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.


Barn owl hunts around the holiday cottage

Not the best ever photo but a quick snap with the camera phone just to share the beauty of our resident barn owl. I'll keep trying with the photography. It is on the hunt right now, but it is too dark for my camera.
Posted by Picasa


Insiders Guide to Alton Towers

Keep an eye out for the Unofficial Guide to Alton Towers that has been published by another Staffordshire local.  It has lots of discounts and offers.  It is sold locally and on Amazon.  Check on this website for some top tips when visiting Alton Towers and other famous attractions - worth adding to your favourites!

I was having a tidy up and came across a way to get reduced price Alton Towers tickets.  2 for 1 with your AA membership card.  You have to sort it all out online, of course, via tha AA website but definitely worth checking.  I have put the details of the offer into our Holiday Cottage welcome pack.  Our self-catering guests can then get booking, using the cottage WiFi no less.

A lot of our holiday cottage guests have Merlin annual passes and stay at Barks because it combines the best of both worlds:  really near Alton Towers and also a lovely tranquil countryside location.  A couple of days of high adrenalin, a couple of days of completely chilling out.

Holiday Cottage Rental:
3 nights:  £295
7 nights:  £450
sleeps 4 or family of 5 on a self-catering basis
for accommodation reservations please call 01538 703436 or email

For summer availability  - follow the navigation above or click here

From Barks Holiday Cottage, ideal for Alton Towers and Peak District, sleeps 4 or family of 5


Walking . . . pottering . . . pondering

As a holiday cottage owner I have to mention the holiday cottage at every opportunity because in truth most of our enquiries and bookings are made via this blog.  And on top of that every article needs to mention Alton Towers a million times too.  Not because my readers are in any way missing the point about this being a holiday cottage just a jot away from the nation's favourite theme park . . . yes you guessed it . . . aka Alton Towers!.  (Gosh that was a lot of mentions in one sentence, maybe now I'm free . . . )  It's all driven by that search engine thing and in truth I am grateful to the world's favourite search engine for bringing us so many interesting cottage guests.

If this morning I am sounding a little weary of these subjects (I'll pass this opportunity to repeat my keywords)  it is because in the last couple of days I have read some lovely blogs.  Blogs with no agenda, no constraints, just words emerging from the mood of the writer.  Envy has overtaken me.  So I thought what the heck, we are almost solidly booked this month and have a gap or two in July and August so I am going to just write, for the sake of it.  And see how it has ended up so far - almost perfect keyword density!

I'll try and photograph the barn owl and blog about him/her another time. Baby birds are fledging all around and our family of bluetits have done well.  Two fledgelings have hit our windows.  The nuthatch learned from its ordeal but sadly the woodpecker expired from either a broken neck or shock. I left it on the wall and something else came along and has left me some fluff and the odd feather.  I feel sentimental and will keep the feather for a while. The forage harvesters are busy across the Peak District and the lush swishing June fields will be a shocked light green bareness for a while. The last few weeks have been wonderful for walking, pottering and pondering - my favourite activities.

The picture is the view from the holiday cottage so you can see that this is a good destination for walking, pottering and pondering (as well as Alton  Towers!).


Last minute breaks to Peak District or Alton Towers

2012 last minute summer availability: Reservations 01538 703436 or email

Barks Holiday Cottage has a few gaps between bookings in July 2012 that we are offering as last minute mini cottage breaks.  We are ideally placed for exploring the Peak District.  This area is known as the Churnet Valley in the Staffordshire Peak District.  Famous landmarks like the Stepping Stones at Dovedale are only a few miles away.  Barks Holiday Cottage is ideally located for Alton Towers at just 2.6 miles from the entrance.

Our normal summer self catering rates are £495 for a week or £295 for 3 nights. The holiday cottage sleeps 5 and accepts dogs.  There is superb walking in the surrounding Churnet Valley and Peak District.

last minute availability accommodation near Alton Towers and Peak District  - as at 1st July 2012.


Holiday cottage guests set off walking to Alton Towers

Barks Holiday Cottage, self catering accommodation is 2.6 miles near Alton Towers and sleeps 4/5.

Walking to Alton Towers might not seem notable if you're unfamiliar with the area around here.  It is worth knowing that there are only a handful of places you could possibly stay that are easy walking distance - all in Farley.  People searching for accommodation near Alton Towers are under a false impression of convenience if they opt for Alton.  As I say, the entrance to Alton Towers is in Farley, midway between Oakamoor and Alton.  And we are just outside Oakamoor.  Travelling to Alton Towers by public transport, wherever you are staying, should be regarded as the start of a full day of adventure.

Our holiday cottage guests have just set off.  I offered them a lift (it would have taken two cars) and gave them the local taxi number, but no, they fancy a walk and public transport.  Good for them, I definitely approve.  I drew them a map so that they could walk through the fields and woods, but they showed me the children's buggy, fully loaded for the day.  Ah!

There are three children and three adults and a buggy straggling down the hill to Oakamoor to catch the 32A bus up the hill the other side to Alton Towers.  I asked if they had checked the bus times and our guests thought maybe the bus came every 10 minutes towards Alton Towers, rather than every 2 hours which is the reality.  They are are now goal oriented, the 12.10pm is their mission.  Welcome to the countryside! 

They also have the idea that taxis queue up outside the exit of Alton Towers like they do at city train stations.  I can't recall this scene at Alton Towers, but hopefully they do.  I insisted they take our telephone number because we will fetch them, no problem.  Essential I suspect.

Meanwhile some readers of Ethical Traveller have contacted us for Alton Towers accommodation.  I must remind them to bring stout shoes. Ethical travellers will relish the challenge that awaits them.