Where to shop
Whatever time of year you plan on visiting, the Designer Outlet and its assortment of 65 stores will help you curate the perfect capsule wardrobe.
Located just off junction 28 of the M1 and with the local train station at Alfreton a mere 10 minutes away, it couldn’t be easier to plan your day out. If you’re arriving from Nottingham, trains run regularly to Alfreton with a short 25-minute journey time. Alternatively, you’ll find quick and easy bus routes from Mansfield, Derby and Chesterfield via Trent Barton and Stagecoach.
Where to stay
If you’re planning a visit soon, there are an array of accommodation options to suit - budget or boutique, and always within easy reach.
In a prime location, a short distance from East Midlands Airport hotel and the Designer Outlet, you’ll find two ever-reliable options that are perfect for holidaymakers, business travellers and families alike. The Holiday Inn Express and Premier Inn are both excellent, budget-friendly options that provide convenient access to the most widely sought out sites, attractions and transport links.
For a more boutique offering, Nottingham’s 4-star Mour hotel is situated centrally and serves as a luxurious yet quirky place to sleep and eat. With a distinctly New York loft-style design, guests can enjoy comfortable ambient surroundings, an elegant bar and grill with a private terrace and heavenly Hypnos mattresses in every suite.
Where to stay
If you’re looking for something a little closer to nature, The White Hart is a classic English inn nestled in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. Although recently renovated, reclaimed brick and stone walls with solid oak beams retain the original character of the building, whilst complementary modern touches help make any stay here a luxurious one. Each of the 17 bedrooms come beautifully decorated with homely on-trend fabrics, crisp white bed linens and thoughtful details. Downstairs, the traditionally designed wood-panelled bar serves delicious cocktails and a range of ales, while the restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients to dish up hearty fine fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
For unwinding after a day of retail therapy, there’s nothing quite like a massage. Bordered by the Peak District National Park and surrounded by verdant green hills, you’ll find the Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club. The oldest Marriot in the world, Breadsall dates back to 1266 and comes with plenty of character. In addition to breathtaking period features and a stunning backdrop, guests can enjoy the use of a spa and heated indoor pool, two golf courses and two fantastic on-site restaurants. All conveniently located a short distance from famous National Trust sites like Kedleston Hall and Chatsworth House, and around 25 minutes drive from the Designer Outlet.
Where to eat & drink
With such lush, green surroundings, you’d be right in thinking that the area’s pubs and restaurants might take pride in showcasing an abundance of local, fresh produce. If you’ve worked up an appetite after a day on the Peaks, then look no further.
A cosy pub and restaurant that serves up fresh, home-cooked meals, The Hunloke Arms in Chesterfield has plenty of rustic charm and an excellent selection of craft beers and ciders. The menu offers something for everyone, from traditional roasts to pan-Asian dishes and pizza. Equally as charming, settle down at The Hurt Arms in Ambergate (happy hour anyone?) and The Farmhouse at Mackworth. Perfect for a cold drink and a hot meal following a day of exertion.
Things to do
Whether you’re visiting with family, friends or as part of a romantic getaway with your partner, there’s no shortage of things to do in the East Midlands. In addition to the delights of the Peak District, there’s a host of National Trust sites, local theme parks and places of historical interest you might want to add to your itinerary.
A must for those visiting with little ones is Gulliver’s Kingdom. Located in the picturesque village of Matlock Bath, it’s a theme park aimed at children aged between 3 and 13. Whilst the adrenaline-fuelled adventures will keep them entertained, you’ll be content with the park’s spectacular hillside views. For thrills that cater to a slightly older audience, Britain’s leading theme park, Alton Towers is located just under an hour’s drive from the outlet and is easily accessible via the A38.
For something a little different, you might wish to take an interest in one of the area’s oldest tales. A unique habitat for wildlife and a magical destination for over 350,000 guests annually, Sherwood Forest is steeped in history. Start your visit at the newly built visitor’s centre, where you'll find trail guides and useful information, as well as food and drink to fuel your journey.