1. Festive Openings 2014

    View Calendar

    Over Christmas and the New Year, a number of our favourite attractions are open for business and are well worth a festive visit.

    Chatsworth House and Gardens

    For the first time, Chatsworth has extended their festive season opening from 8th November until 4th January 2015*. During this time, Christmas decorations will be on display in the grand rooms on the two lower floors of the house. Each year, a different theme offers a unique experience. This year’s theme is Alice’s Wonderland. Opening Times: 11am-5.30pm (4.30pm last admission).

    Diary Dates

    13th – 23rd November the Christmas Market returns daily with seasonal music performed by brass bands and string quartets, sample delicious food, mulled cider & German beers whilst shopping for perfect Christmas gifts.

    On Thursdays and Fridays, from 27 November – 19 December every 15 minutes starting at 5.30pm with the last entrance at 6.45pm, Christmas Twilight evenings allow you to explore the beautifully decorated house with a glass of wine and mince pie whilst listening to the choir sing in the Painted Hall. Tickets are £22.50.

    *Chatsworth House, Garden, Farmyard, Shops and Restaurants are open until 4th January 2015, and closed on 24th, 25th, 26th December and 1st January 2015.

    For more information please call 01246 565300 or visit http://www.chatsworth.org/attractions-and-events/christmas-at-chatsworth

    Haddon Hall

    Lord and Lady Edward Manners open the doors to celebrate the first family Christmas at their magical home since c. 1700.

    Book early for your festive visit and receive discounted tickets to their Christmas opening which includes a beautifully decorated hall; an artisan food market in the Tudor kitchens selling fine seasonal food and drink; music, carols and candlelit tours.

    Opening Times: 6th – 17th December 10.30 am to 4 pm (last admission 3.30 pm)

    Diary Dates

    On Monday 1st or Tuesday 2nd December get inspired for Christmas with the Christmas Decoration Workshops. Learn how to make a number of traditional items including evergreen swags, wreaths and table decorations. 10am – 3.30pm priced at £50 per person (materials, lunch & light refreshments included).

    6th & 7th December The Tudor Group will be bringing Haddon to life with their authentic Christmas preparations.

    Tuesday 9th, Wednesday 10th & Thursday 11th December 2014: Evening tours are available giving you chance to explore the house and learn about forgotten Christmas traditions in candle light with tours starting from 6.00 pm at timed intervals.

    For more information please call 01629 812855 or visit www.haddonhall.co.uk

    Christmas at Hardwick Hall

    Visit Hardwick for a real family Christmas this year. The Hall will be decorated with wonderful decoration and will use the memories visitors shared from 2013 to theme some of the room decoration.

    Opening Times: 3rd – 21st December Wednesday to Sunday 11am – 3pm (Last entry 2.30 pm)

    For more information please call 01246 850430 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardwick

    Eyam Hall

    Deck the Hall – various dates between 3rd and 21st December from 10.30 am.

    Eyam Hall, built in 1671, just six years after the deadly plague intruded in Eyam, is a wonderfully unspoilt example of a grit-stone Jacobean manor house. Visitors can enjoy family portraits, and furniture belonging to each generation.

    The Wright family have been celebrating Christmas at Eyam Hall for eleven generations since the house was completed. With many traditions kept and stories to tell, take a step back with and visit members of family over the years.

    For more information please call 01433 639565 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/eyam-hall-and-craft-centre

    Kedleston Hall & Parkland

    There are various events taking place between 6th and 21st December. Celebrate both old and new at Kedleston Hall with contemporary lighting on the state floor. Discover where the Edwardian servants celebrated while the family were away.

    Kedleston Hall park is open daily through the winter, and is the perfect place to enjoy a bracing winter stroll.

    For more information please call 01332 842191 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kedleston

    Posted by on 20. September 2014
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  2. Chatsworth House & Gardens

    Chatsworth House, Garden, Farmyard, Shops and Restaurants are open until 4 January 2015, and closed on 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January 2015.

    Chatsworth is home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and has been passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family. The house has over 30 rooms to explore, from the magnificent Painted Hall, regal State Rooms, newly restored Sketch Galleries and beautiful Sculpture Gallery. Chatsworth has one of Europe’s most significant art collections and the Devonshire Collection encompasses Old Masters, contemporary ceramics, artefacts from Ancient Egypt, modern sculpture and computer portraits to name but a few.

    In the 105 acre garden, 17th century formal waterworks and sculptures can be seen alongside Capability Brown’s lawns and Joseph Paxton’s rockeries, fountains and greenhouses and more than 5 miles of walks. Families enjoy the farmyard and the woodland adventure playground which thrills and delights children of all ages.

    The 1,000 acre park and the Farm Shop and restaurant are open all year around.

    During 2014, Chatsworth has the following exhibitions taking place which are free with admission:

    16 March – 29 June: Michael Craig-Martin at Chatsworth

    A major display of contemporary sculpture in the garden with new works made specifically for this exhibition. In the house, Michael Craig-Martin brings his own approach to highlighting sculpture from the Devonshire collection, and selects visually arresting portraits for the Old Master Drawing Cabinet. 

    1 July – 7 November: Old Master Drawings Cabinet – Conflict in Art

    A selection of Old Master Drawings from the Devonshire collection to complement the ‘Chatsworth in Wartime’ exhibition.

    4 April – 23 December: Chatsworth in wartime

    An exhibition to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War.

    8 September – 26 October: Sotheby’s Beyond Limits

    Contemporary sculpture exhibition in the garden.

    8th November to 4th January 2015 (closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January):

    Chatsworth’s renowned Christmas decorations are on display in the grand rooms on the two lower floors of the house. This year’s theme will be ‘Alice’s Wonderland’. There are also be inspirational gift ideas and Christmas markets during this time. For more information visit their website.

    Chatsworth is a 10-15 minute drive away from Baslow Hall or some residents may prefer to walk via Baslow Village and through the beautiful estate. Take advantage of one of our dinner, bed & breakfast rates throughout the year and visit this stunning House and Gardens.

    Posted by on 1. March 2014
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  3. Historic Houses, Gardens and Local Attractions to Visit 2014

    Chatsworth House and Gardens

    Opening Times

    Open 16th March to 4th January 2015*.
    House: 11.00 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (last admission 4.30 p.m.)
    Garden: 11.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. (last admission 5.00 p.m.)
    Farmyard and adventure playground: 10.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (last admission 4.30 p.m.)

    *Please note that Chatsworth House, Garden, Farmyard, Shops and Restaurants are closed on 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January 2015.

    Please click here for more information.

    Haddon Hall

    BAKEWELL, Derbyshire, DE45 1LA

    Haddon Hall is conveniently situated on the A6 between Bakewell and Matlock, Derbyshire. This Medieval and Tudor manor house is an absolute gem. Inside, there is a fine example of a medieval kitchen; and an Elizabethan long gallery – the most modern room in the house! The exterior walls are adorned with climbing roses whilst the garden brims with roses, delphiniums and clematis. Haddon Hall is a popular choice as a film and TV location. A restaurant and gift shop complete the visitor’s experience.

    Opening Seasons/Times

    Easter: Friday 18th April until Tuesday 22nd April 2014 inclusive .

    Saturday 5th April until 28th April, Saturday, Sunday and Monday only, except for Easter opening dates.

    May to September: Open Daily (Closed to public Friday 18th July to Sunday 20th July)

    October: Saturday, Sunday and Monday only.

    Opening Times: 12.00 noon – 5.00 p.m. (last admission 4.00 p.m.)

    12.00 pm- 8.00 pm (last admission 7.15pm) every Thursday during June and July

    Christmas: 3rd to 14th December open daily from 10.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

    For more information please visit their website or call 01629 812855.

    Hardwick Hall

    Doe Lea, CHESTERFIELD, Derbyshire, S44 5QJ

    This large ruined house was completed in 1591 and was one of the greatest Elizabethan mansions of its time. The owner, Bess of Hardwick, built this stately home on the foundations of an earlier building owned by the Hardwick family. It displays her innovative planning which can also be seen in the New Hall at Hardwick nearby. The view over the Country Park and New Hall are spectacular.

    Enjoy a free audio tour of the Old Hall and hear the story of Bess of Hardwick whose 4 marriages made her one of the richest women in England. A joint ticket to visit the Old and New Halls is available. The ruins of Hardwick Old Hall in the grounds are owned by the National Trust and administered by English Heritage.

    House Opening Seasons/Times

    15th February to 2nd November 2014: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday – Opening Times 12.00 to 4.30 p.m.

    Open Bank Holiday Mondays and Good Friday

    4th December to 15th December 2014: Saturday and Sunday only

    Opening Times: 11.00 noon to 3.00 p.m.

    Garden & Park open 9.00 a.m. – 6.00 p.m. every day

    For more information see their website or call 01246 850430.

    Kedleston Hall

    KEDLESTON, Derbyshire DE22 5JH

    A fine example of a neo-classical mansion built between 1759-65 for the Curzon family, who have lived in the area since the 12th Century. The Hall has a series of magnificent state rooms retaining their great collections of paintings and original furniture. The parkland includes five lakes, classical lodges, a three arched bridge and cascades and a fine fishing pavilion. Kedleston Hall is owned by the National Trust.

    Opening Times

    House: 15th February to 2nd March Saturday and Sunday only (12.00 pm- 3.00 pm) 8th March to 2nd November 2014 (12.00 noon to 5.00 p.m.) Open Daily (closed Friday).

    Garden: 9th March to 31st October 2014

    Open Daily 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.

    Park: 5th January to 10th February (Open Daily 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.)

    16th February to 31st October 2013 (Open Daily 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.)

    For more information see their website or call 01332 842191.

    Renishaw Hall

    Renishaw, SHEFFIELD, S21 3WB

    Renishaw Hall has been the family home of the Sitwells for nearly 400 years. The Hall is open by appointment to the public for exclusive and intimate tours with knowledgeable and friendly guides to talk about the family, the artefacts they have collected, the history of Renishaw.

    The Gardens are Italian in design and were laid out over 100 years ago by the present owner’s grandfather, Sir George Sitwell. The garden is divided into ‘rooms’ with yew hedges, flanked with classical statues. These ‘rooms’ have recently been filled with an impressive collection of plants. The garden is set in acres of parkland with lakeside and nature walks. A Sculpture  Park was installed in 2002 and features over 20 works by modern sculptors. In the Stable Block are the Sitwell Museum and the Performing Arts Gallery, as well as the John Piper Gallery.

    Opening Times

    29th March 2014 to 28th September 2014

    House: every Friday by guided tour only 1pm & 2.30 pm (Friday, Saturday & Sunday throughout August)

    Gardens, Museum and Gallery Café: Wednesday to Sundays and Bank Holidays

    10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (last admissions 4.00 p.m.)

    Visit their website or call 01246 432310 for more details.

    Eyam Hall

    Church Street, Eyam, HOPE VALLEY, Derbyshire,S32 5QW

    This small but  charming Manor House in the famous plague village of Eyam has been the home of the Wright family since 1671 and it retains the intimate atmosphere of a much loved private home. A Jacobean staircase, fine tapestries and family portraits  are among its interior treasures. Please contact Eyam Hall to enquire of the next ‘Tour of the House’.

    Visit their website or call 01433 639565 for more information.

    Tissington Hall and Gardens

    Tissington, ASHBOURNE, Derbyshire,DE6 1RA

    Home of the FitzHerbert family for over 500 years. The Hall stands in a superbly maintained Estate village and contains wonderful paneling, as well as a 10 acre garden and arboretum. Tissington is well known for it’s well-dressing and draws large crowds. The Tissington Well Dressings are estimated to attract 50,000 visitors each year in the week that the wells are dressed. This year’s Well Dressings week is 29th May – 4th June 2014.

    Opening Seasons/Times

    12.00 pm to 3.00 p.m. on the following dates:

    Easter week – Monday 21st – Friday 25th April 2014 (open 11.00 a.m. Easter Sunday and Monday).

    May Bank Holidays: 5th – 8th May 2014 & 26th – 28th May 2014

    Well-Dressings: 2nd – 5th June 2014

    August Summer opening: Monday – Thursday 4th -21st August 2014

    Bank Holiday Monday 25th August 2014

    The award winning old Coach House Tearooms is open Daily 10.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. 1st March 2014 – 31st October 2014 for coffee, lunches and teas.

    Visit their website or call 01335 352200 for more information.

    Hopton Hall

    Hopton Hall, Hopton, Wirksworth, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 4DF

    Hopton Hall, dating back to 1414 , lies on the edges of the White Peak National Park.

    Famous for delicate drifts of snowdrops and aconites in spring and rose gardens in summer.

    Opening Season/Times

    Snow Drop Gardens: Daily from Saturday 1st February 2014 until Sunday 2nd March 2014. 10.30 am (Last admission 4.00 pm)

    Summer Gardens: 17th June 2014 until 28th August 2014. Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. 10.30 am (Last admission 4.00 pm)

    View their website for more details or call 01629 540923.

    Lea Gardens

    Lea Gardens, Lea, Matlock DE4 5GH

    A haven for jewel-bright rhododendrons and azaleas, kalmias, plants from all over the world, a rock garden and quiet woodland walks.

    Opening Season/Times

    Lea Gardens are open daily 10.00am – 5.00pm from Friday 1st March until Sunday 30th June 2013

    The Tea Garden Cafe is open everyday until Saturday 31st August 10.00am – 5.00pm and throughout September on Saturdays and Sundays only.

    View their website for more details or call 01629 534380.

    Sir Richard Arkwrights Cromford Mill

    Mill Road, Cromford, MATLOCK,Derbyshire,DE4 3RQ

    Cromford Mill is the world’s first successful water powered cotton spinning mill and acclaimed throughout the world as being the first, complete factory system. Enjoy a guided tour, available every day.

    Opening Times

    Daily 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.

    Closed Christmas Day.

    Open New Years Eve and Day.

    For more information visit their website or call 01629 823256.

    Masson Mills (Working Textile Museum)

    Derby Road, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire DE4 3PY

    Sir Richard Arkwright’s 1783 showpiece Masson Mills are the finest surviving and best preserved example of an Arkwright cotton spinning mill. A fascinating working textile museum incorporates authentic historic working textile machinery.

    Opening Times

    The museum is open throughout the year (except Christmas Day and Easter Day) Monday to Saturday 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

    Sunday 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

    Call 01629 581001 or visit their website.

    Speedwell Cavern

    Castleton, HOPE  VALLEY, Derbyshire S33 8WA

    Speedwell Cavern takes an incredible journey by boat through the underground flooded workings of an eighteenth century lead mine.

    Opening Times

    April to October Open Daily 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (last tour 4.00 pm)

    November to March Open Daily 10.00a.m. to 4.00 p.m. (last tour 3.00 pm)

    Closed Christmas Day.

    Call 01433 620512 or visit their website.

    Peak Cavern

    Castleton, S33 8WS

    Peak Cavern is a spectacular natural cavern containing historic rope works. Discover why it is called The Devil’s Arse!

    Opening Times

    April to October Daily 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (last tour 4.00 p.m.)
    November to March (Weekends and daily during school holidays) 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. (last tour 4.00 p.m.)

    Closed Christmas Day.

    Call 01433 620285 or visit their website.

    Treak Cliff Cavern

    Buxton Road, Castleton, HOPE VALLEY,Derbyshire,S33 8WP

    Visit an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites, rocks, minerals and fossils. Home of the unique mineral Blue John stone, including the largest piece ever found – still in-situ. Events include an Easter Egg Hunt, Carols by Candlelight and Polish Your Own Blue John Stone activity. If you have mobility problems, please ask for their Accessibility Information Leaflet.

    Opening Times

    Daily from 1st March 2014 10.00 a.m (last tour 4.15 pm. October- February last tour 3.15 pm).

    Closed 24th, 25th and 26th December.
    Open at 12.00 p.m. New Year’s Day

    Call 01433 620571 or visit their website.

    Peak Cycle Hire

    Peak Cycle Hire operates centres at Ashbourne, Derwent and Parsley Hay. Most of their equipment is replaced every year.

    Ashbourne Cycle Hire. Tel: 01335 343156

    Derwent Cycle Hire. Tel: 01433 651261

    Parsley Hay Cycle Hire. Tel: 01298 84493

    Opening Times

    Open Daily from March to October: 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (or dusk if earlier)
    Limited opening January, February, November & December.

    Please phone centres for details.

    Hassop Station

    Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1NW

    One mile north of Bakewell on the A6020 / B6001 roundabout

    Monsal Trail Cycle Hire is available at Hassop Station Cafe, Bookshop and Cycle Hire. Open Daily 9am-5pm. Enjoy the traffic free Monsal Trail with their range of bicycles. We recommend this as a great day out in the beautiful Peak District! For those feeling less active, why not relax in the cafe or browse the book shop and gift area. For more information, please call 01629 810 588 or visit their website.

    To avoid disappointment, please contact the Event Organiser before travelling.

    Posted by on 1. February 2014
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  4. Extend your Stay in Baslow Village

    Baslow is a pretty village on the edge of the Chatsworth Estate just 4 miles from Bakewell. We have a wonderful array of shops, pubs and restaurants on our door-step! Complete your visit to Fischer’s with a wander around Baslow and take a souvenir home. You may fancy walking to Chatsworth House from Baslow Hall – ask our Reception staff for more details or see below for a walk to Chatsworth, Edensor and Pilsley.

    To view an interesting feature on Baslow Village by Derbyshire Life Magazine (edition August 2010) please click here also view a YouTube video featuring Baslow.

    Rowley’s Restaurant and Bar

    Our sister restaurant has contemporary decor in an old village pub offering good cooking using fresh, local ingredients. Ideal for a light lunch or informal dinner. Call in for a glass of wine or a hand crafted beer from one of our selected local breweries. Open daily from 10 am serving fresh coffee (also available as takeaway). A warm welcome awaits…..

    01246 583880 or view the website.

    Avant Garde

    Avant Garde is popular for numerous unusual gifts including mirrors, clocks, French furniture, soft furnishings and jewellery. The shop is open 7 days a week.

    01246 583888 or view the website.

    Five Little Ducks

    Our local post office in the village. There are a wonderful selection of greeting cards and children’s toys for sale.

    01246 583441 or view the website.

    Church Farm Art Gallery

    Church Farm Art Gallery hosts a unique collection of work by many talented professional and amateur artists. Much of the work in this tiny gallery is of Derbyshire landscapes and local views, but you can also find humorous animals, flowers and even seascapes on the walls.

    01246 582334 or view the website.

    Vintage Living

    This lovely shop offers vintage and antique furniture and accessories, including reupholstered antique chairs and sofas.

    07802494814 or view the website.

    White Pedals and Lace

    Mother and daughter team, Carole and Laura offer quality floral designs for every occasion. Their country flower shop also sells a range of handmade gifts, candles and pottery.

    01246 582098 or visit their website.

    Elliott’s & White’s Sweet Shop

    Located near the main car park in the village, why not call in for a treat whilst on route around the village.

    Izzi

    Popular with the Ladies!! Collections include Marccain, Basler, Joseph Ribkoff, Oska, Michele, La Perla Parfum, Isabel de Pedro and Crea Concept.

    01246 582500 or view the website.

    Baslow Pottery

    This working pottery provides a distinctive showcase of Ray Gridley’s pots and a gallery with work of other local artists. Original oil and watercolour paintings, jewellery, ceramics, turned wood, prints and hand made cards are displayed both to view and to buy.

    We also display several pots in the grounds of Baslow Hall available for sale.

    01246 583838 or view the website.

    Darling Buds Florist

    Pop in and have a bouquet that is truly unique and personal to you made up while you wait to take home with you, or order an arrangement in advance for your bedroom.

    01246 583999 or view the website.

    The Stage Hair Salon

    Arrange to have your hair cut and styled to complete your outfit.

    01246 583322 or view the website.

    Celebration Photography

    Tony Hall specialises in wedding and civil partnership photography. Truly captivating photography – see his website for examples of his work.

    01298 872844 or view the website.

     

    Posted by on 14. April 2012
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  5. Get Here If You Can!

    Be the first to see the film! Watch the GET HERE film with vocals by Chelsea Redfern. Music under license from Warner / Chapel. Just click on the play button in the centre of the picture below.

    Posted by on 28. January 2012
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  6. Monsal Trail

    The Monsal Trail follows the path of the former Midland Railway from Blackwell Mill cottages to Coombs Viaduct, about 1km past the former Bakewell station – a distance of about 20km. For the most part the trail follows the path of the River Wye, which means it offers some spectacular scenery.

    The Peak District National Park have recently spent £2.5m on re-opening the tunnels so it is possible to walk, cycle or horse-ride right the way along the trail.

    Bakewell, Hassop and Monsal Head are the nearest stations from Baslow Hall. See the Monsal Trail Leaflet for more information.

    Monsal Trail Cycle Hire is available at Hassop Station Cafe, Bookshop and Cycle Hire. Enjoy the traffic free Monsal Trail with their range of bicycles. We recommend this as a great day out in the beautiful Peak District! For those feeling less active, why not relax in the cafe or browse the book shop and gift area. For more information, please call 01629 810 588 or visit their website.

    Posted by on 7. July 2011
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  7. Local Market Towns & Villages

    Fischer’s is located on the edge of the picturesque village of Baslow. Chatsworth Estate is within walking distance and the old market town of Bakewell only four miles away. Baslow is the perfect location to discover the beauty of the Peak District.

    There are several market towns and villages locally, with cobbled courtyards with quirky independent shops and specialist antique dealers, which make great places to explore whilst staying at Baslow Hall:

    Ashbourne

    Ashbourne lies at the southern edge of the Peak District bordering the National Park. The historic buildings and main street give many visitors the opportunity to enjoy a scene which has remained largely unchanged in appearance since the 18th century.

    The town has an excellent range of shops – you’ll find everything from independent ladies’ boutiques and fine antique shops to speciality food stores, galleries, bistros, gift shops and much more – the cobbled market place, hidden alleys and yards are a particular delight to explore.

    Ashbourne’s market takes place every Thursday and Saturday throughout the year, continuing a tradition that dates back to 1257, when Ashbourne was granted a charter to have stalls in the market place.

    Close by is Dovedale one of the Peak District’s most beautiful dales and the village of Ilam has dramatic scenery not to be missed. The renowned excellent traffic-free cycle routes such as the Tissington Trail, which follow the routes of former railway lines are also worth a visit.

    Bakewell

    The attractive courtyards, independent shops, cafés and its location on the River Wye make it a hugely popular destination for tourists to the Peak District.

    Bakewell is the only market town within the Peak District National Park boundary. The weekly market takes place every Monday. Market day is always a bustling time, when the large rural population around Bakewell comes into town to do their shopping. Bakewell also has a Farmers’ Market on the last Saturday of the month as well as a Farmers’ Market Shop open every day for fresh local produce.

    You may be familiar with the nationally known dessert, Bakewell Tart, which is named after the original local delicacy, Bakewell Pudding. Discover the history of this famous sweet at one of the three pudding shops within the town.

    Buxton

    Buxton’s magnificent architecture allows visitors to stroll through different periods and there are many splendid examples of Georgian and Victorian buildings.

    Buxton has a wealth of history alongside a more cultured world of music and literary festivals and the much loved ‘theatre in the hills’, Buxton’s famous Opera House. The Opera House plays an important part in the town’s activities – beyond its varied programme of events in the theatre there are many festivals throughout the year, covering opera, literature, puppets, rock, pop and Gilbert & Sullivan. The Festival Fringe in Buxton is the largest in England and many other venues join in during the festivals adding to the lively, fun-filled atmosphere.

    The well-known Buxton Mineral Water is bottled here and is available nationwide, but visitors to Buxton can fill their own bottles from the permanent flow at St Anne’s Well in front of the Crescent. The Pavilion Gardens is worth a visit with 23 acres of gardens and serpentine walkways as well as outdoor and indoor promenades.

    One of the town’s most spectacular buildings is The Dome, formerly a hospital and now the University of Derby’s Devonshire campus – amazingly, this vast space was built to house the Duke of Devonshire’s horses. The slate dome is the largest unsupported dome in the UK, with a diameter of 174ft.

    Castleton

    Dominated by the ruins of Peveril Castle, the village of Castleton lies at the western end of the Hope Valley and has long been a popular destination for tourists.

    To the west of Castleton lies Mam Tor which overlooks the two valleys of Hope and Edale and gives stunning views, Mam Tor Ridge is a popular local walk. Castleton is now famed for its four show caves, once all lead mines, each offering a different experience to the visitor, although the only cave in the village itself is Peak Cavern, home of rope makers through the centuries and where rope is still made during the cavern tour today.

    The entrance to Peak Cavern is the largest in Europe at 40ft high and 100ft wide. Speedwell Cavern offers a boat ride underground through half a mile of passages to the end, with views down the ‘Bottomless Pit’. Treak Cliff Cavern has two distinctly different series of caves. The first half is full of minerals and fossils and the second resembles a fairytale world of stalactites and stalagmites. Blue John Mine, opposite Mam Tor, is the deepest of the caves and contains Blue John stone, but its real beauty is in the vastness of the cave system.

    Eyam

    Eyam is perhaps best known for its connection with the Plague, a major outbreak of which occurred in the village during 1665, reputedly brought in from London on a delivery of cloth destined for George Viccars, the local tailor. Soon after the cloth arrived, the family developed symptoms of the plague and died, as did the occupants of neighbouring cottages. Plaques bearing the family details can be seen on the ‘plague cottages’ next to the church.

    The local vicar, William Mompesson and Thomas Stanley organised the quarantine of Eyam to prevent the plague spreading, although this wasn’t as restrictive as it may seem to us today, as the population wouldn’t generally have travelled too far beyond the village. Surrounding villages and local gentry helped by leaving food and medical supplies at the edges of the village. These places are marked by boundary stones, still to be seen, and are often found with a hollow in the top where coins were left in vinegar to kill any germs.

    To restrict further contamination, William Mompesson also stopped holding services inside the church and instead preached outdoors at Cucklet Delf, a small valley nearby. An annual commemoration service is held there every year during Eyam Carnival and Well Dressing Week at the end of August. Similarly, the dead were not buried in the churchyard but were interred in surrounding fields.

    Many of these graves still exist, the nearest to the village being the Lydgate Graves. The most impressive are known as the Riley Graves, where Mrs Hancock buried her husband and six children, all within eight days. A map of the village, available from the church, shows these sites and many more.

    Over a period of fourteen months, the plague killed more than two thirds of the village’s population and stories can be seen on the information boards in the church, while the full story can be found in Eyam Museum.

    In the centre of the village is the charming 17th century Manor House, Eyam Hall, which was built just after the plague. Owned by the Wright family for more than 300 years, the entrance is through a stone flagged hall, and the tour contains a unique tapestry room, the bedroom with the magnificent tester bed and the nursery with toys from the 1860s to the present day.

    The church of St Lawrence dates back to Saxon times and has a font of Saxon origins and Norman pillars, which are thought to rest on Saxon foundations. The nave of the church is of medieval design and dates back to around 1350, although the tower is relatively ‘modern’ being built as late as the seventeenth century!

    Hathersage

    Hathersage was initially an argricultral village. In 1750 a wire making mill opened with other mills open shortly after. The village became famous for the manufacture of wire, needles and pins. These industries closed in the 1900′s and the buildings today have different uses.

    Today, Hathersage is popular with both walkers and rock-climbers. To the east the village is overlooked by moorland and a line of gritstone edges, of which Stanage Edge is the largest. There are also spectacular tors, such as Higgar Tor and the amazing hillfort at Carl Wark.

    Don’t miss a visit to David Mellor Cutlery Factory and view the full range of David Mellor cutlery, Design Museum, cafe and country shop. For more information please visit their website. There are many other interesting attractions in the village including Hathersage Outdoor Swimming Pool, St. Michael’s Church and Hope Valley Ice Cream.

     

    Posted by on 26. February 2011
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