Where to go, What to do?
Dovedale – in Derbyshire and the Peak District, is owned by the National Trust and is farmed with many sheep on the rocky slopes and in the woods. It is little more than 3 miles distance between Thorpe to the south of the dale and Milldale in the north with the famous part being the wooded ravine between the stepping stones, a short distance from the car park at the front of Thorpe Cloud and the cave like Dove Holes. Dovedale’s stepping stones appear on thousands of post cards and the area attracts a million visitors a year. Keep away on sunny weekend afternoons.
Ashbourne (founded by the Saxons) is one of Derbyshire’s finest old market towns, ashbournecombining a medieval street pattern and historic buildings with a wealth of high quality shops. Lying in a lovely green valley on the southern edge of the Peak District, the town attracts many visitors who come to enjoy a scene which has changed little in appearance since the 18th century. The cobbled market place, hidden alleys and yards are a delight to explore, and the wide and elegant Church Street is considered to be the finest street of Georgian buildings in Derbyshire.
Ashbourne County Show – Run by Ashbourne Shire Horse Society, which itself was founded in 1881, Ashbourne Show provides a wonderful day out with entertainment and competitions for people of all ages and every background.
Tissington Trail – runs along a 13 mile route from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay. At this point it joins up with the High Peak Trail, which runs from High Peak Junction to Dowlow near to Buxton. Surrounded by beautiful countryside the traffic-free trail is ideal of horse riders, cyclists, naturalists and walkers. It is suitable for wheel chairs and pushchairs along the flat sections.
Tissington village –well dressings throughout Derbyshire, but this is one of the best and is in May, usually.
Tissington Hall – Tucked away in the Peak District’s wild rolling hills lies the Tissington Estate. Eight generations of the FitzHerbert family have lived in this beautiful Jacobean Mansion, which presides over a quintessentially English village, complete with duck pond and village green. There are a number of interesting shops here, aswell.
Alton Towers – Escape to the fantabulous world of the Alton Towers Resort – thealton towersre’s so much going on, the fun never stops! As good for the big ones as well as the little ones. Great swimming open all year in a palm tree oasis.
Chatsworth House – stunning backdrop, adventure playground, lovely gardens, great walks and farmyard fun which does not need more explanation – certainly a 2 day visit when linked with beautiful Baslow (and its village trail) only next door. Afternoon tea in the Devonshire Arms, or Lupo’s Italian restaurant in Baslow …… both yummy.
Haddon Hall – Haddon Hall is a fortified medieval manor house dating from the 12 th Century, and is the home of Lord and Lady Edward Manners whose family have owned it since 1567. It is also the location of many films including Jane Eyre, The Tudors and Pride & Prejudice. The family chapel is truly amazing to see. Well worth a visit.
Buxton Spa – The Roman spa and settlement, Aquae Arnemetiae, developed around thermal springs in the Wye Valley. The Elizabethans and later, Mary Queen of Scots also ‘took the waters’. The old town grew up above, around the market, but not until the building of the Duke of Devonshire’s Crescent in the 1780s did the spa really began to take off. The Crescent was built on the profits from Ecton Copper Mine and was a copy of the larger Royal Crescent in Bath completed five years earlier. Some excellent coffee shops to be found and there’s a Waitrose here for those who fancy some fine treats for their picnics.
Bakewell – Famous for its Puddings, annual Show and for receiving royal charter as a market town in 1330, markets are still held every Monday in the town centre and there is a thriving livestock market. The town has a long and fascinating history; mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1085,`Badequella’ meaning Bath-well. Make sure you take some bread with you to feed the numerous ducks, geese and enormous fish!
Uttoxeter races – Horse racing, auctions, restaurant, antiques fairs, Christmas events, and so much more.uttoxeter racesuttoxeter races2
Calwich Abbey – On the Limestone Way, and close to the Weaver Hills Way/Staffordshire Way is the ruined Calwich Abbey. An abbey was first built on the site in 1148, however the latest hall, built in 1848, was demolished in 1935, leaving only the stable block which is visible today. The composer Handel was one of the abbey’s guests on several occasions and local tradition states that it was the inspiration of some of his most important pieces such as “Messiah” and the “Water Music”. Calwich & Okeover Walk
National Stone Centre – The National Stone Centre is a place crammed with ancient tropical reefs, rocks and minerals, centuries of industrial history, and is full of wildlife treasures – a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). It is set in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales, on the edge of the Peak National Park, and is close to the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Learn about fossils and go on a guided walk down an old mine system.
Cromford Mill where Richard Arkwright had his first factory, now a visitor’s centre, cafes, gallery, crafty type shops. Cheap factory outlet, too.
Sudbury Hall National Trust with the UK’s Museum of Childhood – which was closed last year and has re-opened in spring 2009. We saw the museum previously and our kids loved it. This time, it’s meant to be better!
Trentham Gardens & Monkey World – is the newest and most exciting day out in the country. Set in a beautiful country parkland estate, but only minutes from the M6, it is undergoing a £100m regeneration to create a truly unique experience for visitors. From our unique collection of shops in the Shopping Village and England’s largest Garden restoration project to Boat Trips on our lake, outdoor events and a fantastic Monkey Forestcalke abbey. There’s everything to discover at Trentham. Latest addition for the children is the senses walk where they get to walk through mud. Fantastic fun! (-there are washing facilities here, don’t worry!).
Calke Abbey – A country house, deer park and garden where time has stood still. Wonderful walks, fascinating kitchen garden and a lovely drive down the neighbouring country lanes. One of the best heritage properties around here.
Markeaton Park – over 207 acres of parkland and is one of Derby’s largest parks attracting over 1 million visitors a year making it one of the most popular parks in the East Midlands. The Park offers a wide range of activities and attractions for people of all ages including miniature railway and paddling pool.
Blackbrook Animal Park – An excellent day out with the children and only minutes away.