stay on a farm in derbyshire or dovedale or peak district

What to see & where to go in Derbyshire Dales and Peak District

A wealth of places to visit ....

The Derbyshire Dales and Dovedale area and the Peak District contain a wealth of attractions, ranging from Museums to Theme Parks, and from sailing facilities to painting classes.

There is a wealth of history here, and the area contains some of the finest Great Houses in England. Prime among these is Kedleston Hall (seen right), Robert Adam's finest and most perfect creation, built for the Curzon family. Sited just outside Derby, this is now in the stewardship of the National Trust.

kedleston hall

Almost at the centre of the area is the small town of Ashbourne (seen left), noted for its antiques trade. It is also one of the few towns in England where traditional football (which is like a much rougher version of Rugby, but with no rules) is played each year on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. This event has taken place for centuries.

Other towns in the area include Matlock, the county town of Derbyshire, which has a Lead Mining Museum, a cable railway, and several caverns which are open to visitors.

Further down the River Derwent lies Belper, a former mill town with some fine, newly restored cotton mills. The Derwent Valley was the cradle of the cotton industry in this country and the valley is now a World Heritage Site.

Further south, the village of Sudbury is the location of one of the country's finest Restoration mansions. Sudbury Hall (seen right), now owned by the National Trust was built in the 1660s and is notable for its fine Long Gallery, gardens and portraits of Charles II's mistresses. Also located here is a Muesum of Childhood - a fascinating visit for both modern children and adults.

Another local market town is Uttoxeter, famed for its annual race meeting, and between there and Ashbourne lies Alton Towers, Britain's premier Theme Park, and a must-visit for many families.

sudbury hall

... and things to do ...

walkers at thorpe could

The walking in this area is second to none. Dovedale (which is the part of the River Dove upstream of Ashbourne - seen left) is a famous walking route which can be thronged by visitors on a summer weekend.

Quieter locations can be found both further downriver and in the Manifold Valley - a subsidiary of the Dove, in the Churnet Valley, near Alton Towers, around Wirksworth and Brassington, and along the low hills which flank the River Derwent on its western side.

The area contains many quiet country lanes so cycling is a popular pastime around here. To the north of the area two former railways have been converted into cycling tracks, (the High Peak Trail and the Tissington Trail) where you can ride your bike free from fears about traffic.

Cycle hire is available on the High Peak Trail at Middleton, just north of Wirksworth, and at Ashbourne on the Tissington Trail (seen right). Carsington Water is also ringed by cycle tracks, and horse riding is available locally too.

Trout fishing is available in Dovedale (apply at the Izaak Walton Hotel at Ilam) and coarse fishing is available at some of our members' farms.

cyclists on the tissington trail
carsington reservoir

The reservoir of Carsington Water (seen left) caused controversy when it was planned in the 1980s, but is now appreciated by many as a leisure facility. Severn Trent Water have a visitor centre here which acts as a magnet, bringing in visitors from far and near.

Besides the visitor centre, Carsington has sailing facilities, waymarked walks, cycle routes and picnic locations.

For the more adventurous, the Derbyshire Dales and Dovedale area and the Peak District offer a wealth of opportunities for more dangerous sports, such as rock-climbing, pot-holing and hang-gliding.

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