Walking In Derbyshire

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 […]

Walk Derbyshire – Holymoorside

DISTANCE: 3½miles (5.6km) of easy walking along farm lanes and woodland, plus by-roads and side lanes. RECOMMENDED MAP: Ordnance Survey 1:25000 scale Explorer Map, Sheet 269, Chesterfield & Alfreton. PUBLIC TRANSPORT:  Stagecoach X17 from Matlock. CAR PARKING: Roadside on Belland Lane, connecting the A632 Matlock/Chesterfield road to the B5057 Darley Dale /Two Dales road. REFRESHMENTS: […]

Walk Derbyshire – Miller’s Dale

DISTANCE: 5 miles (8km) of field and river path walking linked by a mile of walled farm track.  Reasonably dry underfoot except during lengthy wet spells. RECOMMENDED MAP: Ordnance Survey1:25,000 scale Outdoor Leisure Series Sheet 24, White Peak area. PUBLIC TRANSPORT:  TM Travel service 65 between Sheffield, Miller’s Dale and Buxton, hourly service, Monday to […]

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

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 […]

Changing Landscapes

The change in season brings with it many delights and yet there are some areas that on occasion turn from foreboding landscapes into fascinating scenes of vibrant colour and light.  On a summers evening in August the Cat and Fiddle road that connects Buxton to Macclesfield was a delight to traverse necessitating a stop just […]

The Peak District Mining Museum

The easing of lockdown made it possible for museums at least to partially re-open, and the Peak District Mining Museum in Matlock Bath’s Grand Pavilion was quick to take advantage of it.  With its easy access, visitors can explore the story of lead mining in the Peak District.  Everything is open except the popular children’s […]

Bugsworth Canal Basin

Brian Spencer takes a trip to Bugsworth canal basin, once the largest inland port in England’s canal network. Drive along the A6 Chapel-en-le-Frith bypass and the odds are you will be unaware that below the road there was once a busy inland port handling stone and lime brought down from the hills in horse-drawn wagons […]

Female Products - Tried & Tested

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 […]

Product Test – Skin Academy ZERO

Skin Academy has just launched the UK’s most eco-friendly beauty range, Skin Academy Zero. Skin Academy Zero is the first mass market, 100% natural, 100% recyclable / recycled packaging and sustainable skincare range that is set to shape the future of the beauty industry. The innovation sets a new environmental standard in the beauty industry, […]

Lost Houses in Derbyshire

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 […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Hazelbarrow Hall, Eckington

Like Norton, about which I wrote last year, Hazelbarrow – part of Norton in my opinion, but according to Historic England belonging to Eckington – is one of those places which were included in the considerable chunk of our county which was appropriated by the City of Sheffield in 1936 to boost rate income.  Hazelbarrow […]

The Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Allen Hill, Matlock

As you proceed out of Matlock going north you will pass on your right the end of Dimple Road, which rises vertiginously up the steepish hillside. Some way up you might just miss Allen Hill a narrow road leading down into a mass of 1960s housing and rising out on the other side as little […]

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Celebrity Interviews

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 […]

Celebrity Interview – Tara Fitzgerald

‘Prism is at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre from 3rd – 12th October and at The Theatre Royal, Nottingham from 21 – 26 October’Tara admits she always gets nervous: “It’s always been the same as far back as I can remember. Excitement and the desire for something to be good are the drivers and inevitably make […]