From £130
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The Cow is one of a new breed of cool boutique inns that have begun to pop up around the fringes of the Peak District. And very welcome it is, too, with a peaceful village-green setting, a crowd-pleasing menu in the cosy bar and 12 stylishly decorated and well-equipped bedrooms.

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Rooms available from £130 per night

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From Derby city centre to the south or the small town of Ashbourne to the north, it's around a 20-minute drive to Dalbury Lees. A quiet village surrounded by farmland, it would pass entirely under most people's radar was it not for The Cow, sitting pretty at the northern tip of the village green. Kedleston Hall is five miles away and worth visiting, both for the mansion itself and for the picturesque parkland surrounding it.

By car: around 1 hour 10 minutes from Sheffield, 1 hour 20 minutes from Birmingham and 3 hours from London. There is free parking on site.

By train: direct trains run to Derby from Sheffield Station (30 minutes), Birmingham New Street (45 minutes) and London St Pancras (1 hour 20 minutes). The hotel is around a 20-minute taxi ride from Derby Station. Book trains to Derby.

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It's the very definition of rustic-chic, teaming reclaimed timbers and cleaned-up farming implements with luxurious fabrics and pendant copper lamps. The bar/restaurant keeps its traditional feel, with wooden furnishings and gilt-framed paintings on bare brick walls, but adds enough contemporary touches to make it feel fresh and modern at the same time.


One bedroom can convert into a stylish meeting room if needed, with room to host events for up to a dozen people. There are electric car charging points in the car park and a couple of nearby places, including a golf club, offer discounts for Cow guests. Service is welcoming and attentive.

  • Bar
  • Restaurant
  • Garden
  • Terrace
  • Electric charging
  • Pet friendly
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi


The 12 bedrooms have a calm, cossetting vibe, with pale colours, natural woods and the luxurious design values of a boutique hotel. The look veers (successfully) between Victoriana, New England and shabby chic - there might be a large gilt-framed mirror and antique desk or a cow-hide stool, whitewashed timbers and shaggy-fleeced cushion.

Room types: Rooms 1-12

Key amenities: ensuite bathroom with Molton Brown toiletries, smart TV, tea and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi


The bar is a convivial place to dine and the menu has lots of small-plate dishes designed for sharing, from hummus and olives to kedgeree arancini and black pudding bon bons. You'll also find classic pub mains such as sirloin steak or fish and chips, and the small pudding section includes a board of local cheeses.

Restaurant: refined yet hearty gastropub food. Open Mon-Fri 12-3pm, Mon-Sat 5-8pm, Sun 12-8pm. Dinner mains from £11.95.

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