Hartington, Derbyshire SK17 0AL 01298 84 229
This handsome mid-eighteenth century hotel, standing squarely as it does bang in the middle of Hartington is named after Charles Cotton, co-author with Izaac Walton of The Compleat Angler. Cotton was born at nearby Beresford Hall which was ultimately allowed to fall to rack and ruin. The hotel's fortunes have been mixed down the years too, but an enterprising couple took the reins in 2010 and have given it the kiss of life. It's a rather grand place, with elegant proportions in both the bar and dining room and the bedrooms, all of which are different but all with lovely linen, top-notch textiles and spotless bathrooms. Eat in the relaxed bar or in Charlies, the slightly more formal restaurant - either way, the grub is good, and several well-kept local ales are on tap. Fishing permits can be arranged if you fancy following in famous footsteps. Buxton, Leek, Bakewell and Ashbourne are easily reached and Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall are only a short drive away. Start though by walking out of the front door - Hartington is achingly lovely and worth a proper once-over.
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