Jump to places to eat

Ford is on the southern end of the Peak District National Park and is in the heart of the Staffordshire Moorlands. It is the ideal location to base yourself and then to explore the rolling hills of peaks and north Staffordshire.

You are spoilt for choice for things to do at or near Ford Wetley Cottage. Here are just a few examples for you to be getting along with and some useful resources. Please feel free to ask us for any further suggestions.

From the cottage it is possible to walk in pretty much any direction on a network of footpaths. Wetley means Wet Lands, so as the name suggests the ground can be very damp and boggy in places. Walking boots or even wellies are essential. We have a large OS Map on the wall in the lounge as well as maps you are welcome to borrow and take out. Please ask for suggestions of walks as there are too many to list here!

Here are some suggestions for other places to visit. Please click on the underlined text for further information:

Alton Towers

The legendary theme park is just a 15 min drive away. Experience the thrill of the rollercoasters or have a more relaxing day at Splash Landings water park.

Peak Wildlife Park

Just 5 min away is the fantastic Peak Wildlife Park. Spend the day hanging out with Penguins, Lemurs, Wallabies, Meerkats and any more interesting creatures. The star attraction has to be the Polar Bears! Rescued from a closing zoo in Sweden they can now be seen frolicking around their large enclosure and playing in the deep pools. With options for experiences like being a keeper or feeding the penguins available (Pre booking required). This is the perfect treat for all the family.

The Peak District National Park

Ford Wetley Cottage is inside the National Park on its southern border. The Park covers a huge area with so much to visit and see you could keep returning for years and wont scratch the surface.


Our closet town is one of the last remaining towns with predominantly independent shops. Famous for its antique shops you will also find an array of interesting gift shops, cafes and Misco, our local artisan chocolate shop is a must visit! Wednesday is Market day and you can find a wide range of fresh produce. Saturday is another market, along with antique stalls in the market place. The 1st Sunday of every month is “Totally Locally” a fantastic market of all the local craft makers and artisan food producers. You will also find all the main supermarkets, Sainsbury, Morrisons, Asda, Aldi & Lidl as well as petrol stations Esso, Shell, Sainsbury & Morrisons.


Why not visit the famous Spa town of Buxton. Just 30 min away, the market town have a nice mix of shops and stunning architecture. Why not check out what is on at the stunning Opera House and see if you can catch a show?


The pretty market town is always worth calling in on your travels. A fine selection of shops and a few bakers all claiming to be the original pudding shop. Don’t expect to find many Bakewell tarts though. The real deal is the amazing Bakewell Pudding, much better than the white iced tarts.

The Potteries

Stoke on Trent is world famous for its pottery. It is still the towns largest industry and whilst it is a fraction of its former glory it is still possible to visit a working factory. They all have factory shops, so it’s possible to pick up a souvenir or a nice bargain to remind you of you visit. We would particularly recommend visiting Emma Bridgewater for a factory tour and paint a pot experience. The World Of Wedgewood is a stunning site in the grounds of the original factory. The spectacular visitors centre has all the current ranges available to purchase, but in addition they have a very good factory outlet. The cafe is amazing and a lovely place to enjoy a high tea after a very impressive factory tour or maybe you fancy throwing your own pot? If you are after a little more history then Middleport is a must. The museum guides you through the history of the potteries and the pottery making process. Many of the rooms now home artisan craft people with a wide range of skills on show and available to purchase. Middleport is the home of Portmerion Pottery. It was also the location for Channel 4’s The Great Pottery Throwdown, until they moved to Gladstone in 2020.

Tittesworth Watersports Centre

Fancy learning to canoe or try Stand Up paddle boarding? Tittesworth Watersports centre is the perfect place to go and learn something new. If you already know what you are doing, you are able to hire the equipment and enjoy this stunning views whilst exploring from the water. All equipment is provided, but do book in advance.

If canoeing and getting wet isn’t your cup of tea then the main Tittesworth Visitors Centre is fun for all the family. Large playgrounds, gentle walks around the reservoir and bird hives to spend some time enjoying the local birdlife.

Rudyard Lake

Rudyard Kipling was named after this lovely spot, after his parents holidayed here. You can see why they loved it so much. With rowing boats available to hire or take a more relaxing cruise you wont be disappointed with the views. There is even a miniature steam railway to take a ride on or just enjoy a walk.

Churnet Valley Railway

Running from Froghall to Leek this beautifully restored steam train takes you through the local countryside.

Chatsworth House

Chatsworth House is one of the countries most famous stately homes. You can easily spend a day just exploring the grounds and gardens. But you can also visit the house itself, the farm park and adventure playground, a must for little ones. Or enjoy a snack or meal in the courtyard restaurant. On your way home pick up some treats at the Farm Shop.

Blaze Farm

Ice Cream and petting farm. Just 30min away and a must for ice cream fans. Little ones will enjoy the petting farm and nature trails as well as the craft barn.

Thorswood Nature Reserve

If you fancy something a little quieter and away from the masses this is the perfect spot. Whilst the main tourist attractions will be busy Thorswood is a welcome place of tranquility. Just a few acres of wild meadow it is just nice to explore and enjoy the views.

Ilam & Dovedale

The grounds of Ilam Hall and the iconic stepping stones of Dovedale are well worth the visit. Just 20 min away in the rolling hills you cant get a better place to explore. But do be aware it can get busy. A top tip if you want to get away from the crowds is to park in Thorpe and walk up onto Thorpe Pasture access land and enjoy the views down to Dovedale and Thorpe Cloud, but without a sole around.

Manifold Valley

Starting in Waterhouses, the next village along and ending in Hulme End the disused railway is reject for a walk or bike ride. It is possible to walk from the cottage and join the trail at various points making for some good circular walks. Why not hire a bike in Waterhouses and ride the trail to its end and back? A welcome cafe is situated at Hulme End as well as the Manifold pub! Along the way you will see Thors Cave, an impressive cave up on the hillside. Worth the steps up to explore.

Tissington Trail

The Tissington Trail is another disused railway perfect for cycling along. With many bridleways and lanes intersecting it, it’s possible to make some interesting loops. Bike Hire is available at Parsley Hay.

Private Massage at the Cottage

After all that exploring and walking in the Peaks why not book a relaxing treatment from Natasha. Natasha can come to the cottage or she is just 10min away at her treatment centre. She offers a range of treatments for individuals or small groups. Perfect for that girls weekend.

Paintballing, Laser, Quad Bikes, Axe Throwing and more!

Ashcroft Park offer a wide range of activities for the more adventurous! Paint-balling, laser tag, driving experiences, all delivered by their very professional staff. We can highly recommend them, having hosted our sons birthday get together on a couple of occasions.

Segways and Giant Harness Spheres

Another adventure centre for the adrenaline junkie! Climb into a giant inflatable sphere and roll down the hill or take a more relaxing Segway tour!

Clay Pigeon Shooting

Ever fancied trying clay pigeon shooting? Cloudside offer several taster sessions. This spectacular location, just 30 min from us is the perfect place to have a go at shooting, under the watchful eye of there instructors. After enjoy a meal or a just a warm drink in the clubhouse by the fire.

Mountain Bike Tours

True North Adventure at Upper Hulme offer various mountain bike course. Beginners to expert, adult to juniors, individual to groups and everything can be provided, E-bikes or normal. Booking would need to be made in advance.

Places to Eat

With all our recommendations below we would advice booking is essential!


The Black Lion – Butterton

Our closest and our favourites this traditional country pub is owned and run by Hannah and Matt. Matt cooking amazing pub classics and Hannah giving a warm welcome behind the bar. It is possible to make a really nice circular walk to Butterton with many options or it’s a just 5 min by car. All the food is sourced from as close to Butterton as possible as well as veg and salad coming from their own greenhouse where possible. You can also enjoy a game of pool or if it’s not too busy a game of darts. Menu recommendations, everything!!

Winkle Brewery – Winkle

Now not a pub as such, but well worth a visit to the brewery tap. They produce some stunning beers, only found in pubs in the local area. So if you are around Winkle and fancy a drink or to take something home for later then do stop in.

The Lazy Trout – Meerbrook

Another country pub well worth a visit if you are around the Roaches or Tittesworth. Excellent beer and food.

The Royle Oak – Hurdlow

To the north of us The Royal Oak is an award winning pub worth calling in on your way back from Buxton or Bakewell area. Situated on the Tissington Trail it is the perfect place to have lunch if you are biking or walking.

The Duncombe Arms – Ellastone

This is one of our special occasion pubs. Every time we have been it has been a real treat. The food, atmosphere and service has always been perfect. That all said the prices are slightly higher and hence it’s our go place to for a treat.

Fine Dining

The Flintlock – Cheddlton

The Flintlock is an up and coming fine dining restaurant run by Chef Thom Bateman. Thom rose to fame on the BBC’s Great British Menu. His restaurant just 20min from the cottage is a must visit for any special occasion or just for a nice treat. They off fine dinning with tasting menus in the evening, paired with exquisite wine flights or excellent value set lunches during the day.

Feasted – Stoke on Trent

For a truly unique dining experience book you places at Feasted’s Chefs table. Situated in the Spode Pottery works, Feasted bring together seasonal local ingredients in from of your eyes as you sit in the kitchen with the team of chefs. With a strong ethos of giving an opportunity to young people Chris and his team nurture local young adults and train them as chefs and give them an opportunity of a career. The food is simply amazing and the unusual dinning experience is something you will remember for a long time.

Callow Hall – Ashbourne

Wildhives at Callow Hall country house hotel is perfect for a romantic meal or a large get together. Their beautiful modern conservatory restaurant has views across the rolling hills. Or if you would like something more private for that special occasion you can book various rooms in the house (for an extra fee).

Lunar – Barlaston

Lunar brings modern dining to Stoke! This stunning restaurant in the ground of the Wedgewood pottery is just simply stunning. Dinning under a giant moon you cant help to be impressed by the location and quality of food and service.

Cafe – Breakfast & Lunches

The Cottage Kitchen Cafe

Just on the main road 1.5 miles from the cottage, this is the perfect place to walk to for a hearty breakfast or tasty lunch. In our opinions the afternoon teas are the best in the area and well worth the visit, just for one of those! They also have a well stoked shop selling lots of treats, jams, preserves and local produce.

Ramblers Retreat – Dimmingsdale

Nestled in the woods of Dimmingsdale is this quirky cafe/restaurant is something different. With inside tables available, it is the garden that is the real attraction. Tables are spread out around fountains and water features, with cabins also available to enjoy a well earned treat after walking in the local area. Their famous Lemon Meringue pie is something else and we can personally recommend it, along with everything else on the menu!

Hettys Tea Room – Froghall

Sitting on the bank of the Caldon Canal in the Churnet Valley, the Team rooms are the place to go if you want to explore this wonderful area. The food is delicious and all home made, quiches and scones being the speciality!

Daltons Dairy – Wootton

Not so much a cafe, but if you are an ice cream fan you have to visit. Daltons Dairy produce the best local ice cream, which is always available, along with other farm products in their honesty shop 24/7. From April to Autumn they also run the Hatch, serving hot drinks and ice creams to be enjoyed in their garden or taken away.


Leek has many curry houses and they are all very good. There are also several Chinese take aways, all much of a muchness. Here are our a few of our favourite recommendations:


Our local curry house, just up on the main road and luckily for us the best in the area! As well as all the classic curry dishes they pride themselves on traditional Bangladeshi home cooking and it is delicious. You can choose to eat in or order a take away (20% discount on take away). They can get very busy as they are so popular, so we would advice ordering take away early and definitely booking a table. On Sundays from 1.30pm until 4.30pm they have a set meal Banquet! Poppadoms, selection of starters, two mains and one vegetable side, rice and nan bread all for a set price.

Angkor Wat Cambodian Take Away – Leek

This is our favourite take away for oriental food. With an amazing selection of Cambodian dishes it makes a nice change from your standard Chinese. The dishes are fresh and so tasty. It has always been cash on collection and we don’t know if they will deliver yet to us.

The Napoli Woodfired Pizza – Leek

Very good Italian pizzeria serving wood fired pizza made in their oven in the centre of the restaurant. They also serve a selection of home made pasta and other Italian dishes.

The Old Mill Smokehouse – Leek

Serving American style smoked and BBQ dishes. Something different!

The Flintlock – Cheddleton

Locally sourced fine dining experience, the Flintlock focusses on as much seasonal produce as possible. Serving elegant food in a relaxed and classy environment.

Duck Goose – Leek

Run by a local couple, passionate about good food this relaxed bistro is perfect.