From scenic Peak District hikes to historic country houses to the white-knuckle thrill rides at Alton Towers, this scenic spot has something for everyone.

The Duncombe Arms makes a handy stop in an area that's packed with attractions and activities. On the edge of the Peak District and a stone’s throw from the Pennines, this unspoilt countryside inspired great minds including George Eliot, who based Hayslope, fictional setting for her novel Adam Bede, on Ellastone. The Swiss philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau meanwhile wrote his seminal Confessions while in self-imposed exile in Wootton. George Frideric Handel was a regular guest at the nearby Calwich Abbey, and is rumoured to have been inspired by the River Dove, just steps from the Duncombe Arms’ garden and famous today for its excellent trout fishing, to compose his Water Music. And it’s not just hikers, cyclists and fishers who flock here. A short drive away, the pretty market town of Ashbourne is a favourite destination of antique hunters, Carsington Reservoir offers watersports including sailing, windsurfing and kayaking, while spectator thrills are to be found at Uttoxeter Racecourse and Darley Moor Sports Centre. Most high-octane of all, Alton Towers theme park is just three miles away.