We have selected some of our favorite local festive events to help you plan your visit to the Peak District.
Please click on the highlighted links for further information.
7th – 8th November – CW Sellors presents Christmas Wishes Join CW Sellors in a sparkling wonderland for their 2015 Christmas Wishes Fine Jewellery and Watch Showcase. Please visit their website for full details.
7th – 8th November – Christmas Market & Light Switch on at the Peak Shopping Village. Start your Christmas shopping early. There will be stalls, entertainment and lights. Free entry 10 am – 5.pm
12th – 29th November – Chatsworth 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.
14th November – Castleton Christmas Lights. A visit to Castleton is a must to get you into the festive sprit. The village takes on a magical appeal at Christmas with an array of Christmas trees, decorations and lights. The lights will be switched on at 4.30 pm outside the Toll Bar Gift Shop.
14th & 15th November – Haddon Hall Artisan Winter Market showcasing the wares of local artisans. Entry £2 per day 10.00 am, with last admission at 3.00 pm
22nd November – Chesterfield Market & Christmas Lights Switch On. From 12 noon until 6.00 pm there will be an open air market with festive entertainment throughout the day. The lights will be switched on at 4.45 pm in News Square.
22nd November- Christmas Market & Craft Fair at Ringwood Hall Hotel. Find unique, diverse and well-designed handmade gifts including local crafts, jewellery, pottery, home produce, decorations and stocking fillers. Free entry 10.30 am – 4.30 pm.
26th & 27th November – Bakewell Christmas Weekend. A Quintessential English Christmas Market featuring traders from the popular Bakewell Market held every Monday. There will also be a selection of festive wines and foods from the Peak District, arts, crafts and gifts. On Saturday 26th November the Christmas tree will be switched on in Bath Gardens. 9.00 Until 6.00 on Saturday 28 November 2015
9.00 until 5.00 on Sunday 29 November 2015.
27th, 28th & 29th November – Baslow Winter Festival. A new Winter Festival Weekend in Baslow.
Friday 27 November: St Anne’s Church Christmas Lights & BBQ.
Saturday 28 November: Magic & Circus Skills; Fun & Games; History Walks around the village; Music; Christmas Quiz Night & Lights switch-on at 5pm.
Sunday 29 November: Arts & Craft Fair; Santa’s Grotto, Christmas Prize Raffle Draw.
Refreshments throughout from the Café on the Green, Wheatsheaf & Devonshire Arms.See the official Facebook page for the latest updates
28th & 29th November – Derbyshire Christmas Food & Craft Fair at Kedleston Hall. A perfect festive day out in Derbyshire. £5 per adult 10am – 5pm.
5th & 6th December – Tudor Christmas Weekend at Haddon Hall. The Tudor Group will be bringing Haddon to life with their authentic Christmas preparations including dancing, music and laughter. normal admission prices apply.
5th & 6th December – Victorian Christmas Weekend at Matlock. In the centre of Matlock there will be over 150 stalls in two marquees in Hall Leys Park. There will also be street entertainers, marching bands and a funfair. On Sunday there will be a firework display at 5.15 pm. Free entry.
9th 12th, 13th and 16th December – Festive Tours at Renishaw Hall. See the rooms within the house dressed simply but tastefully for Christmas, with fires roaring and expert guides taking you around the highlights of the family’s collection.
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Over Christmas and the New Year, a number of our favourite attractions are open for business and are well worth a festive visit.
Chatsworth’s Christmas decorations are on display in the grand rooms on the two lower floors of the house from 7th 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 classic tale The Wind in the Willows. Share the adventures of Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger as they celebrate Christmas at Toad Hall. This year the magical journey has been extended to include the Great Chamber and Guest Bedrooms.
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.
2nd – 6th November – Decking our Halls for Christmas. The house will be a hive of activity as the Christmas Team prepare the halls throughout the house.
7th – 8th November – CW Sellors presents Christmas Wishes. Join CW Sellors in a sparkling wonderland for their 2015 Christmas Wishes Fine Jewellery and Watch Showcase. Please visit their website for full details.
12th – 29th 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.
15th & 16th 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.
Opening Times: 11am-5.30 pm (4.30 pm last admission)
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 traditional carol, the Twelve Days of Christmas. Features include swans a swimming’ in the waters of the River Wye which flow past the hall, to pipers piping and dancing ladies in the courtyards of Haddon. There are open fires, Tudor music, and traditional decorations including swags and fir and festive hospitality.
Opening Times: 5th – 16th December 2015 10.30 to 4 pm (last admission 3.30 pm)
14th & 15th November – Artisan Winter Market showcasing the wares of local artisans. Entry £2 per day 10.00 am, with last admission at 3.00 pm
25th & 26th November – Christmas Decoration Workshops. 9.30 am 0 4.00 pm, £75 per ticket (please see the website for tickets)
5th & 6th December – The Tudor Group will be bringing Haddon to life with their authentic Christmas preparations including dancing, music and laughter.
7th, 8th, 10th, 14th & 15th December – Christmas Candlelit Tours. A wonderful opportunity to explore the house and learn about forgotten Christmas traditions in candle light with tours starting from 6.00 pm at timed intervals. Pre booking essential, please see the website.
9th December – Festive Tour & Readings. Enjoy a candlelit tour of Haddon Hall with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. The evening will also include readings by professional actors. Pre- booking essential, please see the website. Tours will be held at times intervals from 6.00 pm, £20 per person.
For further information please call 01629 812855 or visit www.haddonhall.co.uk
Purchase your tickets from reception to avoid the ques, priced at £10.50
(usually £12, does not include car parking)
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: 28th November to 20th December Wednesday to Sunday 10.30 am – 3.30 pm (Last entry 2.30 pm)
For more information please call 01246 850430 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hardwick
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
28th & 29th November – Christmas Wreath Making Workshop. Learn to make your own festive wreath using locally collected foliage.
28th & 29th November – Derbyshire Christmas Food & Craft Fair. A perfect festive day out in Derbyshire. £5 per adult 10am – 5pm.
4th & 11th December – Mulled Wine & Pudding Tours of the Hall. Enjoy a tour of the Hall and find out about Kedleston Hall’s 18th century elegance. After the tour enjoy a mulled wine and pudding in the restaurant.
5th, 6th, 12th, 13th 19th & 20th – 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.
Renishaw Hall will be open for public tours on 9th, 12th, 13th and 16th December. Visitors can expect to see the rooms within the house dressed simply but tastefully for Christmas, with fires roaring and expert guides taking you around the highlights of the family’s collection. Public tours at 1.00 pm & 2.30 pm. please call 01246 432 310 or visit www.renishaw-hall.co.uk
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Chatsworth House, Garden and Farmyard re-open on 28 March 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 2015, Chatsworth has the following exhibitions taking place which are free with admission:
28 March – 30 April: Old Master Drawings Cabinet- Conflict in Art
A selection of Old Master Drawings from the Devonshire collection to complement ‘Chatsworth in wartime’,
28 March– 23 October: Make Yourself Comfortable at Chatsworth House
Outstanding contemporary seating by international designers offer the chance to take a seat, make yourself comfortable and experience Chatsworth in a new way
4 July – 20 September: The Grand Tour
Chatsworth has joined forces with Nottingham Contemporary, Derby Museums and the Harley Foundation, to create a contemporary ‘Grand Tour’ of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire’s cultural history and landscape
14 September – 25 October: Sotheby’s Beyond Limits
Contemporary sculpture exhibition in the garden showcasing work from artists all over the world.
7th November to 3rd 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. During the festive period there many events and activities including twilight evenings, floral workshops and wreath making demonstrations. There are lots of 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.
Visit their website for more details: www.chatsworth.org
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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.
Open 28th March 2015 to 23rd December 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.)
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.
Closed during January, February, March & November
Open Easter: Wednesday 1st April 2015 until Tuesday 7th April 2015 .
Open Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays for the remainder of April
Open daily: Friday 1st May – Wednesday 30th September (Closed 30th & 31st May)
October: Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays only.
Opening Times: 12.00 noon – 5.00 p.m. (last admission 4.00 p.m.)
Christmas: Tuesday 8th – Sunday 19th December 2015
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 7th February 2015 – Sunday 1st November 2015 (Closed Monday & Tuesday)
Opening Times 12.00 to 4.30 p.m.
Open Bank Holiday Mondays and Good Friday
Christmas opening: 28th November 2015 to 20th December 2015: (Closed Monday & Tuesday)
Opening Times: 10.30 noon to 3.30 p.m.
Garden & Park open daily 9.00 a.m. – 5.00 pm
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.
House: 7th February to 22nd February 2015 11.00 am- 3.00 pm (Closed Friday)
7th March to 1st November 2015 12 noon to 5 pm (closed Friday).
Park & Pleasure grounds: Open Daily 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. (7th February 2015 – 1st November 10.00 am to 6.00 pm)
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.
27th March 2015 to 27th September 2015
House: every Friday during the season by guided tour only 1pm & 2.30 pm (also Friday, Saturday & Sunday throughout August)
Gardens, Museum and Gallery Café: Wednesday to Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays
10.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (last admissions 4.00 p.m.)
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.
Snow Drop Gardens: Daily from Saturday 31st January 2015 until Sunday 1st March 2015.
10.30 am (Last admission 4.00 pm)
Summer Gardens: 16th June 2015 until 27th August 2015
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday
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.
12.00 pm to 3.00 p.m. on the following dates:
Easter week: Monday 6th – Friday 10th April
May Bank Holidays: Monday 4th & Tuesday 5th May 2015
Well Dressings: Monday 18th – Wednesday 20th May 2015
May Bank Holiday week: 25th – 28th May 2015
August Summer opening: 3rd – 31st August 2015 Monday to Thursday only.
Bank Holiday Monday 31st August 2015 (National Gardens Scheme Open Day)
Recently refurbished, Herbert’s Fine English Tearooms are open for coffee, lunch and afternoon cream tea
9th January- 13th February (Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays)
Open every day during February half term 14th – 23rd February 2015
Open daily from Friday 27th February – 31st October 2015
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.
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.
The museum is open from the first week in January 2015 until 30th November 2015 (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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Ashbourne Cycle Hire. Tel: 01335 343156
Derwent Cycle Hire. Tel: 01433 651261
Parsley Hay Cycle Hire. Tel: 01298 84493
Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1NW
One mile north of Bakewell on the A6020 / B6001 roundabout
Tel: 01629 815 668
Café, bookshop and cycle hire centre.
Open 9am-5pm, seven days a week.
To avoid disappointment, please contact the Attraction to check opening times before travelling.
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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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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