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Things to do in Derbyshire


Derbyshire is situated to the north east of the midlands of England.

A large proportion of the County lies within the Peak District National Park.

The scenery is varied, both dramatic and gentle, with the Pennine Hills and part of the National Forest within the County.

The Derbyshire Dales are renowned for their beauty, lovely river valleys and fascinating caves, which were worked by the Romans for lead - today some are still quarried for limestone.

Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com.The County town is Derby, which only gained city status in 1977, but has a long and interesting history. There are many interesting attractions and good shopping facilities in the city. Derbyshire Tourist Information centres are in all the main towns in the county.

Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com. The Peak district in the north of the County offers dramatic scenery, with high rocky crags rising from heather covered moorland. Edale in the heart of the region is the beginning of the Pennine Way. Walkers, potholers and climbers will appreciate the adventurous terrain of the Peak District.

Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com.Derbyshire Tourism has since early times focused upon Buxton, a spa town famous for its spring water. Buxton is one of the highest towns in England at over 1, 000 feet, but sheltered by the even higher surrounding hills, making it one of the most popular inland holiday resorts in the country. In the late 18th century the 5th Duke of Devonshire built 'The Crescent', modelled on the Royal Crescent in Bath.

Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com.The village of Castleton is situated at the head of the Hope Valley - here is Peveril Castle, one of England's first Norman Forts, immortalised by Sir Walter Scott in his novel 'Peveril of the Peak'. Under the castle lies one of the finest underground caverns in the area - Peak Cavern. From here you can take a boat trip to nearby Speedwell Cavern set at the foot of the spectacular Winnats Pass, high above the village of Castleton.

Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com. The towns of Ashbourne, Bakewell and Matlock, situated in the Derbyshire Dales are well worth a visit.

Beresford Dale, Bradford Dale, Chee Dale and Darley Dale are beautiful unspoiled areas. Other popular visitor destinations in the Dales are Dove Dale, Lathill Dale, Miller's Dale, Monsal Dale and Wolfscot Dale. The rivers Derwent, Dove and Wye flow through the area creating verdant valleys, perfect for walking or cycling. There are ancient market towns and villages to explore and a choice of Stately Homes to visit such as Chatsworth and Haddon Hall near Bakewell.

Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com. South Derbyshire is at the heart of the National Forest, one of Britain's biggest environmental projects, with over five and a half million trees having been planted in the last ten years. The region is less rugged than that to the north and is good walking country.

Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com.Situated a short drive south of Derby is Melbourne Hall, home of Lord Melbourne, first Prime Minister to Queen Victoria. Sudbury is one of the show villages of Derbyshire, here you can visit Sudbury Hall.

At the village of Crich in the Amber Valley, enjoy a day at the Crich Tramway Village, a great outing for all the family.Gullivers Kingdom is in the beautiful setting of Matlock Bath - a great place to 'get away from it all!'. Also in Matlock Bath is The Heights of Abraham - a unique hilltop park where you can experience a cable car ride and visit two show caverns.

Picture courtesy of www.britainonview.com. Nearby is the small town of Wirksworth, famous for its Whitsun well-dressing ceremony. Call into Wirksworth Heritage Centre, an interesting place to learn about the area.

North east Derbyshire is the home of Hardwick Hall one of the greatest Elizabethan houses, which survives almost unchanged today. The historic 300 acre parkland with woods and meadows has great walks and many attractive views.

Best Villages in Derbyshire Chart

1. Great Longstone13th Century Church843
2. EtwallWell Dressing Festival in May2,906
3. EggintonStained Glass in Church574
4. CastletonViews of Peveril Castle649

Best Villages in Derbyshire

Days out in Derbyshire

  • Bolsover Castle
    Bolsover Castle in Derbyshire is well off the beaten track in a former coal-mining area. It offers three wonderful buildings in one unique attraction.
    Bolsover Castle
  • Buxton Museum & Art Gallery
    The Museum & Art Gallery features geology, archaeology and history of the Peak District displayed in a seven section time tunnel - complete with sounds and smells!
    Buxton Museum & Art Gallery
  • Calke Abbey
    A tour of Calke Abbey's treasures is like taking a step back in history. The stately home remains in a mid-19th century time warp.
    Calke Abbey
  • Chatsworth
    Chatsworth is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and has been the family home of the Cavendish family since 1549.There's always something different to see, do and discover at Chatsworth.
  • Crich Tramway Village
    Ride through history on Vintage Trams from all over the world. They run every few minutes to take you through a Period Street, beneath the elegant Bowe-Lyon Bridge, and on to open countryside with views that take your breath away.
    Crich Tramway Village
  • Derby Cathedral
    This beautiful Georgian Cathedral consecrated in 1927 welcomes visitors 365 days per year. The magnificent medieval tower, the second highest church tower in the country.
    Derby Cathedral
  • Derby Museum and Art Gallery
    Derby Museum and Art Gallery houses a wide range of important and attractive collections covering porcelain, paintings, archaeology, history, local regiments, geology and wildlife.
    Derby Museum and Art Gallery
  • Dovedale
    Dovedale is one of the most visited sites in the Peak District. The River Dove babbles through this shady limestone gorge and the highlight for many is crossing the river by a series of stepping stones.
  • Eyam Hall
    Eyam Hall has been the much loved home of the Wright family for over 300 years. A guided tour of this remarkably unspoilt 17th century manor house affords a glimpse of history in miniature.
    Eyam Hall
  • Gullivers Kingdom Matlock Bath
    From the moment you enter Gulliver's you enter another world where your imagination can roam free. Gulliver's Matlock Bath is nestled in a stunning hillside location where much of the magic comes from the amazing scenery and views.
    Gullivers Kingdom Matlock Bath
  • Haddon Hall
    Haddon Hall - the Derbyshire Home of the Duke of Rutland, has belonged to the family since the late 16th century.
    Haddon Hall
  • Hardwick Hall
    One of the most splendid houses in England. Built by Bess of Hardwick in the 1590s, and unaltered since: yet its huge windows and high ceilings make it feel strikingly modern.
    Hardwick Hall
  • Heights of Abraham Cable Cars Caverns and Country Park
    Welcome to the Peak District's oldest and one of the areas most popular days out, an attraction where stunning natural beauty is matched by human achievement and the historic blends seamlessly with the futuristic.
    Heights of Abraham Cable Cars Caverns and Country Park
  • High Peak Trail & Cromford Canal
    The High Peak Trail is a 17.5 miles traffic free trail across the White Peak for walkers, horse riders and cyclists.
    High Peak Trail & Cromford Canal
  • Ilam Park and South Peak Estate
    The popular Ilam Country Park lies on the banks of the River Manifold, which waters miles of scenic meadows and limestone gorges along its rock-strewn course through the Peak District.
    Ilam Park and South Peak Estate
  • Kedleston Hall
    Fans of 18th century architect, Robert Adam, are in for a treat at Kedleston Hall. The interior designs of this Palladian mansion have some of the best examples of Adam's work.
    Kedleston Hall
  • Lea Gardens
    Lea Gardens, which have been established for 45 years, contain a unique collection of highly acclaimed rhododendrons, azaleas kalmias and other plants collected from the far corners of the world.
    Lea Gardens
  • Longshaw Estate
    Set in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside and enjoying spectacular views of the Peak District, the Longshaw Estate reveals some of the area's most fascinating local history.
    Longshaw Estate
  • Melbourne Hall
    In its picturesque poolside setting, Melbourne Hall was once the home of Victorian Prime Minister, William Lamb, who as 2nd Viscount Melbourne, gave his name to the famous city in Australia.
    Melbourne Hall
  • National Stone Centre
    Admission to our dramatic fifty acre site, on the edge of the Peak District National Park, revealing a fossil tropical seascape 330 million years old, is free.
  • National Trust Museum of Childhood
    Situated in the 19th century service wing of Sudbury Hall, the Museum of Childhood is a delight for all ages with something for everyone.
    National Trust Museum of Childhood
  • Peak District National Park
    National Parks are Britain's breathing spaces. Places to get away from it all and enjoy fresh air and spectacular countryside.
    Peak District National Park
  • Peveril Castle
    From the inspiring remains of Peveril Castle - high on a rocky outcrop - there's no more spectacular view of the Peak District.
    Peveril Castle
  • Pickford's House Museum
    Pickford's House, a Grade One listed building, was built in 1770 by architect Joseph Pickford as his family home and work premises.
    Pickford's House Museum
  • Pooles Cavern and Buxton Country Park
    High and low adventure at Poole's Cavern and Buxton Country Park.Poole's Cavern - Found deep beneath the limestone hills on the edge of the historic Derbyshire spa town of Buxton.
    Pooles Cavern and Buxton Country Park
  • Red House Stables Working Carriage Museum
    Red House Stables Working Carriage Museum has one of the finest collections of original horse drawn vehicles and equipment in Britain.
    Red House Stables Working Carriage Museum
  • Speedwell Cavern
    Enter the inner world of the underground cave system in the heart of the Peak District National Park and absorb the atmosphere as a watery silence echoes all around you.
    Speedwell Cavern
  • Stainsby Mill
    Discover for yourself the tranquil workplace of a 19th century miller.
    Stainsby Mill
  • Sudbury Hall
    The ideal family day out - an intriguing house, an entertaining museum and a restful garden.
    Sudbury Hall
  • The Donington Grand Prix Collection
    Take a lap around the World's largest collection of Grand Prix cars at the Donington Grand Prix Collection, and start an incredible journey through motor sport history.
    The Donington Grand Prix Collection
  • Treak Cliff Cavern
    Treak Cliff cavern is an underground Wonderland of Stalactites, Stalagmites, Rocks Minerals and Fossils. It is also home to Blue John Stone, a rare form of Fluorite with beautiful colours.
    Treak Cliff Cavern
  • Wirksworth Heritage Centre
    The Story of Wirksworth encompasses the history of the town from prehistoric times to the modern day.
    Wirksworth Heritage Centre

Places to Visit in Derbyshire

  • Alderwasley
    Alderwasley is a very small village just a mile from the Derwent valley Heritage Site. There are lots of walks and fantastic views from the hill tops. There is one pub with real ale and food in the village and three more locally at Belper
  • Ashbourne
    Ashbourne is one of the finest old towns in Derbyshire. Known as the Gateway to Dovedale.
  • Bakewell
    Bakewell is a pleasant old town and has numerous tea-shops offering cream teas with the famous Bakewell Pudding. The town was largely re-built in a surge of prosperity in the early 19th century caused by the expansion of industry.
  • Barlborough
    Barlborough is an ancient village mentioned in the Domesday Book.It contains estate houses built by the Rodes family. The village cross and church date back to Norman times.
  • Barton-under-Needwood
    Barton-under-Needwood is a large, attractive and friendly village located just off the A38 in Staffordshire. The village has several facilities including shops, a library, bank and several pubs.
  • Bolsover
    Bolsover is a small town which was mentioned in the Domesday Book as the property of William Peverel, a Norman knight who fought in the Battle of Hastings.
  • Bonsall
    Bonsall is a beautiful, quiet, rural village set within the idyllic countryside of the Peak District. Traditional limestone cottages adorn windy streets, Bonsall is a village with a history that goes back many centuries.
  • Bradbourne
    Situated in the southeast of Derbyshire's picturesque Peak District, the ancient village of Bradbourne is five miles northeast of Ashbourne, just off the A5056
  • Buxton
    The market town of Buxton is the highest town in England at 1,000 feet (307m) above sea level. It is a historic spa town in Derbyshire, famous for its spring waters.
  • Carsington
    Although Carsington is not by any standards, one of the nicer parts of the Peak District, the reservoir does provide a feature worth visiting.
  • Chesterfield
    Chesterfield is Derbyshire's largest town, situated close to the M1 and on the rivers Rother and Hipper.
  • Clay Cross
    Clay Cross began as a mainly farming community until in 1837, whilst George Stevenson was building his railway from Leeds to Derby, tunnelling began beneath the town and found vast deposits of coal and iron ore were found.
    Clay Cross
  • Cromford
    Cromford is Richard Arkwright's town. He was the great pioneer of the modern factory system, using water power to drive production machinery for the first time and revolutionising the textile industry.
  • Crowden
    The small hamlet of Crowden, also known as Crowden-in-Longdendale, is in the far northern tip of Derbyshire.
  • Derby
    Derby is a busy industrial city, home of the famous Royal Crown Derby Porcelain. Derby lies on the west bank of the River Derwent close to its junction with the Trent.
  • Egginton
    Eggington like many villages, developed round an estate and hall owned by the Every family. In 1902 the hall was visited by royalty, King George V11 and Queen Alexanda, over the next 50 years the hall slowly fell into decay.
  • Etwall
    At first, Etwall seems like any other Derbyshire village. However, beneath the surface hides a village of great historical interest, dating back to the 16th century.
  • Glossop
    Set within the Borough of High Peak in Derbyshire, Glossop is a market town midway between Sheffield and Manchester.
  • Great Longstone
    Great Longstone is a small village in the Peak District National Park.It is a very old settlement and was mentioned in the Domesday book in 1086 as Langesdune.
    Great Longstone
  • Highpeak Junction
    High Peak Junction is the start of the High Peak Trail, which follows the track of the former Cromford and High Peak Railway. Built in 1830, it was one of the earliest railways in the world and was designed on canal principles.
    Highpeak Junction
  • Littleover
    The oldest property in Littleover is the Thatched Cottage down in the Hollow, it may have been a labours cottage in the 16th century, Later it was an Inn now a private residence, lower down the Hollow is a ancient stone trough.
  • Matlock
    Matlock is on the River Derwent, at the eastern edge of the Derbyshire Peak District and at the southern end of the Peak National Park. The coming of the railways transformed Matlock from a small hamlet whose main occupations were farming
  • Matlock Bank
    Matlock Bank is the name given to the steep hillside to the east of the River Derwent, where Bank Road rises steeply from Crown Square in the centre of Matlock. This was once the site of the steepest tramway in the world.
    Matlock Bank
  • Matlock Bath
    Matlock Bath enjoys a dramatic location in the deep gorge of the River Derwent. It has been a tourist resort since 1689 when warm springs, at a constant temperature of 68 degrees F, were discovered. Few people take the waterers today
    Matlock Bath
  • Mickleover
    You could be forgiven for thinking that Mickleover is just another overspill residential area of Derby with it's row of busy shops and business serving the ever expanding housing developments but Mickleover hides a secret.
  • Parwich
    Parwich is an attractive, historic village. Its stone cottages - many dating back over 200 years - are packed into the valley bottom and spread up the lower slopes of the surrounding hills.
  • Swadlincote
    Swadlincote is the southern most town in Derbyshire, the main street is a busy traffic free shopping precinct, furnished with ample seating, shaded under trees. The focal point of the town is the market square.
  • Tansley
    Tansley is in Derbyshire, 1.5 miles east of Matlock, in the south-east of the Peak District, just outside the Peak District National Park in the centre of England. The village has one shop (for sale), a primary school, an Anglican church,a
  • Youlgreave
    The village of Youlgreave (pronounced Youlgrave) is a popular starting point for walks in the White Peak. It lies on a narrow limestone shelf, with houses spilling down the steep slope to the river Bradford.

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