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Touring Derbyshire



Monsal Head Panorama by Barbara Ballard


Derbyshire’s variety of attractions provides something of interest for everyone visiting this beautiful part of England. High hills, heather clad moorlands, scenic rivers, gentle dales and valleys compete for attention.

Dovedale River Walk by Barbara Ballard Derbyshire is home to the Peak District National Park, an area of limestone cliffs and crags and empty moorlands. Reservoirs provide opportunities for fishing, and walking trails crisscross the landscape. Axe Edge, a gritstone escarpment, offers dramatic views. To enjoy this 1870- foot-long feature of the landscape, drive the A54 Buxton to Congleton or the A53 Buxton to Leek road.

Derbyshire Stone Wall view by Barbara Ballard In the southern park area drystone walls dividing pastureland characterize the landscape at every turn. Here are dales and woodlands and nature reserves. Dovedale is one of the most scenic and therefore most popular of the dales. A riverside path unfolds the beauty of its wooded slopes, and meandering turns reveal white rocks carved by water over time into unusual features.

Ashford in Water Church Derbyshire by Barbara Ballard Historic churches are a feature of many of the villages throughout the county from Steetley chapel, one of the finest Norman chapels in England to St Peter’s in Elmton with its unusual west tower to St Chad’s parish church in Pleasley Vale with its stained glass windows and carved screen.
The market town of Ashbourne in the far south is the gateway to the Peak District park. Red brick buildings characterise this town that saw a building boom during Georgian times. Stroll down Church street and St John street to take them in. St Oswald, a cruciform parish church with the tallest spire in the Peak district, has been described as the ‘finest parish church in England’. In the town is the Derwent crystal factory where you can view lead crystal in production.

Buxton, the highest market town in England and the main town in the park, was once a spa resort but use of the waters fell into decline in the 20th century. The Romans first took advantage of the warm springs that reached their peak of use in 1863 with the opening of the railway to the town. Buildings and gardens are a legacy from that time. The 18th century Crescent copied Bath’s famous building of the same name. The Devonshire Royal hospital began as a stable for horses. Its 164-foot dome is reputed to be one of the largest unsupported spans in western Europe.

Youlgreave’s Church of All Saints has a splendid tower. The road by the church leads to the river with its packhorse and clapper bridges. In the village are grand Georgian houses and an old hall.

Walkers will want to head to Monyash, an isolated village with a market green and cross. It’s the start of several popular walks, and there’s a village pub to come back to.

The village of Stanton in Peak sits next to Stanton Moor with more than 70 barrows and cairns from prehistoric times. The Nine Ladies is the best known of the stone circles.

Ashford Peak National Park Derbyshire by Barbara Ballard Ashford-in-the-Water is one of the Peak District’s most charming villages. A packhorse bridge, 18th century buildings and an unspoiled pub add to the atmosphere.

Bakewell’s claim to fame lies in its Bakewell puddings, a tasty type of strawberry jam tart with a long history. The busy market town is full of old buildings of interest from its 12th century church to the old town hall of 1684, home to the information centre.

Eyam Church yard Celtic Cross by Barbara Ballard Northeast of Buxton, Eyam is known as the plague village. In 1665 a box of cloth, sent from London to the village tailor, was infected with the plague, which began to spread throughout the village. A year later only 90 villagers remained unscathed. Walk around Eyam and note the plaques on village houses—poignant reminders of those who died here. Nearby, Eyam Moor is dotted with ancient stone circles and burial mounds and provides magnificent views across the Derwent Valley.

The Longshaw estate, owned by the National Trust, comprises 1500 acres of open moorland and woodland. There’s a visitor centre.

Castle Inn at Castleton Derbyshire by Barbara Ballard Castleton, a former leading mining town, is the site of several underground caverns containing a banded form of fluorospar called Blue John, used in the making of jewellery. Visits to the caverns are on offer.

Tideswell Church Derbyshire Dales by Barbara Ballard At Tideswell is the ‘cathedral of the Peak’. This cruciform church dates from the 1300s. Tombs, brasses and wood carvings are part of the attraction in this large church, built with wool and lead money.

Chatsworth House closeup by Barbara Ballard Chatsworth, one of Britain’s treasure houses, is worth a full day’s visit. Nestled in the lush green valley of the River Derwent, it’s an unforgettable site and a home in the grand manner. Sited in a 1000-acre park, Chatsworth has been home to the Cavendish family, the Dukes of Devonshire since 1549. It once belonged to Bess of Hardwick, the richest woman in England in 1590, barring the Queen. Room after room is filled with paintings, gilding, marble, antique furniture and gold and silver plate.

Haddon Hall view by Barbara Ballard Haddon Hall is a medieval manor house. The building spans from the 12th through the 17th centuries and is thought to be the most complete house of its type to survive from the early middle ages. A long gallery, kitchen, banquet hall and great chamber are open for viewing. Rose lovers won’t want to miss the garden, home to England’s oldest roses.

Matlock Bath view from hill top by Barbara Ballard Outside the park boundaries the county has other attractions. On the eastern edge of the park is the Victorian town of Matlock Bath, sitting in a deep gorge. The bustling town has a cable car ride to the top of the cliff with views over the landscape awaiting.

Glossop, in existence since the Domesday Survey of 1086, has many old stone houses, shops and parks. The first weekend in September it stages a two day Victorian entertainment.

Chesterfield Crooked Spire Church by Barbara Ballard Chesterfield is a busy industrial area and the start of the dramatic moor drive on the A619 to Baslow. The town’s landmark is a crooked church spire sitting atop St Mary and All Saints. A heritage and information centre offers the history of the area along with town walks.

In the city of Derby at the cathedral on Queen street is the grave of Bess of Hardwick. The Derby Industrial museum, in an original silk mill, tells the story of the city’s industrial past while the Heritage centre at the old Tudor hall is the starting point for ghost walks and other tours. Derby is home to the Royal Crown Derby museum. Don’t miss the collection of porcelain dating from 1756 to the present day.

Calke Abbey by Barbara Ballard South of Derby is Calke abbey, little changed since the 1880s. The National Trust baroque mansion was home to several eccentric members of the same family and retains all their belongings.

Wirksworth Church Derbyshire by Barbara Ballard North of Derby and south of Chesterfield lies the Amber valley. Go to Wirksworth to visit the church set in a circular mini-close. In the church is a coffin lid dating back to the 7th century. Wirksworth is also home to several ‘well dressings’, an ancient Roman custom adopted by Derbyshire residents. Wells are decorated with elaborate designs made of flowers to give thanks for the water. They’ve become quite a tourist attraction. A heritage centre in a former silk mill details the history of the town.

Crich Tramway Museum Derbyshire by Barbara Ballard At Crich just east of Wirksworth is the National Tramway Museum. Here are all the details on the development of the tram. Aficionados will enjoy the short but interesting ride in an old tramcar. The hill village has a medieval market cross.

Sudbury Hall Derbyshire by Barbara Ballard 17th century Sudbury Hall is known for its ornate plasterwork and the museum of childhood. Don’t miss the 1903 dress made to look like peacock feathers at Kedleston Hall.The dress belonged to Lady Curzon, wife of Lord Curzon, viceroy of India. Kedelston Hall Derbyshire by Barbara Ballard Kedleston is a Palladian mansion in the grand sense. The interior boasts a marble hall, stucco ceilings and state drawing room.

Carnfield Hall Case with display by Barbara Ballard In South Normanton is Carnfield Hall with a restored 15th century great parlour, a Jacobean staircase, antique porcelain and glass and more collections than one could imagine.

Near Higham estate village with its 17th century buildings and market cross are the ruins of Wingfield Manor, a country mansion that served as one of the prisons for Mary Queen of Scots.

Bolsover Castle interior Derbyshire by Barbara Ballard On Derbyshire’s border with Nottingham is Bolsover, a small market town. It is home to Bolsover Castle built by the Earl of Shrewsbury. The interior of the 17th century building is rich in carved fireplaces, panelling and painted ceilings. Next to the castle is a model village, an example of colliery village architecture. The church of St Mary and St Lawrence on Hornscroft road has a 13th century spire, Saxon coffins and a 14th century font.

Hardwick Hall by Barbara Ballard Hardwick Old Hall Derbyshire by Barbara Ballard Hardwick Hall and Hardwick Old Hall, sited next to each other, are major Derbyshire attractions.The Old Hall is the ruin of Bess of Hardwick’s first manor house, while Hardwick Hall, her elaborate mansion house, is one of the purest examples of 16th century décor. Fireplaces, friezes, needlework and tapestries set off the architecture. On the estate is Stainsby mill.

The Creswell crags is a limestone gorge with subterranean prehistoric caves.
Winster Derbyshire bldg by Barbara Ballard Derwent Valley Road Peak National Park by Barbara Ballard Villages of stone-built houses wait to be discovered. Bustling market towns beckon. Dramatic scenery holds sway over all. No matter where you go in Derbyshire, both the landscape and man-made features offer attractions along the way.

Derbyshire Attractions

For opening times and full details of attractions see the Attractions section of our website.

Arbor Low Bronze Age site
In field off farm track at Upper Oldhams Farm, five miles south-west of Bakewell

Blue John Cavern
Castleton
Tel. 0 1433 620 638/620 642
Web: Blue John Cavern

Bolsover Castle (EH)
Castle Street, Bolsover
Tel. 0 1246 822 844
For full details and photos see our article Bolsover Castle

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery
Terrace Road, Buxton SK17 6DA
Tel: 0 1629 533 540

Calke Abbey
Ticknall
Tel. 0 1332 863 822

‘Cathedral of the Peak’
(St John the Baptist church)
Tideswell
Tel. not given

Carnfield Hall
Alfreton
Tel. 0 1773 520 084
For full details see our article at Carnfield Hall

Castleton Village Museum
Methodist Church School Room, Buxton Road, Castleton
Tel: 0 1433 620 950
For photos and more information see our article Castleton

Catton Hall
Catton, Walton on Trent, Swadlincote
Tel. 0 1283 716 311
Web: Catton Hall

Chatsworth
Three miles east of Bakewell
Tel. 0 1246 582 204
For photos and full details see our article at Chatsworth
Web: Chatsworth

Conkers
On B586 Rawdon Road in Moira near Ashby de la Zouch
Tel. 0 1283 216 633
Web: Conkers

Derby Museum of History and Industry
Derby city
Tel. 0 1332 255 308
Note: closed April 2011 for two years due to budget constraints

Derby Museum and Art Gallery
Derby city
Tel. 0 1332 716 659

Derwent Valley Mills
In various locations in Derwent Valley
Tel. 0 1629 539 781
Web: Derwent Valley Mills

Elvaston Castle Country Park
Borrowash Rd (B5010)
Elvaston
Tel. 0 1332 571 342

Eyam Hall
Eyam village centre
Tel. 0 1433 631 976
For photos and more information see our article Eyam
Web: Eyam Hall

Haddon Hall
1.5 miles south of Bakewell
Tel. 0 1629 812 855
Web: Haddon Hall

Hardwick Hall and Stainsby Mill
Six miles west of Mansfield
Tel. 0246 850 430

Hardwick Old Hall
Six miles west of Mansfield
Tel. 0 1246 850 431

Ilam Park
Ilam, near Ashbourne
Tel. 0 1335 350 245

Kedleston Hall
Five miles north-west of Derby
Tel. 0 1332 842 191

Longshaw Estate
7.5 miles from Sheffield, next to A625 Sheffield-Hathersage road; carpark off B6055 nearby

Matlock Farm Park
Jaggers lane, near Two Dales, Matlock, DE4 5LH
Follow brown signs from A623 (Chesterfield/Matlock)
or A6 (Bakewell/Matlock)
Tel. 01246 590 200
Web: Matlock Farm Park

Melbourne Hall and Gardens
Church Square, Melbourne
Tel. 0 1332 862 502
Web: Melbourne Hall

Moira Furnace
Furnace Lane, Moira
Tel. 0 1283 224 667

National Tramway Museum
Crich
Tel. 0870 75 87267
Web: National Tramway Museum

Nine Ladies Stone Circle
On Stanton Moor, five miles south-east of Bakewell off unclassified road
Tel. 0 1629 816 200

Old House Museum
Bakewell, Derbyshire
Tel. 0 1629 813 642
Web: Old House Museum

Pavilion Gardens
St John’s Rd, Buxton, Derbyshire
Tel. 0 1298 23114
Web: Pavillion Gardens

Peak Cavern
Castleton
Tel: 0 1433 620 285
Web: Peak Cavern

Peveril Castle
Castleton
Tel. 0 1433 620 613

Poole’s Cavern
Green Lane, .5 mile from Buxton town centre, Buxton Country Park
Tel. 0 1298 26978
Web: Poole’s Cavern

Renishaw Hall and Gardens
Renishaw, near Sheffield
Tel. 0 1246 432 310
Web: Renishaw Hall and Gardens

Rosliston Forestry Centre
Burton Rd, Rosliston
Swadlincote, Derbyshire DE12 8JX
Tel. 0 1283 563 483
Web: Rosliston Forestry Centre

Royal Crown Derby Factory and Museum
194 Osmaston Road, Derby
Web: Royal Crown Derby

Sharpe’s Pottery Museum
West St, Swadlincote
Tel. 0 1283 222 600

Speedwell Cavern
Winnats Pass at Castleton
Tel. 0 1433 620 512
Web: Speedwell Cavern

Staunton Harold Reservoir and Visitor Centre
Calke Rd, Windmill Hill, Melbourne
Tel. 0 1332 865 081

Sudbury Hall and Museum of Childhood
Six miles east of Uttoxeter and A50/A515 junction
Tel. 0 1283 585 337

Tapton Lock Visitor Centre
Lockoford Lane, Chesterfield
On Chesterfield canal
Tel: 0 1246 551 035

Wingfield Manor
Off B5035, .5 mile south of Wingfield village, no parking, by foot only
Tel. 0 1773 832 060

Winster Market House
Main St, Winster, Derbyshire
Tel. 0 1335 350 503

Tourist Information Centres

Ashbourne TIC
13 Market Place, Ashbourne, DE6 1EU
Tel. 0 1335 343 666
Email: Ashbourne TIC

Bakewell Visitor Centre
The Old Market Hall
Bridge Street, Bakewell, DE45 1DS
Tel. 0 1629 816 558 (Peak District National Park Visitor Centre Information Line)
Fax: 0 1629 814 782
Email: Bakewell Visitor Centre
Open: Easter-end Oct, 9:30am-5:30pm; Nov-Easter, 10–5pm; 25/26 Dec

Buxton
The Crescent, Buxton, SK17 6BQ
Tel. 0 1298 25106
Email: Buxton TIC

Castleton Centre
Buxton Road, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WN
Tel. 0 1629 816 558 (Peak District National Park Visitor Centre Information Line)
Fax: 0 1433 623 726
Email: Castleton Centre
Open: Easter-end Oct, 9:30am - 5:30pm; Nov-Easter, 10-5pm

Chesterfield
Rykneld Square
Chesterfield, S40 1SB
Tel. 0 1246 345 777
Email: Chesterfield Visitor Centre

Derby
Assembly Rooms, Market Place
Derby, DE1 3AH
Tel. 0 1332 255 802
Email: Derby Visitor Centre

Glossop TIC
Henry Street, Glossop, SK13 8BW
Tel. 0 1457 855 920
Email: Glossop TIC

Leek TIC
1 Market Place, Leek, ST13 5HH
Tel. 0 1538 483 741
Email: Leek TIC

Matlock TIC
Crown Square, Matlock, DE4 3AT
Tel. 0 1629 583 388
Email: Matlock TIC

Matlock Bath TIC
The Pavilion, Matlock Bath, DE4 3NR
Tel. 0 1629 55082
Email: Matlock Bath TIC

Moorland Centre
Fieldhead, Edale, Hope Valley, S33 0BA
Tel. 0 1433 670 207
Email: Moorland Centre
Open: Easter-end Oct, Mon-Fri, 9:30am-5pm (closed for lunch); Sat and Sun, 9:30am- 5:30pm (closed for lunch); Nov-Easter, Mon-Fri, 10am-3.30pm; Sat and Sun, 9:30am-4.30pm (closed for lunch)

National Forest
Bath Yard
Moira, Swadlincote, Derbyshire, DE12 6BD
Tel. 0 1283 551 211
Email: National Forest
Web: National Forest and Visit the National Forest

Ripley
Town Hall, Market Place
Ripley, DE5 3BT
Tel. 0 1773 841 488
Email: Amber Valley Tourism

Swadlincote TIC
Sharpe’s Pottery Museum
West St, Swadlincote DE11 9DG
Tel. 0 1283 222 848
Email: Swadlincote TIC
Web: South Derbyshire Government Tourism
Open: Mon-Sat, 10am-4.30pm

Upper Derwent Visitor Centre
Fairholmes, Derwent, Bamford
Hope Valley, S33 0AQ
Tel. 0 1433 650 953
Email: Upper Derwent Visitor Centre
Open: Nov - Jan, Mon-Fri, 10am-3:30pm; Sat and Sun, 9:30am-4:30pm (closed 30 minutes for lunch); closed Christmas Day; Jan- mid Feb, Sat and Sun only, 9:30am-4:30pm (closed 1 hour for lunch); mid Feb-Easter, Mon-Fri, 10am-3:30pm; Sat and Sun, 9:30am-4:30pm (closed 30 minutes for lunch); Easter-end Oct, Mon-Fri, 9:30am-5pm (closed 30 minutes for lunch); Sat and Sun, 9:30am-5:30pm (closed 30 minutes for lunch)

Photos by Barbara Ballard

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Some of our East Midlands Articles
Belvoir Castle
Castleton
Eyam, the Plague Village
Manor House Mayhem
Above the Vaults
Lost Graves of Sempringham
Flag Fen
Historic Lincolnshire Churches
Newstead Abbey
Haddon Hall
For more on this region check out our Articles page and each East Midlands county page.
Some of our Derbyshire Articles
Chatsworth
Castleton
Eyam, the Plague Village
Manor House Mayhem
Charnwood, a National Forest
Bolsover Castle
Haddon Hall
Peak District National Park
Kedleston Hall
Hardwick Old Hall
Ashford in the Water
Other England Articles

Chy-an-Dour B and B in Ashford-in-the-Water, Derbyshire
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