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The Moon Inn
The pub accomodation has just undergone comprehensive luxury refurbishment, individual, elegant and refined our rooms creating an interesting mix of rustic and modern interiors throughout, and we now offer seven luxury en-suite rooms.
We are dog friendly and welcome guests of the four legged kind alongside our human guests, though we do ask that owners follow the following?guidelines?when bringing their faithful companion with them to The Moon to?ensure a comfortable stay for yourself, your pet and fellow guests. See website link below for full details.
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THE MOON INN REVIEW
Steve and Nia Bridgewater, along with Miniature Poodles Howie and Franklin, stay at the Moon Inn and take a walk to Eyam in Derbyshire. Discovering more about the original ‘locked-down’ village.
The Original Lockdown
The Coronavirus lockdown of 2020 has been difficult for many of us, but 350 years ago the villagers in Eyam, Derbyshire proved that the human spirit can prevail in the most frightening of circumstances.
In 1665, local tailor Alexander Hadfield ordered a bale of cloth from London to make into clothes for the villagers. With the Bubonic plague running rife in the capital he unwittingly triggered a chain of events that led to the death of some 260 villagers.
Infected fleas from the fabric killed the tailor’s assistant within seven days, quickly followed by his two stepsons, a neighbour and the tailor himself.
It was clear the much-feared plague had reached the village, but rather than flee, the local rector urged the villagers to quarantine themselves. By allowing nobody to enter or leave the village – fully knowing that many would not survive – they would prevent the spread of the plague. The rector ordered the villagers to bury their dead in their own gardens to further prevent the spread of the disease and supplies were left at the outskirts of the village by good Samaritans. The locals paid with coins which were placed in the boundary stone and soaked in vinegar to sterilise them.
Families cared for loved ones with minimal knowledge and no such thing as protective equipment. A number of ‘remedies’ were suggested with one of the more unusual being administered to a female patient by the apothecary, William Boghurst. He later noted “I laid a great mastiff puppy dog upon her breast two or three hours together and made her drink Dill, Penny-royal, Fennel and Aniseed water, for she was a fat woman and could bear it.’’
Eyam is a tale of self-sacrifice and is respectfully preserved by modern-day inhabitants. Many houses and cottages have boards outside, bearing poignant lists of those who lived and died there. Particularly moving are the Riley Graves, about a mile from the centre of the village. Here, Elizabeth Hancock singlehandedly dragged the corpses of her husband and six children, dug their graves and buried them within a few days of each other.
We have now visited the area twice with our two dogs; both times staying in the Moon Inn in the neighbouring village of Stoney Middleton.
Our first visit was an impromptu weekend away in spring. We looked up dog friendly pubs with accommodation on the Friday afternoon and arrived a few hours later. Suffice to say it rained so hard that we only ventured as far as the bar and spent the bulk of the time in our room watching the Six Nations rugby!
However, we were so impressed that we were determined to return. The next time it was a gloriously hot summer weekend when we took our friends Alexandra and Jeff and their Border Terriers, Bobby and Rupert.
Now, she’ll be the first to admit it but let’s just say Alex can be ‘difficult’ to cater for. She’s a vegan who’s also allergic to gluten!
She e-mailed the Moon Inn a week or so before our visit to ask for a copy of the menu and was surprised to receive a phone call from the chef. Rather than treat the issue as a problem he saw it as a challenge and took great pride in creating an incredible tailormade menu especially for her for both breakfast and the evening meal.
We had previously learned on our first rain-soaked visit that the ‘normal’ menu was of equally impressive quality and for those with varying appetites is available in ‘Full Moon’ or ‘Half Moon’ portions. Specialities include Crespellas (Italian savoury pancakes) and the highly recommended Moon Inn Steak Pie.
There’s also a selection of real ales and 60 (yes, sixty!) different varieties of gin on offer in the bar.
Dogs are very welcome in the bar and restaurant areas as well as the seven luxurious suites built onto the rear of the pub. The Denman Suite has a four-poster King and two single beds making it very family friendly, whereas the others have King or Super King beds.
Outside there’s a pleasant, enclosed beer garden but in the event of bad weather you’re welcome to take drinks to your room or retire to the bar.
The Moon Inn has a long history of providing good service. In the 1862 edition of White's Directories it is listed as “an excellent inn and posting-house... kept by Mr Robert Heginbotham, where visitors and tourists will find superior accommodation, and the most-polite attention.”
However, not quite everybody has received a warm welcome at the inn. During the eighteenth century, a travelling salesman from Scotland visited the area to sell his wares. The story is told that he reported another group of pedlars for illegal trading, and by way of revenge, they murdered him in one of the pub’s outbuildings. The body was discovered in a local cavern 20 years later and identified by the distinctive buckles on the shoes, which someone had remembered the salesman wearing.
Out & About
Stoney Middleton lies within the Peak District National Park and is popular with rock climbers, but if your four-legged friend is happier on more horizontal ground there are a multitude of walks to choose from. That said, the village has some steep inclines so is perhaps not best suited to those less able to get around.
Many of the walking routes can be downloaded in advance from the pub’s website, including the 4-mile long walk from the pub to Eyam. This includes a short stroll along the banks of the River Derwent and you’ll pass the aforementioned Riley Graves and the Boundary Stone where the locals left their vinegar soaked coins.
Eyam itself has two village shops and a number of delightful tearooms, many of which are dog friendly. Public toilets are located on the car park directly opposite the Eyam Museum. There are memorial plaques on many of the houses allowing you to pause for a moment to learn the occupants’ fates. (We visited Eyam Tea Rooms and Bed & Breakfast (www.eyamtearooms.co.uk). Others are the Village Green Cafe (www.cafevillagegreen.com) and The Coolstone (www.thecoolstone.co.uk) - the latter being more of a cafe than a tea room)
On your return to the Moon Inn, keep your eyes peeled for the ‘Lover’s Leap’. This 80ft high limestone cliff overhang acquired its name following an incident in 1762, when a young woman by the name of Hannah Baddeley attempted suicide after being jilted by her lover. She leapt from the top of the cliff but her billowing petticoats acted as a parachute and she landed in the brambles with nothing but cuts and bruises!
Directly beneath the cliffs, on the main road, is the famous Lover’s Leap Café: a popular stop for walkers and rock climbers. The main road is also home to the unusual octagonal Toll House, which was built in 1840 to collect a fee from passing travellers using the road. Today it offers fish and chips in return for your money!
Tart or Pudding?
Just four miles south of Stoney Middleton is the town of Bakewell. Perhaps best known for its famous dessert, the town has many more tempting treats to offer visitors. Its stone buildings, medieval five-arched bridge and quaint courtyards are a magnet for sightseers; walks along the banks of the River Wye are an ideal way to relax in the sunshine.
But of course, it’s the dessert that tempted us to visit! Legend has it that the delicious dish was created by mistake in 1820 when the landlady of a local pub left instructions for her cook to make a jam tart. Instead of stirring the eggs and almond paste mixture into the pastry the cook spread it on top of the jam. When cooked, the egg and almond paste set like an egg custard. The debate rages as to whether the Bakewell Pudding or the later (20th century) Bakewell Tart is better – so why not pop into The Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop and decide for yourself?
Bakewell is perfectly located to enjoy a few hours away from the Moon Inn, exploring the shops, taking in the scenery or even touring (and maybe sampling the wares of) the Thornbridge Brewery.
The nearby stately home of Chatsworth House is the seat of the Duke of Devonshire and has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549.
The house, which was the brainchild of Bess of Hardwick, is set in expansive parkland and is truly spectacular. Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome in the garden and parkland and the Cavendish family has specifically created three dog friendly walks through the grounds (which are downloadable from the house’s website). Dogs are not allowed in the house but there are posts where dogs can be left while owners explore inside. Doggy drinking stations are also available in various locations. Chatsworth even boasts their own #Chatswoof Twitter handle for dog owners to share their memories.
A number of events take place within the grounds each year and the annual Chatsworth Country Show is a particular favourite with dog owners.
Would We Return?
Howie and Franklin loved their time at the Moon Inn and the surrounding area. They enjoyed showing Bobby and Rupert around on their return visit and the ‘grown-ups’ enjoyed the bar, restaurant and walking.
We will certainly be returning, but what about Alex and Jeff? Well, they loved it so much they booked in to return for their wedding anniversary just two weeks later!
PRICES Rooms start at £90 per night for a King room or £130 for a Family room. Dogs are charged at £10 per dog per night.
ACCOMMODATION Seven luxury suites with a mix of King and Super King beds. We stayed in the Denman Suite on our first trip and the Nook Suite on our return visit. The rooms have recently been refurbished to a very high standard and feature individual and elegant designs incorporating an interesting mix of rustic and modern features. Rooms include free WiFi.
THE MOON INN REVIEW BY STEPHEN BRIDGEWATER APPEARS IN DOGFRIENDLY MAGAZINE ISSUE 61. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE DOGFRIENDLY MAGAZINE VISIT WWW.DOGFRIENDLY.CO.UK/MAGAZINE.
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