Discover the White and Dark Peaks
Explore the gentle rolling hills of the Derbyshire Dales and White Peak or the more dramatic landscape of the Dark Peak, further north. Edale is a popular base for exploring the Dark Peak area and marks the start of the Pennine Way. A favourite beauty spot locally in the Dales, between Bakewell and Buxton, is Monsal Dale with its famous viaduct. There are plenty of well-mapped walks and trails for independent walkers, but if you prefer to walk with a group, consider joining a guided walk with a National Park Ranger or Ramblers Association who have something organised most weeks.
Stately Homes & Gardens
Several of the stately homes in the Derbyshire Dales are still in private hands but open to the public, including Chatsworth House and Haddon Hall which are just 5 or 6 miles away, and Tissington Hall (16m).
The Chatsworth Estate is extensive and includes Edensor Village and the famous Farm Shop at Pilsley. Major events at Chatsworth include the International Horse Trials in May and the Country Fair, normally held over the last weekend in August/ first weekend in September.
Properties owned by the National Trust include Hardwick Hall (16m) and Kedleston Hall (17m), whilst English Heritage boasts Bolsover Castle (17.5m).
A hidden gem of a garden in the Derbyshire Dales is Lea Gardens, just 5 miles away, with 4.5 acres of rhododendrons and azaleas, a sight to behold in the Spring.
Industrial Archaeology and UNESCO World Heritage Site
We are fortunate to be so close to the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage site. Cromford Mill (5m) was the first water powered cotton spinning mill developed by Richard Arkwright in 1771, while Masson Mills (4m) in Matlock Bath are the finest surviving and best preserved example of an Arkwright Cotton Mill. Srutt’s North Mill in Belper (12m) is one of the oldest surviving examples in the world of an iron-framed “fire-proof” building.
A hidden gem in the Derbyshire Dales is Lumsdale (3m), a wooded gorge of outstanding natural beauty tucked away high above Matlock. One of the best examples of a water powered industrial archaeological site in Britain, its atmosphere of romantic decay is being carefully preserved by the Arkwright Society and local residents.
You can learn about the Peak District’s rocks and minerals, particularly Derbyshire’s famous Blue John which is only found in the caverns at Castleton, and experience the forgotten world of the Derbyshire lead miners at the Peak District Mining Museum at Matlock Bath.
If you walk across the hills and moors, you will be amazed when you stumble across unfinished and broken millstones along the area’s gritstone edges. Originally destined for nearby mills, they were just abandoned when industry no longer needed them, and now only add to the beauty of the landscape.
Crich Tramway Village (8m) is home to the National Tramway Museum and you can take a ride on several of the working trams in a traditional street setting, or you can experience the nostalgia of steam train travel on one of the several stretches of heritage railway: Ecclesbourne Valley, Churnet Valley or Peak Rail at Matlock.
“The Peakland Lake District”
The upper valley of the Derwent is dominated by three manmade reservoirs: Ladybower, Howden and Derwent, built to supply drinking water for the cities and towns of the north and east midlands. You can learn about their construction, the lost villages and how 617 Squadron used the Derwent and Howden Dams for their training runs prior to their attack on the great dams of Germany in World War II.
Visit our Beautiful Towns and Villages
The picturesque market towns of Bakewell (6m), Wirksworth (7m), Belper (12m) and Ashbourne (16m) are all worth a visit, together with Chesterfield (10m), famous for its leaning spire, while the spa town of Buxton (18m) boasts its very own Opera House, the Pavilion Gardens and its newly renovated spa.
To name a few of the villages: Eyam, which was ravaged and isolated by the Plague in 1665; picturesque Tissington which has the earliest recorded examples of the Derbyshire well dressing tradition, Tideswell known as “cathedral of the Peak” and Winster, site of one of the last duels in England.
Including fly fishing on the Derbyshire Wye, a seven mile stretch of some of the best dry fly fishing in the UK, shooting and golf.
Including The Opera House, Buxton, Buxton Festival and Wirksworth Festival, a leading rural arts festival held in September.