This beautiful boutique B&B is situated on the edge of the Peak District in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales, looking down onto the Ecclesbourne Valley. The elegant late-18th-century farmhouse lies at the centre of a 154-acre working farm on the Chatsworth Estate at Shottle, and although it's easy to reach, it's a very rural place to stay, with levels of luxury that compare favourably to a top-end hotel but in a gloriously informal setting. We also like it because it's a proper family business, begun by Joan and Martin Slack back in the mid-1980s and now – along with its sister businesses Dannah Cottages – run by them, their sons and daughters-in-law, all of whom have pitched in as the business (and they) have grown.
There are eight large rooms and suites, and all have flatscreen TVs, wifi, tea and coffee-making facilities and large well-equipped bathrooms, but there the similarities end, because each room is utterly individual, varying from large two-level suites with a private sitting room and hot tub to spacious doubles with four-poster beds. One has an en-suite bathroom complete with flatscreen TV, another is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom suite that is big enough for a family or small group of friends, but throughout it all, a distinct emphasis is made on space, luxury and comfort.
True lotus-eaters can also book the 'Secret Garden' for the duration of their stay: a deliciously enclosed space equipped with a hot tub from which to enjoy the views of the countryside all around. There's also the spa cabin, which you can book by the day along with any room, which includes a large outdoor hot tub, a double shower, a luxurious living space and a large Finnish sauna. Breakfasts are the other thing worth leaving your room for: generous affairs featuring homemade bread, free-range eggs and excellent local bacon, sausage and black pudding; veggies are well catered for too. And if you can't tear yourself away in the evening either, Joan and Martin can also provide a sumptuous supper platter to enjoy in your room. If there is a more comfortable family-run place to stay in this part of Derbyshire, then we have yet to find it.
The Owner Says
Eight rooms and suites, all individually decorated and furnished.
Doubles rooms and suites £165–£275 a night midweek, £175–£295 at weekends. Two-night minimum stay at weekends.
Open all year.
From the south, leave the M1 at junction 25 and take the A52 to Derby, where you pick up the A6 towards Matlock. At Duffield pick up the B5023 towards Wirksworth and make a right at the Railway Inn junction onto the A517. At Shottle Gate turn left and follow the winding road up towards Shottle, where Bowmans Lane leads off to the right; Dannah Farm is up here on the left. Approaching from the north, exit the M1 at junction 28 and take the A38 and then the A610 to Ambergate, then the A6 to Belper, where you pick up the A517 towards Ashbourne. Make a right at Shottle Gate and follow the winding road up towards Shottle, where Bowmans Lane leads off to the right; Dannah Farm is up there on the left.
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