Located in the scenic East Midlands, Derbyshire is a popular location for holidaymakers and families for the large number of green spaces to explore and history to discover. Parts of the National Forest, the Peak District National Park and the southern extremities of the Pennine hill range all lie within the borders of Derbyshire, making it an excellent location for people that like to be amongst nature.
While Coton in the Elms is considered the furthest point from the sea anywhere in the UK at 70 miles (as confirmed by a 2003 Ordnance Survey) there are plenty of bodies of water to enjoy. From the River Trent and River Derwent to the Cromford Canal and Carsington Water, excellent for a family day out.
When you are looking for something to enjoy with your children, Derbyshire is a fantastic place to be and we’ve listed a selection of both outdoor and indoor opportunities so that come rain or shine, you’ve got an activity to enjoy together.
Outdoor Activities for Kids in Derbyshire
Come spring and summer (and occasionally autumn!) there is nothing better than being able to get outside, whether it’s pottering around in the garden or going on an adventure through the countryside. Here are some of the best rated outdoor activities to enjoy with your children in Derbyshire.
Pooles Cavern & Buxton Country Park
Explore Derbyshire’s most incredible natural cavern located in the Peak District. Pooles Cavern is a naturally formed limestone cavern that has existed for millennia and provides guided tours lasting approximately 50 minutes. A unique cave experience, Pooles Cavern is accessible, family-friendly and carefully lit so you can see the magical crystal stalactites that have been forming over millions of years.
Pooles Cavern is a fun and interactive experience located in Country Park Woodlands, a short distance from Solomon’s Temple. After exploring the underground caves, take a gentle stroll to the summit of Grin Low for incredible panoramic views across the Peak District.
Crich Tramway Village
Home to the National Tramway Museum, Crich Tramway Village is a popular attraction for all ages and provides a step back into a time when the tram was the best way to travel. With opportunities to ride the vintage trams back and forth along the mile-long track stopping off along the way. Experience life in the recreated period street, complete with rescued buildings that were painstakingly rebuilt brick by brick for visitors to enjoy.
Don’t miss the chance to explore the updated Woodland Walk and Sculpture Trail featuring new sculptures to discover added in the last year (2019) and awe-inspiring views across Derwent Valley.
Heights of Abraham
Awarded a Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor, it’s not difficult to see why the Heights of Abraham is a popular attraction for all ages. The iconic cable cars will take you to the 60-acre hilltop estate boasting heritage walks, adventure playgrounds and access to two exciting caverns, all included in the price of your cable car ticket. With a variety of locations to eat, drink and shop for souvenirs and luxury gifts, every taste can be catered for on your visit to The Heights.
The ninth-largest reservoir in England and located only a short distance from the Peak District, Carsington Water offers a fun day out for the whole family. There are plenty of activities to enjoy, whether on dry land or in the water from cycling, walking and fishing to rowing, windsurfing and kayaking. During the summer months, it’s the ideal location to hold a family picnic and BBQ, with facilities available for use alongside the children’s play area. The on-site café and Mainsail restaurant – with views over the reservoir - provides refreshments all year round at a reasonable price.
Gulliver’s Kingdom is a family theme park located in Matlock Bath, on the edge of the Peak District National Park and features something for everyone. With a selection of thrilling and exciting rides, short break opportunities and leisure attractions, you’ll be racing the kids to be the first one in the queue! The park is split into different sections with a different theme appealing to various age groups, bigger kids can chase the thrills in Adventure Land and Western World while the little ones (under-5s) have plenty to enjoy in Toyland.
Indoor Activities for Kids in Derbyshire
When the skies inevitably turn grey and clouded over and the rain starts to fall, you can still enjoy a fun-filled day out with the kids in Derbyshire. While some of the cavern excursions are underground and considered all-weather attractions, alongside the many soft play and adventure centres you can enjoy the following highly-rated, indoor attractions in Derbyshire.
Museum of Childhood
Part of the National Trust, the Museum of Childhood is an interactive experience for all ages to enjoy and offers eight galleries of historic games and puzzles enjoyed by generations gone by. Truly a place for the young at heart, the Museum of Childhood provides plenty of opportunities to get involved. Try out a favourite pastime from the Victoria era, experience what life would have been like as a child chimney sweep and don your school uniform for a traditional Victorian classroom session.
The National Trust Museum of Childhood is found in the old service wing of Sudbury Hall, a late 17th-century country house that offers a glimpse into historic Sudbury and how the area has changed over the decades.
Matlock Bath Aquarium and Exhibitions
Found in the beautiful Matlock Bath, the Matlock Bath Aquarium and Exhibitions is a wonderful place to spend a rainy afternoon with the children. Housing over 50 species of beautiful fish and a famous carp collection in the Thermal Pool. The Aquarium and Exhibitions are also home to one of Europe’s largest public Hologram displays, the last remaining Petrifying Well in Matlock Bath and a beautiful gemstone and fossil collection with pieces coming from all over the world.
Whether you are planning a day excursion or a weekend break, Derbyshire has plenty of activities and attractions that will thrill young adventurers and put a smile on even the surliest of teenager’s faces. Start planning your Derbyshire trip today and book your stay in the Best Western Nottingham Derby, our best available rates can be found by booking direct today!