By Kingfisher Visitor Guides
There are many reasons to visit Derbyshire and the Peak District, but here are the top 10.
Derbyshire has a fabulous array of historic buildings from castles and grand country houses to an entire village at Eyam – the site of a plague outbreak in 1665. The county also boasts its own UNESCO world heritage site at Cromford Mill – the first water-powered cotton mill dating back to 1771.
Derbyshire’s central location means it’s brilliantly connected by road, rail or air. Neighbouring cities Nottingham, Sheffield, Manchester and Leeds are within an hour’s travel and you’re never more than 20 minutes from the beautiful Peak District.
There are many great attractions in the county for every interest and age. For a small town, Matlock Bath really does have it all for families; Gulliver’s Kingdom Theme Park, Matlock Bath Aquarium, Heights of Abraham, a museum and everything you’d expect from a seaside town – arcades, candy floss and fish and chips – without the seaside.
The towns of Buxton, Bakewell, Matlock, Chesterfield and Ashbourne are bustling with independent shops full of unique gifts, jewellery, fashion and home furnishings. Take advantage of one of the biggest open-air markets in the country, located in the town of Chesterfield or head for the big high street names in Derby city centre.
The Peak District
Not only was the Peak District the UK’s first National Park, it is the world’s second most visited National Park. It literally has something for everyone, from breathtaking views and opportunities for outdoor activities to fabulous places to eat, stay and drink.
Food and drink
Derbyshire’s local produce is guaranteed to get your tastebuds tingling. The county is home to the world-famous Bakewell Pudding, Derbyshire oatcakes and blue cheeses amongst other foodie delights. For a local tipple, try White Peak Distillery’s creative range of hand-crafted spirits and beer lovers won’t be disappointed with a Brampton Brewery brew.
There’s an event for everyone. Annual food festivals at Chatsworth House and Hardwick Hall are a must for foodies and wine connoisseurs alike. While the Derby Festé and Buxton International Festival are two of the UK’s leading art and literary festivals. Music lovers aren’t forgotten either; Derbyshire is host to 10 music festivals celebrating all genres of music.
Its TV and film appearances
Haddon Hall has featured in several films and TV shows, Elvaston Castle has appeared in Women in Love; Kedleston Hall in The Duchess. Repton School was used in the film and TV versions of Goodbye, Mr Chips. Most famous of all, however, is Chatsworth House, which not only boasts Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice to its credit, but was the subject of its own TV series. And you can visit them all.
Chesterfield boasts Derbyshire’s largest, and most iconic, church – The Crooked Spire – accident or design? You decide. Chesterfield is also notable for its black and white buildings, built in the early 20th century in the Tudor Revival style.
The Peak District provides a perfect location for walking, fell running, fishing, cycling, climbing, caving and water sports.
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