ILAM PARK ESTATE

The National Trust cares for 158 acres of Ilam Park, which lies on both banks of the River Manifold five miles north west of Ashbourne and 1 mile from The Rest. It forms part of the South Peak Estate and is open all year.
Ilam Park, at the southern end of the Manifold valley, consists of Ilam Hall and remnants of its gardens, ancient semi-natural woodland designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, and open parkland with well preserved 'ridge and furrow' from medieval agriculture.
There are large areas of grassland around the visitors' car park and the Hall where visitors can enjoy the peace and quiet of this beautiful setting.
Ilam Hall was built between 1821 and 1827. By the early 1930s it had been sold for demolition. Three quarters of the Hall had been demolished before Sir Robert McDougal bought it for the National Trust, on the understanding that it be used as an International Youth Hostel . Ilam Hall is leased to the Youth Hostel Association and is not open to the general public.
Open all year round

TISSINGTON HALL

Built by Francis FitzHerbert in 1609 to replace the moated manor house to the north of the church, it has served the FitzHerbert family as the main home for the best part of 400 years.
Open June, July & August

TISSINGTON TRAIL

The Tissington Trail set up by the Peak National Park is a scenic route 13 miles in length, running from Ashbourne to Parsley Hay. The trail follows the old Buxton to Ashbourne railway and the rambler or rider finds himself travelling through the matchless countryside of the National Park without the interference of cars, pollution or noise. There are car-parking points for people joining the trail at various stages. Walking and cycling routes, all clearly signposted, take the visitor to various local places of interest. There are also shorter routes for people who do not wish to wander too far: these are circular routes based on several of the car parks along the White Peak Scenic Route. At Hartington the old signal box is now an Information Point, open in summer on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Open: All Year

CARSINGTON WATER

The site is owned by Severn Trent Water who manage this unique landscape which changes throughout the year.  Carsington Water is home to local and migrating bird species all year round, which can be observed from the site's  bird-watching hides and wildlife centre.
For the more active the site has numerous cycle paths and trails, an adventure playground for the young and a full calendar of outdoor activities at the water sports centre. Bicycle hire is also available.
Children can have fun indoors and outdoors and there is a full all year round events programme.
For visitors with disabilities there is excellent access throughout the purpose built visitor centre, which includes a restaurant, outdoor café, shops and accessible toilets. Mobility scooters are also available.
If you enjoy outdoor eating then visit our Galley Café, a new covered, outdoor heated area, where you can enjoy a hot or cold light snack.
Areas are also set aside for barbecuing in all three car parks.
Opening times vary.

DERWENT CRYSTAL, Ashbourne

The Derwent Crystal Craft Centre welcomes visitors to browse at their leisure and view the art of glassmaking and decorating open Monday to Friday 9am to 1.30pm and the Gift Shops open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm.
Derwent Crystal has achieved a name for good quality hand blown glass , made with a high lead content crystal. Although all the hand blown glassware is crafted at the Ashbourne Factory, the Derby furnace makes glass items such as paperweights and hand pressed ware such as our ever popular crystal slipper.
The lead crystal is made from the purest of materials available. It is a carefully prepared mixture of silica sand, lead oxide, potash and several minor ingredients which, when melted at 1400 degrees Celsius results in a quality English crystal with sparkle and clarity. The glass makers then fashion the 'metal', as the liquid glass is known, into a wide range of tableware and fancy items. This includes an extensive range of glasses in different styles and an assortment of vases and bowls.
From the glass makers the unfinished product is then passed to the decorators for the intricate patterns to be cut into the glass using diamond impregnated grinding wheels.

DERBYSHIRE DALES NATURE RESERVE NEAR BAKEWELL

Derbyshire Dales NNR lies within the Peak District National Park. The reserve consists of five separate limestone valleys Lathkill, Cressbrook, Monk's, Long and Hay. These five dales represent some of the best examples of wildlife and geology in the White Peak.
What to see:
Lathkill Dale has its river with many dippers, spectacular views, fine woods and a great display of blue-flowered jacob?s ladder in June.
Lathkills top sights:
- The view down the dale from the top of Ricklow Quarry steps.
- The hay meadows in June.
- Lathkill Head Cave in full winter flood.
- Dippers visitors can't fail to see them on the river.
- The deep, dark mineshaft under Bateman?s House.
- 360 million year old fossils in Ricklow Quarry.
- The clearest water, try the top end of Carter?s Millpond.
- The woods in early May
Cressbrook Dale has steeper paths, leading you from ash woods to a turf landscape dotted with rockrose and alive with butterflies and moths, broken by rocky outcrops and screes. Monk?s Dale is a wilder prospect, needing more effort to reach its inner sanctum, but well worth that exertion. Hay and Long Dales are small and make a great trip for naturalists looking for limestone flowers and insects.
How to get there:
Lathkill Dale is a Spotlight Reserve and we recommend it for the casual visitor. The other dales are for more seasoned walkers. Visitors are encouraged to use environmentally friendly forms of transport. If walking, the Limestone Way and Monsal Trail run through or close to the NNR.
The Peak District is served by sections of the National Cycle Network. The nearest train stations are in Buxton, served by Northern Rail, and Matlock served by Central Trains.

Lathkill Dale is situated 3.2 km south west of Bakewell, between the villages of Over Haddon, Monyash and Youlgreave. There are car parks at Over Haddon and Moor Lane, Youlgreave.
Cressbrook Dale is situated 11.3 km north of Bakewell, between the villages of Wardlow and Litton. There are car parks at Upperdale in Monsal Dale, Monsal Head, Tideswell Dale and Ravensdale.
Monks Dale is situated 14.5 km north west of Bakewell. The nearest car park is at Miller's Dale station.
Long Dale is situated 9.7 km south of Bakewell, near the village of Elton. There are car parks at Minninglow, Friden and Elton.
Hay Dale is situated 13 km north west of Bakewell, between the villages of Wheston and Peak Forest. The nearest car park is at Miller?s Dale station.

BUXTON PAVILLION GARDENS

The Pavilion Gardens is a wonderful historic venue situated in the heart of Buxton. Nestled in 23 acres of recently restored pleasure gardens, the main building is a natural base for tourists coming to the town.
Every year, the Pavilion Gardens hosts over 100 fairs, events and Farmers Markets and we aim to hold good event for our customers most weekends.
Most of the events take place in the Octagon Hall or the Paxton Suite. Most weekends from Easter to the end of September, there will be a Brass Band playing on the Bandstand from Sundays from 2pm – 4pm.
Car Park:
The Pavilion Gardens have a 270 bay, pay & display car park, which is situated on the corner of St. John's Road and Burlington Road.

SPEEDWELL CAVERN, Hope Valley

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.
Set at the foot of the spectacular Winnats Pass, high above the village of Castleton, Speedwell Cavern takes you on an incredible underground boat journey.
Disabled Access:
Owing to the nature of the cavern, Speedwell Cavern may not be suitable for all disabled visitors. Please call or email for information before your visit to avoid disappointment.
Facilities:
Pay and display car and coach parking is available with a discount scheme for Cavern visitors. A range of confectionery and hot and cold drinks are available.

BLUE JOHN CAVERN, Castleton

The Blue John cavern at Castleton is world famous. It is home to eight of the fourteen known varieties of Blue John Stone, a beautiful and ornamental fluor-spar. The mineral has been mined here for centuries and continues to be so in the winter months.
The traditional methods of turning Blue John are still used, and the skill of our craftsmen working in the Original Blue John craft shop in the village of Castleton enable the visitor to view this unique stone at its best.

ALTON TOWERS!  Alton, Near Ashbourne

Escape to the extraordinary world of Alton Towers, and share a year round resort of full on, time out experiences. Prepare yourself for the unexpected, where fun combines with world class theme park thrills, unique hotel environments and essential spa luxury.
It’s a world where everybody is welcome - a world where you can rub shoulders with elves; visit Willy Wonka in his fantabulous Chocolate Factory; lie back and luxuriate in a chocolate body wrap; scream your way to oblivion; splash yourself silly or take a walk in the woodlands – all in the name of unadulterated fun!

 

PEAK VILLAGE OUTLET PARK, Rowsley/Bakewell

The Peak Village Outlet is much more than a shopping centre, nestling in the Derbyshire Dales between the tourist towns of Matlock & Bakewell lies Peak Village a home to 26 shopping outlets and a variety of shops and attractions only usually found in larger towns.
Peak Village is only 1 mile from Chatsworth House and is a must for coach and group organisers visits, 15 free coach spaces and 400 free car parking spaces make Peak Village the perfect place to spend the day. Disabled friendly too, as there are disabled parking spaces, drop kerbs and ramps for easy access - wheelchair hire available at no cost.

Peak Village is part of a marvellous day out for the family. On top of great value for money shops, restaurant and coffee shop, Peak Village has free entertainment most weekends.
The centre is open all year and only closes on Xmas Day. Free parking for over 400 cars and 15 coaches makes it a must for your day visit or part of a weeks visit to the largest national park in the UK.

CRICH TRAMWAY CENTRE, Matlock

Looking for a great day out in Derbyshire? Then look no further than Crich Tramway Village. Nestling high up in the heart of Derbyshire overlooking the famous Derwent Valley and open almost throughout the year, Crich Tramway Village is a lovingly restored period village that is also home to the National Tramway Museum and its world renowned archives.
Directions:
Crich is conveniently situated close to many of the main routes running through the Midlands. This makes it readily accessible from Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, Stoke-on-Trent, Birmingham and beyond. Just 8 miles from junction 28 of the M1, Crich can also be easily accessed using the A38, the A6, the A61 and the A52.

ABRAHAM HEIGHTS, Matlock

Welcome to one of the Peak District's oldest and most popular days out, an attraction where stunning natural beauty is matched by human achievement and the historic blends seamlessly with the futuristic.
Since first opening its gates to visitors in 1780 the Heights of Abraham has remained one of the Peak District's most popular destinations. Visitors have travelled from all over the world to experience its unique blend of spectacular underground caverns, stunning views and acres of beautiful woodland. In recent times however, the Heights has become rightly famous for its landmark Cable Car system which was introduced in 1984 - the first of its kind in the whole of the British Isles.
Originally the Heights of Abraham was reached on foot and required visitors to scale the steep slopes of Masson Hill. Nowadays a visit begins with a journey on Britain's first alpine style cable car system. Rising from the valley floor, the observation cars transport you in comfort and safety and allow stunning views of the Derwent Valley and surrounding Peak District. The original cars were replaced with the very latest design in 2004, which not only allow the easier transport of prams and wheelchairs but provide a more comfortable ride, and thanks to floor to ceiling observation windows – even better views.
There is a choice of places to eat and drink, providing an array of mouth-watering goods to suit all tastes and budgets. Using local produce and suppliers, our team work hard to provide a wide range of freshly made produce from a light snack in the coffee shop to a full meal in the bar.
The Hi Café coffee shop is open every day of the season and is the perfect spot to sit with a cup of coffee or take a light lunch with friends. The Summit Bar is open on busier days and holidays and offers a relaxed table service for those who may wish to take longer over their food.
Both venues have floor to ceiling panoramic windows to make the most of stunning views down the Derwent Valley; these open onto their own terraces and allow for some al fresco dining when the weather permits.

ARKWRIGHTS MILL, Cromford Near Matlock

The world's first successful water-powered cotton spinning mills, built by Sir Richard Arkwright between 1771 and 1791. Discover the birthplace of the factory system - where innovation and enterprise changed the world. Also, various gift and speciality shops to peruse and restaurant.

 

CAUDWELL’S MILL, Rowsley

Caudwell's mill at Rowsley is a unique, grade II listed historic roller flour mill. Powered by water from the river Wye, a mill has stood on this site for at least 400 years. The present mill was built in 1874 by John Caudwell and run as a family business for over a century.
At Caudwell's, grain is milled by the same process used at the giant modern mills which provide most of the flour for our bread today, but here the production is on a scale and at a speed that is both easier to understand and which does not damage the flour.
The mill is a complete working automatic "machine" on four floors and usually runs daily. Most of the machinery is earlier than 1914 and is still driven by belts (often leather) and pulleys from line shafts. Elevators and Archimedean screws abound.
The mill is powered by two water turbines, the larger installed in 1914 to drive the flour mill and the smaller, installed in 1898, for the provender mill and which, today, also generates the electricity used in the mill.
There are numerous displays, descriptions and exhibitions throughout the mill to make your visit enjoyable and informative. It is ideal to show children those fascinating mechanical features not to be seen elsewhere and to explore how wheat is turned into flour. Stroll along the head race nature trail or around Rowsley village.

DENBY POTTERY, Denby near Derby

Enjoy a day out at Denby in the heart of Derbyshire. The visitor centre is next to the Pottery in a cobbled courtyard. The visitor centre is open daily with free centre entry and free parking. Go on a Tour, watch a free cookery demonstration, visit the new home store , browse around the other shops and visit the museum. Refreshments are served in Bourne's Restaurant and for small children there is an outdoor play area.

LONGSHAW ESTATE, Hathersage

The ancient oaks of Padley Gorge , gnarled and twisting out of the moss-grown gritstone rocks, hold many of the secrets of Longshaw within their grasp. For 8000 years people have lived in close association with these trees and the wildlife they support, farming, trading, hunting and quarrying.
Criss-crossed by old trackways and packhorse trails, the Longshaw Estate is a mix of wet pasture and meadow, heather moorland and semi-natural ancient woodland. Its proximity to Sheffield and its wealth of natural resources mean that it has been, over the centuries, a centre for charcoal burning, millstone quarrying and woodland management as well as an important trading route for salt, silk , wool, and lead among other things.
Today the trackways provide solace and refuge for city dwellers escaping the confines and pressures of city life. Just a 10 minute drive from city streets and high rise buildings people can experience the open spaces of the gritstone moors, clean air and sparkling streams and glimpses of wildlife in the heart of quiet woodland gorges.
Longshaw is a haven for woodland wildlife; unusual hairy wood ants build huge dome-shaped nests in the shadows of the woods, nationally important populations of pied flycatchers arrive each spring to rear their young in the ancient oak trees and rare mosses and ferns cling to the rocky waterfalls and springs.

SUDBURY HALL, Sudbury, Ashbourne

A late 17th-century house with interior woodcarvings by Grinling Gibbons, superb plasterwork, and painted murals and ceilings by Louis Laguerre. The Grand Staircase is one of the most elaborate of its kind in an English house. It featured in the film Pride and Prejudice.
Accessibility:
Parking - In main car park, 500yds. Transfer available. Drop-off point.

Building - 11 steps to entrance. 1 wheelchair. Ground floor has 2 steps. Many stairs to other floors. Seating available.

Photograph album - The temporary mini-Museum, housed in the Hall for 2007 only, has no wheelchair access, stairs only.

WCs - Adapted WC in stableyard.

Grounds - Partly accessible, grass and loose gravel paths, some steps. Level access to top terrace.

Shop - Level entrance. Shop small with limited turning space.

Refreshments - Level entrance. Accessible picnic tables.
Directions:
6m E of Uttoxeter at junction of A50 Derby-Stoke and A515 Ashbourne.

NATIONAL STONE CENTRE, Wirksworth

Telling the Story of Stone - history, science, technology, art, environment - in the heart of the Derbyshire Dales on the edge of the Peak District. A dramatic site steeped in industrial history, ecology, displaying 330 million year old fossil tropical reefs.

Directions:
B5035 (Cromford-Carsington road south of Matlock)

BAKEWELL

Bakewell is a highly picturesque market town that crosses the River Wye and lies right in the heart of the Peak District National Park. Bakewell dates back to Saxon times and of course is home to the famous Bakewell pudding.
Bakewell earns a mention in the Domesday Book, calling the town ‘Badequella’, meaning Bath-Well, referring to the warm springs of the area. In 924, under the rule of Edward the Elder, the Saxons ordered a fortified borough to be built . The church originates from 920 and stands high on the hillside where the town originally started. It has both Norman and Saxon stonework but belongs more to its 13th century rebuild as well as the extensive renovation undergone in the 1840’s. The church holds many monuments including those to the Vernon family, who owned the town of Bakewell from 1502 before passing it on to the Manners family in 1567. Other notable places to visit include the Old House Museum, the Old Town Hall and the Rutland Arms Hotel, where Jane Austen is said to have stayed around 1811, and which she mentioned in her novel, Pride and Prejudice. There is a wide variety of shops, pubs, restaurants and places to stay in and around the town and plenty of places that you can buy the famous Bakewell pudding.

ASHBOURNE

A pleasant market town that lies towards the southern end of the Peak District and is the gateway to Dovedale and the Izaak Walton country.
Famous for the annual Shrovetide football game held on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, attracts big crowds every year. Ashbourne has the church of St. Oswald, decribed by George Elliot as 'the finest mere parish church in the Kingdom'. It is a magnificant cruciform building with a 212 foot-high spire. The church contains the tomb of Robert de Kinveton (d.1741) and displays fine examples of stained glass windows and monuments.

FROGGAT AND BASLOW EDGE,
Near Bakewell andHathersage

Fabulous and exhillirating walking with far reaching views.  Suggested pub is the Chequers Inn at Froggat and Charlies cafe in Baslow.

 


MONSAL HEAD & ASHFORD IN THEWATER, Near Bakewell

Beautiful walking area and village is delightful. Black Cow pub at Ashford is very good to eat and outdoor pub eating at top of monsal head. Enjoy …..

STANEDGE EDGE & HATHERSAGE

Gorgeous walks and scenery all around Hathersage.  For the more engertic  Winhill or for a more lighter stroll stanedge edge.  Beautiful walks anytime of the year.

LADYBOWER RESERVOIRImage:Ladybower3.jpg

Used during the Second World War and filmed in the ‘Dam Busters’ adaptation, ladybower reservoir is a superb place to walk or bike around.

The Ladybower Reservoir is a large Y-shaped reservoir, the lowest of three in the Upper Derwent Valley in Derbyshire, England. The River Ashop flows into the reservoir from the west; the River Derwent flows south, initially through Howden Reservoir, then Derwent Reservoir, and finally through Ladybower Reservoir. Its longest dimension is just over 3 miles, and at the time of construction it was the largest reservoir in Britain.
The water is used primarily for river control and to compensate for the water retained by the upper two dams, but water can also be fed into the drinking water system, however this is unusual as the water must be pumped to treatment works rather than using gravity flow like in the other two reservoirs, increasing costs. The drinking water is treated at Bamford water treatment works by Severn Trent Water. Treated water flows down the Derwent Valley Aqueduct to supply clean water to towns and cities in the East Midlands of England.
The building of the reservoir resulted in the 'drowning' of the villages of Ashopton and Derwent (including Derwent Woodlands church and Derwent Hall). The buildings in Ashopton were demolished before the reservoir was filled, but much of the structure of Derwent village was still visible during a dry summer some fourteen years later, especially the church clock tower. This has since been dismantled.
The area is now a popular tourist location, with the Fairholmes visitors' centre located at the northern tip of Ladybower. Design and construction
The Ladybower was built between 1935 and 1943, and took a further two years to fill (1945). The building of the dam wall was undertaken by the Scottish company of Richard Baillie and Sons. The two viaducts, Ashopton and Ladybower, needed to carry the trunk roads over the reservoir, were built by the London firm of Holloways, using a steel frame clad in concrete. Both firms encountered mounting problems when the Second World War broke out in 1939 making labour and raw materials scarce. The opening ceremony for the reservoir was carried out on Tuesday September 25 1945 by King George VI accompanied by Queen Elizabeth.
During the 1990s the wall was raised and strengthened to reduce the risk of 'over-topping' in a major flood.
The dam's design is peculiar in having two totally enclosed bellmouth overflows (locally named the 'plugholes') at the side of the wall. The easterly overflow originally had a walkway around it but this was dismantled many years ago.

ALSTONEFIELD AND THORS CAVE

Thor's Cave is the most spectacular sight of the Manifold valley, dominating the central section of the valley. The rock in which it is set rears up out of the hillside like a giant fang with the cave entrance forming a hole in it ten metres in diameter, a sight which is clearly visible for several miles.

Excavations have shown that the cave was occupied as long as 10,000 years ago and this occupation probably continued until Roman or Saxon times, making it one of the oldest sites of human activity in the Peak. Stone tools and the remains of a range now extinct animals were found within the cave.

The cave can be reached quite easily from Wetton and is well worth a visit for a scramble inside or to climb onto the prow above the cave itself and admire the excellent view of the Manifold valley.

How to get there

By Road: take the A515 Buxton road out of Ashbourne about 10km from Ashbourne and turn left to Alstonefield. Cross the River Dove and continue to Alstonefield and follow the single track road to Wetton. Car park with pay and display parking.

MATLOCK BATH ILLUMINATIONS

Illuminations during September and October and then over the Christmas holidays.
Matlock Bath, dates from the establishment of the first bath in the late l690s. It was little more than a stone structure filled by a thermal spring, with a constant temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit. As the number of visitors who came to benefit from the medicinal qualities of the warm spring water increased, some development to improve the facilities took place.

The thermal qualities of Matlock Bath's water, and the added attraction of beautiful scenery, assisted its development as a tourist attraction. During the 17th century, visitors came seeking cures from the waters for their aches and pains and by the 18th century it had become a fashionable resort. Visits made by Queen Victoria, in 1832 and 1844, improved its reputation further as a society venue. Lord Byron, compared it with Switzerland and it soon adopted the name of 'Little Switzerland.' Today, Matlock Bath's alpine character is emphasised by the cable car ride up to The Heights of Abraham.