Arran Cross is a photographer, filmmaker and writer. He lives in Sheffield, UK, and works all over the world.
The Peak District is the oldest national park in England and Wales, and it's also one of most iconic thanks to its roughly 555 square miles of sweeping heather and granite moorland. Thousands of miles of trails lead over the steep rocky peaks and through the wild, and the deep valleys and dales that characterize this northern section of the United Kingdom's Pennine uplands. The park’s rugged geography is punctuated by winding rivers, chocolate box villages, and some of the UKs finest historical homes and holiday cottages.
Divided amongst Derbyshire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Yorkshire, and Greater Manchester counties, the Peak District is made up of a Dark Peak and a Light Peak, each characterized by their topography and geology as well as distinct flora and fauna. These areas have been inhabited since the Mesolithic era and history fills the landscape with evidence of Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Roman settlements across the entire region.
Today, Peak District National Park is a haven for hikers, climbers, campers, wild swimmers, and kayakers from across the UK and beyond. The park is within easy reach of cities like Manchester and Sheffield and has excellent transport links from almost anywhere in the UK. With a typically British climate, the Peak District is a year-round destination; its bitingly cold winters attract adventurous hikers and ice climbers just as its balmy summers are a magnet for fairweather cyclists and casual ramblers. And when the weather turns for the worst (as it often does) there’s a host of stately homes and caves to explore. The area is also home to some of the best traditional pubs in the country, where you can pull up a seat by the fire and enjoy a pint of real ale (start with The Packhorse at Little Longstone).
Accommodation in the Peak District is easy to come by and available at a wide range of prices. Most of it is decorated and styled in the traditional English country aesthetic—there's no shortage of quaint Peak District cottages—but there are also architectural marvels, Scandi-inspired cabins that take seclusion to the next level. You'll find all those and more below.
The 11 Best Cabins, Cottages, and Holiday Homes to Rent in England's Peak District
Boulder Field Cabin — Matlock, Derbyshire
Vibe: Above It All
This architectural cabin standing on the peak of Eagle Tor makes for a perfect couples’ getaway. Hidden away in fifteen acres of private land, the Boulder Field Cabin comes complete with wood-fired hot tub, has incredible 180-degree views across the valley below, and is close to local walking and climbing routes as well as some superb country pubs and cafes. Other highlights at this rustic, glamping-like retreat include an outdoor shower and outdoor sink with a prep space for self-catering.
Rate: From £175/night
Cabin at Coppertop Wood — Matlock, Derbyshire
Vibe: Cabin in the Wood
The Cabin at Coppertop Wood is a bespoke two-storey construction with a balcony and a wood-fired hot tub located in a lush private woodland. The cabin features a considered interior with underfloor heating, a beautiful spiral staircase and floor to ceiling windows that let the outside in. The place is perfect for a self-catering holiday with a full kitchen on the ground floor and multiple spaces to hang inside and outside. With a set of bunk beds, it's also family friendly. The best part? Unlike many others on this list, this whole house is pet friendly.
Rate: From £300/night
The Hunting Tower — Chatsworth, Derbyshire
Vibe: Towering Tradition
Constructed in 1582, this unique stay stands on an escarpment 400 feet above Chatsworth House, a historic estate nestled in the Derbyshire Dales. The Hunting Tower offers panoramic views over Capability Brown's magnificent gardens and the Peak District beyond. With room for four, the Hunting Tower gives a traditional feel but with all modern conveniences—plus a one-of-a-kind novelty factor that'll be hard to beat by your average holiday home.
Rate: From £305/night
Where The Chaffinch Sings — Grindon, Staffordshire
Vibe: Cottage for Two
Originally constructed in the 16th Century, this cosy stone-built barn makes the ideal bolthole for two. Nestled alongside the Manifold Valley in the village of Grindon, it’s perfectly positioned for long walks through the Peak District’s prettiest spots. Despite its rustic origins, this self-catering cottage has a fully modern interior with room for two, a TV, and wifi, plus an enclosed garden for relaxing outdoors in the beautiful countryside.
Rate: From £154/night
Buzzard Lodge — Bakewell, Derbyshire
Vibe: Home on a Hill
This eco cabin for two sits on a working organic farm, giving you access to 17 acres of the Peak Districts' bucolic natural beauty all to yourself. The cabin is totally off-grid, with a woodburning stove and all its power drawn from solar panels. Featuring a handcrafted king size bed with views across the Peak District, this friendly cottage is the perfect place to switch off during a last-minute getaway (nope, there's no WiFi here).
Rate: From £160/night
The Rocking Stone — Birchover, Matlock, Derbyshire
Vibe: Beautiful Barn
The Rocking Stone blends beautiful modern comforts with characterful original detail. The recently restored stone-built barn offers underfloor heating and a wood-burning stove as well as a large roll-top bath, two terraces for outdoor dining, a barbecue for self-catering, and scenic views of the surrounding countryside. This stay is perfect for up to four guests and is within easy walking distance of the “secret” swimming hole at Youlgreave. The owners live onsite in the nearby main house and can provide tips on things to do in the area if exploring Peak District National Park isn't the only thing in your plans.
Rate: From £233/night
Snap Tin — Bakewell, Derbyshire
Vibe: Market Town Digs
This Victorian quarryman's cottage has been lovingly restored and retains many original features like wooden sash windows, gritstone fireplaces and a wood-burning stove. Tucked away in the quaint village of Bakewell, the cottage is close to some of the finest pubs, cafes, and restaurants in the Peak District as well as the historic Haddon Hall, which is just down the A6, and plenty of the region's famous trails and climbs. The place is pet-friendly and has wifi too.
Rate: From £170/night
Cuckoostone Barn — Longnor, Buxton, Staffordshire
Vibe: Horizon Home
Set in the heart of the Peak District's White Peak, not far from the towns of Leek and Buxton, this open-plan barn conversion retains many of its original features while complimenting them with luxurious modern amenities to make it the perfect Peak District holiday cottage. Those include modern furnishings, a queen bed, a kitchen, a modern wood stove, and a place to hang in the enclosed garden. With uninterrupted views of the surrounding countryside, this an ideal place to base yourself to explore the gentler side of the Peaks.
Rate: From £144/night
The Farmer’s Husband — Longnor, Buxton, Staffordshire
Vibe: Courtyard Cottage
Converted from a 200-year-old barn to a modern, luxurious holiday cottage, The Farmer’s Husband is packed with luxurious touches including a kitchen that makes it the ideal self-catering accommodation. Situated close to the historic market town of Longnor, this stay is ideal for exploring the limestone gorges and valleys of the White Peak before returning to relax by the Scandinavian wood burner or soak in the deep roll-top bath.
Rate: From £165/night
Cambridge Lodge — Wensley, Matlock, Derbyshire
Vibe: Underground Oasis
This Peak District stay is a little different, primarily because the semi-subterranean home was expertly converted from an early 20th century water tank. Located in the hamlet of Wensley, the low-lying structure still boasts stunning views reaching out to Chatsworth House and Riber Castle, and its spacious interior has two floors of living space including a kitchen and multiple lounges, and it sleeps up to six people across three bedrooms.
Rate: From £119/night
Lodge Cottage — Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire
Vibe: Heart of the Village
Centrally located in both the village of Castleton and Peak District National Park, the Lodge Cottage provides guests with easy and equal access to everything the region has to offer. There are quaint pubs and inns to visit in town and caverns and dales to check out beyond. Head to nearby Edale for access to popular hiking trails, then return to this cozy holiday cottage for hard-earned relaxation. The 15th century home expertly combines modern touches with its traditional setting. There's no games room, but there is a full kitchen for self-catering, a woodburning stove, a small enclosed garden in the courtyard, and enough beds for nine.
Rate: From £400/night