There's always plenty of walks and outside fun to be had.

At both our holiday cottages, Riverside House and Valley View, we welcome up to five dogs.  

Some of the fun things to do at the holiday cottages include splashing about in the river; going on traffic free walks on either The Monsal Trail or the Tissington Trail; visiting some dog friendly attractions and pubs and of course relaxing in front of the log fire. 

There really is no need for expensive kennel fees when you can bring your dogs with you.

Ask us about dog friendly attractions, walks and pubs that are near our holiday cottages.  

Or take a look at our Top 10 Dog Friendly Guide to the Peak District.


Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 07980 390 520. 


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A lot of guests bring their dogs to our holiday cottages - we welcome up to five dogs. Our dog travels with us when we visit our cottages and we've got a few tips to help the journey go well for you and your dog.

*  Check your dog is secure in the car, either use a dog seat belt harness or crate.  

*  Make sure the dog crate is big enough for your dog to be able to stand, sit, turn around and lie down.  

*  The dog crate must be secure so that it doesn't slide around in the car.  

*  Remove all hazards from the dog crate and don't leave your dog on the lead when he is crated it could be a strangling hazard.

*  Bring along your dog's favourite blankie and dog toys for the journey.  Something familiar will make them feel safer.  

*  Take some water, a dog bowl, and some snacks for your dog.

*  Make regular stops, especially if it is a long car journey.  Take your dog out of the car and let him have a walk on the lead.

*  We've found that our dog is a bit prone to motion sickness so we don't feed him a lot before the journey.  This really helps.  

*  Never leave your dog alone in a parked car, especially when warm, but just don't do it anyway.

*  We also give our dog a really good walk before we start the journey, that way he is more relaxed and does quickly settle down.

For more information about staying at our dog friendly holiday cottages, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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Posted by on in Self Catering

Don't leave your best friend at home or pay for expensive kennels.


We love having dogs come to stay at our holiday cottages, and we welcome up to five at any one time. 


Don't take our word for it, take a look at the picture, these are three guests who came to stay at Valley View holiday cottage in August.  They loved the walks along the river Dove, just one of the highlights.  Others include safe and secure gardens with outdoor space, log fires with limitless logs for a cosy sleep after a long walk and lots of local pubs and attractions that are dog friendly.


Some of our favourites include the Crich Tramway Museum, which allows dogs on the site, in the trams and there are lovely walks such as the Woodland walk. 


Or Peveril Castle above the village of Castleton gives stunning views and you and your dog will appreciate visiting this National Trust property as part of the daily dog walk (it is a bit steep!).  Castleton also has dog friendly pubs for much needed refreshments afterwards.


How about Chatsworth House for an outdoors visit with your dog.  Dogs are allowed in the gardens, sculpture areas, maze, waterworks areas and there are dog posts just outside the farm area and restaurant.  Assistance dogs are allowed in the house. 


Some of our favourite dog friendly pubs include The Red Lion at Litton (a lovely town with a village green) and The Church Inn at Chelmorton.  Both these pubs are ideal for using as a base for walking in the Peak District. 


Our holiday cottages in the Peak District will take up to five dogs so if there is a group of you we won't restrict you to one well behaved dog only as many other holiday cottages will do. 


We take our own dog on holiday with us to the Peak District, so we want you to enjoy your holiday with your dog too! 


For more information contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


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A bit of a different blog this week, introducing Julie who paints and draw portraits of dogs, as well as other pets and people.
We thought this would be a good link for our dog friendly holiday cottages, so if any of you want to take your dog on holiday and get their portrait done, why not get in touch with Julie?  
Working in watercolour and graphite pencil Julie can capture the character of your beloved dog, cat, horses or rabbits!.  All she needs you to do is to send her some good quality photos and she can then discuss which one would work best for your portrait.
Please feel free to contact Julie for a no obligation chat, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call her on 07956 393324

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What are the most discerning of dogs longing to eat these days?  Well in some cases, I'll admit, the answer is "practically anything" but in all seriousness and in all cases, the sweet teatime cakes and bakes we ourselves devour, are simply not suitable and can be quite dangerous for our four-legged friends.

Take the traditional Bakewell Tart for instance, famed of the Derbyshire Dales and Peak District, with its almond, jam and shortcrust sponge combination it calls to you from the cake counter any time of the day, let along tea time ...... but knowing that nuts and sugar are two of the biggest "No No" ingredients in canine culinary terms, I set about creating a delight for our dogs that could rival this most traditional of treats!

And so, the Barkwell Tart was born (well, baked!) a peanut butter cookie base covered in a layer of liver parfait, and topped with mini tasty cookies!!

It's not a sweet tart but a pooch party favourite, where we can even replace the topped mini bones with a name or message, but in the dog world, it is certainly matching the popularity of it's human "name sake" the Bakewell, so perhaps they are both the perfect selections to have with you as all six legs enjoy a wonderful walk around the Derbyshire countryside!

Find us at www.charactercookies.co.uk or


Character Bakes

........our edibles are incredibles! 

Tel 07769776843 





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Posted by on in Peak District

Our dog friendly holiday cottages welcome up to five dogs.  So why not take your dog or dogs on a self catering holiday with you?

Here are our top five things to do in the Peak District with your dog; of course number one should really be getting outside with your dog and going for a walk.  There are so many to choose from including some traffic free walks like the Monsal Trail. But for a dog friendly day out here are some of our favourites.  


Crich Tramway Museum

Dogs are welcome on the site and are able to ride on the trams.  There is also a woodland walk and sculpture walk too but dogs do have to remain on the lead. The Crich Tramway Museum is one of the few museums that does not charge for dogs and it is recommended as dog friendly by The Dogs Trust.  We love the fact that they would rather dogs enjoy the family day out than be left in the car, which of course would be dangerous in hot weather. 


Treak Cliff Cavern


Dogs are welcome at all times at Treak Cliff Cavern in Castleton.   There are also numerous dog-friendly pubs in Castleton so you can always pop into one after your visit to the caverns.


Peveril Castle


And while you are in Castleton why not take your dog to see the fabulous views over the town from Peveril Castle?   Climb to the castle at the top of the hill with your dog to enjoy breath-taking views over the Hope Valley.  Dogs are welcome at the site but they do have to be kept on a lead.  In Castleton there are lovely walks around the area, so this is a great place to base a doggy and family day out.  


Peak Rail


Take journey into the past on the Peak Rail’s heritage railway line. It currently runs between Rowsley and Matlock with dogs being welcome travellers.  All trains have a buffet car and there is a special adapted carriage for wheelchair users. There are also a number of dog friendly pubs and cafes in close proximity to Matlock station.


Chatsworth House


Chatsworth House will allow your dogs in the gardens, parkland, maze, waterworks, and sculpture areas as long as they are kept on a lead.  There are 1000 acres of parkland to explore, but please note if visiting the farmyard or adventure playground posts are provided where you can tie up your dog for a short time whilst enjoying these facilities.  There are also posts outside the restaurant as dogs are not allowed in here.  Assistance dogs are welcome in the house at all times.   

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Posted by on in Self Catering

As the owner of a holiday cottage, there are a lot of questions that I get asked regularly.

Here are some of the most frequent ones, and their answers.

  • Where are the nearest shops?
  • Both my holiday cottages are near to shops; Riverside House is only a 5 minute drive to the town of Tideswell, with a local Co-op, delis, greengrocers, chemist, butchers and cafes; and Valley View is a 15 minute drive to the lovely market town of Ashbourne with a Sainsbury, Waitrose, M&S foodstore, Co-op, delis, cafes and plenty more.
  • Where is the nearest pub?
  • The Angler's Rest is a one mile walk from Riverside House and The George is a 15 minute walk from Valley View.
  • There are also plenty more pubs within easy walking (or longer!) so there is plenty of choice.
  • What are the best family walks?
  • From Riverside House is literally 2 minutes to The Monsal Trail, a level traffic free trail suitable for young and old alike.  It's great for cycling too.
  • Valley View is in Dovedale one of the best areas for walks in the Peak District.  From the door of the cottage you can visit the famous stepping stones over the river Dove in about 30-40 minutes.
  • The Tissington Trail is also about a 10 minute drive and is a flat traffic free walking and cycling route.
  • How far away is Alton Towers?
  • Alton Towers is about a 30 minute drive from Valley View and about 50 minutes from Riverside House.
  • Are your cottages suitable for disability impaired guests?
  • At Riverside House the whole of the lower floor is virtually on one level and we provide a wheelchair ramp for the one step.
  • There is also a downstairs bedroom and shower room, and we've had some very happy wheelchair users stay with us.
  • How many can sit round the dining table?
  • Valley View has a huge dining table that can seat up to 16, and Riverside House can seat 8 or more and it is possible to join two tables together at Riverside House to provide seating for 12 or more.
  • How many bathrooms are there?
  • Both holiday cottages have 3 bathrooms.
  • Riverside House has an ensuite, family bathroom and downstairs bathroom.
  • Valley View has two family bathrooms and a downstairs bathroom in the attached cottage Annex.
  • Are you cottages pet friendly?
  • We take up to a maximum of five dogs (depending on size) at both our holiday cottages.
  • We provide dog bowls and outdoor areas t wash down your dogs after those lovely long walks! We also welcome cats and other pets! 

If you have a question that hasn't been covered, please don't hesitate to contact me to ask!

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What would you like to find at a self catering holiday cottage break to entertain the children?  What about if there are young ones, toddlers, school age kids and teenagers?  Having been through all the ages in our own family, we hope our holiday cottages have some great ideas for going on holiday with children no matter what the age or the weather. 

Here's a list of what you can expect to find and do:

Games room with table tennis downstairs, pool, air hockey, table football, PS2, x-box, DVDs, videos and TV
Plenty of board games, DVDs and books for all ages
Free wi fi access
Safe cycle storage and easy access to Peak District traffic free cycling trails
Walking from the door of the cottages suitable for all ages from easy to more challenging
Pets welcome - dog friendly facilities for up to four well behaved dogs
Local wildlife on the doorstep including ducks and brown trout to feed (adult supervision required)
Stair gates, cots, high chairs, plastic cutlery, plates and plug protectors all provided
Activities and history nearby including Go Ape, Poole's Cavern, Chatsworth House, Haddon Hall, Monsal Trail and Alton Towers
Handy practical facilities for parents include utility rooms, coat and boot storage, microwaves, plenty of food storage space, shops and pubs nearby, supermarket food delivery

Let us know what you'd like to find at your holiday cottage destination. 


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1. Accommodation

Ask if there are any restrictions on the size, breed or number of dogs that you can bring.  Some self catering cottages limit it to one and others are happy to take up to four or five.

Find out how much it will cost to bring you dog as they are not always free.  Some holiday cottage owners will ask for a small supplement to cover extra cleaning costs.

What facilities do the holiday cottage owners provide?  Will you need to bring bedding, towels for wiping down your dog after a wet walk, are dog bowls supplied?  Some cottages will even go the extra mile and supply a treat for your dog on arrival.

Are there restrictions to where your dogs can roam?  You may find that holiday cottages restrict pets to downstairs areas and also stipulate that no climbing on furniture is allowed!  You could ask if there are stair gates to stop your 4-legged friends wandering upstairs and find out if a fire guard is provided if there is a log burning fire in the cottage.

What are the rules about leaving your dog alone in the property, some holiday cottages will want you to take your pet with you at all times?  Remember it is a strange house for your dog and it might not be a good idea to leave them home alone – your dog may feel distressed and get destructive and noisy!

2. Garden

Make sure that there is a secure outdoor area where you dog can stretch their legs and spend a penny.  But do make sure it is secure – check the height of fences and ask if there are gaps in hedges etc.  Ask about arrangements for cleaning up after your dogs – some holiday cottages will provide doggy bins and other facilities.

3. The Local Area

Check out what there is in the local area for you and your pet to do.  If you are going for a rural holiday cottage there are likely to be lots of walks, but will that mean going through fields of sheep (a problem at lambing time) or cows?  Which walks are suitable for dogs off the lead?  Are there rivers nearby or if you are by the beach will you be able to take your dog there?  Are you in a very hilly area and is your dog fit enough to cope with all the extra activity?  Are you near cliffs or cycling routes where you’ll need to be extra careful when walking.  Are you on/near to a road with local traffic (even some local roads can be busy) and if so you need to be sure that the garden is secure.

4. Day Care

You may want to go out shopping or visit an attraction which isn’t dog friendly while you are away.  Look up before hand if there are any local dog walkers or kennels that would be prepared to take your dog for a few hours.  Some holiday cottage owners may have contacts so do check with them first.

5. Pet Friendly Places to Visit

Check before you book how many local attractions and pubs are pet friendly.  Ideally you want a nearby pub that is dog friendly so that neither of you miss out.  Many attractions are pet friendly and your holiday cottage owners should be able to help you with some suggested places to visit.  Remember to check with the attraction before you arrive and if there are any doggy rules to abide by.

6. Getting There

Make sure your dog will be comfortable on the way to your destination. Take a blanket or his usual bed, ensure that there is adequate ventilation, and that drinking water available in a non-spill travel bowl or offer him some whenever you stop. Take a break every two hours at a suitable place to let him stretch his legs and spend a penny.

7. Essential Items

  • Collar with ID and lead and make sure you dog is microchiped before you go away
  • Towels for drying muddy feet and wet coats
  • Food and treats - take all the food you need with you – you may not be able to buy your usual brand
  • Water and food bowls
  • Toys
  • Bedding - if you take your dogs favourite bed it will help to stop him climbing up on the sofas!
  • Large throw or old bed sheet to cover sofas
  • Poo bags
  • A torch for late night walks
  • Clean up spray and a roll of kitchen towel - just in case there’s an accident!
  • A coat to keep your dog warm and dry in cooler weather

8. Insurance

Make sure your pet is insured, not just for accidents and illness, but also for third party liability. Your dog may act out of character when away – so check that it covers damage to property.

9. Vet

Find out where the local vet's practice is, and print out directions or a map so that in an emergency you know who to contact, and how to get there.  Many holiday cottage owners will provide this information in their information pack.

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Riverside House : BOOK NOW

Riverside House
   Sleeps up to 12

Valley View : BOOK NOW

Valley View
   Sleeps up to 15


No late deals left for the summer and we are now booking from October.

Get in touch for further information on Valley View and Riverside House holiday cottages.

Call 07980 390 520 or send an email:




  • spacious accommodation
  • 4-star standard
  • dog and pet-friendly
  • flexible booking
  • short breaks available
  • deal direct with the owner Wendy Boast
Visit Peaks

Valley View

Valley View

Valley View is a self catering holiday cottage for up to 15 people in Milldale (right in Dovedale - within 100 yards of the River Dove) in the Peak District.

Click HERE for the Valley View web site.

Visit Peaks

Riverside House

Riverside House

Riverside House is a self catering holiday cottage for up to 12 people in Litton Mill (close to Millers Dale and Tideswell) in the Peak District.

Click HERE for the Riverside House web site (complete with its own video).

My Personal Sanctuary

While you are here why not pamper yourself with the services of our business partner 'My Personal Sanctuary'.
Click on the logo below for more information.

My Personal Sanctuary