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The Farmhouse at Mackworth, Peak District
Heading along the A52 west of Derby, there might seem little reason to stop in the blink-and-you'll-miss-it village of Mackworth. For historians though, it's rich in remains that provide valuable information about medieval settlements, while ramblers pass through on the Bonnie Prince Charlie Walk, following a route taken by the prince's army in 1745. For those with minds focused on the present, the main attraction is the Farmhouse at Mackworth, a modern country inn that makes a handy base for exploring the Peak District countryside to the north. Following a major renovation in 2015, it's full of colour and character, mixing comfortable, country-chic bedrooms with a vast, lively bar and restaurant area where barn doors and cow-hide armchairs sit happily alongside diner-style banquettes and steampunk lighting.
The view from the back of the hotel is lovely, with a grand old cedar in the foreground and green fields beyond.
Derby, with its museums and art galleries, is only a 10-minute drive away.
By car: around 1 hour from Birmingham and Sheffield, 2 hours 30 minutes from Bristol and 3 hours from London. There is free parking on site.
By train: By train: direct trains run to Derby from Sheffield Station (30 minutes), Birmingham New Street (45 minutes) and London St Pancras (1 hour 20 minutes). The hotel is around a 10-minute taxi ride from Derby Station. thetrainline.com
Style & Character
The good-looking rooms make it popular with weekending couples but the proximity to Derby means business travellers love it, too. The little entrance area feels instantly welcoming, with candle lanterns lit and a good blaze going in the big stone fireplace.
Service & Facilities
You'll find a delicious little welcome gift in the room when you arrive - a paper bag containing home-baked cake.
- Free Wi-Fi
- Free parking
A nice touch is the USB ports and plug sockets both sides of the bed at beside-table height. Our favourite room is Clover, towards the back of the building - it isn't the largest but it's high-ceilinged, light and lovely, with one of the nicest bathrooms.
King, Super King, Suite, Family Room
Facilities include: luxury linen, towels and bathrobes, ensuite bathroom with White Company toiletries, free Wi-Fi, smart TV, Nespresso machine, continental breakfast included
Food & Drink
The menu includes a few sharing platters, including a Mediterranean mezze option, a traditional ploughman's and a round-up of puddings for the sweet-toothed. The golden-brown triple-cooked chips that come with the main course are excellent and the rich, gooey chocolate brownies absolutely delicious.
Restaurant: buzzing, hearty gastropub food. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner mains from £9.95.
Bar: cocktails, artisan spirits, craft beers. Open daily 7am-10pm. Cocktails from £7.75.