1. Historic Houses, Gardens and Local Attractions to Visit 2017

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    Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1PP
    Tel: 01246 565300


    Chatsworth, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, is one of the great Treasure Houses of England, set in the heart of the Peak District National Park. Visitors see more than 30 richly decorated rooms. 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.

    Opening Times

    Open 25th March 2017 to 23rd December 2017
    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.
    House & Garden open from 10.00 am at weekends
    Farmyard and adventure playground: 10.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. (last admission 4.30 p.m.)

    Haddon Hall

    Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1LA
    Tel: 01629 812855


    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


    Closed during January, February, March & November  .
    Open: Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays for the remainder of April
    Open daily: Saturday 8th April 2017
    (Closed 21st & 22nd May)
    October:  Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays onlyOpening Times: 12.00 noon – 5.00 p.m. (last admission 4.00 p.m.)

    Hardwick Hall

    Doe Lea, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S44 5QJ
    Tel: 01246 850430


    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


    House open from Saturday 11th February 2017 – Sunday 29th October 2017 (Closed Monday & Tuesday)
    Opening Times 11.00 to 5.00 p.m.
    Open Bank Holiday Mondays and Good Friday
    Christmas opening: 18th November 2017 to 17th December 2017 (Closed Monday & Tuesday)
    Opening Times: 11.00 noon to 3.00 p.m.
    Garden & Park open daily 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 pm (closed 25th December 2017)

    Kedleston Hall

    Kedleston, Derbyshire DE22 5JH
    Tel: 01332 842191


    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: 25th February 2017 to 29th October 2017 12.00 noon – 5.00 pm (Closed Friday)

    Park & Pleasure grounds: Open Daily 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. (1st January 2017 – 24th December 2017 10.00 am to 4.00 pm)

    Renishaw Hall

    Renishaw, Sheffield, S21 3WB
    Tel: 01246 432310


    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


    22rd March 2017 to 1st October 2017
    House: every Friday during the season by guided tour only 1.30pm & 2pm (Friday, Saturday & Sunday throughout August)
    Gardens, Museum and newly renovated Café: Wednesday to Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays
    10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (last admissions 4.00 p.m.)

    Hopton Hall

    Hopton, Wirksworth, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 4DF
    Tel: 01629 540458


    Dating back to 1414 Hopton Hall sits it 30 acres of ground on the edge of the White Peak National Park. Since 1996 the gardens and woodland walks have been gradually restored producing wonderful displays of Snowdrops and Aconites. New and exciting features include a Laburnun Tunnel, small Arboretum and Pinetum along with a wildlife lake and ornamental ponds. Visitors can enjoy the 1 acre walled gardens which house over 2,000 roses and 5,000 box plants. Browse the plant sales or visit the Tea Room which serves light refreshments including soup, homemade cakes and hot beverages.

    Opening Times

    Snow Drop Gardens: Daily from Wednesday 1st February 2017 until
    Sunday 5th March 2017
    10.30 am (Last admission 4.00 pm)
    Summer Gardens: from 20th June 2017 until the 24th August 2017
    Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday (see website for full details)

    Tissington Hall and Gardens

    Tissington, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 1RA
    Tel: 01335 352200


    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:
    17th,18th ,19th & 20th April 2017
    May Bank Holiday: 30th May 2017
    Well Dressings: 29th, 30th & 31st May 2017
    Summer opening: 31st July – 24th August 2017 Monday to Thursday only
    National Gardens Scheme Open Day: 29th August 2017


    Sir Richard Arkwrights Cromford Mill

    Mill Road, Cromford, Matlock, Derbyshire, DE4 3RQ
    Tel: 01629 823256


    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.

    Masson Mills (Working Textile Museum)

    Derby Road, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire DE4 3PY
    Tel: 01629 581001


    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 from the first week in January 2016 until 30th November 2016 (closed Easter Sunday and throughout December)

    Monday to Saturday 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

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

    Speedwell Cavern

    Castleton, Hope Valley, Derbyshire S33 8WA
    Tel: 01433 620512


    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 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. (last tour 3.00 pm)

    Closed Christmas Day

    Peak Cavern

    Castleton, S33 8WS
    Tel: 01433 620285


    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.

    Treak Cliff Cavern

    Buxton Road, Castleton, HOPE VALLEY, Derbyshire, S33 8WP
    Tel: 01433 620571


    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 10. 00 am until 5.00 pm (1st November – 28th February 10.00 am until 4.00 pm)

    Closed 24th, 25th and 26th December.

    Peak Cycle Hire

    Peak Cycle Hire operates centres at Ashbourne, Derwent and Parsley Hay.

    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 or see their website

    Ashbourne Cycle Hire. Tel: 01335 343156
    Derwent Cycle Hire. Tel: 01433 651261
    Parsley Hay Cycle Hire. Tel: 01298 84493

    Hassop Station
    Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1NW

    One mile north of Bakewell on the A6020 / B6001 roundabout

    Tel: 01629 815 668

    Café, bookshop and cycle hire centre.

    Café, bookshop and cycle hire centre.

    Open 9am-5pm, seven days a week.

    (Closed 24th, 25th & 26th December)

    To avoid disappointment, please contact the Attraction to check opening times before travelling.

    Posted by on 18. January 2017
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  2. Hopton Hall Snowdrop Gardens 1st February – 5th March 2017

    located near Carsington Reservoir, Hopton Hall can trace its roots back to the 1400’s. Since 1996 the woodlands have been cleared and walks restored producing magnificent displays of snowdrops and aconites each year.

    Open from 10.30 with last entry at 4.00 pm.

    Call: 01629 540923 for latest opening updates.

    Visit: www.hoptonhall.co.uk

    Posted by on 16. January 2017
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  3. RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 7– 11 Jun 2017

    The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) have announced that in June 2017 Chatsworth will be added to their annual shows programme. Sue Biggs, RHS Director General, said: “We’re thrilled that in 2017 we will be hosting an RHS Flower Show in partnership with Chatsworth on its breathtaking grounds. The amazing estate with its gorgeous surroundings has a rich gardening heritage and we’re honoured and excited to soon be a part of it.

    Its overarching theme is ‘Design Revolutionaries’ and will celebrate both todays creative genius of garden designs and gardeners talent as well as the past, in particular Joseph Paxton who was once the estate gardener at Chatsworth.

    Save the date: the first show will be held 7 – 11 June 2017
    (tickets for the show will be on sale from 7 June 2016, see here for full details)

    Why not explore the show over a couple of days and enjoy an overnight stay and Michelin starred dinner at Baslow Hall. 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.

    Posted by on 28. May 2016
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  4. Festive Openings 2016

    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

    Chatsworth’s Christmas decorations are on display in the grand rooms on the two lower floors of the house from 5th November to 3rd January 2016 (closed 24, 25, 26 December and 1 January). Each year, a different theme offers a unique experience.

    This year Journey through scenes of the time –honoured classic tale ‘The Nutcracker’. Join Clara’s adventures as she is swept away by her Nutcracker Prince.

    This year a timed ticket entry will be operating to reduce queuing times for the house. Please call 01246 565300 or visit www.chatsworth.org for booking information.

    Special Events

    12th – 30th November – Christmas Market. Enjoy live seasonal music, sample delicious food, mulled cider & German beers whilst shopping for the perfect Christmas gifts. Over 100 stalls offer a range of crafts, gifts, decorations and seasonal produce.

    Weekdays £5 per car, open 10am – 5.30 pm & Weekends £10 per car, open 10am – 6pm.

    9th & 10th December – Floral Demonstration, Christmas at Chatsworth. Enjoy a festive demonstration with Jonathan Moseley who will share his tips and techniques. £30 per person, pre booking essential, 11.30am – 2.30pm.

    7th December – Christmas willow workshop. Make your own angel, star or wreath. The workshop includes house and garden entry on the day and refreshments. £35 per person, pre booking essential, 9.30am – 12.30pm or 1.30pm – 4.30pm

    Opening Times: 11am-5.30 pm (4.30 pm last admission)

    Christmas at Haddon Hall

    At Christmas Lord Edward Manners opens the doors of his magical home to offer a truly unique experience. This year the decorations are inspired by the England’s most prominent eras in history such as changes in art, literature and music influenced the late 15th to early 17th centuries and will influence the theme around the hall. The ancient rooms at Haddon will be dressed with swags, firs and natural decorations in keeping with the halls medieval architecture. There are open fires, Tudor music, and traditional decorations including swags and fir and festive hospitality.

    Opening Times: 1st – 18th December 2015 10.30 to 4 pm (last admission 3pm)

    Special Events

    3rd & 10th December – Doncaster Waites. This early music group returns to talk about their instruments, and perform in our Long Gallery.

    4th December – Gloriana. Founded in 1978 this group from Wolverhampton study early music and dance. They will be performing during the day, with opportunities for visitors to get involved.

    7th, 8th, 9th, 12th and 13th December – Candlelight Tours. Held intervals from 6pm, £22 per person. Pre booking is essential, please see the website.

    11th December – Burbage Handbell Bellringers.

    14th December – Patrick Harding will be giving a talk at 12pm about Christmas, its origins and traditions both past and present.

    17th December – Performances by Vocalium. A 20 member choir founded in 2011 by Dale Webb (Chairman of the Elizabeth Madrigal Singers Alumni). Vocalium will perform two 45 minute slots at 12pm and 2.30pm.

    For further information please call 01629 812855 or visit the website

    Purchase your tickets from reception to avoid the ques, priced at £10.50

    (usually £12, does not include car parking)

    Christmas at Hardwick Hall

    Discover the traditions of Hardwick’s past as they display some of the gifts given to the estate over the last 400 years. Enjoy the festive decorations and lights throughout the house and gardens and you can buy your Christmas tree from Hardwick too!

    Hall Opening Times: 26th November to 18th December Wednesday to Sunday 11 am – 3 pm (Last entry 2 pm). £11 per adult, £5.50 per child, £27.50 per family.

    For more information please visit the website or call 01246 850430

    Kedleston Hall & Parkland

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

    See here for more information please call 01332 842191.

    Special Events

    12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th November – Natural Christmas Ornaments. Learning to make a festive decoration from natural materials under the Loggia in the Pleasure Grounds. 10am – 5pm, booking not essential.

    2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th December – Winter Wonders Walker – Let the Ranges show you some of the winter wonders the park has to offer, followed by mulled wine and Christmas Cake. Adult – £8.50, Child – £5.50. 1.30pm -3pm. Booking is essential – see website.

    3rd December – Breakfast with Father Christmas. Experience an extra special Christmas breakfast with Father Christmas in the old kitchen restaurant followed by craft activities. 9.15am-10.15am – Adult £10.50, child £12.50. Booking is essential – please see website.

    2nd, 3rd, 4th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 16th, 17th, 18th – Christmas at Kedleston. Each room takes on a different festive theme. While taking a tour of the hall enjoy listening to the choirs and instrumental groups as they perform. Open 10.30am – 4pm, normal admission prices apply.

    19th December – Join Santa Paws for a festive stroll around the park at Kedleston. Your dogs can dress up in their finest festive costumes and will receive a treat. A rosette will be awarded the best dressed dog. 10.30am – 12pm

    Renishaw Hall

    Renishaw Hall will be open their award winning gardens and hall for public tours on 1st to 4th and 8th to 11th December. There will be plenty to see with winter walks and guided tours of the hall and the new cafe will be serving a delicious festive menu. Open from 10:30-16:00 from 1st to 4th and from 8th to 11th December. Public tours of the hall will be available on Thursday to Sunday at 13:00 and 14:30 throughout this period, pre-booking essential. Visit www.renishaw-hall.co.uk


    Posted by on 20. September 2014
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  5. 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

    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.

    Timothy James Henderson Bespoke Tailors and Alterations Specialists

    At Timothy James Henderson, you will step into a world of gentlemanly traditions steeped in history and tailoring excellence.

    01246 582098 or view the website.

    The SPAR

    The shop is open until 8 pm each day and has a ATM. The convenience shop also serves as the local post office.

    01246 582108 or view the 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.


    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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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 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.


    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’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.


    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 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 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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