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Wildhive Callow Hall: rustic treehouses and classic country house hotel style in the Peak District

One of the hives at Wildhive Callow hall (Handout)
One of the hives at Wildhive Callow hall (Handout)

Fresh out of a Victorian Gothic horror, the austere stone exterior of Callow Hall evokes more than a touch of Bronte, set amid the rolling landscape of Derbyshire’s Peak District. Built by a local magistrate as his family home in the mid-19th century, the building did not become a hotel until the 1980s.

A change of ownership just before the pandemic led to a major renovation, including the addition of a striking glass box restaurant extension and a series of treehouses away from the main house for those after a more secluded, rustic stay.

Now known as Wildhive Callow Hall – a nod to its new focus on the natural wonder on its doorstep, it is a stylish country house hotel brought bang into the 21st century.

Style

Callow Hall (Handout)
Callow Hall (Handout)

The interiors were designed by Isabella Worsley, who cut her teeth working with Kit Kemp at Firmdale Hotels and is known for her classic British style and work with local artisans and craftsmen.

It may be doing our magistrate a disservice to imagine that he would be taken aback by the warmly lit, generously heated, deep sofa-ed comfort of the hotel as it stands today but going on the evidence of the building’s exterior it certainly seems that way.

There’s an abundance of cosy nooks to sink into, all amply cushioned and decorated in mixed patterns, richly coloured upholstery and bespoke artworks.

It would be tempting indeed to spend the entirety of a visit curled up on a sofa with a book and a beverage, engaging with the peak district only through the mullioned windows.

The Garden Room restaurant (Handout)
The Garden Room restaurant (Handout)

But if nothing else can tempt you from an armchair, there’s the spa and wellness centre in the Coach House.

And to work up an appetite for dinner (or work off your Derbyshire breakfast) the map room offers plentiful inspiration for a scenic stroll or cycle along the Tissington Trail or longer jaunt up to dramatic Dovedale.

Design gem

The rustic wooden ‘hives’ up in the trees were inspired by Swedish folklore and romantic vintage caravans with hand-stencilled floral motifs by artist Tess Newall adding a hint of storybook wonder.

One of the rustic treehouse hives (Handout)
One of the rustic treehouse hives (Handout)

They offer a unique twist on the country house hotel experience, cosy in all weather (although you can be driven up from the main house in a golf buggy if the steep slope or blustery outdoors feel like an insurmountable challenge).

Get the look at home

Many of the hottest names in London interiors are included in the cosily textured mix.

Matilda Goad’s scallop-edged lampshades (from £110) are found throughout the bedrooms and common parts, while fabrics are sourced from Susan Deliss (look for the Theodora print in Old Gold, for £180/metre).

Robert Kime cushions adorn one of many cosy nooks (Handout)
Robert Kime cushions adorn one of many cosy nooks (Handout)

Robert Kime’s Harlequin Ikat cushions (£225) are another standout find.

Simple pressed flowers and botanical prints are also hung throughout a look that can be relatively easily replicated at home.

Good to know

Dinner in the restaurant features top British ingredients prepared in inventive ways but beware, the portions are unexpectedly huge for the slightly fussy style of cooking.

How to book

Rooms from £174.60 can be booked at wildhive.uk