self-catering holiday cottage, holiday rental near Alton Towers and Peak District

Self-catering near Alton Towers and Peak District - Call Barks Holiday Cottage 01538 703436 email or book online.


Walking the Moorlands

This is a lovely spot for a picnic with views on all sides across the Staffordshire Moorlands and over the wooded Churnet Valley.

It is easily reached from Barks, even by quite young children. There are no roads to cross on the way, and there is normally plenty to look at in the woods on the way up.

This part of the ridge does have sheep and lambs grazing, so dogs need to be reliable and under close control.

Parents might like to point out the 'bear scratches' on these rocks: claw marks made in the rock during ancient times, or maybe the bears are still around waiting to have their picnic, who knows . . ?


Cycling holidays

Staffordshire County Council have produced a clear map on the many cycling and walking opportunities across the county. Please note that some of the best are available on our doorstep.

I cycled with my 4 year old on our tow-along bike from Moneystone to Denstone last weekend. The descent into Oakamoor needs brakes that work (ours aren't up to the job), but the disused railway track is an easy, quiet track which was lined with bluebells. There is a gorgeous farm shop in Denstone which has a cafe and sells yummy ice cream - we thought after 5 miles cycling we deserved to treat ourselves. I confess that we did get a lift back, but we had just played tennis in Denstone. This track is also a great dog walking spot.

There are many quiet picnic spots along the Oakamoor to Denstone disused railway. My favourites are the Oakamoor picnic ground and park area, Dimmings Dale (where there is a great tea room with gardens), and a lovely spot beyond Alton where you can either sit on a footbridge or paddle in the river. Guests can ask for more details on any of these if they want to make a day of walking or cycling in the area.

Other nearby cycle routes nearby are Manifold Valley, an easy trail from Waterhouses going into the heart of the White Peak, and the Tissington Trail, which has great views of the Peak District all along its route from Ashbourne Buxton. Both of these trails have local cycle hire.

The link to Staffordshire County Council maps is and I recommend the Staffordshire Moorlands map and the Key.