Close Icon

The Peak District is a fantastic destination for families. It’s a great place to be active and explore the outdoors, all whilst surrounded by magnificent National Park, rolling hills and remote moorland scattered with rocky outcrops and limestone caves. It’s definitely a place to take advantage of your breath-taking surroundings and embrace the outdoors. We have chosen some of our favourite family-friendly activities to enjoy on your next holiday to the Peak District.

Heights of Abraham

Image by James Hearton

This attraction in Matlock Bath has been around since the 1780’s. The park can only be reached by a scenic cable car ride over the magnificent Derwent Valley below. It was the first alpine-style cable car system to be introduced in the UK, back in 1984. Once you have reached the top, you will be greeted with a variety of activities you can participate in. Start at the Visitors Centre, which has its own bar and café, before heading onwards towards the exhibitions at The Long View. Head underground for a fascinating look around the Great Masson Cavern and learn about it 300 million-year history. Let the children run wild at the Explorer Challenge play area, walk up to the Amphitheatre and enjoy the best views across the valley, then why not finish off with a trip to the gift shop for some souvenirs to commemorate the day?

Go Ape

Image via Flickr

There are several Go Ape sites across the country, but it seems fitting that the highest course resides within the largest National Park in the UK (it’s a staggering 1200 feet high). Buxton’s Go Ape is a true treetop adventure; swing from the trees on zip wires, rope ladders and many other obstacles and crossings to tackle. Children do need to be 10 years old and above to take part in this adrenaline-filled adventure, but it can be great fun for everyone. Feel like a true daredevil tackling the longest zip at 159 metres long and feel like you can almost touch the clouds on the highest platform of 11.4 metres. Don’t forget sturdy footwear, sensible outdoor clothing and a good pair of gloves.

Matlock Farm Park


The little ones will love spending the day at Matlock Farm Park. The 600-acre farm provides endless activities for children to enjoy, including petting, feeding, interacting with and observing the many animals that reside at the farm. See micro-pigs, lambs, rabbits, sheep, ferrets, barn owls, snakes and more. There is also a riding school at the farm, where you can take riding lessons and enjoy pony trekking. Short pony rides are available at weekends without needing to make a booking ahead of time.

Pavilion Gardens

The Pavilion Gardens in Buxton is a Grade II listed attraction that the whole family will enjoy. Best of all, it’s completely free. It has 23 acres of land to wander and explore, a coffee shop, a café which uses fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and has its own children’s play area, plus a mezzanine Art Café, which has fantastic views out onto the gardens below. There are also 100’s of different events held here throughout the year, including farmers markets, dances and fetes. Be sure to pop into the Tourist Information Centre on site too and learn more about the local area.

Alton Towers

Image by Roger Barker

Alton Towers is the biggest theme park in the country and there are enough rides and attractions to entertain every member of the family. From the heart-stopping vertical plummet of the Oblivion, to the wet and wild fun of the Log Flume, to the pitch black suspense of Thirteen, thrill seekers will have a ball at Alton Towers. For tiny tots, there’s CBeebies Land, with 14 different rides and attractions to choose from. Plus there are plenty of amusements and opportunities to win cuddly toys dotted around the site. You can also enjoy all-you-can-eat, all day dining with a pass, available on their website.

Chatsworth House

Image by Ian Parkes

Chatsworth House has been in the Cavendish family for 16 generations and is currently inhabited by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The magnificent property has thousands of acres of land surrounding it, over 1800 of which are leased to a registered charity. All the money spent on admission is handed directly to the Chatsworth House Trust, to enable the preservation and upkeep of the property. You can explore the house and the gardens and learn more about the extensive history of the property, plus you may even get to meet the Duke and Duchess, who are often on site to greet visitors. A day out to Chatsworth doesn’t have to be solely education; there is also a farmyard, where children can see milking demonstrations and handle some of the animals, plus there’s a playground with a trampoline, slide and rope park where they can run around and burn off some energy.

Haddon Hall


Set in the heart of the Peak District national Park, Haddon Hall is a grand and stunning house, believed to date back to the Middle Ages (parts of the house date back to the 12th century). The property was dormant for two centuries, before the Duke and Duchess of Rutland restored the house and its gardens in the 1920s. Haddon Hall is a remarkable example of a manor house that has been restored and preserved over the centuries. Take a tour of its stunning interior and wander through its stunning Elizabethan terraced gardens. Family tickets (2 adults and 3 children) are priced at £37.

If you’ve been inspired to take your family to the Peak District for your next holiday, take a look at our full range of holiday cottages in the Peak District.

Get involved in the Discussion

Sign up to receive discounts, exclusive offers, travel tips and guides.