Walking In Derbyshire

Walk Derbyshire – Combs Reservoir

Combs Moss is an outlier of the higher moors of the Daark Peak.  It sits between Buxton and Chapel-en-le-Frith, mainly overlooking the latter.  Looking upwards from Chapel, a long escarpment dominates the skyline, marked by two protruding side ridges radiating from its eastern edge.   The further of the two, between Combs and Short Edges, […]

Walk Derbyshire – Thorpe Cloud

Two prominent hills guard the southern entrance to Dovedale; bulky Bunster rises to the west at the end of a broad limestone ridge, while Thorpe Cloud’s graceful summit looks to the east.  The steeper of the two, the Cloud has footpaths on three sides and as such has become a popular venue for walkers looking […]

Walk Derbyshire – Three Shires in a Flash

Children will love this walk, for where else can they visit three counties within a matter of seconds?  The highlight of the walk is the bridge known as Three Shire Heads, where Staffordshire, Cheshire and Derbyshire all meet at a point in the middle of an ancient pack horse bridge over the River Dane.  To […]

Walk Derbyshire – Elton & Gratton Dale

This walk explores one of the lesser known parts of the White Peak.  Properties in Elton where the walk starts, would be easily recognised by any returning inhabitant, even after the passage of long forgotten centuries. At one time there were two villages, Gratton as well as Elton, but following an outbreak of the Black […]

Walk Derbyshire – Howden & Derwent Reservoir Walk

Distance: 10.3 miles of easy road walking, mostly through woodland followed by a gravel track above Howden and Derwent Reservoirs. Recommended Map: Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Series Sheet1; The Peak District, Dark Peak Area Public Transport: Hulleys and TM Travel 273, 274 & 275 Two Hour Service from Bakewell and Sheffield via Castleton and Bamford. […]

Walk Derbyshire – Into The Past Through Five Historic Sites

History is everywhere with us in the Peak District.  People have lived on and shaped the land for thousands of years, from the erectors of prehistoric standing stones and henges, right down to the current developments needed to house today’s expanding population. This walk touches a sample of five different ways the Peak has been […]

Restaurant Reviews - Derbyshire

Restaurant Review – A Sparkling Breakfast at Darley’s Restaurant and Terrace

Psychiatrists tell us that the most stressful time of the day is breakfast time. Work, school and the first appointment of the morning all combine to make the early part of the day, hectic. And a hurried bowl of indigestible muesli does not help improve the early morning mood. What’s needed every so often, in […]

Restaurant Review – Shapla Spice

I’ve always thought of Ripley town centre as a comfortable place. A wide variety of shops; well connected by public transport, which runs through the centre of the town, and there’s plenty of car parking. Ripley isn’t overpowering; part of its charm is that it’s all on a human scale. That comfortable feeling doesn’t vanish […]

Restaurant Review – The Sanam Tandoori Restaurant

Cooking in a traditional way has always been the priority at the Sanam on King Street Alfreton, and for the past 25 years they have stuck to that premise. Over that period of time they have seen restaurants come and go, some change hands. Their philosophy of providing quality food at a fair price has […]

Restaurant Review – Shapla Spice

Shapla Spice is one of the longest established restaurants in Ripley, Derbyshire. I must admit I drive past Shapla Spice almost every day and always thought it was a take away, how wrong was I?  It was on a pleasant Friday evening that my partner and I were booked in to dine, it was then […]

Restaurant Review – Lunch at The New Inn, Milford

Fresh, seasonal and cooked in a traditional way. The New Inn is situated conveniently on the main A6 just midway between Belper and Duffield. And true to its name it is experiencing a new lease of life under the careful direction of Kyle and Hollie.  Make no mistake about it, this isn’t a fast food […]

Dining at The White Horse

Dining at The White Horse, Woolley Moor The White Horse conjures up the happiest of memories for us as it was here that we spent many sunny evenings with our children and friends enjoying the spectacular, beautiful Derbyshire countryside and a quiet drink. However, that was many years ago and happily, like our family, it has developed […]

Derbyshire Local Interests

St Kilda – An Enchanting Island In The West

A few years ago while I was exploring the Hebrides, I stood on top of a small west facing hill. The weather was unusually calm and sunny, with a low mist skimming the sea.  As I gazed out over the Atlantic, a sudden clearing in the mist revealed what I can only describe as a […]

A Brief Look Around Markeaton, Mackworth & Kedleston

Some of Derbyshire’s finest and most sequestered countryside may be found west of Derby itself, although it is countryside well removed from ‘classic’ Derbyshire: the spectacular sequences of White and Dark Peak. West of Derby is gently undulating arable country, scattered with miniscule villages, some shrunk, some beginning to expand again, interspersed with country houses, […]

Exploring Winster

It is hard to imagine that the picturesque village of Winster with its 700 or so inhabitants was once a small town providing a home base for around 2000 souls, many of whom relied on lead mining for their livelihood.  This brought considerable prosperity to the place, something that is evident in the quality of […]

A Visit to Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire

In this feature, Brian Spencer takes a nostalgic visit to one of the strangest geological features in Britain.  Currently out of bounds during lockdown, it is somewhere Brian plans to revisit once freedom of movement is available. Brimham Rocks, sometimes called Brimham Crags are a group of strangely eroded millstone grit rocky towers high above […]

The Village of Elton – A Journey Through Time

Even though prehistoric travellers following the Portway from the Trent to Mam Tor would have passed through the area, modern Elton can be overlooked.  Being off all the through roads crossing the limestone uplands of the Peak, it is easy to ignore, but as a Michelin Guide might say, ‘it is well worth the diversion’.  […]

Alison Uttley’s Cromford – then & now

In the 1930s, countryside author Alison Uttley wrote a series of short essays based on her childhood experiences in and around Cromford.  These were later produced in book-form by Scarthin Books.  Currently out of print, it is possible to find a much-cherished second hand copy; armed with one of them, Brian Spencer looks for what […]

Female Products - Tried & Tested

Tried & Tested – This Works

Give you body extra nourishment this spring with these products from This Works Deep Sleep Body Cocoon 100ml £25.00 This multi-tasking wellness solution will encourage calmer nights and nourished skin. WHY?… Multi-tasking wellness solution for calmer nights and nourished skin. WHEN?… Use each night to bring calm and relaxation, moisturising the skin whilst sending you […]

Tried & Tested with Neal’s Yard Remedies

Love your Locks with Neals Yard Remedies. This month we tried out 3 beautiful shampoos from the Neals Yard Range. We love the fact they’re organic! Give them a go. Revitalising Orange Flower  Shampoo 200ml £11.50 Our revitalising shampoo restores a natural shine to normal hair. The nutrient-rich blend of moringa, camellia, passion flower and […]

Product Test – Annabelle Minerals

Annabelle Minerals products are completely natural and based on few ingredients only. Annabelle Minerals cosmetics offer high-quality natural make-up suited to the needs of every skin type, from oily to dry and sensitive. The products are suitable for vegetarians and vegans. The brand offers the following organic cosmetics: make-ups, blushes, concealers, eyeshadows, translucent finishing powders, […]

Product Test – Paula’s Choice

Paula’s Choice Calm Repairing Serum, £33 This silky-soft serum soothes sensitive skin and calms redness with a gentle yet powerful blend of antioxidant plant extracts and skin-replenishing ingredients. The concentrated anti-ageing formula minimises the appearance of wrinkles while leaving skin soft, hydrated and calm. What are the key ingredients? SEA WHIP EXTRACT Extract from the […]

Tried & Tested – Nourish with Diptyque

Fresh Lotion  For The Body £36 200ml Cool, fluid, pleasing. The bright scent of Orange Blossoms. Like a morning breeze that awakens the bay of Alexandria, this lotion refreshes sleepy skin, leaving it soft and replenished. Smoothing Body Polish £48  200ml Sumptuous, rich, regenerating. “Queen of All Fruits” the bountiful pomegranate from Carthage is brimming […]

Tried & Tested – Dr. Hauschka

Natural Cosmetics with a difference. Our brand is much more than a chic logo – it denotes our cosmos. Our selected medicinal plants are certified organic and help the skin to help itself and to regenerate. We respect our inner beauty just as much as our outer beauty. We are obsessed with quality and have […]

Lost Houses in Derbyshire

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Field House, Spondon

Those familiar with the local photographic collections will perhaps be familiar with a photograph of this lost house’s south front labelled ‘Spondon Hall’ and this indeed, is a title to which Field House was attached from time to time, too. In its decline, however, it had become derelict, a natural playground for adventurous children (before […]

The Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Stretton House

Stretton, along with Measham and Appleby Parva (for the lost houses at which see Country Images December 2019 and October 2020), lay within a large ‘island’ of Derbyshire, separated since Saxon times from the bulk of the county, itself created in the mid-10th century. This ‘island’ also included Oakthorpe, Donisthorpe, Chilcote and Willesley (see Country […]

The Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Willington House

I think I am right in saying that Willington House must rank as Derbyshire’s most recent lost house. At any rate, if there have been subsequent casualties, I would be pleased to hear from anyone who can tell me about them. Willington House – never the sort of architectural set piece to send the pulses […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Stretton-in-Shirland

It is entirely through the thorough researches undertaken by Gladwyn Turbutt that we have a good, comprehensive history of this lost house and its occupants. Derbyshire historian Stephen Glover wrote in around 1832 that the house overlooked ‘one of the finest valleys in the county’ and if you were to go to our excellent Museum […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Appleby Hall

It is astonishing how many country houses and estates were lost to Derbyshire in the boundary adjustments of 1888 and 1936; in this column we have visited several, including Measham and Willesley Hall, Norton House, Hazlebarrow with others. As they had been part of Derbyshire for about 900 years prior to their unwilling transfer, I […]

The Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Cockpit Hill House, Derby

‘On the west side of the Mill Stream is a good house, built by Mr. Beardsley – on the side of a hill on which was formerly a castle still called Castle Hill, but by others Cockpit Hill.’ Written in 1713, William Woolley, Derbyshire’s first historian, of Cockpit Hill House. This enigmatic building suffers from having […]

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Celebrity Interviews

Celebrity Interview – Jenna Russell

She’s a regular in the West End where she won one of the most prestigious awards in showbiz, she’s worked on Broadway and she took over as one of the main characters in the BBC soap EastEnders. Now Jenna Russell is coming to Nottingham. The actress and singer will play French cabaret performer and chanteuse […]

Celebrity Interview – Sir Tony Robinson

Actor, comedian, writer, television presenter and political activist: that’s how many people know Sir Tony Robinson, famous for playing Baldrick in the BBC TV series Blackadder and hosting the archaeological investigation programme Time Team for 20 years.  Millions more now know him for a completely different reason: travelling more than 100 miles from his west […]

Celebrity Interview – Rachel Swann

It’s a situation only a select number of people have experienced: waiting for the Prime Minister to ring. The circumstances in which Rachel Swann was preparing to address Boris Johnson were certainly unusual: she was responsible for the largest peace-time evacuation of civilians in the UK in the hope of averting an unparallelled disaster. At the […]

Celebrity Interview – James Graham

Quiz question:  Who is James Graham? Is he (a) the writer of the TV drama about the coughing scandal on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?; (b) a collaborator working on a new musical with Elton John; (c) the winner of an Olivier Award for a comedy; or (d) the man who penned an episode […]

Celebrity Interview – Val McDermid

Her books have sold 16 million copies worldwide, been translated into 40 languages and recently her work topped the fiction, non-fiction and children’s book charts all in the same week. But Val McDermid isn’t sitting back basking in her success: she’s always looking for new challenges. The 64-year-old crime writer is working on her next […]

Celebrity Interview – Susan Boyle

More than ten years on from her unforgettable rendition of I Dreamed A Dream from the musical Les Misérables, Susan is heading out on tour to do what she loves most of all: singing to an audience. When she stepped onto the Britain’s Got Talent stage, few people could have imagined the impact she would […]