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.


Alton Towers opens

An increase in enquiries and the hawthorn leaves appearing are both proof of the arrival of spring. Alton Towers opened this weekend, which possibly explains the surge of booking enquiries that we received. Either that or the improvement in the weather. In the last week alone people have contacted us from UK and Ireland with a variety of requirements - with/without children, with/without dogs, weekend walking breaks, accommodation near Alton Towers, and a business stay that requires WiFi. All are welcome at Barks.

Perfect walking weather

I walked for miles this weekend. Our friends Lucy & Paul were staying with their wire-haired vizsla so we went out as a pack. First we had to do a short 20 minute circuit for the benefit of my 17 year old lurcher Echo. It served as a hearty appetiser because it is uphill through the woods, has a fresh wind on the ridge and then a couple of fields coming back down where the younger members of the pack can really stretch their legs. The old girl senses we are past the half way mark and trots ahead a little bit until I need to carry her over the stile.

Echo went reluctantly to her basket and we carried on for the main event; down into Oakamoor’s Carr Wood and then back up past Orchard Farm and into the woods. We were out for a couple of hours and enjoyed the best of the weather. I had put too many layers on and ended up with sweater and heavy coat tied around my waist for all serious uphill stretches. Paul had a hip replacement only nine months ago and I was somewhat alarmed when there was a plaintive cry for help at the back and he was lying in the rut of the path. It is soft peaty ground, so luckily he was enjoying the drama of it.

On Sunday the plan was to meet Karen and Megan the spaniel and go for a 1 ½ hour walk in Cotton Dell, but the clock change meant that it was just Lucy and me and the dogs. My whippety-lurcher races up the track likes she’s been let out of a trap, my terrier checks all rabbit holes and the vizsla jumps straight into the river and all further muddy pools of water. This is a fluffy vizsla and a muck magnet, who must have wondered why we were so keen to throw sticks for her into the deeper parts of the brook. The sun shone, the birds were singing and the temperature was perfect for a long walk up hill and down vale.

Later, while I was gardening, a man walked past with his dog and checked directions with me. His wife had dropped him in Alton and he was hiking back to Ipstones – approx 8 miles. We agreed it is perfect walking weather.

Following the walking and gardening, my legs feel quite stiff this morning, so instead of the hour long return walk down to school I confess we went by car, taking all of 3 mins each way. Not the same at all!


Book self catering accommodation near Alton Towers and the Peak District

I just drove past the gates of Alton Towers, some 3 miles away, and all was quiet. It felt strange because normally on a bright, sunny day I see a stream of oncoming traffic going into Alton Towers theme park. But Alton Towers is not open yet . . .

Now is a great time to walk in the Churnet Valley and really appreciate the peace and uninterrupted birdsong. The paths and woodland around Alton Towers, Alton Castle (pictured) and Dimmingsdale are a treat right now.

Now is also a great time to start booking your summer visit to Barks self catering holiday accommodation near Alton Towers and the Peak District. Ring 01538 703436 or email for 2009 rates and availability.

Children and pets welcome at Barks holiday cottage.