Dining Out In Derbyshire

Dining Out at Viva Restaurant

Matlock is known for its great walks and heritage; it also has good facilities for shopping, leisure and recreation including the lovely Hall Leys Park. The skyline of Matlock is famously dominated by Riber Castle, gracefully overlooking the town. We are privileged to live on the outskirts of this beautiful town and one evening we […]

Dining Out Lumb Farm

I can remember back in 1978, sitting in my car, listening to the radio and the latest captivating episode of the BBC comedy The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I never missed one of them. A couple of years later, looking for reading material to keep me occupied through a long flight […]

The Blacksmith’s Loft

A traditional Sunday lunch is still a firm favourite with me. What could be better than roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, fresh vegetables and a boat of gravy all accompanied by a glass of red wine? So when Victoria, a Director from The Blacksmiths Loft, Blacksmiths Yard, Sadler Gate, Derby invited us to try their new […]

Dining at Jeera

It was a cold, dark, Thursday evening in the middle of January. The forecast was for it to get colder with possibly a heavy snowfall. The worst of the winter was yet to come. So, we decided it was time for a spicy evening out to banish the winter blues. We headed to Codnor Market […]

The Horse & Jockey

Back in the mid 1960s the Sunday afternoon picnic was something to look forward to. Family and food packed into the Morris Oxford and my father at the wheel conducting us on his own, very special, mystery tour. It could be to Clumber Park and long walks through the woods or to Dovedale; over the […]

Lunch at Lisa Jean at Bennetts Brasserie

The day hadn’t started very well. One of those tiny warning lights had illuminated on the dashboard of the car and, although I thought I was good at solving cryptic crosswords, this combination of hieroglyphics and abbreviations had me foxed. It required an excursion to Derby for a diagnosis. It wasn’t good news. It could […]

Kedleston Country House Boutique Hotel

Stepping over the threshold at The Kedleston Country House Boutique Hotel I realised that the last time I had been here was with work colleagues, some sadly no longer with us, for happy hour in 1989. In honesty I didn’t recognise the place as so much has been done to make this a truly splendid […]

Derbyshire Lost houses

Lost Houses of Repton Park

Sir Vauncey Harpur-Crewe of Calke, 10th Bt. was a true eccentric; unpredictable, obsessive and solitary. One of his pastimes was the catching of specimens various types of fauna and having them stuffed, mounted and parked in the great saloon at Calke Abbey. Smaller creatures, including butterflies he dried and pinned to boards. One summer morning […]

Darley House

It never ceases to surprise me the number of really very substantial houses that once existed within the boundaries of the present City of Derby. Most of them have already appeared on these pages, but Darley House has so far escaped being chronicled. Although no great shakes aesthetically, it has a triple importance: first that […]

Errwood Hall

When I was young, especially when visiting relatives in Ireland, ruined country houses were virtually commonplace. Tax, bankruptcy, pessimism and misfortune led many owners post World War Two to abandon their homes and live somewhere cheaper to heat, and generally more convenient. Contents were sold and most often the house pulled down, but many were […]

Old Bretby Hall

The name Bretby, although equipped with a Norse suffix meaning ‘place’, suggests that it was, even when the Danelaw was forming in the 10th-11th century, a place known to be (or have been) settled by people of British descent. Yet by 1086 it was attached to Newton (Solney) as an outlier, but by the end […]

The Knoll, Littleover

I have tramped the streets of Littleover many times over the last decade, canvassing or delivering leaflets, and have often wondered, when entering Knoll Close from Swanmore Road, on the south western slopes of the village, whether the inhabitants were aware of the reason for their street’s name. The street itself was built in the […]

Lost Houses – Swarkesstone Old Hall

If you drive along the road from Swarkestone Bridge to Chellaston you will notice, just as you turn east after passing the Crewe & Harpur Arms, a pair of sturdy stone gatepiers topped with large ball finials. Those not having to concentrate upon the road ahead will also see, in the field beyond the gate […]

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Walking In Derbyshire

Walk around Osmaston & Shirley Parks

Despite traffic thundering along the A52 Derby/Ashbourne road barely a mile away, the tranquil villages of Osmaston and Shirley with their thatched-roofed cottages and mellow Derbyshire brick, are the archetypal image of typical English villages.  Between them are the wooded sporting estates of Osmaston Manor and Shirley Hall; this walk crosses both. Oddly enough, the […]

Tittesworth Reservoir

It is a long time since I was last in the area around the Roaches near Leek.  The highest gritstone edge in the Peak, the escarpment dominates the northern skyline in this walk.  Tittesworth Reservoir has a long history.  It was built in two stages with the original dam created in 1858 to collect water […]

The Top of the Amber valley

Like many walkers, I got sick and tired of walking on muddy tracks this winter. As a result I began to look around for places where I could walk without dragging myself through a good impression of a Great War Somme battlefield.  We did manage a few short strolls along the old railway trails, one […]

A Winter Warmer Around Attenborough Nature Reserve

Wrap up well for this walk because the wind off the River Trent at this time is often called ‘a lazy wind’, rather than go round, it tries to cut straight through your jacket.  Nevertheless it is an ideal winter walk for it is along wide, level, well surfaced tracks more than often sheltered by […]

Around Errwood and the Goyt Valley

When the A5004 Buxton/Whaley Bridge road reaches the top of Long Hill, a minor side road on the left, runs steeply downhill across the moors to reach Errwood Reservoir dam. Beyond the reservoir, the road forks, one climbing to the right, steeply uphill towards Rainow following the line of a possible Roman road, but certainly […]

Along Stanage Edge

The eastern escarpment of the Derwent Valley is lined along most of its length almost from its birth and as far as Chatsworth.  Broken into sections where natural weaknesses allow roads or trackways to cross the heights, this abrupt rise from the valley has always determined the route taken by travellers from as far back […]

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Featured Articles

Kedleston Hall

Before Kedleston Hall reopened this year, Brian Spencer went along to look at the conservation work carried out over the winter by its present owners, the National Trust. In the mid 1700s Sir Nathaniel Curzon employed the up and coming young architect Robert Adam to design and build Kedleston Hall, his first major commission.  What […]

Deserted Villages

Up and down the land the remains of abandoned villages can only be recognised by a comment on an Ordnance Survey map. There are around 3000 sites of such places up and down the country where the words Medieval Village in Gothic type with the words ‘site of’ in brackets underneath record all that is […]

Magpie Mine

Brian Spencer visits the finest example of an 18th and 19th century lead mine existing in Britain. A pair of tall chimneys, a sturdy pit-head winding wheel, a lonely cottage and a ruined stone engine house stand in a field off the Bakewell to Chelmorton road, high on the limestone plateau near Sheldon.  They are […]

WHO SAID THAT? COMPETITION

Win a meal for two in our WHO SAID THAT? COMPETITION There have been many famous ‘quotes and sayings’ throughout history. All you have to do is tell us who said them. Fill in as many as you can and send your answers to: Who  Said That? Images Publishing Ltd, 5 Keypoint Village, Keys Road, […]

The Workhouse at Southwell

The grim mill-like building stands on the outskirts of Southwell, a place that still strikes fear into the hearts of people old enough to remember when it was a shelter of last resort. Brian Spencer traces the history of the by-gone system of caring for the poor and dispossessed. Up and down the country, roughly […]

Cors Caron & Strata Florida Abbey

Exploring what was, to him, a completely new part of mid Wales, Brian Spencer came across two features he feels are worth bringing to the attention of Country Images readers. Cors Caron is a raised bog alongside the River Teifi in Ceredigion, Wales near the small market town of Tregaron to the south of Aberystwyth. […]

Female Products - Tried & Tested

Tried & Tested – This Works

Deep Sleep Body Therapy 100ml £20 A spray-on moisturiser to soothe your body and calm your mind before bed Launched in 2011 with our iconic deep sleep pillow spray, the deep sleep range is now a collection of fast acting natural remedies proven to help overcome temporary periods of sleeplessness and re-instate a healthy sleep […]

Tried & Tested – Estee Lauder

Sumptuous Infinite Daring Length + Volume Mascara  RRP £21 Stretch lashes to limitless lengths This season, Estée Lauder introduces a new addition to its mascara portfolio – New Sumptuous Infinite Daring Length + Volume Mascara. Featuring a multitude of gravity-defying fibres that take lashes far beyond tips, this luxurious and high-performing mascara works to deliver […]

Tried & Tested – Elemis

British Botanical Body Cream £25 200ml Take the burgeoning rays of sunshine on an early summer morning, as life in an English garden begins to stir. A formula that echoes the layered aromatics of a garden coming to life; the British Botanical Body Cream by ELEMIS. Moisturising is only part of the story. The skin […]

All About the Eyes, with Charlotte Tilbury

Rock ‘N’ Kohl £19 Bedroom Black Darlings, this is inspired by one of my all-time favourite looks, the ultimate rock-chick ‘bedroom eyes’. My revolutionary, no-nonsense liquid-eye pencil, enriched with crushed pearl powder, features the silky smooth glide of a liquid liner with the soft, sooty, pigment-rich result of a kohl. Channel your inner rock ‘n’ […]

Swell 3-Step Hair System

No More Fine, Limp Hair! With a staggering 40% of women and a high percentage of men in Western Europe living with fine, limp and thinning hair, it is no surprise this genetic disadvantage is one of the most common hair complaints. Whilst volume and body can be created with styling, few products on the […]

Nourish your skin with Clarins

Winter is on its way so take a little extra time to nourish and care for the skin you’re in with Clarins. HydraQuench Cream 50ml £35 80-70-13…The vital statistics for perfectly moisturised skin. Skin which is ideally hydrated – 80% water in the dermis, 65-70% in the epidermis and 13% in the horny layer – is […]