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.


Accommodation for Alton Towers Scarefest and Fireworks

I have just posted an update to our availability during the Alton Towers finale season.  Alton Towers has a peak season for Scarefest and puts on a splash.  Last year I really enjoyed the late opening.  Not just the big rides but some of the extra bits - we spent ages after dark watching a guy juggling with fire.  He was great.

Our guests have been very organised and half term was booked up quite a while ago - it really is a peak season around here!  Scottish half term is earlier and calls from north of the border are starting to come in.

Fireworks nights are firmly in my diary, but at this point we still have two mini break self-catering options available to make the most of the season finale. 

Please check our availability and contact us directly by phone (01538 703436) or by email


Autumn colour appearing in Churnet Valley woodland

It's gorgeous walking weather this morning. I was tempted to wear layers of warm clothing but thank goodness I haven't as it is so mild again. A walk is such a great way to start the week. A walking weekend is even better.
We have mini breaks available during the autumn which should be ideal to stretch your legs in glorious countryside (and maybe even improve fitness before Christm... - stop too early for that word yet!). Autumn walking weekends - perfect!
Please check our Availability page for latest dates.
Barks Holiday Cottage, 01538 703436


Alton Towers Waterpark - a great winter mini break idea

Alton Towers used to describe the Waterpark as the beach holiday without the British weather, or something similar anyway.  I took my son there the other day and was reminded of this.  It was in fact a gloriously sunny day so we made the most of the outside areas. I sat in the hot pool with my face turned towards the sun, and we spent many an hour sliding down the outside shoots.  Not sure I would have laid out on a beach towel though.  Needless to say, I have spent many a session there when it has been too horrible to do anything outdoors (and you have to trust me when I say the weather has to be really bad to drive me inside).  So with the approach of winter, Alton Towers Waterpark comes into its own as a family weekend break, staying at Barks self-catering cottage.  When you've had enough of the poolside fun, come back to the holiday cottage warm your toes on the underfloor heating, the radiators and even the open fire!

Now here's a thought for families with pre-school children.  Alton Towers Waterpark has a midweek deal for children aged 6 and under.  It is just £5 for the morning session for you and your toddler.  Two parents, two children: it is £10 for an excellent morning of fun.  I am very familiar with this session and used to take full advantage of it when my son was of qualifying age. 

I remembered these Waterpark 'toddler sessions' very fondly, when I was there last week.  My son is not a natural swimmer and it has taken time and patience to build his water confidence.  We haven't been to formal lessons for a while because he was starting to complain about them, so I stopped them for a while before it became an outright refusal.  So last week I was keen to assess his abilities.  There is no swimming pool as such, just an abundance of water in the form of shallows, slides, landing pools, hot pools, waterfalls, moving rivers.  The actual swimming took place after he landed in a pool off a slides or tunnel.  Big splash, swim to the side and out again to go back to the top.  Adults can just about keep a dry face, but children will get wet all over and strangely they don't really notice.  Fantastic for water confidence.  My son even asked me for a diving lesson - sitting dive from a step.

If you want a midweek change of scene and you have toddlers then please enquire about our midweek winter rates.  Tell the office that you are 'working from home' and hook your laptop onto our WiFi - we won't tell on you! email

(and don't forget the off season spa deals . . . entry to the relaxation rooms for £10 midweek - no kids allowed there though)