A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District

During last year’s 10-week-long ‘A Walk in the Parks’ adventure, I got the opportunity to explore all 10 of England’s National Parks, and discover what makes each one unique. 

This tour across the country gave me the chance to discover Parks that were brand new to me, and tick many gorgeous areas of the country off my bucket list.

But then, an equally wonderful opportunity that this experience gave me was to explore the Peak District in a way that I never had before. 

Even though I live in the Peak District, and am proud to be part of the Peak District National Park Foundation (which is part of what inspired me to start this fundraiser in the first place!), it’s rare that you get the chance to dedicate 9 days to hiking through it.  

During this final leg of A Walk in the Parks, I was invited to stay at The Maynard. This elegant, classically rural hotel was the perfect way to round off my trip, and gave me an entirely new way to enjoy the Peak District! 

A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District
A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District

Best Country Escape Hotel In The Peak District

The Rooms At The Maynard

The Maynard is part of the Longbow Events group (who also own The George, and the newly-opened Ashford Arms). 

I had been wanting to stay at The Maynard for some time as the wonderful Charlotte, my oldest friend from school (going back to when we were both 3 years old!), is the hotel’s Marketing Manager. In fact, I also went to school with Rob, who is the Longbow group Director – small world! 

The hotel is located in Grindleford (near Hope Valley), in a stunning, classical building. The site has been a hotel for over 100 years. During that time, The Maynard has hosted a long list of celebrity guests, including everything from international touring cricket teams to Sir Paul McCartney. 

I had a gorgeous room, with large windows that gave me an incredible view looking out over the Peak District. The room itself was unique and beautifully decorated – at once elegant, modern and yet full of classical countryside personality. 

A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District
 A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District
A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District

Charlotte kindly left me a little welcome bag in the room, with some of my fave caramel chocolate and a face mask. This (coupled with the fact that the room had a super luxurious bath) was everything I could have wished for after a long day of walking!

A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District

The Maynard Restaurant and Facilities 

The hotel itself isn’t dog friendly (but the bar area is). So, during this part of the hike, Cookie went home for a rest day – which meant she had plenty of energy for the final stretch! 

During my stay, I had a couple of meals at The Maynard’s hotel restaurant as, with such a long menu of crowd-pleasers, it was pretty much a no-brainer! 

As you’d expect from a brilliant Derbyshire restaurant, the menu is full of hearty classics. There are quintessential regional dishes – like a Derbyshire trio of pies, venison loin, and braised pork belly – or globally inspired recipes, and plenty of options for veggies and vegans. 

A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District
A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District
A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District

Faye had joined me for my short day’s hike from Hathersage to Grindleford and was also a big fan of the food at The Maynard.

Since it was the Autumn, I kept warm and ate inside. But during the summer, they have a gorgeous garden, where guests can eat lunch outside, and even listen to their live music calendar. 

With its extensive grounds and elegant rural aesthetic, The Maynard is a popular wedding location. In fact, my friend Dan got married there a couple of years ago! They have a private wedding garden at the venue, and a lovely honeymoon suite where they stayed after the big day. 

The morning after my dreamy night’s sleep at the Maynard I was interviewed by BBC Radio Derby alongside Rob talking about my hike and the fab Maynard Hotel.

I have returned to the Maynard for lunch and dinner numerous times since and know I will be back again. Rob, Charlotte and the team do a wonderful job of welcoming everyone who visits and the food and ambience never fails to impress!

A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District
A Tranquil Country Escape at The Maynard, Peak District

Top Recommendations for Peak District Places to Eat  

Tourists across the country (and beyond!) visit the Peak District to hike across its famous landscape. 

The area is renowned for its rolling green hills, and picture-postcard scenery. But, what the Peak District is less known for is its exceptional restaurants. 

There is a brilliant range of places to eat, spanning everything from luxurious evening dining spots, to local hidden gems. 

So, to help you make the most out of your trip, here are some of my top recommendations for places to eat in the Peak District. 

  1. The Ashford Arms, Ashford in the WaterThe Ashford Arms has recently been completely renovated and reopened by Rob and the team who run The Maynard. I was invited to try their new menu as they opened and can confirm it is absolutely delicious. Another firm favourite added to the list of great lunch and dinner spots in the Peak District. I had the duck which was divine. The restaurant is beautifully decorated and has a great dog friendly bar area and garden.
  2. The Packhorse, Little Longstone The Packhorse is a firm local favourite, and a proper country pub. In the winter, its cosy warm fires are lit, and there’s even an undercover spot in the pub garden, where they light a log fire. However at any time of year, the pub has a warm, friendly and lively vibe, which has made it an absolute go-to for me and my friends. Whether you’re after a hearty pie after lunch, or a rich pork belly in the evening, the menu features its own spin on pub classics, meaning there are always interesting dishes to try.
  3. The Prince Of Wales, Baslow The Prince Of Wales gives you everything you could want from a pub. It achieves the perfect balance between elegant, delicious dining, and charm and individuality. It offers a wide range of dishes – including everything from classic fish and chips, to more haute cuisine, like local partridge. I love every meal I have had here.
  4. Stones, Matlock – as a proud Matlock resident, I’ve certainly explored a good number of the local spots! So, you can trust me when I say that Stones is one of the very best places to eat in Matlock. Stones restaurant specialises in modern British food and although it’s at the higher price point, the lunch time tasting menu is very reasonable (and absolutely, utterly delicious). 
  5. Chatsworth Kitchen, Rowsley – located in Rowsley’s Peak Village, Chatsworth Kitchen is a firm favourite, amongst both locals and visitors. It offers the perfect spot to try the fresh produce of the local Chatsworth Estate, in a more relaxed and affordable way. Whether you’re after a hearty brunch or local ales, you’ll never be short of things to try here. 
  6. The Maynard, Grindleford – and of course, there’s The Maynard! The food at the restaurant is delicious, with a great menu and lots of options to suit everyone. The hotel describes the ethos underpinning its menu as fresh and local, but with food that is accessible and enjoyable. For me, this sums up everything that I want from a restaurant – especially after a stomp through the Peaks! 

I had a fantastic stay at The Maynard, and it was the perfect way to celebrate my final leg of the Walk in the Parks adventure. If you’re ever visiting the area on an active staycation, and are on the lookout for a tranquil hotel stay in the Peak District, then I would wholeheartedly recommend The Maynard. 

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