The Perfect Autumn Walk (according to the experts)

 

The Autumn is a beautiful time to experience the Peak District, so why not take the advice of professional walk guide, Matt Dawson of Trekking Skills as to where’s the best place to go and see those wonderful autumnal colours…

 

 

As we are now teetering on the edge of Autumn, the Peak District National Park starts to develop its colours. The flora and trees start to get visibly weathered- resulting in a more rustic view of the Peaks, which is glorious!
It is a great time of year to be out and about walking; all the family can enjoy the great outdoors (and the fallen leaves, of course)!  But always remember to take waterproof and warm clothing- we all know what a temperamental time of year this is, so don’t get caught out!

The walk this month shall focus on the landscape around Ladybower reservoir. Accessible to many, with plenty of parking and facilities at Fairholmes, it’s  a popular place to start your Peak District adventure!

 

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The circular walk starts at Ashtontop (on the eastern side of the aqueduct) and ascends in a northerly direction on well trodden marked paths to Whinstone lee tor. A point for your party to catch breath and start to admire the view of Ladybower reservoir. There are many walking paths around the top of Derwent edge as this is a popular accessible viewpoint. Heading further north the path lessens in gradient and keeping Ladybower reservoir on your lefthand side is a good navigational feature. Firstly passing Wheel stones then White tor at 486 metres of height then on to the iconic boulder of Salt Cellar.You can also seek shelter from a blustery wind if the Autumn season is in full swing!

 

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Keeping your height and heading further along Derwent edge you pass Dovestone tor and Cakes of Bread. These rocky outcrops are well known and provide good features of interest for the walk. Once at the high point of Back tor triangulation point (trig point) of 538 metres there are numerous paths descending westwards down to the wooded area of Derwent reservoir dam. The burnt colour of the Autumn leaves will make an ideal photograph- so make sure you pack your camera. Back on flat ground again we head along the eastern side of Ladybower reservoir surrounded by wonderful Autumn trees for three kilometres back to the start of the walk at Ashopton.

 

 

An enjoyable day in the Peak District national park with plenty of nature’s autumnal tones, scenic viewpoints and accessible walking terrain to suit most adventures.

So, go on, enjoy this season as much as you can- head out and explore!

 

Guest blogger: Matt Dawson of Trekking Skills

07792008862 matt@trekkingskills.co.uk

5 Star luxury in the Peak District…

 

After a long day exploring the vast landscapes and quaint villages of the Peak District & Derbyshire, imagine winding down for the rest of the evening in a luxurious B&B or self-catering apartment… sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

So, here’s a handful of our most gorgeous 5 star properties in the area:

Underleigh House

 

 

 

Underleigh house was built in 1873 as a typical Derbyshire longhouse with living accommodation at one end, a cart shed at the other with winter housing for stock in the middle and a hayloft above.  Great walks (such as the Great Ridge between Loose Hill and Mam Tor, Win Hill , Crookstone Moor, and Ladybower) can be undertaken directly from the door- suggested routes/maps are provided. Also nearby are: Chatsworth House, Haddon Hall, Lyme Park and Hardwick Hall to consider, not forgetting the charms of Castleton (and its caves), Hathersage, Eyam (the ‘Plague Village’), Tideswell, Bakewell, and Buxton-

Bretton Cottage, Eyam

 

Bretton cottage is a charming 17th Century former Farmhouse situated within the tranquil hamlet of Bretton, surrounded by spectacular panoramic views of the Derbyshire Countryside. Lovely scenic walks across wild flower meadows, woodland areas and moorland are right on your doorstep!

Silver Ridge, near Matlock

 

 

Silver Ridge is set over eleven acres of mature gardens, surrounded by fields and woodlands. This is a real high quality place to stay, and offers a little haven of peace and quiet! Its location means you can easily explore the surrounding Peak District and make the most of your trip.

 

The Smithy

 

 

Originally the 17th century ‘Drovers Inn’ and after that a traditional Blacksmiths! Full of character, this centrally located accommodation is situated in the beautiful, rolling landscape of the Peak District National Park. The Smithy, a lovingly restored Grade II listed building provides distinctive, private accommodation in an unforgettable setting.

 

Bridge Hill House

 

 

Bridge Hill House offers modern yet cosy accommodation which is actually on the hillside overlooking the Derwent Valley! There’s also panoramic views of Belper mill town too boot!

 

The Old Lock-Up

 

 

This unusual and quirky historical  guest accommodation is perfect for a romantic break for those wanting to stay somewhere a little bit different. Rooms dripping with character are situated in the Derbyshire Dales, the edge of the Peak District National Park. This idylic location means great walking, Chatsworth, Carsington, the High Peak and Tissington Trails are all very easy to get to!

 

 

And here’s some 5 star self-catering

 

Church Farm Cottage & Barn

 

 

Church Farm’s Dovedale Cottages offer two gold award winning self-catering cottages nestling in the grounds of an organic farm in the tranquil and peaceful setting of Dovedale. A great deal of conservation has been taken out on this Grade I listed building, having been tastefully refurbished to retain much of their original charm!

This really is the ultimate countryside cottage; with beamed ceilings, richly coloured rugs and a cosy open fire to warm your toes. There’s also a gorgeous cottage garden with wonderful rambles from door to the dales.

 

Slade House Farm

 

 

Slade House Farm, no longer a working farm, provides 3 luxury and very individual self catering holiday properties in glorious farmland surrounded by outstanding views of the Derbyshire/Staffordshire countryside.

The village of Ilam and the picturesque valleys of Dovedale and the Manifold are spectacular walks right from the doorstep- countryside living at its finest!

 

 

 

Heritage Open Days in the Peak District & Derbyshire- Don’t miss out!

 

 

 

 

  • Devonshire Dome: Costume Character Guides, Sunday 11th September

 

  • Mary Queen of Scots with ‘Discover Buxton’ at the Old Hall Hotel, 8th, 9th & 11th of September

 

  • Hardwick Hall, Saturday 10th of September

 

  • Ilam Park, Saturday 10th of September

 

  • Brindley’s Mill, Leek

 

Things to do this Bank Holiday Weekend

The countdown is almost over- it’s nearly August Bank Holiday Weekend!

So, what’re you going to do with that glorious extra day off? Here’re a few ideas of what to do in the Peak District & Derbyshire:

Get a taste of 1950s life at Ecclesbourne Valley Railway with special food in the Pullman Buffet and even a fun jazz band to entertain you. There will also be a special themed murder mystery evening on 27th August including a fish and chip supper.
Photo from www.e-v-r.com

You could soak up some culture at Chatsworth…

 Chatsworth has had a long love affair with art, so why not enjoy the house, gardens and some of the Devonshire’s private art collection!

Sat 19 Mar – Sun 23 Oct 2016

Chatsworth

 

 

Make the most of the Peak District during the Summer months and explore the countless walks on offers, here.

 

For PDFs with information and maps, click here.

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Enjoy the unique Peak District & Derbyshire traditional of Well Dressing!

Well dressing is a wonderful local tradition, using only natural materials beautiful designs are created for the village wells. Some say this tradition goes back to Pagan times, where the water was celebrated and given thanks to!
Here’re a few that are showing this weekend:

Sat 27 Aug – Sat 3 Sep 2016

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Sat 27 Aug – Sat 3 Sep 2016

And there’s loads going on at the new and improved Cromford Mill…

 As well as having a new fantastic projected tour of the very first mill, Arkwright’s mill at Cromford also has some brilliant activities for all the family over the Bank Holiday:

Sat 27 – Sun 28 Aug 2016

Sat 27 – Sun 28 Aug 2016

If you’d like to get the latest blogs, events and photos from the Peak District & Derbyshire, follow our Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

 

The Ultimate Summer Walk in the Peak District


Guest Blogger: Cath Lee, of Peak Walking Adventures

August is the perfect time to enjoy a walk in the part of the Peak District known as The Dark Peak.  The heather on the moors bursts into flower, and vast swathes of moorland take on the appearance of being carpeted in purple.  As you walk along in the sunshine, a lovely honey scent can be released as your legs brush against flowers at the side of the path.

The Dark Peak extends down the east and west sides of the Peak District and takes in most of the northern part of the National Park, so there is plenty of choice when it comes to moorland walks.

One of my personal favourites is Stanton Moor near to the villages of Birchover and Stanton in Peak.  It’s also not too far from the towns of Matlock and Bakewell.  A lovely network of paths lead around the edges, and across this small area of moorland.  You can enjoy far reaching views down the Derwent Valley from the eastern edge.

 

 

Stanton Moor is home to the famous Nine Ladies Stone Circle.  Believed to date back to Bronze Age times, and a place where ceremonies one took place, possibly of a religious nature.  The information board there tells the entertaining story as to how the stone circle got its name.

Other fascinating features scattered around the moor include the Earl Grey Tower which was built to commemorate the passing of The Great Reform Act of 1832, and is named after the Prime Minister at that time.  You can also marvel at a number of impressive gritstone rocks, such as the aptly named Cork Stone.

For a gentle walk of up to 3 miles, you could start and finish in the village of Birchover.  The 172 bus passes through the village from Matlock or Bakewell.  If you have a car, you could even park your car on Birchover Road north of the village at the actual entrance to the moor.

For a longer walk involving a hill, the village of Rowsley on the A6 between Matlock and Bakewell is a good place to start.  You can take the footpath running directly south from Cauldwell’s Mill, passing Stanton Woodhouse Farm, then wind your way up the hillside on footpaths and lanes until you reach the moor.  After exploring the beautiful moorland, a great route back down to Rowsley is to exit the moor at the northern end onto Lees Road, then take the footpath that runs at the side of Sheepwalk Wood onto Pilhough Lane, then on paths over fields and on lanes back to Rowsley.  As you walk down the hillside you can enjoy spectacular views up the Derwent Valley, over the Haddon Estate, and towards the market town of Bakewell.

The Ordnance Survey, White Peak (OL24) Explorer Map is ideal to show you all of the footpaths and to help you find your way.

When walking over the beautiful moorlands, and through the pretty countryside of the Peak District, please follow the Countyside Code to help protect it, and enable others to enjoy a similar experience after you.

 

Don’t miss out on the Olympic action!

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Can’t make it to Rio…? Fear not, for a bit of fun we’ve compiled a list of great things you can do much closer to home, right here in the Peak District and Derbyshire. No medals up for grabs though, so don’t get too competitive!

Walk, scramble or climb up a hill

Breathtaking scenery of Curbar Edge

The area is absolutely jam packed with hills, from a gentle walk to Solomon’s Temple atop of Grin Low in Buxton affording wonderful views of the surrounding countryside, to a challenging walk, scrambling over rock and boulder strewn streams to the summit of Kinder Scout. For the more adventurous, join one of our many activity providers for a day of climbing some of the areas many crags and cliff faces.

Explore our gardens

Renishaw Arch

2016 is a year-long celebration of all things Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. This renowned landscape gardener crafted many gardens in England in his heyday, including our very own Chatsworth. Use this, and the summer weather, as the perfect excuse to get out and explore more of our beautiful gardens such as those at Renishaw Hall, Lyme or Hardwick Hall.

Do as the athletes do

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Let’s face it, at some point over the summer we’re bound to have one or two days of inclement weather, it’s inevitable, but don’t let that stop you! There are a number of great leisure centres offering everything from swimming to badminton, indoor climbing and even trampoline courses!

All the fun of the fair

Chatsworth Country Fair 2013

Summer is the time of year when the country show season is in full swing with events showing off all sorts of rural pursuits from sheepdog trials to horsemanship. Highlight events include Hayfield Show, Hope Show and Chatsworth Country Fair.

Pudding eating contest

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Okay, so we have made this one up (at least we don’t *think* it exists), but see who amongst your friends and family can eat the most Bakewell Puddings in the home of this quintessentially English delicacy, not to be confused with the Bakewell Tart though!

Cycle the trails

Cycling at Derwent

After eating those puddings on a gorgeous day of the great British summer, there couldn’t be a better time to jump in the saddle and head out on two wheels along beautiful, traffic-free trails! Bring your own, or hire a bike and cycle the Monsal, Tissington or High Peak trails to name but a few.

Well, Well, Well

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The Peak District and Derbyshire is home to the unique custom of Wells Dressing, where towns and villages across the region come together to create living art installations from natural materials celebrating everything from biblical scenes to special anniversaries.

Catch a Pokemon

Get on board the very latest craze and catch a Pokemon in the augmented reality hit game, Pokemon Go. We’ve Pokestops everywhere from Chatsworth, to Derby, Croots Farm and many more.

Hassop station POKEMON

Stay a while

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We may not have an Olympic Village, but we have many of our own gorgeous, picturesque villages to explore at your leisure as well as more places to stay than you can imagine from cosy cottages, luxurious B&B’s, country hotels, inns, campsites, lodges and much much more. Book your next stay, and unlike the Olympics, don’t wait four years to return!

 

 

 

8 Things To We Love Best About the Peak District

 

It’s National Parks week this week!

So, we thought we’d ask our Facebook fans what they love best about walking in the Peak District, the first National Park in the country, and here’s a few of our favourites…

 

Birchen Edge Taken by Rebecca Read National Parks Week Quoteedale National Parks week QuoteFeeling like nothing else matters Bamford Quotefreedom to roam birchen edge quoteSnake Pass woods quote National Parks WeekThe changing colours Longshaw Estate

 

Edale river national parks quote

 

Three Ships Aphorism

 

If you’d like to tell us your favourite thing about the Peak District & Derbyshire, let us know via our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

 

You can also join in the conversation about National Parks Week by using #NationalParksWeek on social media.

 

 

 

5 English Gardens You Need To Visit This Summer

 

2016 is the year of the English garden, so let’s celebrate!

Here’s a few of our favourites that we think are well worth a visit:

 

1- Gardens of Renishaw Hall

Winner of the 2015 ‘Garden of the Year Award’ you can imagine just how magical this garden is!

The first thing that greets you is the Italian inspired part of the garden, with perfect symmetry, water fountains and delicate statues. Walking down through all of this loveliness, you can see a beautiful old trees,a lake and field full of cows. There’s also a wilder part of the garden which includes bluebells and a newly planted walk-through arch of hanging laburnum- which is stunning when they’re in bloom! An undeniably brilliant day out.

 

 

2-Chatsworth Gardens

This is the ultimate example of the ‘English Garden’, designed by Capability Brown 300 years ago, it’s been added to ever since. There’s water features, a kitchen garden, stunning landscaping, captivating sculptures and even a maze! It’s a fascinating garden that will leave you feeling like a Duke or Duchess.

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Photo by Guy Badham Photography

 

 

3-Haddon Hall Gardens

It’s easy to find yourself fantasising that you’re the lead role in a moody period drama when wandering around this gorgeous garden. There’s beautiful stone turrets, an Elizabethan inspired knot garden, gorgeous terraces, beautiful red roses- all set on the background rolling hills and the river Wye.

 

 

4-Hardwick Hall Gardens

The gardens of Hardwick Hall have a fantastic collection of  courtyards, gorgeous flower boarders, orchards, lawns, and wonderful formal hedges. They also are claimed to have ‘one of the finest herb gardens in the country’!

Where ever you turn there’s always a gorgeous scene, with both Hardwick hall and the Hardwick Old Hall in plain view from the gardens- it’s a real pleasure to explore!

 

 

5-Kedleston Hall Gardens

As well as the grounds of Kedleston Hall having gorgeous land for some country walks, it’s also home to ‘pleasure grounds’. These are one of the best surviving examples of an 18th-century informal landscape. Although it looks natural, the landscape was actually intricately designed to show the Hall and its environment in the best possible light- a beautiful and unique example of the English garden!

 

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We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of Peak District gardens, and if you’ve taken any snaps yourself, we’d love to see, so tag us @visitpeakdistrict on Instagram, @vpdd on Twitter or via Facebook– we will be sure to share the best ones with all of our social media friends too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arkwright’s Mill at Cromford: The Ever-Evolving World Heritage Site

Arkwright’s Mill at Cromford is a place that changed the course of history forever.

Created in 1771, it was the first ever water-powered cotton spinning mill in the world. After that, industry and society were never to be the same again!

 

 

 

 

Cromford Mill’s Brand New Additions:

 

After some fantastic restoration, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Cromford Mill now has a brand new look! Along with some great new exhibitions, it’s also now made Cromford the starting point for the whole of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Which includes fifteen miles of Derbyshire’s historic mills and industrial areas, all the way south to the Derby Silk Mill and the Joseph Wright Gallery.

 

Once you arrive at the Cromford Mill site you can have a browse in the unique shops, which sell everything from antiques, original art, textiles, crafts to second-hand treasures in ‘Arkwright’s Attic’!

 

 

Next up is the brand new ‘Arkwright Experience’ exhibition and tour! You can explore the first ever mill with this new and fascinating projection tour, which is hosted by Sir Richard Arkwright himself!  Let the father of industry tell you all about the daily workings of the mill and how he built his water-powered empire.

This is a unique way of travelling through time and feeling as if you’re seeing the first ever mill in full swing!

Richard_Arkwright_Hologram_017Image by Business Link East Midlands

 

 

Also in the new Gateway Information Hub, there are some more hands-on activities, such as interactive tablets, films and physical 3D maps. These  allow you  to find out exactly what  the 17 designated sites contained within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Sites are about, and their history-  it’s a great way to start to a  journey though the history of the area.

There are also new audio tours, English, German and Mandarin, so now more people than ever can enjoy the history of Cromford!

 

 

 

Besides being the only World Heritage Site in the whole of the East Midlands, Cromford Mill also offers a fantastic canal side cafe, so after your fun day of shopping and time-travelling back to a day in the world’s first ever mill, you can relax by the canal and enjoy some food or just some tea and cake!

 

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Cromford Mills is a charity, therefore all proceeds go back into the site, so why not have a fantastic day out and help to keep local industrial history alive?

Click here for more information on your day out at Cromford!

 

This was an advertorial for Cromford Mills.

5 Great Ideas for Day Out this Father’s Day

 

Father’s Day is just around the corner, so we’re here to help you organise an unforgettable day-out for your Dad that he will love!

Here are a few ideas that we thinks dads everywhere would very much enjoy:

 

 

Breadsall Priory: driving range, beer and chips!

If your dad likes hitting golf balls at a driving range, drinking beer and eating chips this is pretty much a gift made for him- this offer includes: a bucket of range balls, a bucket of beer and a bucket of fish and chips!

 

Tour of Derby’s Real Ale Pubs

The Lonely Planet has called Derby “the best place to drink real ale in the world” and with good reason too! Derby has more beers on offer per population than anywhere else in the UK and with loads of great of breweries based in the city, there’s no danger of not enjoying a good brew. Click here for a list of ten of the best real ale pubs, from Visit Derby.

 

Vintage Adventure Tours

Why not let your dad be driven around some of the Peak District’s best bits in a vintage car?  The model is a 1929 Model A Ford, and the driver is dressed completely in very fancy vintage clothes, so would make for a fantastic Father’s Day experience!

 

Take Aim for Father’s Day at Bolsover Castle 

If you think your Dad would like a family day out firing off arrows and alike- why  not have Father’s Day weekend being a family of archers for the day! You’ll be greeted by the expert archers and hear tantalising tales of chivalrous battles and fearsome quests. Sharpen your arrows for a Father’s day out to remember.

 

Cromford Mill’s New ‘Arkwright Experience’ 

If your Dad is a history lover, this is perfect. There’s a great new projected exhibition/tour of the very first, original mill and it’s lead by Sir Richard Arkwright at Cromford Mill!