Walking In Derbyshire

Walk Around Birchover & Stanton Moor

Birchover is one of Derbyshire’s true hill villages. Set well away from any major road, it owes its existence to the attractively hued gritstone still quarried nearby. While there are not quite the numbers of men and women employed in the remaining quarry than in years gone by, there are still many of the original […]

Walk Around Pentrich

It is hard to realise that this idyllic part of rural Derbyshire once harboured a group of men who in desperation tried to form an association along the lines of a self-help union.  They were driven to this by the conditions of the time, two hundred years ago when rising prices of even the most […]

Walk through Calke Abbey

Leaving the pretty village of Ticknall, it is possible to follow a series of field paths meandering through the ancient parkland of Calke Abbey to Melbourne Hall and back by field and woodland tracks.  The walk passes the tranquil waters of Staunton Harold Reservoir, and into the attractive late Georgian market town of Melbourne. We […]

Walk Derbyshire – Crich Chase

Scrub woodland and lush grazing along a hillside climbing above the Derwent Valley was once part of a thousand acre hunting and pleasure ground used only by royalty. Established in the 13th century for King Henry III’s son the Earl of Leicester who was also called Edmund Crouchback, it became known as Beaurepaire, ‘a beautiful […]

Walk Around & About Belper

For a town that has seen industries come and go, Belper manages to retain its semi-rural appeal. With countryside coming right up to its oldest part, it is easy to escape the pressures of everyday living. Not only does Belper have this countryside on its doorstep, it has, for a town of its size, probably […]

High Peak Trail

Regular followers of my walks will no doubt have noticed that I always try to design the walk around a convenient pub.  This walk is no exception and can almost be considered a pub crawl. It passes the doors of two and, more to the point, starts and finishes at a walker (and dog) friendly […]

Restaurant Reviews - Derbyshire

Restaurant Review – The Old Poet’s Corner, Ashover

Ears pricked up in the office when they heard that this months dining out was at The Old Poets Corner in Ashover. So Jane was well and truly out of the frame, as Alistair, Scott and I pushed our way in to dine there. Since Kim Beresford took over the  ‘Red Lion’  in Ashover 14 […]

Restaurant Review – The Bay Tree at Melbourne

Melbourne, just south of Derby, is an elegant, historically rich, town; the narrow streets that slow the traffic down to a steady pace makes wandering around the sites and the many independent retailers, a pleasurable experience, as was the short walk from the free car park to the centre of town; where, on the corner […]

Restaurant Review – The Thorn Tree

Memory and the passage of time can play wicked tricks. Many months ago, when the prospect of balmy sunny days to come was heralded by a warm day in April, I bravely suggested that we – myself, Susan and our dachshund –  spend a day by the sea in my old holiday haunt of Mablethorpe. […]

Restaurant Review – New Bath Hotel, Matlock

Built around 1745, the Grade 2 listed New Bath Hotel stands proudly overlooking the Derwent Gorge and on to the Tor in Matlock Bath, it has been welcoming visitors for well over 250 years. Situated on the edge of Matlock Bath makes the New Bath Hotel an ideal place from which to walk into town […]

The High Peak Bookstore

“Can I come?” I would ask when my Dad announced he was going to ‘Foggy’ Bagshaws to pick up a part for his car. Moving forward half a century, it’s quite a bizarre feeling to be sitting in the High Peak Bookstore (formerly Bagshaws Garage) at Brierlow Bar on the Ashbourne to Buxton Road talking […]

Restaurant Review – The Sanam Tandoori Restaurant

Cooking in a traditional way has always been the ethos at the Sanam, and they are immensely proud that their quality food has maintained a fine reputation in the area whether it be ‘dining in or takeaway’. The Sanam offers a mouth-watering tasty menu of food so whilst enjoying your pre-dinner drink it is good […]

Lost Houses in Derbyshire

Derbyshire’s Lost Houses – Darwin’s House

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Full Street in Derby was known as the most fashionable place in Derby to live, the trend having been set by the construction (and serial enlargement) of Exeter House at the south end (see Country Images February 2016 or check-out on line). With the sale from 1768 of Nuns’ […]

Walton Old Hall – Lost Houses of Derbyshire

Walton-on-Trent always strikes me as a pleasant place, and sufficiently off the beaten track to have survived into the 21st century rather well. It is also known for its clockmakers, too, having been the home, almost right through the 18th century, of the Rea family, Thomas Rea (1719-1782) leaving a number of sons, of whom […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Thornhill, Kingsway, Derby

This impressive Regency villa was built on an elevated site in the district of California, Derby, looking south but with an easterly vista across The Rowditch towards the town, but one later spoilt by the erection of two brickworks on the west side of the brook. It is one of three such houses, which Stephen […]

Lost Houses – Netherseal Hall

Today we know Seale, in Leicestershire until transferred to Derbyshire in 1897, as two places, Netherseal and Overseal, but this was not always the case, for at the time Domesday Book was compiled in 1086, the chief lord was Henry de Ferrers and under him it was held by a man called Robert. It is […]

Lost Houses of Shallcross Hall

The Dark Peak was never a place welcoming enough, through elevation or climate, to encourage the erection of major country houses, although small stone built manor houses were built, especially in the environs of Chapel-en-le-Frith. Shallcross hall, therefore, was something of an exception, being a classical house of moderate size situated on as windy hilltop […]

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 […]

Derbyshire Local Interests

Pelham Puppets Antiques

In 2015, Bamford’s suddenly found ourselves completely inundated with over 1,500 Pelham Puppets – stacks of standard ones many rarer ones, mostly boxed and all from one collector in Lincolnshire. All which needed careful cataloguing and which formed the sole component of three sales, 16th September and 5th November that year, followed by the last […]

The Story of JCB

The story of JCB whose distinctive yellow machines are found on almost every building site in the land, goes back to 1945.  This was when Joseph Cyril Bamford CBE (1916-2001) was sacked by his father’s brother for being too entrepreneurial.  As Brian Spencer soon discovered on a visit to the Story of JCB exhibition at […]

Lichfield Town

Over to our right as we drove down the A38, the three graceful spires of Lichfield’s cathedral brought about a change of plan.  As we had never been to Lichfield and were not in any hurry, we decided to make a diversion as Michelin Guides would have it, and spend a couple of hours exploring […]

Local People – The Mystery of Les’s two Tests

By general consent Les Jackson is enshrined as the greatest of all in Derbyshire’s long line of home-produced fast bowlers. During his career, 1947-63, he took 1,733 wickets in first-class matches at a cost of 17.36 each. His 1,670 (860 at home, 810 away) for Derbyshire at 17.11 (1,578 in the Championship) are county records […]

Cawthorn Roman Training Camps

The remains of Roman camps are not exactly scarce, but those at Cawthorn on the North York Moors near Pickering are decidedly different. Brian Spencer went along there to try to understand what went on in them and why some were built to non-standard designs. Soldiers have always needed somewhere to train.  In Britain huge […]

Local People – Tom Hulatt

Tom finished third in the greatest race ‘THE four-minute mile’ Time has not dimmed the lustre of what is arguably the most significant landmark in the history of athletics. The magic and romance from that match between Oxford University Athletic Club (OUAC) and the Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) remains. A blustery afternoon at Oxford’s Iffley […]

Female Products - Tried & Tested

Product Test – Elemis

Time to Revitalise with Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak,  £38 400ml A powerful synergy for overworked, tired, aching muscles. This natural foaming bath soak has an energising and uplifting aroma. This incredible deep heat aroma remedy is a powerful synergy for overworked, tired and aching muscles. Energising and uplifting extracts of birch, juniper, clove, alpine […]

Tried & Tested – Paul Mitchell

Infused with natural sugar, Neon™ is a little sassy and a little sweet, setting the standard for emerging trends. Made primarily for Generation Z, Neon™ focuses on inclusiveness, individuality and building self-esteem.    Sugar Cleanse Shampoo RRP £10.95 300ml Obsessed with… clean! This total clean freak has a one-track mind: leaving hair fresh and ready […]

Product Test – Charlotte Tilbury

The Wow factor with Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Body £45 Darlings, cheat your dream body without the workout! My Supermodel Body slimming body shimmer is enriched with FermiProtect to firm your skin and sculpt your contours. Get summer confidence in a bottle! WHAT MAKES SUPERMODEL BODY MAGIC: •You can get long-limbed, glossy-skinned perfection in minutes! • […]

Tried & Tested – Molton Brown

A Little Bit of Luxury with Molton Brown COASTAL CYPRESS & SEA FENNEL Molton Brown, London’s fragrance experts, awash the senses with sea-soaked adventure through their new Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel collection. Embodying boundless exploration into the uncharted, the fragrance captures a salt-sprayed collision of the ocean swell against rugged outcrops. As a marine […]

Tried & Tested – Clarins

Product Test Review – Clarins Moisture Rich Body Lotion 200ml £31 A rich, creamy lotion with a seductively appealing fragrance, which effectively rescues dry skin. To the touch, skin becomes softer, smoother and more supple. To the eye, skin becomes firmer, brighter and more youthful. Extensive testing Test 1: Skin Hydration. Test panel volunteers applied […]

Tried & Tested – Pixi Beauty

Glam It Up with Pixi Beauty Strobe & Sculpt £24  This palette contains 3 highlight and 3 contour shades for refined lighting and defined shading created by Maryam. The contour shades create realistic shadows to recede features, while highlight shades gives a strobe-like luminosity to amplify and reflect light. Sheer yet buildable mineral powders blend […]