Are you looking for a relaxing and beautiful place to stay in the Peak District? Do you want to enjoy the stunning scenery, the fresh air, and the outdoor activities? Do you also want to learn something new and fascinating about one of the most influential scientists of all time?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should visit Darwin Lake Holiday and Event Village, a 4-star luxury venue and self-catering holiday cottage accommodation for up to 127 guests in Peak District cottages. It is set in 20 acre grounds and has a lake that is stocked with fish for guests to enjoy. It also offers a range of outdoor activities, such as walking, cycling, and hiking in the stunning Peak District National Park. Darwin Lake also hosts many activities including watersports on its own lake, archery, bushcraft, a zip line, Yoga, beauty treatments and many other exciting pursuits that can be booked as a group.
But what makes this place so special and unique is its connection to Charles Darwin, the famous naturalist who proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection. He was born in 1809 and died in 1882. He wrote several books, including “On the Origin of Species”, which is considered one of the most influential works in the history of science.
Darwin Lake Holiday and Event Village is named after Charles Darwin, and once had a statue of him at the entrance. It has its own wedding and event venue with Charlies Bar also named after Darwin. Here you will find the Darwin nature trail that showcases some of the wildlife and plants that Darwin might have encountered during his visits to the area.
But how is Charles Darwin linked to this place? The answer lies in a nearby mansion called Sydnope Hall, which was owned by Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin, the second son of Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin. Erasmus Darwin was a prominent physician, poet, and naturalist who influenced his grandson’s ideas on evolution.
Charles Darwin visited Sydnope Hall several times in his life, and wrote about his impressions of the place in his letters and diaries. He also collected some specimens of plants and animals from the nearby woods and fields.
But what really sparked his interest and curiosity was his uncle’s hobby of breeding pigeons. Sir Francis Sacheverel Darwin and his associates were pigeon fanciers, who learned how to breed pigeons to return to their home after long flights from various locations around the country.
Charles Darwin was fascinated by the diversity and variation of the domestic pigeons, which he realized were all descended from the wild rock pigeon. He decided to keep and breed pigeons himself, and joined two London pigeon clubs and attended pigeon competitions. He studied the pigeons’ skeletons, behaviours, colours, and proportions, and compared them with those of other birds. He also corresponded with other pigeon breeders around the World and collected specimens of different breeds.
Darwin used the pigeons as an example of artificial selection, which is the process by which humans choose and breed individuals with desirable traits. He argued that a similar process of natural selection could explain the origin of species in nature, where individuals with advantageous traits would survive and reproduce better than others. He wrote about his experiments and observations with the pigeons in his famous book On the Origin of Species, which he published in 1859.
Darwin’s pigeons were not only his hobby, but also his inspiration and evidence for his theory of evolution by natural selection. He once wrote: “I have kept every known breed…and have been surprised at how much they differ from each other. It is a very curious subject.”
So, if you want to discover the Darwin connection at Darwin Lake Holiday and Event Village, you can do so by visiting this amazing destination that is close to Sydnope Hall and Sydnope Stand, which are both historic buildings that are listed as Grade II, which means they are of special interest and have historical and architectural significance . However, Sydnope Hall and Stand are no longer open to the public, as they are privately owned and divided into apartments. Therefore, you cannot visit them without the permission of the owners. You can only see them from a distance, or view some photos of them online. You can still experience the ambience of the history in this area by staying at Darwin Lake Holiday and Event Village, or visiting for an exciting event or even a wedding.
You can visit Flash Dam, because this is the name of the small reservoir near Sydnope Hall that has been renamed as Darwin Lake. Flash Dam was built in the 19th century to supply water to the local farms and villages. It is not clear whether Charles Darwin ever saw or visited the dam, but it is possible that he passed by it on his way to Sydnope Hall and probably he visited this special place too, as it has a unique wildlife and flora, all of its own. Flash Dam was renamed to Darwin Lake Holiday and Event Village, which is linked to Charles Darwin and his family, since it is close to Sydnope Hall where his uncle lived and the reservoir that was at Flash Dam is said to have fed the fountains at Sydnope Hall. These fountains apparently rivalled those of Chatsworth House back in the day, along with its gardens and waterfalls.
Darwin Lake Holiday and Event Village also has a holiday village and peak venue that can host weddings, conferences, wakes, baby showers, reunions, and many other large or small group events. It has a beautiful Darwin Hall venue that can hold up to 150 guests on either floor. It has 17 stone-built cottages that are named after historic halls, castles, stately homes, and picturesque villages found in the Derbyshire area. All the cottages are newly decorated and have open-plan kitchen and dining areas, contemporary appliances, linen and towels, and 50" smart TVs. You can also take part in its activities and fish the lake too.
So, what are you waiting for? Book your stay at Darwin Lake Holiday and Event Village today, and enjoy the best of both worlds: nature and history. You will not regret it.
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Visiting The Peak District
The stunning Peak District National Park remains one of England’s top tourist attractions. A place of outstanding natural beauty, it includes seemingly endless places to explore for outdoor activities and is a haven for walking, climbing, hiking and cycling. From picnics in tranquillity, to hikes across demanding terrain, there is something to satisfy every taste here. Nestled outside the village of Two Dales, our Holiday Village at Darwin Lake is the perfect base from which to explore it all.
- Covers more than 555 square miles
- Brings more than 22 million visitors each year
- Stretches into Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester & Staffordshire
- Great for outdoor activities