The Peak District


Perhaps the most famous place in Derbyshire is Chatsworth House home of the Devonshire Family. It is one of most prestigious stately homes in the country. It has 105 acres of beautiful grounds, wonderful water features and sculptures. There is also a farm which will appeal to younger members of the family. Chatsworth also has a very popular Farm Shop located in the village of Pilsley 1.5 miles from the House. This sells arrange of locally sourced foods. There is a Farm Shop restaurant which is well worth a visit. During the Christmas period, Chatsworth hosts a Christmas Festival.

Haddon Hall near Bakewell is the oldest example of a medieval manor house. The house was lovingly restored in the 1920's and is well worth a visit. If you were a fan of Jane Eyre, Elizabeth, the Other Boleyn Girl or Pride and Prejudice you may recognise the house. It is a very popular film set.
Hardwick Hall, near  Chesterfield, is a  National Trust property. It is described as an "Elizabethan Masterpiece". It was created by Bess of Hardwick in the 15th century and has had a chequered history.

Lyme Park - A National Trust property located near Stockport on the edge of the Peak District. If you remember the scene from Pride and Prejudice when D'Arcy swims across the lake and meets Elizabeth Bennett, then this is a place to visit!! It is a 1300 acre estate and stately home.


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Buxton is a historic spa town and has a number of beautiful buildings the Pavilion, the Opera House, the Crescent, and the Pavilion Gardens and is only a short drive from the cottages. Ideal also for shopping with a Morrison's, M&S/Waitrose and Aldi. It also has a number of independent shops and is famous for Buxton Water. However it also has a municipal swimming pool if you don’t want to drink it.
If you have read Testament of Youth or saw the Television adaptation then Buxton is a must to visit. Melrose was the home of Vera Brittain (mother of Shirley Williams) it also has the hospital where she trained as a VAD. There is also the war memorial to her brother who died in World War 1.


Bakewell is a very pretty town and is located in the heart of the Peak Park. The home of the world famous Bakewell Pudding. It is very picturesque and has many independent shops. In the first week of August the annual Bakewell Show is held on the showground a must see for all visitors, spread out over three days it has something for all the family and is a great day out.


Well Dressing is an old Derbyshire custom and throughout the Spring and Summer many of the villages display dressings made by the locals. The link below has all the dates for the local welldressings (a tradition unique to Derbyshire) and gives dates of when the welldressings will be on display and also where you can view them in the making (this will be the week before they are displayed). It is also a good guide for the many annual carnival and wakes celebrations. Well dressing is celebrated in more than sixty towns and villages throughout the area. The village wells are decorated with flower petals, berries, moss, cones and seeds, which are pressed into clay held in a wooden framework. It is a difficult task but the results are wonderful. Tideswell is famous for its four wells and during June each year before Wakes Week the wells are dressed. The entire week is one of celebration, decoration and culminates in a carnival and torchlight procession.

www.welldressing.com
 

Ashbourne is a picturesque market town that lies to the south of the Peak District. This has some excellent shops and is quite a centre for antiques.
Close by is Alton Towers Theme Park, probably the best loved theme park in the Uk. If you have nerves of steel try the Nemesis ride Th13teen or The Blade just three of the rides you can experience.

The Peak District National Park offers some of the best walking country in the England. Walks are available for all levels of expertise. Some of the following are the most popular: Mam Tor, Castleton, Edale, the Monsal Trail, The Tissington Trail, Goyt Valley, Dovedale and Stanage Edge. all these are in easy reach of Tideswell.

Cycle Trail
There are many cycle tracks in the area and bikes can be hired or you may bring your own cycles.  The Tissington Trail runs from Parsley Hay to Ashbourne it follows the route of the former Buxton and Ashbourne railway line. The Derwent Reservoir offers over 14 miles of safe cycling paths and some spectacular views, the Dambusters practiced their runs on these dams. Come and enjoy the traffic free Monsal Trail with its range of bicycles, tag-a-longs and child seats. Give the whole family a great day out in the beautiful Peak District, and now the spectacular tunnels are open there's nothing to stop you!

Carsington Water in the south of the Peak offers 8 miles of leisurely cycling.

The Goyt Valley is another more challenging cycling opportunity. There are many more cycling opportunities for the more experienced.
Eyam the Plague Village is a short journey from Tideswell. It offers a fascinating insight into the Plague that struck Europe in the 17th Century. In 1665 a village tailor received a bale of cloth from London. It contained fleas contaminated with the plague. The tailor died within the week,  the villagers decided to quarantine themselves to prevent the spread of the deadly disease. Follow the trail and the tragic story of village of Eyam.

Why not try one of the many walks to be found in the area.  There are trails ideal for someone just wanting a leisurly stroll to the more determined walker who likes a good hill and a challenge.  Many websites are available where you can get details of circular walks and trails www.walkingenglishman.com and www.visitpeakdistrict.com are just a starting point where you can download maps etc before your arrival.

Matlock  and Matlock Bath two lovely places to visit. Matlock is the county town of Derbyshire. Matlock is the traditional town with the railway at its heart.
Matlock Bath developed in the Victorian era. Take a ride on the cable car to the Heights of Abraham. Visit Arkwrights famous mill at Cromford. Enjoy the thrills Gullivers of Kingdom  theme park ideal for younger families. Venture into the show caverns or stroll through the Pleasure Gardens along the banks of the River. You can also visit the Cricht Tramway Museum.

If you enjoy retail therapy then Meadow Hall Shopping Centre in Sheffield is worth a visit, or Trafford Park in Manchester. Combine your visit to  Manchester with a visit to Salford Quays and a chance to visit the Salford Quays outlets. However if you enjoy art then a visit to the Lowry Gallery or the Lowry Theatre is a must.  Nearby is the Imperial War Museum (north) an amazing experience not to be missed. Shopping opportunities can be found nearer Tideswell at Peak Village Outlet Shopping Centre, near Matlock,

If you interested in the industrial history of the UK then this area gives you an insight into our industrial heritage. Visit Kelham Island in Sheffield and trace the history of the iron and Steel industry and view the Don Engine in all it's glory. You can also visit Abbeydale industrial hamlet in Sheffield and see some of the earliest iron making processes.

The young at heart can visit the Blue John Mines in Castleton and see mines that date back to Roman Times or visit the Speedwell mine at Castleton and see what life must have been like for early lead miners. Take a boat trip 450 metres below the hills of Castleton.