Walking In Derbyshire

Walk Derbyshire – Tideswell, Miller’s Dale and Litton

The history of the Peak District is writ large on this walk.  Starting way back in time when volcanoes spewed out their lavas, the walk enters one of the loveliest dales in the White Peak, but it was where orphaned children were unable to enjoy its delights.  Climbing out of the dale, the way is […]

Derbyshire Walk – Tissington

I had visions of Michael Fish, the man whose forecast about there being no danger of hurricanes, went as his Scots forebears would have put it; ‘gone aft a’gley’.  In my case it was a completely wrong interpretation of the forecast. According to a weather map in the Guardian a day or so before the […]

Walk Derbyshire – A Walk over 2 Dales

The dales this walk covers are within a mile or two of each other and even though they join later, both are entirely different in character.  Their names are the Manifold and the Dove. Their character is mostly determined by the rocks over which their rivers flow; gritstone shales for the Manifold and carboniferous limestone […]

Walk Derbyshire – Viator’s Bridge & The Dove Holes

This short walk can be fitted in with a trip exploring more of Dovedale or simply as a day out combined with lunch at one of the hospitable pubs in villages round and about the valley. It is over 300 years since Izaak Walton fished in the pure waters of the river Dove along with […]

Derbyshire Walk – An Alpine-style walk around Matlock Bath

On a sunny weekend today’s Matlock Bath is popular with middle-aged motorcyclists whose expensive mounts line the riverside frontage.  They are just the modern manifestation of the visitors who come to enjoy the local scenery.  As far back as the Georgian era, people have come to admire the unique setting of this small village: at […]

Walk – Bretton

This year’s winter warmer walk starts and finishes conveniently at the Barrel Inn at Bretton. The inn is just one of five buildings making this ridgetop settlement which stands at 1300 feet on the moors above the plague village of Eyam. Dating back to 1597,the Barrel has an excellent reputation for good food and well-kept […]

Restaurant Reviews - Derbyshire

Restaurant Review – The New Bath Hotel, Matlock

The New Bath Hotel and Spa, with its fine Georgian façade, has always struck an impressive pose, standing for over 250 years as a sentinel at the southern entrance to Matlock Bath. It has recently undergone a major refurbishment and from the moment Susan and I walked into the light and open main entrance the […]

Restaurant Review – The Peacock at Rowsley

As we crossed the threshold I blushed a little as I suddenly recalled that my last visit to The Peacock at Rowsley, some years ago admittedly, was with a previous boyfriend who had impeccable taste and was the owner of a small hotel on Jersey. This visit was on a very wet April evening with […]

Restaurant Review – Santo’s Higham Farm

When was the last time you visited Santo’s at Higham Farm? I expect for many of you reading this it has been a little while, but please take a fresh look as Santo’s continues its heavy investment into refurbishing this beautifully positioned hotel. The latest Santo’s investment is in the kitchens bringing them right up […]

Eating Out – Kinara, Willington

Love it or loath it you can not ignore the fact that the A38, when it’s on form, has reduced journey times in our part of the county. We had a table booked at the Kinara in Willington and on a chilly Tuesday evening the relaxed drive from Ripley to the restaurant, situated on The […]

Eating Out – The Dog Inn, Pentrich

Many years ago, before man had walked on the moon or The Beatles had got together, one of the simple highlights of a warm summer Sunday evening was to walk with my brother and our parents to The Dog at Pentrich. Our route was via Lowes Hill, Hammersmith, Asher Fields (no A38 in those days) […]

Dining at The Red Lion

It had been one of those days when the mellow mists and fruitfulness of Autumn were being replaced by the damp drizzle and frostiness of Winter. The spirits were in need of a lift and what better way than with the prospect of comforting food, good beer and someone else doing the cooking and washing […]

Derbyshire Local Interests

Derbyshire Antiques & Collectibles – Propelling Pencils

At various times over my boyhood, I received a propelling pencil for birthday or Christmas, which, of course, duly got lost at school or somehow broken. Most were plastic bodies and some had different coloured leads. My grandfather had a silver one boasting a dip-pen nib with a propelling pencil hidden beneath the nib’s curve, […]

From Picasso to Dahli

Spain never really appealed to me as a holiday destination, especially the popular tourist areas where they proudly proclaim, ‘Full English Breakfast or English Pub’  I may as well stay at home for that but, we were tempted to dip our toes into Girona in Catalunia and Ronda in the Province of Malaga. These are […]

Darley Dale ‘Out and About’

Despite sharing the same DE4 post code, most of Darley Dale’s inhabitants prefer to think of themselves as living separate from neighbouring Matlock. Attempts to build on the small ‘green belt’ next to the DFS warehouse on the A6 between the two are met with furious objections. Darley Dale is, to them, still as it […]

Derbyshire Antiques & Collectibles : Collectible UK Comics

I can still recall, aged five or six, being taken out by my nanny to catch a train for a visit to the Science Museum at London – a favourite destination of mine at that age. On the way to our suburban station was a newsagent’s shop, with current titles and the day’s papers displayed […]

Over The Sea to Capri … And The Villa San Michelle

The breathtaking view from this enchanted spot creates the feeling that time has ceased to exist. Exiting Amalfi harbour for our trip to Capri was made tricky due to the fact that I wanted to film it all as it happened.  I admit that I’m not the worlds most happy person on a boat especially […]

Derbyshire Antiques & Collectibles – Railway Locomotive Name Plates

Last year we had a whole bunch of railwayana through Bamfords, mainly authentic relics of the great age of travel, but amongst them the nameplate of a locomotive built by the Southern Railway just after the Second World War and known to enthusiasts (in my time at least) as a ‘spam can’. These were large […]

Female Products - Tried & Tested

Product Test – Liz Earle

Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare is a Great British beauty brand, founded in 1995. We are passionate about all that we do and create products that really work on every skin type by harnessing the potent powers of the finest quality naturally active ingredients. Superskin™ Bust & Neck Treatment £36 50ml Packed with kigelia extract […]

Product Test – Regenerate with Dr. Hauschka

Regenerating Day Cream 40ml £56 Regenerating Day Cream supports the skin’s natural processes of renewal to minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Skin looks and feels vital, rejuvenated and smooth. Formulation: Red clover, acerola berries, raspberry seed oil and shea butter protect and support natural skin regeneration. Jojoba, avocado, sweet almond and olive […]

Product Test – Paul Mitchell

Repair Your colour with Paul Mitchell Ultimate Color Repair Shampoo 250ml £17.95 The Paul Mitchell® Ultimate Color Repair® Shampoo works gently to cleanse and protect color-treated hair. Nourishing ingredients such as Quinoa Color Repair, sugar cane and lemon peel extract add shine and manageability while powerful antioxidants help prevent damage for results that are soft, […]

Product Test – Balance Me

the power of nature and  the knowledge of science We provide our customers with a natural skincare alternative, to achieve visible results through botanically active formulations that we manufacture in the UK. Our pioneering skincare has been made possible thanks to innovative advances in natural chemistry. Over the years we’ve been able to push the […]

Product Test – Neal’s Yard Remedies

Nurture Your Hair with Neal’s Yard Remedies Natural Organic Health & Beauty 100% Organic Argan Oil £17.50 50ml Organic Argan Oil is Soil Association certified and  rich in vitamin E and essential fatty acids to soothe, nourish and hydrate skin. Neal’s Yard Remedies Organic Argan Oil is sourced from South West Morocco, the only region […]

Product Test – Aveda Men

With the help of Aveda Men Pure-Formance you can be ready for the day ahead, naturally. Using ingredients specifically formulated for the male face and scalp, these natural products make grooming friendlier. Aveda Men Pure-Formance ™ Shave Cream RRP £18.50 Regular shaving is an ordeal for skin, the Aveda Men Pure-FormanceTM Shave Cream moisturising formula […]

Lost Houses in Derbyshire

The Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Glossop Hall

The Glossop Hall that was demolished in 1958-59 was an unlovely house of titanic proportions, once set in a spectacular wooded park. Unlovely it may have been, but it had an interesting history and was itself at least the third house on the site, although it probably included portions of the fabric of at least […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Spondon House

Spondon House was a fine Georgian mansion, in reality a secondary seat on the Locko estate of the Drury Lowes. Yet it was not without presence, and its history not without interest. All accounts of the house, the building records for which are absent from the Drury-Lowe archive at the University of Nottingham Library, aver […]

The Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Willesley Hall, Ashby

Until the local government reforms of 1888-1889 Derbyshire did not sit inside a single boundary; it has detached ‘islands’, mainly to its south, created in the Saxon period by assarting – clearing of woodland by men of Derbyshire in un-adopted regions. The settlements so created, once the County system had become established in the mid-10th […]

Derbyshires Lost Houses – Meynell’s House, Derby

Francis Meynell (1698-1768) was a member of what was, in the early eighteenth century, a younger branch of the great Derbyshire house of Meynell, recorded in the county as of knightly status from c. 1100. His father had an estate at Anslow in Staffordshire and property elsewhere in that county, but also set up as […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Stuffynwood Hall

  One of my oldest friends is a great enthusiast for huge spiky Gothic Victorian country houses. He thinks Samuel Sander Teulon (‘the good ship Teulon’ as he always calls him) a genius who far outshines Wren or Adam and considers Damien Hurst deserving almost of deification for buying and restoring vast, inchoate and sprawling […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Oak Hurst, Alderwasley

As one travels north on the A6 one of the less uplifting sights in an area of stunning beauty is the wire works, covering the valley floor not many hundreds of yards south of the bridge by the former Derwent Inn, now a tea-room. Should you be caught in slow traffic – fairly likely at […]

Around Your Garden

Gardening – Spring

I wouldn’t say that the Winter has been particularly bad, looking back on my gardening diary we had 7ft snow drifts in 2014 in South Derbyshire but I do think it has been a long one. For the first time in 20 years we had snow early in December so after stop – start with […]

Gardening – Autumn

Over the past month the colours in the trees have really started to change, have you got space in your garden for a small growing tree? There are plenty of different varieties that are suitable for a modern small garden – they create a focal point that is evident all year especially if you choose […]

Gardening – Autumn

Wow October already!  It truly has been one of the best years for growing.  With last month’s ‘Indian’ summer along with the warm start to the autumn season this continues to be a kind year to gardeners and more importantly those of us able to be outside enjoying the garden. With the fantastic sunny weather […]

Gardening – Autumn

Last month I was asked to judge Ticknall Flower and Produce show for the third time. The standard was very high again and extremely difficult to judge. I was pleased to see a great effort from the children’s category and an interesting section “Gardening Disasters” which strangely enough made me smile than cry. I said […]

Gardening – Summer

Its always interesting looking back on my diary and what I wrote this time last year in Country Images Magazine. I wrote about how the rain just kept coming and it rotted the Rose blooms on the plants – it just shows that 2 years are never the same and you have to adjust your […]

Gardening – Summer

Last month I visited a place where I used to go as a child almost every weekend, Elvaston Castle near Borrowash. It must have been about 15 years ago that I last visited the walled gardens – I had the opportunity to visit again to see what the gardeners have done (with very little money). […]