Lower Damgate Farm Cottages & Wedding Venue Dovedale Animal Sanctuary

Dovedale, llam, Nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2AD
Tel: 01335 310367 Mob: 07779 210791 Email: info@damgate.com

Here is some helpful information for your holiday whilst staying at Lower Damgate Farm

(for wedding information please see our helpful information wedding page)

We have always welcomed local providers and never take commission from anyone recommended or otherwise. If you would like to book anyone who is not on this list, you are welcome as long as you pass their details on to us so we can obtain their H&S and insurance details before they come on site.

With the recent pandemic we are conscious of others on site and social distancing protocols so please be mindful of this when booking anything. We are an approved “We’re good to go” premises with visit England and follow strict protocols with regards to cleaning and social distancing. 

 Please ensure that you are at the farm for all deliveries   

Dovedale Animal Sanctuary

Lower Damgate Farm is also home to of Dovedale Animal Sanctuary and we have rescued farm animals on site.

Our guests often go and greet the alpacas and goats, or give the ponies and horses apples, though the goats might like some too and the alpacas will just look at you bemused unless you are very quiet and then they may let you feed them! If you would like to feed them please come and see Karl and Carolyn in the Farmhouse. We are always happy to get some food and spend time with you interacting with our animals.

Guests are welcome to collect eggs, (if there are any left!) straight from the hen house and all our chickens are tame and roam freely. Please note that children must be supervised during this activity as the hen house is close to the pond.

Food / Catering

There are four supermarkets in Ashbourne, Sainsbury, Marks and Spencer’s, Aldi and the Co-op. In addition, all supermarkets deliver directly to the farm

Instead of getting a supermarket delivery you could order Peak District items and other groceries from Sauced Here or Peak District Deli they both deliver straight to the farm


We can order a barrel of beer for you which we will tap before you arrive see below for details


We have three large stone build BBQs situated at the rear of the cottages with seating areas, decking and a safe large lawned garden area. You will need to supply coals for the BBQs but there is enough space to cook lots of different foods for any occasion outside.

 The Old Rectory Kitchen – Dawn Rudd – Tel 07715530784 or 01335 370011 www.theoldrectorykitchen.co.uk

email dawn@theoldrectorykitchen.co.uk  Cottage Guests, small groups and weddings

We use Dawn a lot at the farm and she also makes home cooked meals to put in the freezer, so we can send you a list to order and have them waiting in the cottage ready for you.

We think her food is amazing as well as being a happy “nothing is a problem person. Dawn is happy to create bespoke meals at a budget to suit you.

Dawn has provided bespoke mouth-watering food for so many of our guests and the guest book is full of fantastic comments about her. Perfect for any occasion be it large or small gatherings, Afternoon Tea. Luncheons, Dinner parties, weddings and canapés or just sandwiches, cakes and high tea.

I have known Dawn offer so many dishes to all tastes and requirements, from Sunday roasts to vegan, celiac you name it Dawn tries to accommodate your catering wishes as much as she can. There is so much choice and her food is mouth-watering and her attention to detail is the best there is, we highly recommend.

Dovedale Catering

Hog Roasts – Buffets Tel: 07968 507469 or call Carolyn on 07779210791

We work directly with Cameron at Hot Roast Hogs and have created a bespoke package for our guests.

We know what works at the farm and already have all the equipment is situ, including a big pink hog roast cooking barrel. Therefore, if you are looking for a Hog Roast type of package then look no further.

BBQ workshops

We work closely with one of our chefs Simon who is brilliant at creating mouth-watering bespoke BBQ food. Our workshops teach you to cut and prepare, marinade or tenderise and then cook it over a BBQ, fire pit or stove. Great for team building, getting together workshops and enjoying each others company with a lot of fun and laughter and a full tummy.

Cookery courses.

We work closely with Dawn Rudd from The Old Rectory Kitchen to provide first class cookery courses. These courses can either be bespoke to our guests in the cottages or we offer day to indulge your interest.

From beginners to budding chefs, bakers to BBQ enthusiasts, the range of cooking courses means there’s something to inspire you, whatever your food interest.

Please ask directly for a list of our workshops and food  

Delacour Cuisine – Millie Cauldwell 07772525015 delacourcatering@gmail.com

Millie is lovely and happy to create something very special for you with her mouth-watering food. Millie and like all our other recommended caterers understand the personal touch is very important and getting to know your caterer and food is part of the package, and this is just the ethos that Delacour cuisine has.

Tabby at mode4events. Email: modeforevents@gmail.com Tel: 07901 672598 Tel: 07846 996597 www.modeforevents.co.uk

Another Fabby Foodie, and a Firm Favourite at Lower Damgate Farm. Tabby started catering by hosting her own wedding and doing it herself. (You can always do that!) Tabby’s attitude is similar to ours and her relaxed approach refreshing. As an exclusive cook for a few other venues, they get it right!


Peak District Deli – Lauren Tel: 07935 070147 www.peakdistrictdeli.com email: hello@peakdistrictdeli.com

Lauren is such a lovely person and creates food along with her husband Ralph who is an exceptional chef. From big table platters, home cooked food, afternoon teas, specialist ideas including every taste imaginable, Meat, veggie, vegan, celiac, everything is catered for from street food to good home cooked food…. this duo do it all and they do it well.

You can also shop for locally produced foods on their website to have delivered to the farm waiting for your arrival, all unpacked and ready to go. We use them regularly and hope you do too. 

Local Meat Delivered to the Farm – Joanna Billings 07855 814291 Town End Farm Alstonefield.

A perfect option if you would like to cook or BBQ yourself or have a chef in the family! Joanna’s meat is 100% organically reared, 100% traceability and 100% loved, they are extremely well looked after, they have no stress and though you may not like the idea you can often see them on the hill tops overlooking the farm…. They have the very best life which accounts for so much in our book.

Joanna lives a mile away and can deliver directly to the farm in any quantities small or large depending upon your number.


Fish and Chips for Late night supper, Market Place, Ashbourne   DE6 1EU, Tel 01335 344780

This is an extremely good takeaway in the middle of Ashbourne; they will deliver if the order is high enough.

Sometimes guests like the old-fashioned fish and chips late into the evening. The market place fish and chip shop will wrap fish or sausages plus chips in individual servings, deliver and leave for us to serve. Perfect! And they are still hot at the end of the evening!

 The Old Manor House Bakery & Crepe Van – Lisa and Andy Tel: 07753654235 (Crepe Van, Bakery and Cakes!) Email: oldmanorhousebakery@gmail.com https://www.theoldmanorhousegiftshop.co.uk

What a delight this company is with the same ethos as us and happy to create a bespoke choice of goodies which will delight your guests, and us! Andy and Lisa really make the best crepes and cakes and always with a smile. We are delighted to be able to recommend this lovely little “Libby-Loo” Citroen H Creperie Van. You’ll get the freshest ingredients made onsite and something a little different to add to your day.


Spanish Caravan – Las Paelleras – contact Steph on Tel 01625 408324 email contact@spanishcaravana.com www.spansihcaravana.com

“Steph and her team from Las Paelleras / Spanish Caravan recently catered our wedding and it was amazing. She was really friendly, helpful and easy to work with throughout the process and the end result was fabulous.

Rhubarb Sweet & Savouries Contact Lisa on 07596 511615 email rhubardouds@gmail.com

Amazing home baking with a huge emphasis on flavour. savouries, puddings and desserts


Sin Carner Cantina Contact Zoe Dixon on 07484 685012 email sincarnecantina@gmail.com

Specialising in all types of Vegan fare, 100% plant based you can go and visit them in Matlock as they have a small café.

Local Take-Aways

6 Miles – Ashbourne: The following takeaways and Restaurants are in Ashbourne. There are also about 10 pubs as well as lots of little café’s and coffee shops.


Indian Restaurant – Star-Anise, (they will deliver if the order is large enough)

9 Compton Street Ashbourne DE6 1DA Tel 01335 348282 www.star-anise.co.uk

Brilliant take away Indian with great reviews. They always add something to order for a special treat.

Fish and Chips – kebabs – Market Place, Ashbourne   DE6 1EU, Tel 01335 344780

This is an extremely good takeaway in the middle of Ashbourne; they will deliver if the order is large enough.

We’ve used this Fish and Chip shop many times for cottage guests the awards they’ve received says it all.

Chinese – Golden Hill – Market place Ashbourne

Quite New and situated at the top of the Market place. Tel 01335 368388.

Indian Restaurant – Anaya’s, Dig Street Ashbourne DE6 1DA Tel 01335 300021

Brilliant reviews. Best as a dine in restaurant.

We’ve eaten there lots of times and you will not be disappointed. It was really good. Happy to cater for larger groups and deliver if your order is large enough. Very welcoming hosts


 Tea Rooms

1 Mile – The Manifold Tea Rooms at Ilam. Open daily most of the year call for details 01335 350245

Manifold Tearooms at Ilam Park sells a wonderful array of food and drink. If you sit outside you have the most amazing views of the park as well as the church with Thorpe Cloud in the distance. This is one of the most magical views around.


1.5 miles – Polly’s tea room – Milldale – This is a hole in the wall shop! No tables… just go and sit by the river

Really lovely ‘pit stop’ on the rive dove, half way point to home if walking down to the River via Hall dale then on to Milldale.

It’s a great little circular walk, easy downhill on the way and then an uphill climb from Milldale to home! From the tops there are stunning views so well worth doing this walk from the farm. You can stop off for hot sausage rolls, cobs, Ice cream, hot and cold drinks etc.  Plus, you’ll get to feed the ducks on the river, it’s fun!

 1.5 miles – Wetton Tea rooms – walkable and next to the Royal Oak and by the church. They work together with the Pub so if one is closed the other is open. Just ask for Ian and Julie and say you are staying with us; they’ll look after you. Julie makes homemade cake, and this is served with scrumptious afternoon tea. Also great for breakfasts and if you call in advance, they will cook and serve you breakfast ….

 3.5 miles – The Tea Junction, Hulme End Tel: 01298 687368 The Tea Junction

This Tea room is in the old station and railway shed at the end of the Manifold Valley cycle trail.  Wonderful home cooked food and cakes

4 miles – Herbert’s Fine English Tearooms, Tissington Village, Phone: (01335) 350501 

This is a lovely tea room set in a delightful village of Tissington. It is worth a visit as it is quintessentially English plus the drive to get there is stunning via Thorpe Cloud. In May there is the well dressing so gets very busy!

 Ashbourne – Impromptu – on Church Street. (Our favourite)

This is a little café come French restaurant nestled next to the pottery painting shop and surrounded by antique shops. However, it is our favourite and the food is amazing. All home cooked on site and if you are in Ashbourne one of the best café’s around.

 Ashbourne – The Flower Shop Café – Market Place

The little tea room is in the market place and every plate, cup and saucer is vintage! It has a lovely feel with lots of yummy cakes. It is great for sitting and watching the world go around.


PUB’s and Restaurants

We have lots of pubs within walking distance of the farm (though there are many more) as well as a couple of hotels Tea Rooms. Plus, the Youth Hostel at Ilam Hall has a bar.  Please say you are staying here and you will be treated really well. I am happy to book for you; with large numbers it is preferable if you book in advance, to avoid disappointment.

 3.0 miles – The Old Dog at Thorpe – 01335 350990

One of our favourites but you can’t book so grab a table as soon as you arrive! It’s a free table and a free house. The food is lovely with a simple menu and the atmosphere is very good. This is a place the locals go which speaks for itself.

 3.5 miles. – The Manifold Inn Hulme End – 01298 84537 http://www.themanifoldinn.co.uk/

This is a popular pub and gets very busy in the summer as there are campsites close by. Happy and friendly pub with home cooked food, great choice and children welcome.

 1.5 miles The Royal Oak at Wetton – Ian on 01335 310287 www.royaloakwetton.co.uk

The Royal Oak is a lovely country village pub, very welcoming and children friendly! It is an easy walk from the farm 1.5 miles on foot. (2 miles by road).  Please ring and say you are staying with us; they are happy to book in large groups from the farm but because it’s a big order it may be better to pre-book as it gets busy with walkers at the weekends.

1 mile – The Watts Russell at Hopedale. Bruce and Christine 01335 310126. www.wattsrussell.co.uk

Slightly less than 1 mile, between Stanshope and Alstonefield – Turn Right out of the Farm Drive, or walk to Hall dale and down into Hopedale where the pub lies.

Please call them to see if the pub is open as they have unusual opening hours! However, Bruce and Christine are very welcoming and will happily cater for large groups if booked in advance

 1.5 Miles – The Izaak Walton Hotel – Dovedale – Ilam Shura on 01335 350981

Another easy and walkable pub, though it says it’s a hotel the bar area is welcoming to all. This is lovely walk from the farm over Bunster Hill and taking in the views of Ilam, from the Izaak Walton you can then walk along the Dove until you get to Ilam Bridge (bridge by Ilam Rock) go over the bridge and back up Hall Dale to the farm.

The Izaak has a great Pub as well as serves afternoon tea on the lawns overlooking Thorpe Cloud and Dovedale. Please say we have sent you J

1.5 miles The George at Alstonefield – 01335 310205 Graham Pre booking is a must at the George,  If your group is large then you would have to book the upper floor of the Coach House, to the rear of The George, this is an intimate space for up to forty guests and there is an additional charge.

Beer is from Marston’s Brewery. There are many good walks to Alstonefield from here; one of the easiest routes is to walk to Milldale via footpaths from the farm, then up the old road past Polly’s “hole in the wall” tea room at Milldale to Alstonefield. The pub is in the centre of the village.

4 Miles The black Lion, Butterton 01538 304232 https://www.blacklioninn.co.uk/ info@blacklioninn.co.uk

Hannah and Matt have only recently taken over this lovely pub. Matt is a chef ad they are very welcoming and serve great food.

 4 Miles The Oakover Arms, Mappleton Tel: 01335 350305 http://theokeover.co.uk/

Welcoming pub with good food and a great carvery on Sundays.  You need to book.

 4 Miles – The Hare and Greyhound, Warslow Tel: 01298 87071 http://www.greyhoundinnwarslow.co.uk/

From 2020 this is under new ownership so we are still undecided about this pub … your comments would be appreciated

5 Miles – The Javis Arms, Oncote Tel: 01538 304206 https://www.jervis-arms.co.uk/

We love this pub and if the weather is nice then there I s a lovely little seating area by a stream.

You must book as it is so popular,

5 Miles – The Rose and Crown, Mayfield Tel: 01335 342498 www.pickledginger.co.uk/ 

Delicious and interesting food very well cooked and presented.

5 Miles – Cottage Delight Foods On the way to Leek on the A523 you will see a restaurant on the left. It is the new cottage delight shop and restaurant and the food is excellent. It feels as though you are going into a motorway service area at first but then you can browse in the shop and take-home lots of cottage delights!

Hartington: 5 miles

The Devonshire Arms https://ourlocal.pub/pubs/devonshire-arms-hartington-buxton

and the Charles Cotton http://charlescotton.co.uk/

 Beer at the Farm

For those staying on site we can supply local beer in bottles or barrels in the cottages.

If you would like us to provide a 72-pint barrel please call or email us. We only allow our local Whims Ales Barrels at the farm.

 They are delivered and then need to settle for a few days before your arrival. We then tap them ready for you to drink in the cottages.

 The beers we have on offer are:

Our own Alpaca Ale (Peak Ales) A Pale Ale supplied in 500ml bottles (please ask for details)

Our own Scruffy Goat Beer (Peak Ales) darker Ale supplied in 500nl Bottles 

HARTINGTON BITTER ABV 4.0% a classic well hoped session beer. Deep malt and hop aroma slightly floral with spicy notes.

Bitterness and lovely liquid malt combine in perfect balance followed by a satisfying dry finish. Colour: Light copper    Body: Med/Full

HARTINGTON IPA ABV 4.5% (most popular) Malty nose combined with delicate hop aroma. Very smooth on the palate, maltiness dominates joined with subtle pear notes from the hop. Light, sweetish with an unmistakable finish. Colour: Blonde   Body: Full

ARBOR LIGHT ABV 3.6% (similar to a non-gas larger)

An extremely clean beer, with a lovely hop aroma satisfying clean sharp bitterness right the way through with a dry finish. This beer has plenty of body. It’s about as far away from being dirty and cloying as a brewer could possibly get. Colour: Light blonde Body: Med 

 TAXIS and Cars


We have the option of hiring the following cars:

MG Midget – 1965 Red or an MG Midget – 1972 Yellow

If you would like to hire any of the above or other classic cars please email Karl@damgate.com or call 07968 507469

Warrington’s of Ilam         Ilam                         01335 350204     1 mile away

Warrington’s are only a mile away and provide all transport from small groups minibus hire or a large bus

Ashbourne Taxis                 Ashbourne                  01335 675475                  www.ashbournetaxi.co.uk in Ashbourne

Moorlands Private Hire    Leek                        01538 386435     07771 765120 steve@moorlandsprivatehire.co.uk

Peak Cars                              Hognaston                  01335 370937     (based near Carsington Water) East of the farm

ACT Taxis                               Ashbourne                 01335 343 928     07798 738 845 www.acttaxi.co.uk

Dovelin Cars                          Ashbourne                        07974 665439                 www.dovelincars.com

Therapists & Beauty (Pamper days)

Emma Holland Woolley – Cromaboo Beauty. Facebook @cromaboobeauty #cromaboobeauty

Email: emmahw7@icloud.com Tel: 07715878520

Local Lady only a mile up the road and very popular with locals.

Emma is a really lovely lady and creates some beautiful looks in all aspects of beauty. We cannot recommend Emma highly enough.

Hair by Kimberley Rose – Facebook Hair by Kimberley Rose Telephone 07432 419741

18 Compton Ashbourne. DE6 1DA. Have a look at Kimberley’s Facebook page and all the fabulous hair creations. Hopefully she will have space as very popular and we highly recommend her as not only is she fab at what she does she is a really lovely person.


Georgia’s – Ashbourne –   Tel: 01335 346 664 – Mobile: 07827 856543
Email: georgiashealthandbeautysalon@hotmail.co.uk Address 29-31 St John Street Ashbourne

Georgina is another local who will highly recommend and happy to come out to you She has a brilliant reputation for making the bride and entourage feel like a princess on their big day. I can’t recommend Georgina highly enough. We all use her locally. She has a salon in Ashbourne and will come to Lower Damgate Farm to pamper you on your special day.

Beauty by Kelly – Mobile Beauty & Holistic Therapist tel:07951 045207 https://beautybykelly.webs.com/Kelly professional Mobile Beauty & Holistic Therapist working in Ashbourne & the surrounding areas. She offers a range of pamper treatments as well as a wide range of relaxing treatments

 Joanne Jewett – The beautiful truth Tel 01335 390722 www.thebeautifultruth.co.uk mobile 07528 323475

Joanne is fantastic with makeup and specialises with the more mature makeup. She is fantastic and has worked with the likes of Princess Diana, Madonna and many other famous names….


Lower Damgate Farm is a perfect place in which to explore the White Peak are of the Peak District National Park. You can walk directly from the farm to some stunning destinations including, Dovedale, Hall Dale, Milldale, Ilam, Alstonefield, Wetton, Blore, Thorpe Cloud, Wetton Mill, Thors Cave, Grindon, Tissington.

We have a large map in the cottages for you to plan your route and we are happy to point you in the right direction.

There are also a number of guided walks from Ilam and Dovedale or by one of the Peak Park rangers from the area.

The views are pretty good from the farm and we are literally nestled between Dovedale and the Manifold valley and when you climb over the hills on either side of the farm the views are quite spectacular.

Please find some local walks below:


Stepping Stones or Milldale

Go past the main house and you will see the big barn (Dovedale Barn) in the Farm Yard. Take the gate leading into the field on the right. Head East and take the footpath down the field, until you pick up a footpath at the bottom, turn left onto that footpath and follow it to Hall Dale. (here there is a crossroads) you will see Stanshope on the left, straight up the hill is the path to Milldale and if you a right, you will see the gorge which leads you down the footpath along Hall Dale  – this will lead you directly to the river Dove.  It’s about 10 minutes’ walk from here to the River and downhill all the way!  At the bottom by the river this is roughly in the middle of Dovedale ½ way between the Stepping Stones and Milldale.

You can either turn left from here for the HARD path to Milldale. (Experienced walkers only!). Or go right, over the wall and along the river path through some woods until you see the bridge below Ilam Rock.

You cross this bridge to pick up the general footpath along Dovedale. Once you’ve crossed the river you can either turn Right for the stepping Stones and Dovedale Carpark, which then goes to the Isaac Walton Hotel and Ilam. (National Trust Tea Rooms) 

or Turn Left for Milldale and the pack Horse Bridge and Polly’s hole in the wall tea room.

From Milldale you can climb back up the Tops (via the very steep footpath left just before the car park) and across the fields back to the farm.

Or carry on that road until you get to the Watts Russel Arms.

From Milldale if you go past the tea shop and up that long road, you will come into Alstonefield and the George Pub.

Dovedale – If you Turn Right at Ilam Rock Bridge you will reach the Stepping Stones – Dovedale Car Park- you can go to the Sir Isaac Walton for lunch then climb over Bunster Hill picking up the footpath for Stanshope and walk back home again. 1.7 miles home (uphill)

From Milldale you can walk on the road to the Watts Russell Pub for lunch and then back home via Stanshope. Pub to home is 0.9miles.

If you want to walk to Alstonefield missing the road, take the footpath to Hall Dale (as above). Cross the footpath at Hall Dale and head straight up the hill and pick up signs for Alstonefield or head due north! Have lunch at The George. It’s 1.7 miles home via the road.


Thorpe Cloud

Stay on the road past Dovedale and you will see Thorpe Cloud on your left. You can either walk this from Dovedale itself, or drive to Thorpe car Park and walk it from there. Past Thorpe Cloud is the village or Thorpe where you will find the Old Dog Pub.

Bunster Hill

Either walks this from the house, via the map or the road. From the road head towards Ilam then take the track to your left when you get to the sign for Air Cottage, go to the first Farm (Ilam tops) and take the track to the right just past the farm. This will take you directly to the top of Bunster Hill. Alternatively, park in Ilam and walk up the hill keeping the lake to your left. Once you’re up there you can see for miles on a clear day.

If you carry on past Ilam Tops Farm to Air cottage, you will see some fantastic views down the River Dove and across to Thorpe cloud. Take the footpaths right from there and they will lead you back to the farm. (You will need a map though!)

Manifold Way

Walk across the road and follow the track to the right. Alternately there are two footpaths from the far, 100 years either left or right of the road, both go across the road on the other side heading west.  Both footpaths are near the track across the road where our stream runs from. The footpath follows a dry stonewall on the right. Stay on this footpath following the hill upwards towards a copse of tree. You will cross another footpath and go through three fields with stile/gates between each. At the top of the hill by a small copse of trees you will pick up sign for Wetton, Casterne or Stanshope!

If you turn left here following a track, it will take you past an old disused mine (loads of rubble) and to a nature reserve with wild ponies & fantastic views down to the manifold River and across to Throwley Hall. (If you look closely you can see the ruins to the old Hall) Note the River is dry here as it runs underground and only comes out again at Ilam.

Left at the Nature reserve sign takes you to Ilam via Casterne Hall and right at the sign takes you to Wetton, or the Manifold Way via Beeston Tor (famous for its rock climbing & abseiling) and Thors Cave.

For a circular walk from here take the path to Casterne following signs and at Casterne Farm (before the Hall) turn left picking up footpaths back to the farm.

For a longer walk you can go on to Ilam, then either come home via the Road or for a heartier walk climb Bunster Hill and return that way.

Thors Cave.

You can either walk this from Wetton Village itself (The Royal Oak Pub and the Village Hall Tea Rooms) There is a sign at the end of the village marking a track straight to it. Or go down to the Manifold way from Wetton and walk along the track towards Waterhouses (South by S/W) for ½ a mile then climb the steep hill to the top. This has recently been set with steps, making it an easier walk!!

Bikes Trails and Hire

The Tissington Trail, High Peak Trail and Manifold Way are excellent for walking and biking. They each have their own particular beauty but all are good for children. Most cycle hire places have trailers on some bikes, for children too young to ride themselves


You can hire bikes at Ashbourne Cycle Hire (01335 343156) for the Tissington Trail (Situated at the Start of the Tissington Trail)

Parsley Hay Cycle Hire 01298 84493 on the A515 for the Tissington Trail and High Peak Trail. (Situated at the end of the Tissington Trail and the beginning of the High Peak Trail)

You can also Hire Bikes at Brown End Farm on the Manifold way in Waterhouses 01538 308313 or 07897 957206 (A52) towards Leek,


The Tissington Trail.

You can hire bikes either at Ashbourne or at Pilsley Hay both on the Tissington trail which is a beautiful old railway track that goes from Ashbourne to Buxton and meets the High Peak Trail. The views are stunning and there are stops along the way. A tea room at Tissington and another at Pilsley Hay as well as many pubs and tea rooms in ashbourne.

The Manifold Way Trail – This is another beautiful old railway trail that runs from Waterhouses to Hulme End with a couple of tea rooms along the way at Wetton Mill and again in Hulme End

Drive to Wetton and pick up signs for the Manifold Way & Butterton, as you drive down a very steep hill you will see Thors Cave on your left. (It’s worth a walk!) To walk the Manifold Way, either park at the bottom of the hill or drive on 200yrds to Wetton Mill where you will find National Trust Tea Rooms open during the summer months and at weekends. You can also drive to either end of the track, that’s at Hulme End or Waterhouses and park in the car parks provided.

Slightly softer than the Tissington trail as it runs through the valleys rather than at the top, and it follows the manifold river. We would recommend some bike locks as you don’t want to carry your bike all the way to the top of Thors Cave.


Shopping – Local Towns


Ashbourne (south), Leek (West), Bakewell (East) Matlock (East)and Buxton (North) are our local towns. They are all different and each has its own charm and a wealth of things to do


Ashbourne has a lovely market place and lots of independent shops, you can find an antique shop or too. Market day is Thursday and Saturday. There are lots of little alleys with great shops and the town is also home to lots of coffee shops, restaurants and pubs.

Leek – Leek is lovely and a traditional market down with loads of unusual shops as well as lots of antique shops… for antiques there is more choice in leek. It has a lovely market place. Market day is Wednesday but there is also a small into market off the market place that is open every day.


Bakewell – a more traditional town but there is not a central place. Market day is Monday and this is a good hustling and bustling market. It is a good stop off for Chatsworth or Haddon Hall and you can’t go past without having a Bakewell tart!

Buxton – famous for its traditional roman spa and the start of the moors with stunning walks and views, plus Pools Cavern is there and Go Ape! Plus, the Spa. This town has two sections, the market place is the first part of the shopping that people come to, do not be put off as the Pavilion Gardens and Baths as well as s the Old Opera house and another area of shops is below the market place and is lovely… so carrying on straight past the market place and explore. This is a slightly bigger town with lots on offer and it’s lovely. However, as the Highest Town in England take a coat!


Other Activities


Visiting our very own Dovedale Animal Sanctuary  https://damgate.com/dovedale-animal-sanctuary/

Dovedale Animal Sanctuary at Lower Damgate Farm was set up in 1996 and continues to provide a forever loving home to a number of rescued farm animals, from Alpacas, Goats, Horses, Ponies, Sheep, Ducks, Chickens and Geese, plus some other little critters like Hedgehogs, Ferrets and Field Mice! As well as our dogs and cats!

All our animals have a story to tell, so as well as rescuing them we also work with every animal from the moment they arrive spending lots of time with them, giving them food, love and cuddles so they get to know us and trust people again. Our Holiday Cottage and Wedding guests are welcome to go and say hello to the animals as they all love company and are very inquisitive.

If you would like to help at feeding time then please come and find us either at the farmhouse or around the farm. Our animals are tame and gentle enough to interact with and will happily accept a cuddle or carrot from you! Though please be careful as they do get excited if you have food on you! However please also be aware that our animals are not domestic pets so be mindful and careful when around them. Children must be supervised at all times and interaction is at your own risk.

Our guests are also welcome to go and collect eggs from the hen house or come to the farmhouse where if we may have some or please look in the fridge in the Landry room.

(Eggs are not always available as laying in dependant on times of year and the weather!)

Many guests ask if we re-home our animals after being with us. The answer is no, as they are safe and happy at the farm, this becomes their forever home and it would be unfair to move them.

Please enjoy your time at the farm with the animals and we look forward to getting to know you too

 National Trust Park at Ilam – just 1m down the Hill from our farm

Ilam Park is often missed and well worth a visit whilst you are staying at the farm. It is part of the National Trust and White Peak Estate. There are often activities and adventure things to do at Ilam Park and The National Trust rangers put on activities every weekend and you can join in and enjoy the experience. On Fridays there is often an open walk with a ranger day and these activities are free.

There is also the Manifold Tea room which serves yummy cakes and Molly’s ice cream van is often in the village on a warm sunny day.

The youth Hostel at Ilam. The YHA is open to the public and they also have a bar. The setting is beautiful and in the National Trust grounds of Ilam Park. It’s well worth a visit for a walk and can meander along the river and have a beer! There are often loads of activities going on at Ilam so just pop down there or call 01335 310212 to find out any information.

For an all-round general list on things to do in the Peak District look up :https://www.visitpeakdistrict.com/things-to-do/


Chatsworth House:  Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1PP Tel:  01246 565300 https://www.chatsworth.org/

Home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire and only half an hour from the farm, if you have time this is a must as the scenery, house gardens and setting is stunning. You cannot come to the Peaks without visiting Chatsworth House, where pride and prejudice was filmed and it is one of the best houses in the country. Karl and I still visit regularly as there is always something new and it’s right on our doorstep! The grounds are stunning and there is a farm shop as well as a farm playground for children….

Visit some Caves – There are many famous caves locally to us:

Poole’s Cavern, Speedwell Cavern, Blue John Cavern and more, all worth a visit.


Alton Towers: 15 minutes away – Theme Park: Open March to mid-November.  Web: www.altontowers.com

My children go to Alton Towers all the time and never tire of it…rides ranging from scare thrills to tea cups and you will definitely get wet on the water rides…Sea Life centre is also there now and has a lovely display of sharks! We have been going since my children were little and the rides cater for tots to teens/adults and if you don’t like the rides you can meander around the beautiful cultivated grounds and park, though you may hear a lot of screaming in the background from the hordes of people who are there for the thrill rides, my little tykes included. The largest and most famous theme park in the country is just down the road and your children will never forgive you if you don’t take them…….just don’t tell them it’s there. If you do go, I suggest you book your tickets online as it will save you a fortune.


Horse Riding – Northfield Farm offer Horse riding for all levels. The area is stunning and the views across the peaks are amazing from a top of a horse …. http://www.northfieldfarm.co.uk/hacking-and-trekking/

Water Sports/ Sailing / Fishing etc  – Carsington Water –  01629 540478  enquiries@carsingtonwater.com   www.carsingtonwater.com.

There is lots to do at Carsington and not just Sailing, Kayaking, windsurfing or power boating (though you can do those too) and in high season all water activities need to be booked in advance as it gets very busy. Carsington is also a wildlife heaven and bird watching paradise with a little fishing thrown in as well….though I prefer the river Dove for that…You can walk, ride (hire bikes) shop, lunch, picnic and relax there whilst taking in the view of one of the largest lakes ( reservoir)  in the Peaks. Carsington also offer Fishing days and is one of the premier competition lakes in the country. (Trout Master)


Fishing on the Dove

Please call Rupert Hignett on 01335 310389 where you may be able to hire a day ticket for a three mile stretch of the Dove from Milldale to Beresford’s dale. Those tickets are very limited but sometimes there are guest rods for hire. This is one of the best fishing areas on the Dove.

Day Tickets are also available from Hartington Stores in Hartington on selective parts of the River Dove and Manifold River.


The Theatre


One of the finest examples of Frank Matcham theatre design, offering a year-round programme of entertainment. Pavilion Arts Centre. Home to the 360 seat Buxton Cinema, offering daily films and live event cinema throughout the year


Paintball and Quad Biking:

Wild Park, Brailsford – Tel: Richard 01335 360485 info@wildparkleisure.com:  www.wildparkleisure.co.uk

Now this is fun (really fun) and where our boys always want to go…me too as this is not just for boys! You can have a great time, quad biking around 10 miles of very different terrain and getting covered in mud (overalls and helmets are provided) paintballing and my goodness if you get hit sometimes it hurts, I have welts to prove it, so this is not for the faint hearted. There is also laser tagging, for those who don’t want to dodge paint balls but who get tagged instead… Richard is a really nice chap who will look after you and try not to get you too muddy!


The Yeaveley Estate – Shooting, Clays, Fly Fishing. Contact Guy on 01335 330247 www.yeaveley-estate.co.uk

The Yeaveley Estate located about 15 mins away offers a wide range of shooting sports, Fly Fishing and country pursuits. They have extensive clay pigeon facilities which can provide a challenge to both novice and experienced shooters.

Climb a Tree:

Go-Ape: Buxton. Website: www.goape.co.uk or Tel: 0845 643 92 15.

You need a head for heights and I loved it. You climb up into the trees and attach yourself to zip wires. Under 14’s need to be accompanied by an adult. The idea is to get from one end of the park to the other without touching the ground and using muscles you didn’t realise you had, you’ve seen monkeys do it, well that’s about it you become the monkey! The final highlight is flying through the air on a zip wire, exhilarating. 

Water Park:

Alton Towers: Water Park Caribbean lagoon – www.altontowers.com

Part of Alton Towers above though situated in the Splash landings Hotel away from the theme park.  It is a little like oasis, water world or centre parcs and is like a tropical island with lots to do both inside the dome and out, swim wear is a must. Splash landings claim the longest water ride in the country as well as flumes and water rapids. The hot tub is nice.

Fly a Plane:

Airways Air Sports :  01335 344308   E-mail: office@airways-airsports.com Web: www.airways-airsports.com

Airways Air sports is one of Europe’s top flying schools for Hang Gliding, Paragliding and flying Micro light aircraft. Darley Moore Airfield, Darley Moore, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 2ET Darley Moor is on the A515 just outside Ashbourne going south and is great for that special treat or for something a little different. You never know…. 

Peak District Hang Gliding Centre, Tel: 01538 382520 or 07000 4264 454 – mike@peakhanggliding.co.uk  – www.peakhanggliding.co.uk

1/2/3/5-day hang gliding courses for complete beginners to advanced

Golf:  Ashbourne Golf Club, Wyaston Road , Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 1NB Tel: 01335 342078 E-mail: sec@ashbournegc.fsnet.co.uk     Web: www.ashbournegolfclub.co.uk

Enjoy a round of golf in Ashbourne and appreciate the stunning views over towards our farm and Dovedale. Ashbourne is a lovely course and many of our guests highly recommending it.

Paint a Pot:

Sticky Fingers – This is a shop in Ashbourne (12 Church Street) which does ceramic painting and has a craft studio. 01335 4108001 enquiries@stickyfingers-parties.co.uk

This is incredibly good fun and a great way to spend your time with your children or just friends. My children love going here and will spend hours painting their own pot or creating a “masterpiece” of some sort of construction! There is also a tea room in house with fabulous cakes.


A Time to Kiln – Mobile pottery painting.  Ask for Jenny 01543 481176  www.atimetokiln.co.uk

You really can’t beat this for something different and brilliant fun for all the family. We have a great time and keep adding to the collection.  Whatever you make Jenny will kiln it for you and send your items directly to you back home. Very reasonable for an afternoon of creativity and only £11 per person.

Adventure Activities:


Peaks and Paddles adventure activities for all the family

https://www.peaksandpaddles.org/ All these activities are a lot of fun and you can book and join in any adventure… Lots of things for everyone!


Aspire adventure activities – David Matthews Tel: 01629 732445 Mobile: 07786740384

www.aspireadventureactivities.co.uk email info@aspireadventureactivities.co.uk Dave offers friendly, professional instruction in rock climbing, abseiling, rock scrambling, mine exploration, caving, orienteering, guided walks, team building for school, youth, special need groups, families, adults, scouts, guides and special events, birthday and stag and hen groups. Gift vouchers available for special events. AALA licensed (L2730/RO520) Climbing, Water sports, caving and Trekking. Open all year.

Twin Peaks Outdoor Activities – Colum Walsh Tel: Mobile: 0797 972 4014
Email: colum@twinpeaksoutdooractivities.com  Website: www.twinpeaksoutdooractivities.com Colum from Twin Peaks Outdoor Activities offers a range of Adventurous activities for any type of group and can cater to your needs. Hen, stag parties, family groups, team building, recreation, outdoor education, development and training to voluntary organisations, individuals, families, adults, youth groups, schools and corporate groups. Either here in our 20 acres or there, this company will enthusiastically plan a great time for you. There sister company Twin Peaks Adventurous Activities also provides activities to individuals who are enthusiastic and want to go further, higher and deeper………

Acclimatize:  01629 820268 info@acclimbatize.co.uk Website: www.acclimbatize.co.uk  01629 820268

This is a really fun outdoor bound type of activity including some abseiling and treasure hunts and outdoor adventure activities. Great team building and bonding! Worth giving it a go with great rates for larger bookings… when you ring them say where you are staying and remind them that last time, I did this at Melanie’s Hen Party I got stuck in a hole on top of a mountain. Now how can I be in a hole at the top of a mountain!


For an all-round general list on things to do in the Peak District look up :https://www.visitpeakdistrict.com/things-to-do/


Even if you don’t have time for all these adventures, we hope you will enjoy yourselves at the farm and have a wonderful time. The real emphasis at the farm is relaxed have fun with our ‘nothing is a problem’ attitude. Whatever the weather we hope that you will enjoy the ambience of the farm (outside as well as in) and relax with your family and friends with a glass of wine, beer or chilled juice….


All our guests are welcome to explore and picnic in our fields, feed the animals and collect eggs as well as make use of the 22 acres of farm grounds and woodlands that we have.


We hope that you have an amazing time  

Karl & Carolyn