Many of my favourite memories come from our UK family holidays. They are always special and full of fun – we get to spend quality time together and escape to somewhere new. It’s a time to take in some new sights, explore other areas that you may not have considered before and a chance to teach the children more about the UK. This Easter (2022) we stayed at Knockerdown Holiday Cottages in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, surrounded by beautiful countryside and on the edge of the famous Peak District National Park – one of my favourite places for family breaks in the UK.
** Our stay was gifted in exchange for this article
Knockerdown Holiday Cottages
Knockerdown Self Catering Cottages are located in an idyllic setting in the heart of rural derbyshire, close to the market town of Ashbourne and in walking distance to Carsington Water (which is perfect for water sports, cycling or a play on their amazing playground), and a stones throw from the Peak District. With 16 cottages in total sleeping between 4 to 12 people per cottage, it’s a great place to holidays in the UK for families.
Knockerdown Cottages stood out for us because they are only a 3 hour road trip away for us in Essex and we just loved the facilities. These family friendly holiday cottages keep all ages entertained with an indoor swimming pool, kid’s play area and a communal games room too – we really had a blast!
Every morning we woke up to the girls eager to get outside to play, they loved the adventure playground and meadow to hunt for bugs or play ball games in. The view gave us some incredible sunsets!
There is a train station six miles away at Cromford and the closest airport is East Midlands airport which is just over 30 miles away.
Family Friendly Facilities at Knockerdown Cottages
One of the main reasons we chose to stay at Knockerdown Cottages was because of its excellent facilities which makes a family holiday even more enjoyable. These include an indoor heated swimming pool, Knockerdown treatment rooms (booked and paid for separately – but well worth it) , outdoor children’s play area, a games room, huge meadow for outdoor games and laundry room with washing machines and tumble dryer. There is also a place to store and maintain your bicycles – you can see why we all loved staying here. Some days you don’t have to go anywhere – just chill!
Guests can enjoy their own private splash sessions in the gorgeous heated indoor swimming pool. Each cottage is allocated a 30 min time slot each day which is bookable the night before.
It has its own changing rooms but we dressed in our cottage and ran over! The pool is kept at a pleasant 30 degrees and is 5ft 9inches at its deepest part. The swimming pool opens at 8.30am each day.
Children’s Outdoor Play Area
In the kid’s playarea there is a wooden climbing frame with slide, swings, ladders, climbing wall and a hobbit house. There is plenty of grass and a large meadow to the rear where the kids can run wild under the watchful eye of their parents. Some of the cottages open on to the play area which are great for those travelling with young families so do check out the map and I have mentioned them below – select carefully!
Communal Games Area
By the swimming pool, there is a games room with table tennis table, football table and pool table (1 x £1 coin required for the football and pool table). Perfect for keeping kids of all ages entertained.
There are BBQ’s on site available to use as well as a brick BBQ area. We had our very first BBQ of the year in March – I think that’s a record for us!
Accommodation at Knockerdown Cottages
There are 16 cottages in total, set out in two horseshoes. One horseshoe has its own courtyard, whilst the other is around the play area. I suggest you look at the map to see which location is best for you but I’d suggest that if you have younger kids, go for the cottages by the play area – We stayed in Farwell and this was just the best location for us. We looked out over the meadows which was absolutely gorgeous, especially when the sun was setting – we even enjoyed some romantic strolls, and just to the right, was the amazing play area – the girls couldn’t get enough of playing here and it was very safe for them.
Our 4 Bedroom Cottage at Knockerdown Cottages – Farwell
We stayed in Farwell Cottage which was a very comfortable homely cottage and had everything we needed. Farwell Cottage sleeps up to eight guests in four bedrooms so great for multigenerational stays or for those with large families.
Farwell Cottage has a lovely open plan lounge, kitchen and dining area with French doors leading onto a decked patio area. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for eight guests.
The kitchen is well equipped and includes a cooker, fridge/freezer, dishwasher, microwave oven, kettle, toaster, crockery, cutlery, glasses and utensils. All of the bedrooms have ample storage space and a hairdryer is provided. The cottage includes WiFi and there is heating. You will also be provided with bed linen and two towels per person per stay.
One of the bedrooms is downstairs with its own bathroom, and three further bedrooms are upstairs, two of which have en-suites. There is also a separate family bathroom with a bath. You can decide which configurations you would like the beds before you come – double or twins.
Holiday Cottages in Derbyshire – All the Knockerdown Cottages
Knockerdown Cottages cater for families and parties of all sizes, including multigenerational family UK staycations for that special occasion, exclusive weekend weddings or a weekend retreat with a spa day in Derbyshire – there is a holiday cottage at Knockerdown for everyone. Bed configurations in all cottages can either be twin or doubles which makes them all suitable for staying in with family and friends!
Middleton Cottage – Sleeps 4
Middleton cottage has two bedrooms and a separate bathroom. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for four guests. The kitchen is well equipped and includes a cooker, fridge/freezer, microwave oven, kettle, toaster, crockery, cutlery, glasses and utensils.
Bonsall Cottage – Sleeps 4
Bonsall has super ground floor accommodation in two bedrooms. One bedroom has an en-suite bathroom. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for four guests. The kitchen is well equipped. This is a dog friendly holiday cottage Derbyshire.
Ible Cottage – Sleeps 4
Ible is a two bedroom cottage with a separate family bathroom. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for four guests. The kitchen is well equipped.
Longshawe Cottage – Sleeps 4
Longshawe has two bedrooms and two bathrooms all on the ground floor. Bedroom one has an en-suite and bedroom two has a separate bathroom. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for four guests. The kitchen is well equipped.
Alstonfield Cottage – Sleeps 4
This cottage is opposite the play area and it is dog friendly, sleeping up to two well behaved dogs. There are two bedrooms and two bathrooms in this holiday cottage. Bedroom one has an en-suite shower. Bedroom two has a separate bathroom. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for four guests. The kitchen is well equipped.
Butterton Cottage – Sleeps 4
This cottage is opposite the play area. Butterton has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Bedroom ones has an en-suite shower and bedroom two has a separate bathroom. This cottage is dog friendly. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for four guests. The kitchen is well equipped.
Callow Cottage – Sleeps 4
This cottage is opposite the play area. Callow has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Bedroom one has an en-suite shower and bedroom two has a separate bathroom. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for four guests. The kitchen is well equipped.
Dove Cottage – Sleeps 4
This cottage is opposite the play area. Dove has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Bedroom one has an en-suite shower and bedroom two has a separate bathroom. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for four guests. The kitchen is well equipped.
Edale Cottage – Sleeps 4
This cottage is opposite the play area. Edale has two bedrooms and two bathrooms. Bedroom one has an en-suite shower and bedroom two has a separate bathroom. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for four guests.The kitchen is well equipped.
Sabinhay Cottage – Sleeps 6
Sabinhay is a first-floor apartment with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Bedroom one and two have an en-suite shower and the other with a separate bathroom. Bedroom three is on the second floor and has an en-suite bathroom. Sabinhay can be interconnected with Bruns cottage via an internal interconnecting door.
Bruns Cottage – Sleeps 6
Bruns has three bedrooms and one bathroom. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for six guests. The kitchen is well equipped.
Farwell Cottage – Sleeps 8
You can see the play area from Farwell. Farwell has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Bedrooms one, two and four have an en-suite shower. Bedroom three has a separate bathroom with a bath. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for eight guests. The kitchen is well equipped.
Lendow Cottage – Sleeps 10
Lendow has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. There is a family bathroom and a ground floor shower room and toilet. The lounge area has a TV and DVD player and soft seating for 10 guests. The kitchen is well equipped.
Two Dales Cottage – Sleeps 11
Two dales has four bedrooms and three bathrooms. Bedroom one is on the ground floor with an en-suite shower. There is a separate bathroom for the other bedrooms.
The Farmhouse – Sleeps 12
The Farmhouse has five bedrooms and two bathrooms. There is a separate family bathroom and a ground floor shower room. This is a dog friendly cottage.
Are Knockerdown Cottages Family Friendly?
Knockerdown Holiday Cottages are so family friendly and just brilliant for children. Highchairs are available on request and the swimming pool and play area will keep the little ones happy for hours.
It is the perfect base for days out in the Peak District National Park and there are heaps of easy hikes suitable for buggies, as well as things to do on the doorstep in Ashbourne. There are picturesque towns close by and lots of cycle trails and fun activities and attractions in the local area.
Can you take dogs to Knockerdown Cottages?
Yes, Knockerdown do have some dog friendly cottages. There is a small fee of £25 per dog for the duration of your stay. Responsible pet owners are welcome to bring dogs to specific dog friendly cottages. When booking it is essential that you check whether your pet is permitted at your chosen property, you can bring a maximum of two dogs.
How to Book Knockerdown Cottages
Knockerdown Cottages Holidays can be easily booked via their website. Just fill in your dates and the number of people staying and a search will show the availability of each cottage. To confirm a booking a non-refundable 30% deposit of the booking cost is required. Once your booking deposit has been paid you will receive a booking confirmation, along with further details on how to pay the remainder of your balance.
Things to do in Derbyshire and the Peak District, near Knockerdown Cottages
Whilst Knockerdown cottages is just outside the Peak District, it really is just a stones throw away and you can can do so much in and around the area. There is a small selection of ideas below.
Where is the Peak District?
The Peak District National Park lies in the centre of England and it is a great holiday destination for families. It is famous for its steep limestone valleys, Dovedale stepping stones (combine this with the Thorpe Cloud for a lovely walk in the Peak District), moorlands and parks. The Derbyshire area is not only a walker’s paradise but it is one of our best holidays for kids and the Peak District is great for toddlers too.
How far is the Peak District from Knockerdown Cottages?
Situated on the cusp of the Peak District National Park in the Derbyshire Dales, the area boasts stunning countryside and it is just five miles away from Knockerdown Cottages.
Carsington Water is just a five minute stroll away from Knockerdown Holiday Cottages. This huge reservoir and Carsington water sports activity centre is a fabulous place for a day trip.
Carsington Water cycle route is perfect for those who have bought their bikes on holiday. Cycling around Carsington Water is challenging in places, we just stuck to the flat path around the reservoir.
Alton Towers CBeebies Land
We had a great day at Alton Towers Ceebies Land theme park. It is just a 30 minute’s drive away from Knockerdown Cottages so why not treat your family to an amazing day out full of rides and fun-filled activities for the whole family. It was the 3 year olds best day out ever, and every day she asks to go back – See our review here!
Located on the edge of the Peak District National Park, Gulliver’s theme park is a unique day out. Enjoy rides and adventures all with spectacular views thanks to its hillside setting.
Heights of Abraham
Take a flight on Britain’s first alpine style cable car – the kids will love it. It has spectacular views of the surrounding Peak District as you begin your journey up to the summit. The 60 acre Hilltop estate has masses to explore from its two famous show caverns, a great play area and restaurant.
Peak Adventure Soft Play
Peak Village, Chatsworth Rd, Rowsley, Matlock DE4 2JE
If you are looking for a rainy day activity, then Peak Adventure is the place to go. Peak Adventure is an indoor soft play centre located in the Peak shopping village in the heart of the Peak District in Rowsley, Derbyshire. It is a fun, clean and safe environment for children up to the age of 12. Their large play structure features 4 fun-filled levels and it is one of the tallest in the area. It features large racer slides, 2 wobble slides, ball pools and more. There is a separate baby soft play area, this is set away from the larger play frame. This features two small slides, a mini ball pit and soft play shapes.
Chatsworth House, Farm and Gardens
Bakewell DE45 1PP
Chatsworth House is a favourite day out of ours. Every time we visit the Peaks, we go to Chatsworth House. It is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family. Explore the rooms including the Painted Hall, State Rooms, Sculpture Gallery and discover its art, history and family.
On this occasion, we visited Chatsworth Farm and Gardens. The farm is the perfect size to combine with other parts of the grounds. The girls love to play in the waterfall that overlooks the house.
Peak Wildlife Park
Peak Wildlife Park is set in the Staffordshire Moorlands and just a short drive from Knockerdown. Be ready to meet Penguins, Lemurs, Zebras, Otters, Pigs, Goats and Wallabies.
Matlock Farm Park
Matlock Farm Park has so many lovely animals to meet, feed and cuddle, an indoor play barn to have fun in, go-karts to ride around on, a shop to browse and a cosy café to visit.
Go Ape Buxton
This leafy course based in Buxton is beautiful in all seasons – a lush green tunnel high up in the treetops. This is one of the highest Go Ape courses in the UK!
Cycle the Monsal Trail
Why not hire bikes in the Peak District and head along the Monsal Trail over viaducts and through tunnels calling at the former stations along the way. You can safely ride as this is a traffic-free path and would make a great wet-weather option. You can start at Hassop Station, north of Bakewell via the B6001 or A619 and A6020 from Baslow.
Crich Tramway Village
Crich Tramway Village contains over 60 trams and is set within a recreated period village containing a working pub, cafe, old-style sweetshop and tram depots.
Pooles Cavern and Country Park
Poole’s Cavern is an ancient natural Limestone Cavern. Explore illuminated rock sculpted galleries and see the Stalactites and Stalagmites renowned as the finest underground scenery in the UK.
Walks in the Peak District
Why not try out some easy hikes in the Peak District, it is one of our favourite things to do. Some of our best walks in the Peak District include The Roaches, Dovedale Stepping Stones walk combined with Thorpe Cloud, Baslow Edge walk, and walking or cycling around Carsington Water. You can find heaps more walks on Peak District Kids.
Restaurants and Pubs in Derbyshire, Close to Knockerdown Cottages
The Miners Arms
Carsington, Matlock DE4 4DE
A perfect spot for lunch offering hearty pub food. The main bar and snug is dog friendly, there is a large restaurant perfect for families.
The Red Lion
Main St, Hognaston, Ashbourne DE6 1PR
This is a traditional 17th Century Inn in the small village of Hognaston, overlooking Carsington Water. This family run pub offers a great selection of food for the whole family.
The Cow Dalbury Inn
The Grn, Ashbourne DE6 5BE
Near Ashbourne this pub serves a menu of locally sourced food. Guests from far and wide are welcome to enjoy a relaxing dining experience at their countryside location.
The Bubble Inn
Kniveton, Derby DE6 1JF
Just a 5 minute drive away is this family friendly country pub, serving delicious Greek inspired food, it also has a large children’s play area.
Cafes and Afternoon Tea in Derbyshire, near Knockerdown Cottages
Herberts Fine English Tea Rooms
1 The Grn, Tissington, Ashbourne DE6 1RA
A great spot to stop for refreshments after exploring the lovely village of Tissington. Serving a selection of teas, coffees, light lunches, cakes and afternoon tea complete with homemade scones.
The Sour Cow
12 Market Pl, Wirksworth, Matlock DE4 4ET
Based on the Market Place the Sour Cow serves lovely fresh food including English and American breakfasts, desserts, waffles, takeaway bento boxes for lunch and frozen yoghurt.
Cafe in the Park
38 Causeway Ln, Matlock DE4 3AR
This little cafe has a packed menu, from jacket potatoes and wraps to hot and cold drinks and a breakfast menu, available until 11.30am.
The Tunnel Cafe
43 Church St, Ashbourne DE6 1AJ
This dog friendly cafe serves a range of breakfast, brunch and lunch dishes alongside tea, coffee and cakes. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available here.
Weddings at Knockerdown Holiday Cottages
Knockerdown Cottages also make the perfect wedding venue in Derbyshire. It’s a truly unique destination for your Wedding day in such a beautiful countryside locations with dedicated wedding planners on hand to make sure your special day is as magical as can be.
You can appoint a caterer of your choice, choose your own band, decorations, photographer, cake maker, and bring in your own drinks (no corkage charge from us!) They can offer as much support as you need or if you are wanting a more laid back affair, with the freedom to enjoy the ‘do it yourself’ option, they can step back and let you enjoy the site.