The Old Hall Inn
Whitehough, Peak District, England
8 out of10 Telegraph expert rating
This lovely Derbyshire inn is the kind of local every village should have. Characterful buildings, comfortable rooms, excellent food, warm atmosphere and a belting selection of beers? It’s got the lot.
Suzanne King, travel writer
8 / 10
Chinley, on the western edge of the Peak District, is a 20-minute drive from Buxton, Castleton and Lyme Park (where Colin Firth/Mr Darcy took a dip in the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice). There’s easy train access (it’s on the Manchester-to-Sheffield line) and good walking right from the doorstep.
Style & character
8 / 10
The old inn buildings have been spruced up just enough to appeal to modern tastes without stripping out all the historic character. Enter the Old Hall Inn and you find a couple of smart little pub rooms, all flagged floors, wooden beams and chalky paints. Carry on and you come to the impressive Minstrel’s Gallery and dark-panelled rooms of Whitehough Hall, an Elizabethan manor house (the two buildings were knocked through many years ago), or walk through the beer garden to twin pub The Paper Mill Inn, with a rustic chic look and attractive patio.
Service & facilities
8 / 10
Service is excellent: staff are friendly, efficient and plentiful. You can borrow maps for local walks or blankets to sit on in the garden, and every September they stage a popular beer festival. Landlord Dan, a keen triathlete, can recommend all the best places to go fell-running, mountain biking or lake-swimming. There’s also a lock-up for bikes, drying room for gear and a spare stable for one horse.
7 / 10
Bedrooms — no two alike — are spread across the three buildings. The three largest, most characterful rooms are in Whitehough Hall, with stone mullioned windows and maybe a four-poster or window seat. The pub rooms (four over each inn) are smaller and simpler, with pine beds and neutral colours in the Old Hall, iron bedsteads and patchwork quilts in the Paper Mill. All feel fresh, clean and cared for, with Egyptian cotton linens on the beds and smart televisions on the walls.
Food & drink
8 / 10
Wherever you sit (pub, dining rooms or even the old family kitchen), you choose from the same menu. It’s big on classics (the steak and ale pie is a local legend), and when they say the ingredients are locally sourced, they mean it — they keep their own chickens and pigs, get their lamb from one of the chefs, and use trout and rabbit bartered from locals. The food was delicious, the wine list interesting and the range of beers nothing short of extraordinary. They also have a very respectable gin selection. And a raclette room. And an excellent breakfast. And very reasonable prices. Big ticks all round.
Value for money
8 / 10
Double rooms cost £85 (smallest) to £130 (largest; £140 at weekends); most are £95-£105. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Old Hall Inn, Whitehough
One for the walkers. The Old Hall Inn is a rambling village coaching inn idyllically situated in prime High Peak hiking country. Sunday lunches are served from 12-7:30pm in the many bustling dining rooms of this partially converted Elizabethan manor house. The food is as locally sourced as it comes – the landlord keeps chickens and pigs, and the trout comes fresh off the lines of local anglers. Nut roasts and cheese dishes are available on a vegetarian menu that changes daily. Also worthy of mention: an astounding selection of beers, which have won a fistful of Camra prizes. Its sister pub, the newly renovated Paper Mill across the green, offers even more drink and accommodation options. Borrow one of the Inn’s maps, go for a stroll and be back in time for a slap-up Sunday lunch. You don’t even need to drive here – Chinley station on the Manchester-Sheffield line is just 10 minutes walk away. Book ahead as it gets busy. Dogs are allowed in the main pub section. DH
Whitehough, High Peak, Derbyshire SK23 6EJ; 01663 750529;