The Beautiful Peak District

… What it’s like to housesit in Tideswell

This is our second year housesitting in the beautiful Peak District. We were lucky enough to get invited back here for a second visit. When the homeowners asked us to come back this May 2023, we did not hesitate. It is amazing to spend a few weeks in this picturesque and friendly part of England.

One of the best features of housesitting is not having to rush around and see everything all in a long weekend. We also love immersing ourselves in the village where we housesit. Tideswell is a perfect place to take advantage of these features.

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The Peak District

Curbar Edge in the beautiful Peak District, England
Curbar Edge in the Peak District, England

The Peak District National Park is located in Derbyshire, East of Manchester and West of Sheffield. Tideswell is locating within the National Park and sits about 1000 feet (300 meters) above sea level. The area is well known for it’s narrow valleys, high moors, sharp cliff edges, beautiful walks, and lots of caving and climbing opportunities.

Sheep in a Peak District paddock
Peak District sheep in the Peak District

Tideswell is within the Derbyshire Dales. The Wye River meanders by in the dale and many walkers start their excursions from the car park near the river. When you climb up from the dale, you are up on the “top”. Ancient stone fences divide the landscape all around into more or less rectangular paddocks. In the spring, you will see lots of sheep with lambs and cows with their calves in the bright bright green pastures. It is an incredible sight.

Stone fenced paddocks in the Peak District

Beautiful Tideswell Village

Driving in the Village

When we arrived in Tideswell this second time around, we were prepared for the experience. We made sure we had a skinny car that could deal with the very narrow turns, lanes, and roads. This has really helped make getting around less stressful this time around! It’s hard to take in the beauty of the Peak District if you are constantly worried about whether your rental car will get scratched, or if you’ll be able to find a place to park!

The Cathedral of the Peak

The Cathedral of the Peak

Tideswell has an unusually large parish church, so it is known as the Cathedral of the Peaks. The church is beautiful. Like so many old churches in England, it is in dire need of updates. The church is in dire need of new electrics and lights. You can donate here. The church is a real focal point in the village. You can hear the bells not only on Sundays but on all sorts of village occasions.

Tideswell parish church appeal for funds
The church’s appeal

Tideswell, Peak District Dining

Casual Dining

This year, we arrived the night before the homeowners were leaving, and they treated us to a meal at one of the three pubs within the village of Tideswell itself. We walked to The Star Inn where we could all find something delicious. One of our hosts is vegetarian, and she really appreciates the vegetarian options on the menu. John had a steak and blue cheese pie that he raved about, and I had a chicken curry. But the star(!) of the evening was the spectacular Sticky Toffee Pudding I had for dessert. I had to share it, and I might have felt a little stingy about that!

With a population of a little over 1000, Tideswell has a wide selection of places to eat here in the Peak District. We know of at least 4 well frequented cafes, three pubs within the village, a new Italian restaurant (which we have not tried), and the upscale restaurant/inn, The Merchant’s Yard. So there are plenty of places to try out without even driving anywhere!

The entry door to The Merchant’s Yard
The Merchant’s Yard, Tideswell

Upscale Dining

Last week, John treated me to lunch at The Merchant’s Yard. We were one of only two couples having lunch mid-week, so the dining room felt a little empty, but the service and food was fantastic! I had the Derbyshire lamb dish which was incredibly good. John had the burger, which was ‘fine’. Someone always picks the wrong thing!

The lamb dish at The Merchant’s Yard in the Peak District
Derbyshire lamb at The Merchant’s Yard

Also in the Area

When we arrived last year, the homeowners took us to the neighbouring village of Litton to The Red Lion, which is also a fantastic pub. From the front door, it was about a mile over to Litton, and we got to see the beautiful Peak District at twilight as we made our way there.

The Red Lion pub in Litton in the beautiful Peak District
The Red Lion, Litton

You will not be short of places to eat out!

Food Shopping

Of course, as housesitters, we have the luxury of being able to cook at home. There are shopping opportunities right in the village. A Coop provides general corner store shopping, as well as beer, wine, and spirits. There is a small produce store, Peaches. And there is also a local specialty butcher, Gibbs, which is open some days of the week.

The butcher in Tideswell

We tend to drive to one of the superstores in nearby Buxton (15 minute drive) for our ‘big’ shopping. There is a Tescos, a Morrisons, and an Aldi very conveniently located.

The Tideswell Food Festival

This year, our housesit coincided really nicely with the Tideswell Food Festival, held in mid May every year. We had such a great time seeing and tasting all the wonderful and delicious things the Peak District has to offer.

The Food Festival opened at 10 am with the bells of the church ringing. We could hear it as we were pottering around the garden, taking care of some seedlings for the homeowners.

When we had finished our gardening duties, we headed down the little hill to the high street, where around 60 stalls had set up with all kinds of goodies.

The Death by Fudge stall at Tideswell Food Festival
Death by Fudge at Tideswell Food Festival

There were long queues at the Thai, the Caribbean fusion, and the burger place. We had lunched at home so opted not to join the queues, and headed straight for the treats! There was fantastic fudge on offer. What we bought all disappeared the very same day. We also tried Wye Gin (from the River Wye, I would guess). It is made from molasses instead of grains. We also tried an incredibly sweet toffee vodka!

Food stall at Tideswell food festival

In the church, there were lots of stalls for the Maker’s Market. Lots of local craftspeople had great things on display. Since we know our homeowners love cows, we found some great cow coasters that we’ll leave as a parting gift when we leave this weekend.

Festival Hair bands at Tideswell food festival
Festival hair bands

We Love Housesitting in the Beautiful Peak District

We have absolutely loved both our housesits in this pretty little English Village. There are lots of things to do in the area, and it is a comfortable and friendly base to explore the entire Derbyshire area. More of the area to come in a future post!

We are super excited to be coming back to the area, but to a different village, later in the summer.

Have you housesat or spent time in the area? Do you have a favorite Peak District village to visit? We’d love to hear your thoughts and recommendations!

We live as global nomads though travel exchanges, mostly through TrustedHousesitters. It is a wonderful accommodation option for a dream vacation or for a new lifestyle.


11 responses to “The Beautiful Peak District”

  1. I’m trying to find a house sit in the Peak District for the summer and now you’ve made me even more determined!

  2. I live far away in Qatar, but if I ever get back to the UK, it’s village life that I will choose. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Wow! This managed to be both thorough and concise. It’s well laid out, detailed and engaging. I think if I can afford it I’ll have to plan a wee trip to the Peak District.

  4. I haven’t been to England before, but the Peak District and Tideswell seem like a beautiful place to visit. Also, the Tideswell Food Festival looks fun! That’s great you were able to housesit and enjoy your time there.

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