Dates To Fill Your 2017 Diary with Excitement

Get ready to fill your brand-new diaries with dates for exciting events in Derbyshire and the Peak District, good enough to count down the days for…

RHS Chatsworth Flower Show 7-11 June

rhs-chatsworth

This is going be a biggie- this is the first year out of ten that the RHS Flower show is going to be held at Chatsworth and it’s bound to be a massive success. With themes such as ‘design revolutionaries’ running through the horticultural displays, you’re bound to be in for a glorious day- best get yourself a ticket before they sell out!

 

Eroica Britannia 16-18 June

L'Eroica Team - credit 93ft

 

Eroica is back for another year, and the level of handsomeness at 2017’s festival is sure to be outstanding. Now in its new location of Newhaven, Derbyshire, this year offers a 25-mile ride as well as a 55 and (gulp) 100-mile rides. There’re some fantastic glamping options too!

Chesterfield Festival of Cricket 3-8 July

chesterfield-festival-of-cricket-dcccyorkshire-at-chesterfieldPhoto by Derbyshire County Cricket Club

There’s some major cricket planned for this year’s Festival of Cricket, all at the famous cricket ground in Chesterfield, Queen’s Park…

Monday 3 to Thursday 6 July – The Derbyshire Falcons welcome Durham to Queen’s Park ground to open, and on Saturday 8 July – The Falcons will face Yorkshire to conclude the festival.

There will (probably) be lots of sunshine so bring a picnic and enjoy.

 

Buxton Festival 7-23 July

buxton-wakes-worldPhoto by Steve Wakes

Buxton Festival is always jam-packed with culture; there will be opera, music and fascinating talks from authors.  Click the link above for details on what’s on.

 

 

Chatsworth Country Fair 1-3 September

Cannons firing in front of Chatsworth House, during Chatsworth Country Fair

Chatsworth Country Fair is always a popular event, and one full of excitement. To name just some of what the Country Fair offers, there’s a horse driving show, dog agility, a falconry court, highland dancing, sheepdog trails, cookery and loads of great stalls for you to do some unique shopping. Don’t miss out on this great event at Chatsworth- get it in the diary!

 

Y NOT 27-30th July

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Y NOT is a massive music festival held in a Derbyshire field, with some of the biggest names in music playing. So make sure you mark the dates, grab yourself a ticket and dance the weekend away.

 

Shrovetide Football Match at Ashbourne  28 Feb- 1 March

 

shrovetide-football

The Royal Shrovetide Football Match is a “Medieval football” game played annually on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday in the town of Ashbourne in Derbyshire. Shrovetide ball games have been played in England since at least the 12th century, so when this tradition is continued each year in Ashbourne it’s a real sight to see.

Come and see the madness that ensues on these days in the Derbyshire town of Ashbourne!

 

 

Chatsworth International Horse Trails 12 – 14 May 2017

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If you love horses, this could well become the highlight of your 2017 diary…

Chatsworth International Horse Trails are known for their world-class competition, with everything from elegant dressage, show jumping and gripping cross country for you to marvel at.

 

Bakewell Show 1st,2nd & 3rd of August

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Bakewell Show is a great day out for animal lovers. There’ll be an array of exhibitors displaying horses, livestock, rabbits and dogs. You even get to interact with some of these furry and feathered creatures!

 

Derbyshire Food & Drink Fair, Kedleston Hall  May 13-14th

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Derbyshire Food & Drink Fair is always a delight, and this year the venue is the wonderful Kedleston Hall. With cooking demonstrations and cake around every corner, you’ve got every right to get excited about this one!

 

Wirksworth Festival 8-24 September

wirkworth-festival

 

In their own words: “Wirksworth Festival sees this beautiful Derbyshire market town transform into a gallery and performance venue for 2 weeks every September”.

It’s a very exciting time and there’s so much going on, the buzz in Wirksworth shouldn’t be missed.

 

 

Well, we hope that your pristine new diaries are looking a bit more vivacious now and we hope to see you in Derbyshire & the Peak District soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Places to Propose in Derbyshire & the Peak District

 

Christmas is the most popular time to pop the question, so if you or someone you know is currently sitting with a ring burning a hole in their pocket, we wanted to give you some Peak District inspiration for romantic places to propose…

Here are 10 of our personal favourites…

1- Ilam Park/Dovedale

 

Ilam Park is gorgeous any time of day, but if you can get there in the morning, it’s stunning! It’s the perfect place for a peaceful and intimate proposal- this gorgeous place could make someone feel very special indeed.

Closest Postcode: DE6 2AZ

 

cygjzlsxaaajoqmPhoto credit to F Stop Press

 

2- Monsal Head

Monsal Head has a view fit for an engagement- looking over Monsal Dale at sunset would be a wonderful setting to ask your other half to marry you. With the Viaducts in the distance, it’s so picturesque that no-one would be able to refuse!

Closest postcode: DE45 1NL

phil-sproson-insta-monsal-head

Phil Sproson Photography

 

3- Ladybower Reservoir

Ladybower is known for its serenity and beauty, so if your other half loves the calmness of a reservoir why not take them to Bamford Edge, looking down onto Ladybower Reservoir or right down to the waterfront, where the surroundings are reflected onto the water- either option would be terribly romantic!

Nearest postcode: S33 0AQ

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo by Stephen Elliot

 

4-Chatsworth Estate

Chatsworth House is a beautiful place, but the surrounding grounds can sometimes be overlooked- taking a fresh Winter stroll through the house’s estate, with images of Pride & Prejudice running through your mind, could be an ideal place to ask for someone’s hand in marriage… especially if you know Mr Darcy’s ‘I love you’ speech off-by-heart…

Here’s a link to some suggested walk routes

tom-hodgson-used-dec-31-chatsworth-winter-snow

Photo by Tom Hodgson Photography

 

5-Winnats Pass

This has to be one of the most dramatic landscapes in the Peak District- and so this view could be the perfect backdrop if you’re after a jaw-dropping proposal.

Closest postcode: S33 8WA

Winnats Pass Pinnacle - Peak District Photography

Photo by James Grant Photography

6-Solomon’s Temple

 

Solomon’s Temple (also known as Grin Low tower) near Buxton , set on the top of Grin Low hill, has spectacular views of the Peak District and Buxton- a very memorable place for your proposal to happen!

Closest postcode: SK17 9DH

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Photo by Tesni Ward Photography

7-By the River at Goyt Valley

 goyt-valley-blog

Lying just a few miles northwest of Buxton, the Goyt Valley is one of the most beautiful areas of the Peak District National Park. The most popular route into the valley is from the A5004, Long Hill road, between Buxton and Whaley Bridge. A narrow, picturesque road leads down to the two reservoirs. There are parking spaces at the foot of the slope, which is the best spot to walk beside Fernilee Reservoir on the right.
This easy three-mile circular walk starts from the small car park at Derbyshire Bridge, which is clearly signposted, about four miles west of Buxton, just down from the A537 Buxton to Macclesfield Road.
Passing along the old Buxton to Macclesfield road, it then crosses open moorland to reach the small packhorse bridge. It’s a very sweet bridge so anyone who loves the Peak District’s little quirks is sure to be overjoyed by getting asked the big question here!

Closest postcode: SK17 6GJ

 

8- Stanage Edge

As well as being another film location for Pride & Prejudice (the bit where Kiera Knightley is standing on the edge of a rock looking all pensive and wind-swept),  it’s also full of beauty, expansive views and lots and lots of big rocks.

Click here for more info on the walk and nearby car parks.

mark-henson-must-credit-stanage-edgePhoto by Mark Henson Photography

 

 

9-Bakewell’s Lovelock Bridge over the Wye

 

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Lovelocks have become a big thing over the years and across the world. The bridge over the Wye at Bakewell is starting to accumulate a few of them so you could say this has become a sort-of romantic hub for Derbyshire.

There is a pay & display carpark very close to this bridge at Granby Road, Bakewell, DE45 1ES

 

bakewell-love-locks-peak-district-photography

Credit to James Grant Photography

10- Golden Clough Brook Bridge at Edale

Edale is a wonderful part of the Peak District- it’s the start of the Pennine Way and is home to some gorgeous nooks and crannies. One such example is the Golden Clough Bridge; just a short walk from the Nag’s Head pub. This little corner of the Peaks looks like something out of a Tolkien novel… it’s a very quiet and romantic part of the Peak District, so they are bound to say yes if you ask on this cute bridge!

Click here for more info on getting to Golden Clough Bridge.

Here’s a link about Edale’s nearby carpark but this is very easily accessible from Edale Train Station.

edale-grindsbrook-golden-bridge-rebs

 

 

 

Now, all we have to say is GOOD LUCK!

 

Dog-Friendly Pubs in Derbyshire & The Peak District

Everyone knows that dogs need walking even in Winter, so why not reward both yourself and your pooch by warming up in a cosy pub after your fresh Winter walk…?

 

Check out this list of dog-friendly pubs in Derbyshire and the Peak District:

Dog-Friendly Pubs near Derby

 

The Hollybush Inn, Holly Bush Lane, Belper, Derbyshire DE56 0RX

The Old Oak, 176 Main Street, Horsley Woodhouse, Ikeston, Derbyshire DE7 6AW

The Falstaff, 74, Silver Hill Rd, Normanton, Derby, Derbyshire  DE23 6UJ

 

 

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Dog-Friendly Pubs near Ashbourne

 

Knockerdown Inn: Nr Carsington Water, Ashbourne, Derbyshire. DE6 1NQ  Tel: 01629 540209

Bentley Brook: Fenny Bentley, Nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire  DE6 1LF  Tel: 01335 350278

The Dog & Partridge: This is also a dog-friendly hotel!

Swinscoe, Nr Ashbourne, Derbyshire. DE6 2HS  Tel: 01335 343183

The Miners Standard: This also provides a dog-friendly campsite!

Bank Top, Winster, Derbyshire. DE4 2DR  Tel: 01629 650279

 

Dog-Friendly Pubs in the Hope Valley

 

 

Ye Olde Nags Head: Cross Street, Castleton, Hope Valley. S33 8WH  Tel: 01433 620248

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese: How Lane, Castleton, Hope Valley. S33 8WJ  Tel: 01433 620330

The Miners Arms: Water Lane, Eyam, Hope Valley. S32 5RG  Tel: 01433 630853

The Moon Inn: High St, Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire. S32 4TL  Tel: 01433 630203

The Old Nags Head: Edale, Hope Valley. S33 7ZD  Tel: 01433 670291

The Rambler Inn: Edale, Hope Valley. S33 7ZA  Tel: 01433  670268

The Maynard: This bar and hotel prides itself on being very dog-friendly, offering water and treats to dogs who stay in the hotel too!

Main Road, Grindleford, Hope Valley. S32 2HE  Tel: 01433 630445

Ye Olde Bowling Green: Smalldale, Bradwell, Hope Valley S33 9JQ
Tel: 01433 620450

Shoulder of Mutton: Church St, Bradwell, Hope Valley S33 9HJ
Tel: 01433 620427
Dog-friendly bar and accommodation!

 

 

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Dog-Friendly Pubs near Matlock

 

The Boat Inn: Scarthin, Cromford, Matlock, Derbyshire. DE4 3QF  Tel: 01629 258083

Red Lion: Main St, Birchover, Nr Matlock, Derbyshire. DE4 2BN  Tel: 01629 650363

Flying ChildersMain Rd, Stanton in Peak, Derbyshire. DE4 2LW   Tel: 01629 636333

The Rising Sun: Rise End, Middleton, Matlock, Derbyshire. DE4 4LS  Tel: 01629 823247

 

 

Dog-Friendly Pubs near Buxton

 

The Duke: 123 St John’s Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6UR Tel: 01298 78781

Church Inn: Main St, Chelmorton, Nr Buxton SK17 9SL  Tel: 01298 85319

Red Lion: Church Lane, Litton, Derbyshire. SK17 8QU  Tel: 01298 871458

The Horse & Jockey: Tideswell, Derbyshire SK17 8JZ  Tel: 01298 872211

Navigation Inn: Brookside, Buxworth, High Peak  SK23 7NE  Tel: 01663 732072

The Wanted Inn: Sparrowpit, High Peak SK17 8ET  Tel: 01298 812862

 

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Dog-Friendly Pubs near Bakewell

 

The Castle Inn: Bakewell, DE45 1DU   Tel: 01629 812103

Red Lion: The Square, Bakewell, Derbyshire. DE45 1BT   Tel: 01629 812054

The Packhorse Inn: Main St, Little Longstone, Nr Bakewell.  DE45 1NN   Tel: 01629 640471

The Crispin: Main St, Great Longstone, Bakewell, Derbyshire.  Tel: 01629 640237

The White Lion: Main St, Great Longstone, Bakewell, Derbyshire.  Tel: 01629 640252

Bulls Head: Church St, Monyash DE45 1JH  Tel: 01629 812372

 

Tag us with a photo of your dog enjoying their cosy pub experience on our Instagram, Facebook or Twitter! 

 

 

For more info on dog-friendly pubs visit this very helpful site, dogfriendlypeakdistrict!

 

 

 

 

9 Christmas Events in Derbyshire & the Peak District

 

Christmas is a MONTH away… but are you in the festive mood yet?

If you’re not quite there, do not fret, for we have a list of great Christmas events bound to give you that fuzzy feeling in the lead-up to the big day!

CHRISTMAS AT RENISHAW, near Chesterfield

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If you’d love nothing more than to wander round a stately home at Christmas time, soaking up all the festive cheer, you won’t want to miss this…

This December, Renishaw Hall will be dressed for a traditional family Christmas, and tours of the house will be given at 1pm and 2.30pm. These must be booked in advance- click the link above for more details.

Tour dates:

Thu 1 – Sun 4 Dec 2016 13:00 14:30
Thu 8 – Sun 11 Dec 2016 13:00 14:30

JOIN SANTA ON A STEAM TRAIN AT PEAK RAIL

Steam Trains are pretty fun by themselves, but add Santa and his Elves along for the ride and you’ve got a Christmas memory to treasure forever.

This festive steam train will be traveling from Rowsley South Station to Matlock  for one return journey, lasting approximately 1 hour.

peak-rail-santa-special-christmas-events-2016

As you chuff along the track, Santa, assisted by his many elves, will pass through the train bearing gifts, sweets and drinks for the kids.

Meanwhile, grown-ups can sit back and relax with a glass of hot mulled wine and a mince pie.

The train will be filled with festive music, professional clowns and magicians to entertain you whilst you travel, so everyone’s bound to have a great time!

Santa Special train rides are happening on Saturday 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th, Sunday 4th, 11th & 18th, Monday 19th Tuesday 20th, Wednesday 21st, Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd December.

CHRISTMAS AT HADDON HALL– An English Renaissance Christmas
1st December to 18th December 2016

haddon-christmas

There’re loads of fantastic and whimsical events happening at Haddon this Christmas period- there’ll be performances and demonstrations on traditional instruments,  choral renditions in the chapel and a concert in the Long Gallery by the Royal Northern College of Music.

There’s loads more going on, so click the above link for full details on all festive events.

This Christmas, Haddon Hall is opening its doors in the evening, so you can enjoy a peaceful candlelit tour- full of sparkle and warm fireplaces!

The candle-lit tours are happening on 7th, 8th, 9th, 12th & 13th December.

MEET SANTA IN HIS GROTTO AT CALKE ABBEY

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Have yourself and your little ones a traditional Christmas grotto experience, and meet Santa in the wonderful setting of Calke Abbey!

With dates throughout the December weekends, tickets are selling out fast so make sure you book your visit to meet Santa at Calke Abbey soon.

Find Calke Abbey at Ticknall, Derby, Derbyshire, DE73 7LE

WATERSIDE WINTER WONDERLAND AT CONKERS, Swadlincote

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This year at Conkers, you can enjoy a Christmassy walk through the Enchanted Forest with Santa’s team of elves who will lead you to the Valley of Christmas lights, and finally, to Santa’s Woodland Grotto!

Adults get to sample some mulled wine and mince pies- so there will be smiles all round.

You can also take a trip on the Santa Special train and go on to watch their festive Christmas show.

Sat 3 – Sun 4 Dec 2016
Sat 10 – Sun 11 Dec 2016
Sat 17 – Sat 24 Dec 2016

FAMILY-FUN CHRISTMAS AT ARKWRIGHT’S CROMFORD MILL, near Matlock

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This Christmas at Cromford Mill will be chock-a-block with exciting Christmassy activities- you can follow the Christmas tree trail, have a donkey ride, get your face painted, enjoy some carol singing and you can even try crafting a traditional Christmas wreath.

Not forgetting the most important part… you can also meet Father Christmas!

Saturday December 10- Sunday December 11

For details on all of these events and when they are, click the link above. Ring to book!

SANTA’S FLOATING GROTTO AT MERCIA MARINA

santas-floating-grotto-mercia-swan

This is not your ordinary grotto… it’s aboard a BOAT. Santa’s BOAT, nonetheless- a FLOATING grotto.

That’s right, Santa has a boat, where you can meet him and get a present aboard this floating grotto.

Enjoy a Christmas cruise on the ‘Mercia Swan’ trip boat and take a short, but festive, trip around the marina.

Dates Times
Sat 17 – Sun 18 Dec 2016 11:00 to 16:00

Find Mercia Marina at Findern Lane, Willington, Derby, DE65 6DW

SANTA, ELVES AND SLEIGH BELLS AT THE TROPICAL BUTTERFLY HOUSE

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Meet Santa in his Grotto, take a magical sleigh ride through the wintery woods, see the Farm Barn Nativity Scene and visit the Elf Workshop for Christmas Crafts- all at the Tropical Butterfly House this Christmas.

There’s also a special Christmas afternoon tea available!

See all of this on the 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th – 24th December 2016

Find the Tropical Butterfly House at Woodsetts Road, North Anston, Sheffield,
South Yorkshire, S25 4EQ

ELVASTON CASTLE FESTIVE FAMILY FUN DAY AT ELVASTON CASTLE COUNTRY PARK

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This Christmas, in the beautiful setting of Elvastone castle there’s going to be a very exciting Elves’ workshop, where you can write a letter to Father Christmas and make a decoration for your tree!

You can also join Father Christmas in Elvaston’s Gothic Hall to hear traditional Christmas tales from around the world.

All this is happening on Sunday 4 Dec 2016 10:00 to 15:00 

Find Elvaston Castle at Borrowash Road, Elvaston, Derby, DE72 3EP

Click here for a full list of all of the Christmas events happening in Derbyshire & the Peak District

Eight of the Cosiest Cafes in Derbyshire & the Peak District

 

The nights are drawing in and soon the mornings will be getting frostier and frostier- so with this in mind, we wanted to focus on all things cosy!

Here are 9 cafes in the Peak District & Derbyshire that are perfect for warming up your fingers, toes and belly…

 

  • Lavender Tea Rooms, Bakewell

 

Nestled in the heart of Bakewell,  this extremely quaint and charming tea room has to be one of our favourite places for a slice of cake and a good cup of tea.

All served on traditional china make for a delightful experience when visiting here. The charming décor has a wonderful vintage flare, and makes you feel completely at home.

You can find this cosy cafe at Hebden Court, Matlock St, Bakewell DE45 1EE

 

 

  • H&F Vintage Tearoom, Chesterfield

Afternoon tea @rosiebarrett46

A post shared by Emily Breedon (@emilybreedon) on

 

A few steps away from Chesterfield’s high street is a brilliant vintage style cafe, with excellent cake, tea and coffee. The cakes are all fantastic colours, flavours but what really makes this place extra special is the wonderful decor, it really does look amazing in there. Even the straws are stylish!

We can’t get enough of H&F Vintage Tearoom, it’s more than worth a visit.

 

  • Village Green Cafe, Eyam 

Victoria sponge is the cake of the day; come and visit us today. (Yes, that is meringue on top!!!!!)

A post shared by Village Green (@cafevillagegreen) on

 

Eyam is a lovely place for a leisurely stroll and a bit of exploring, and a day in Eyam can only be made better with an afternoon tea at the Village Green cafe. Located in the middle of the village, there’s loads of homemade cakes, loose-leaf tea and fair trade coffee- perfect for warming yourself up!

Find the Village Green Cafe, here: The Square, Eyam, Derbyshire, S32 5RB

 

 

  • F’Coffee, Matlock Bath

Open 7 days a week, 10-5. Food, drinks, gifts ☕️🌯

A post shared by f'coffee ☕️ (@fcoffeeuk) on

 

This sweet little cafe is exactly that… full of sweetness! F’coffee is well known for it’s fresh-shakes (with a doughnut and cream on top, obviously), as well as their tea and cakes.

If you’re after a place that’s a bit different from the chain coffee shops to spend a cosy afternoon in Matlock, we think F’coffee is perfect.

 

  • M.A.D.E at No. 18

Our home M.A.D.E @no.18 Church Street, Alfreton, Derbyshire. 🇬🇧 Come visit!

A post shared by David Taylor (@made_at_no18) on

 

This has to be the cosiest place in Alfreton! There’s some great food on offer as well as warming treats such as the Gingerbread or Oreo Hot Chocolate. One of the nicest parts of this cafe/bistro is the local art that can be seen on display- M.A.D.E. @ No 18 showcases a range of artists and crafts people from Alfreton and Derbyshire communities.

A lovely place to relax with friends and family- don’t miss their great Afternoon Tea (the sandwiches are impressively teenie-tiny)!

Find MADE at No. 18, here: 18 Church Street, Alfreton DE55 7AH

 

 

 

  • The Apple Tree Teahouse, Derby

 

The cupcakes, scones and homemade cakey goodness on offer from this cafe are jaw-dropping. If you’re a cake-lover (cough-whoisn’t-cough), then you’re sure to be helpless to its charms … They also sell lovely gifts and bits and bobs in the cafe, so you could even do some Christmas shopping/retail therapy after your tea and cake!

Find Apple Tree at: 6 Flood Street Ockbrook Derby DE72 3RF

 

 

Late lunch

A post shared by Don No (@donno1970) on

 

Caudwell’s Mill in Rowsley is a wonderful snapshot into Derbyshire’s industrial heritage… and is also a lovely place to enjoy some cake, a sandwich or some homemade quiche! After filling your belly to the brim with food and hot tea, you can waddle around the gift shop and, of course, the mill, next door. There’re loads of great things to see (and eat) at Caudwell’s!

Find this cafe, and their yummy food, here: Caudwell’s Mill Rowsley , Matlock , Derbyshire, DE4 2EB

 

 

  • Victoria Vintage Tea Rooms, Draycott

 

Afternoon tea for Mother's Day 😘

A post shared by Jade Osborne 🌸 (@jade_osborne_x) on

 

This one is a bit of a hidden treasure; the Victoria Vintage Tea Rooms is in Draycott, a village in the Erewash district of Derbyshire. It’s around 6 miles east of Derby and 3 miles south-west of Long Eaton.

This Tea Room has an afternoon tea that will fill you up for the rest of the day (so…much…cake…), a warming fireplace and a little doll’s house to boot! The decor is very sweet, making you think you’re having a cup of tea at your Granny’s place- very homey indeed.

If you’re ever in the area, this little gem well worth visiting…. I mean just look at all that cake.

 

Find this cafe at 25 Victoria Road | Derbyshire, Draycott DE72 3PS

 

If you’ve found a little cosy cafe that you love in Derbyshire or the Peak District, why not tag us on Instagram? Find us at www.instagram.com/visitpeakdistrict 

 

 

Dove Valley: An Insider’s Guide

 

Dramatic scenery, castle remains and two counties in a day!

I’m Helen and I’ve been lucky enough to live in the Peak District for the last 35 years. I love walking, jogging and cycling – and what better place to be to enjoy those pursuits! I’m part of the marketing team at Experience Peak District and Derbyshire and this is my Insider’s Guide…

The Dove Valley is a popular and well-loved area of the Peak District and has long been a favourite of mine, from family strolls to the ‘Stepping Stones’ at Dovedale to circular walks dipping in and out of the valley passing the well-known beauty spots of Beresford Dale, Wolfscote Dale and Milldale.

However the walk that I’m going to share with you takes you north through the lesser known and quieter, but no less beautiful, Upper Dove Valley.

The walk starts in the popular village of Hartington. There is car parking around the village and there is also a pay and display car park; opposite this car park are the (all important before setting out on a walk) Public Conveniences. There is also a bus service that runs between Buxton and Ashbourne which serves Hartington.

There are pubs, tearooms and a couple of shops in the village, should you need to fuel up for the walk or refuel afterward. And if you’re a cheese lover don’t miss a visit to the cheese shop, you’ll be spoilt for choice!

So, setting off from the pretty and much-photographed pond in the centre of the village .

 

the-village-of-hartington

 

Head north along Dig Street for a short distance and on your right you will see a green public footpath sign, take this to join Hyde Lane.

the-path-to-hyde-lane

 

Turn left and continue on this minor road until you reach a footpath sign on your left signposted to Pilsbury and Crowdecote…

 

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Go up and over this stile and the onward route is straightforward crossing fields on the side of the valley with splendid views of the river Dove meandering on its way. Passing the remains of former mine workings you descend into a side valley to reach a junction of paths, follow the path for Pilsbury and Crowdecote to reach a road by some farm buildings.

 

the-path-crosses-the-road-by-the-farm-buildings

 

Continue over the stile, across the road and through the gate…

 

over-the-road-and-through-the-gate-signposted-to-crowdecote

 

… and carry on down the waymarked path where you will reach the remains of Pilsbury Castle.

 

the-path-leads-down-to-the-castle-remains

 

Pilsbury Castle is one of the best examples of a motte and bailey castle in Derbyshire, only the earthworks are now visible and the castle’s history is a bit of a mystery, although it was probably built around 1100 by the Normans on the site of an Iron Age fort, there is a handy interpretation board that will tell you more:

 

interpretation-board

 

This is a great photo opportunity with the impressive Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill in the distance …

the-view-from-the-castle-towards-crowdecote

 

Then, from the Castle head south along a farm track …

the-pretty-farm-track-leading-to-the-hamlet-of-pilsbury

 

…to the road and continue down through the hamlet of Pilsbury.

the-road-through-the-hamlet-of-pilsbury

 

Then, turn right  to reach the footbridge over the River Dove- you are now crossing from Derbyshire into Staffordshire!

 

follow-the-footpath-signposted-to-sheen-and-brund

 

Follow the green lane for about 150 metres before crossing the first stile on your left. The path now climbs quite steeply diagonally across fields until you reach the road at the side of a property called High Close, make sure you take plenty of ‘breathers’ on this section to look back into the valley, the views are stunning. Turn left on the road and you will soon reach Harris Close Farm, turning into the drive.

 

turn-into-harris-close-farm-driveway

 

You will see a stile on your right signposted to Hartington, follow the footpath (with the wall on your right) through several fields before descending along the edge of a small conifer plantation where the path descends back into the valley and joins a farm track passing by Bridge End Farm on the outskirts of Hartington.

The path now crosses fields and you will emerge by the now deserted dairy where Stilton Cheese was once made.  Turn left along the lane and you are back in the centre of the village for a well- earned cup of tea and slice of cake! And perhaps a visit to the Cheese Shop?

 

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The walk is about 6 miles in total and I think an official grading would be ‘moderate’. Take your time, fill your lungs with the fresh air and soak up the fantastic views, and beware you’ll probably be back as it’s likely to end up on your favourites list, like it did for me!

 

 

Remember to always take a map and compass with you whenever you walk in the Peak District- Although Helen has lived her all her life, she is not an accredited walking guide!

 

 

 

The Ultimate Viewpoint in the Peak District- the photographer’s choice

 

 Viewpoint from Grindsbrook by photographer  Mat Robinson


Kinder Scout often gets a lot of attention, what with being the highest point in the Peaks, and very few areas get as crowded as Grindsbrook Clough in the summer due to its ease of access and obvious beauty – but that doesn’t stop some nearby views being, in my opinion, the best in the National Park.

 

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Starting from Edale, this round walk can be completed in a few hours, being just 5.5 miles long, but does include some lung busting ascents if you’re rushing up for a sunrise or sunset (which, unfortunately, are the best times to visit). As you head out of the top of the village, the road soon becomes a private access road and the path curves down to the stream on the right – follow this path into the open fields opposite and then keep to the flagstones. You soon find the sides of the valley steepening and your route up becomes clear – just follow the water. The main path generally stays clear of the stream but don’t be afraid to venture off to take some photos of the numerous cascades.

 

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As you head out of the top of the village, the road soon becomes a private access road and the path curves down to the stream on the right – follow this path into the open fields opposite and then keep to the flagstones. You soon find the sides of the valley steepening and your route up becomes clear – just follow the water. The main path generally stays clear of the stream but don’t be afraid to venture off to take some photos of the numerous cascades.

 

 

Eventually, the route steepens and the paths get a little less well defined, as a general rule, if you keep left you’ll find your way up the correct stream, avoiding the many tributaries. The last few hundred yards are a steep walk (you may need hands in places) up the riverbed itself, so expect to get a little bit wet after recent rain… although in summer it can be completely dry. This tops out on the plateau and the views down Grindsbrook Clough are stunning.

 

 

There are numerous interesting rocks on both sides up here, but to the east, you’ll find some especially lovely, eroded ones along with amazing views back down Grindsbrook Clough – to Lose and Win Hills beyond.

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Continuing along this easterly route, about half way around the rim of the valley, you’ll come across my favourite location, Upper Tor. These impressively weathered outcrops stand proudly above the valley, with the Great Ridge acting as a perfect backdrop. The angle of the rocks here means that timing is everything- they’re perfect for a sunset photo year round, as shown below, but the light is lost relatively early here as the higher reaches of the plateau block the sun well before the sun sets on the surrounding landscape. If you want to visit on a morning, winter is the best option as you’ll catch the sun rising right in the middle of this view too.

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As you continue the walk, you’ll find numerous tributaries that you’ll have to cross, some easier than others, and a few more waterfalls which can be beautiful in any weather.

 

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Finally, as you come towards the final descent, the views before doing so are well worth your efforts thus far. You’ll end up on a thin rocky outcrop called Ringing Roger from which the views to the south are as breathtaking as all those around the earlier walk, but you’ll also be able to look northwest to see the route you’ve just taken below Grindslow Knoll.

 

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From here, there’s initially a bit of a scramble down, but if you retrace your steps by a few hundred yards you can then walk down a larger path into the valley. If you’re in a rush for the last train home, as I have been many times, you can usually get down to the station in under half an hour… just be careful! If on the other hand, you have plenty of time after making your way down then it’s well worth stopping by the Rambler Inn in Edale and sitting in a comfy leather chair by the fire with a pint of Farmer’s Blonde. A good way to dry out after the usual Kinder weather!

Alternative route up:

I mentioned near the start that the ascent includes a steep final section up the bed of the stream, which can get tricky in the winter. Alternatively, you can start by following the Pennine Way out of Edale (west, just as you reach the Old Nags Head) which takes you up a wooded path with a stream in a ditch beside it. Follow this for a few hundred yards before it opens out into fields. Don’t follow the path through the gate, instead just head up to the right following a worn track through the grass. A short while later you come to a gate and the path becomes obvious again – taking this route up you’ll top out on Grindslow Knoll, just keep to the right-hand path and you’ll soon find yourself joining the earlier route at the top of Grindsbrook.

 

If you’d like a tour of these dramatic locations, take a look at http://www.matrobinsonphoto.co.uk/the-dark-peak-outcrops-and where you’ll find further information and the option to contact Mat to discuss a potential trip out

 

Mat Robinson is not a professional or accredited walking guide, this blog has been written as an outline to a walk so please always be careful when walking in the Peak District and make sure to always carry a map and compass… just in case!

 

Wildlife Photography: Capturing Badgers

Capturing Badgers by Wildlife Photographer Tesni Ward

 

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European Badgers have been heavily persecuted by man for hundreds of years, dating back to 1566 when a change in law made Badgers a real target. This Act of Parliament meant that it was compulsory for the general population to kill as many creatures on the ‘vermin’ list as possible, with a significant financial incentive for returned carcasses. It wasn’t just ‘official’ activities that threatened Badger populations, badger baiting also played a large part from the 1800s, which still continues to this day despite being outlawed in 1835.

 

With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that my initial quest to find and photograph badgers was met with numerous failures. They have every reason to avoid humans, but this didn’t deter me, I was on a mission and I’m too stubborn to give up that easily!

 

It took months, countless hours of research and reading on all aspects of badger ecology, behaviour and speaking with experts and hunt saboteurs until I was successful in locating my first sett; I’ve never been so excited at finding fresh droppings! Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be, as it became apparent that these Badgers didn’t come aboveground until long after sunset, which was understandable when I learned it was heavily targeted by baiters! Rather than risk negatively impacting them in any way, I decided to continue the search, but it took several more weeks and a spark of luck to find the sett I now work with.

 

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With over 20 entrances across a steep clay hill, it was apparent that this sett would present it’s own unique challenges, well, where do I start? The first evening I spent there I chose an entrance to watch, nestled back into the bushes and waited silently. Following all the ‘typical’ rules of badger watching, I kept silent and still for about half an hour, balancing my 500mm lens and camera on my knee in the hope that a badger may pop out, before I heard a distinctive snap behind me.

Slowly, I turned to survey the area, finding nothing, but as I turned back, I was confronted by a large male badger, not 3m from me. I was frozen in complete and utter shock; I couldn’t believe it was happening!

All this time searching for these beautiful animals and there’s one right in front of me. I think he was as surprised as me, standing and sniffing the air for about 30 seconds. It felt like hours. Desperately trying and failing to focus the camera, knowing full well I couldn’t frame the shot and that the badger was likely far too close, he waddled into the bushes beside me. My heart was pounding clean out of my chest and I was overwhelmed with what had just happened, but the light was fading and I knew that it was time to leave whilst the coast was clear.

 

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It took several more visits before I was able to ascertain which entrances they were regularly using, but I saw badgers every single time. Using 4 grouped entrances undercover of ferns and foliage, I was forced to sit on the steepest section of the hill in order to keep far back whilst still being in visual contact. To this day, I’m constantly battling to not slip down the bank; my tripod has spiked feet… my shoes do not.

My first night sat observing this area proved to be even more extraordinary than the first, as I watched 7 individuals leave the sett and forage in the area, with the largest boar coming within a few meters but apparently never recognising that I was present…

 

 

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This would be the beginning of an adventure for me, visiting regularly to see my ‘badger family’. As the summer went on, individuals gradually earned names due to their unique characteristics and personalities. Mr Piggy was a young cub who overnight developed a severe abscess on the side of his face. I was very clearly beyond emotional attachment, being distraught and concerned for his future.

You can imagine how overjoyed I was when 3 days later I saw him again, with an albeit slightly gross burst abscess and his usual, quirky personality beaming through. Monitoring his progress, I watched it heal over time and this, paired with his personality, earned him the name.

 

It’s hard to know if they’re aware that I’m there or not, never coming ‘too close’ but they undoubtedly seem far more comfortable and less skittish than when I first began to spend time with them. I like to think that they know I’m there, choosing to gift me with a few moments of their day whenever I’m there.

 

It is because of these extraordinary experiences that any negative opinion of these creatures, even in modern society, baffles me. Timid at first, their charisma quickly shines through. Playing, grooming and being generally clumsy, they could easily be mistaken for our own furry household companions.

 

If you’d be interested in taking a photography workshop with Tesni, please click here for more details. From British seals, birds, lizards or the Peak District landscape- Tesni can show you the way around photographing them all! 

 

 

We went to the Rollercoaster Restaurant at Alton Towers and it was amazing…

 

Your food gets delivered to you on it’s own MINI-ROLLERCOASTER!

 

When you first hear the term ‘Roller Coaster Restaurant’, you might be bombarded with visions of someone frantically trying to eat a burger whilst on a loop-de-loop, yes?

And even though this is a fairly entertaining thought, you’ll be relieved to know that it is, in fact, the FOOD that gets a roller coaster ride, not the both of you.

 

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This instantly filled me with child-like glee as I rushed off to make my order (on a special table-side tablet nonetheless), and watch it have the time of its life on a mini roller coaster.

The atmosphere was brilliant, there were videos of rollercoaster rides projected onto the walls, chips and drinks spinning in all sorts of corkscrew loops overhead and expectant eyes and index fingers flying everywhere.

 

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So, we began with drinks and ordered two cans of fizzy pop. They came down in their own private carriage, tops fastened on with what looked like tiny oven gloves and elastic. Off they went from the kitchen, all the way down to the helter-skelter slide and finally landed onto our table, and voila- our drinks were in front of us.

 

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Of course we immediately dove into ordering our dinners and this time, our mains travelled through their own corkscrew! The food itself was beautiful, you couldn’t taste at all that it had been turned upside down at super quick speed- in fact, having seen its exciting journey probably made it taste even better!

It would be impossible to get bored in this restaurant, the place is full to the brim with pure joy and excitement. No matter what age you are, this would be a fantastic end to a day at Alton Towers!

 

Book a table here.

6 Things To Do for Halloween this Half Term

 

October half term and Halloween is a great time to be a kid- there are so many spooky Halloween activities for your little ones to get excited about, in and around the Peak District area…

 

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So, here’s a handful of great Halloween events this October half term:

 

 

 

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Enjoy a day jam-packed with Halloween activities- take the tractor and trailer ride to the pumpkin patch and select your perfect pumpkin to take home, attend a class at Scare School, try some Broomstick Training and then brave the Haunted Hotel! There’s also a very exciting mini maize maze.

 

 

Fancy going on a Halloween bat-hunt? Elvaston Castle is home to around 7 species of bat, so the grounds are the perfect place for a special bat trail! This Halloween there’s a fun  ‘bat-detective’ puzzle for the whole family to solve, and you’ll even get a Bat Detective certificate at the end.

 

 

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Have some half term fun one of the oldest and most historic houses in England. Take part in a Halloween Trail around the hall to spot special (and spooky) parts of the hall you may not normally notice! The trail is available for families to enjoy all week.

There will be crafts for children (big and small) from the 29th to 31st October, and face painting on the 30th of October.

 

 

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Come and enjoy half term fun with daily pumpkin carving, treasure hunts, spooky guided tours (featuring Wanda the Witch) and face painting – all of which comes along with the usual farm fun of Matlock Farm Park!

 

 

 

Prepare to be scared this Halloween at CONKERS Annual Ghostly encounter at our Waterside Centre! Follow in some ghostly footsteps into the haunted woods… along with all the ghostly ghouls, witches, and trolls…

For the fainter of heart, you can take the easier walk with the younger guests.

Later, everyone will be welcome to the Ugly Bugs Disco in the Gallery where there will be a fancy dress competition with prizes for the winners. You can even watch a spooky movie in the Gallery!

 

 

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For the first time in the Tropical Butterfly House, there will be two Halloween Fright Nights! Taking place on Saturday 29th and Monday 31st October, from 6:30pm – 10pm; where you will have the rare chance to experience the Butterfly House at night…

Spooky crafts, face painting, pumpkin carving, a fancy dress competition, the Witch’s Cottage AND a super scary Haunted House are all on offer this Halloween- it’s set to be an excellent event full of ghoulish laughter!

 

 

The Peak District & Derbyshire is full of great Halloween events,  noted above are just seven of our favourites. Click here for the full list!

 

Happy Halloween, everyone!