Beautiful village in the Peak District where the houses look like the Swiss Alps

It’s not the easiest time to go on a European holiday, with expensive Covid tests, uncertainty around case numbers, and travel restrictions still in place for some countries.

But if you are willing to consider a staycation and swap the Alps for the Peaks there might be the perfect village getaway in store for you, the cottages even look like they’re straight from Switzerland.

Ilam in Staffordshire is an insanely pretty village in the southern Peak District, between Derby and Sheffield.

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The surrounding countryside provides stunning views for walkers

It is surrounded by wild northern countryside with mountains and a nearby gauge, as well as the pretty Ilam Park and Bunkhouse offering more refined beauty within the village with Italian style gardens to look upon.

The Bunkhouse is owned by the National Trust, but you can also stay there if you have enough people to book all 16 spots for a minimum of three nights.

Up the road you can visit the “delicate fingers” of Ilam Rock , which at 25m high offers a load of routes for daring rock climbers.

There’s also a cave at the bottom of Pickering Tor, one of the rocks which is part of the ice age formation.

The River Manifold and River Dove also offer plenty of swimming opportunities for those willing to brave the cold water, or you could just stay dry and use the stepping stones.

Beautiful village in the Peak District where the houses look like the Swiss Alps
There are loads of natural landmarks to enjoy

Unfortunately for holidaymakers the unique Alpine cottages are privately owned, but that won’t stop you staying in any of the other cottages available to rent on AirBnB.

From Ilam Hall you can take a circular walk across English countryside and meadows full of grazing sheep, ending at the National Trust Tearooms for a refreshing cup of coffee on a cold day.

If you are looking for food your best bet is a short journey to the nearby town of Ashbourne which has pubs, fish and chips, and curry all waiting for a hungry traveller.

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Beautiful village in the Peak District where the houses look like the Swiss Alps

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How to get there

You can get there by car in 3 hours by taking the M1 and the A52, or by train by taking the EMR to Derby then a bus to Ashbourne.

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