1. The Peak District
The Lake District’s slightly gentler cousin has loads to recommend it: pretty market towns like Bakewell (home of the tart!), miles of undulating hills and stately Chatsworth, home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. If the weather’s fine you could spend a whole weekend exploring the Peak District National Park on foot or on two wheels (bikes can be found at Blackwell Mill Cycle Hire), stopping off at the likes of the Devonshire Arms at Beeley for real ale and venison pie. After all that yomping about you’ll want a comfy spot to lay your head, and The Peacock at Rowsley, a historic country house near Bakewell, the plush four-poster beds will do the job nicely.
Get there two and a half hours by train from London St Pancras; around three hours by car.