Walking In Derbyshire

Walk Derbyshire – Walking Above the Canal – Cromford

The car park at the Cromford end of its namesake canal is a popular starting point for at least five walks to my reckoning. Most weekends and days in between, well-clad walkers will be congregating, busily pulling on their boots and at the same time, chatting to their friends. This walk starts, like all the […]

Walk Derbyshire – Chatsworth to Haddon Hall

The two great houses visited on this walk are within four miles of each other as the crow flies, but each has made a unique impression on the face of the Peak District.  Chatsworth, ancestral home of the Dukes of Devonshire has developed following the fashions of house-building nobles.  Additions have been made since its […]

Walk Derbyshire – Kedleston’s Glorious Parkland

It is hard to believe that the ever constant bustle of Derby’s traffic is barely a couple of miles away at its closest point.  Kedleston’s park is an oasis of tranquility, with now naturalised groves and plantations, set around hundreds of acres of green-sward and lakes.  All this overlooks winding ponds separated by tinkling waterfalls, […]

Walk Derbyshire – A Winter Warmer Around the Longshaw Estate

I have to make an apology before embarking on the text for this walk.  In July I acquired a new hip, this was after upwards of ten years trying to ignore an ever growing problem. Fortunately I had the sense to build up a stock-pile of walks, which kept Garry and Alistair happy at Images […]

Walk Derbyshire – A walk around Ilam Hall

Tucked away on a bend of the Manifold river, Ilam Hall village was built in the 1820s on the instructions of Jesse Watts-Russell. The original Victorian houses of the village echo the fairy-tale image of the hall, built at a time when skilled labour was cheap. It was also a time when tenants could be […]

Walk Derbyshire – Around Winster

Winster is a haphazard cluster of seventeenth and eighteenth- century houses linked by narrow hillside alleys or ginnels as they are known locally.  They sit in a pattern which suited the lead miners and their families in the hey-day of this now extinguished Peak District industry. The walk follows paths once trodden by miners who, […]

Restaurant Reviews - Derbyshire

Dining Out – The Curry Lounge, Somercotes

They’re in every town centre and sometimes have the same names; that’s Indian restaurants. Somercotes is no exception. At the side of the parish church, on what remains of the Market Place, is the Curry Lounge; an independent restaurant, owned and skillfully managed by Ukeel. Susan and myself visited the Curry Lounge on a Saturday […]

Taste Derbyshire – Derby’s Bustler Market

Market food used to be all about simple, rib-sticking snacks like hot dogs piled with fried onions and thick wedges of cheese on toast. The height of sophistication was asking for a serviette with your bacon butty. But times have changed. Avocado is now our national fruit of choice; you can get liquorice in your […]

Restaurant Review – The Old Poet’s, Ashover

There are some pubs that claim to be what they’re not, and others who know exactly what they are and are happy being there, sticking to the time honoured script. Kim Beresford, owner of ‘The Old Poets Corner ‘Ashover for the past fifteen years, explained very clearly to me “We are first and foremost a […]

Restaurant Review – Jeera, Codnor

The British love affair with ‘Indian’ cuisine has come a long way in the past 50 years. From the days when anything with a hint of chili and a whiff of cumin was called a curry, to today when we can dine on authentic regional variations from the subcontinent. For example Eastern Indian cuisine is […]

Restaurant Review – Jeera, Crich

An evening of quality Bangladeshi cuisine. “Whoa, slow down Midge you’re going far too fast, you’ll have to explain that to me again” When  people are passionate about what they do, it’s really hard for them not to try to tell you everything all at once.  And all in one breath.  If I was to […]

Restaurant Review – The Hope & Anchor, Wirksworth

Standing proudly on the market place in the centre of Wirksworth is The Hope and Anchor, a grade two listed 17th century stone building. Closed in 2016 but now under new management and with around £100,000 spent on refurbishment, along with a new chef, The Hope and Anchor is now open for business. On their website they […]

Derbyshire Local Interests

Local Collectibles – Classic Histories of Derby

In 2013 I wrote an article in Country Images about collecting local books, and threatened to continue the theme with further examples at a later date. Since then, we have been concentrating on modern collectibles, but following three separate appeals from readers for me to continue with collectible old local books, I thought I might […]

The National Stone Centre

Travelling back in time a few millenia, Brian Spencer describes what the Peak District looked like when land that became the British Isles was part of a tropical island situated near the Equator. A series of small inter-connected abandoned  limestone quarries off the road to Ashbourne, near the top of the hill marking the boundary […]

Taste Derbyshire – A Slice of Italy – Lambarelli’s

The outskirts of Chesterfield on a grey and dismal morning seems an unlikely place to find la dolce vita.  But follow your nose into Lambarelli’s Italian Caffé and Pasta Bar on Chesterfield Road and you’ll be instantly transported from North Derbyshire to Southern Italy on an aromatic cloud of fresh herbs, strong coffee and sweet […]

Taste Derbyshire – Spotted Calf Cafe

There’s something a bit magical about the Spotted Calf café – the small but perfectly formed off-spring of the Spotted Cow pub at Holbrook.  It’s not just the quality of the coffee – roasted to perfection in the Derbyshire Peaks – or the tanginess of the home-made lemon polenta cake. It’s the cosy, welcoming nature […]

Images of The North

With an introductory splutter, the public address system announced, first in Norwegian, then in English and German, that we were summoned by King Neptune to assemble on the after-deck to receive our icy baptism.  During the night a few hours previously we passed a small island at exactly 66°33’51’’ north, marked by a globe tilted […]

John Flamsteed England’s First Astronomer Royal

Brian Spencer follows the life of this Denby-born man who went on to be the first Astronomer Royal and set the stage for Greenwich to become the centre of time and space. John Flamsteed was a sickly child, being troubled by arthritic knees and ankles, weak legs, and frequent headaches – conditions that affected him […]

Female Products - Tried & Tested

Product Test – Crabtree & Evelyn

Nourish The Skin You’re In with Crabtree & Evelyn Rosewater & Pink Peppercorn Hydrating Body Gel 250ml £30 For a lighter moisturiser, try this hydrating gel. No cream or residue – just super soft skin.  Want the intense, moisture-replenishing hydration that comes with a cream but don’t want the texture? This body gel is just […]

Product Test – Charlotte Tilbury

A Little Bit of Magic Airbrush Flawless Finish £34 Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder features ingredients to prevent excess shine and brighten complexions. This shade in 1 Fair is ideal if you have very fair to fair skin, perfect for fair redheads and blondes! What makes Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder magic: • Enjoy effortlessly flawless skin […]

Product Test – Boost Your Skin with Evolve Beauty

HYALURONIC EYE COMPLEX With Active Botanical Cells & Hyaluronic Acid 10ml £16 For all skin types Exotic Tuberose flower plant stem cells help to reduce the appearance of eye bags, fines lines and puffiness while firming and brightening the delicate eye area. Hyaluronic acid (known for its ability to hold up to 1000 times its […]

Product Test – Elemis

Put the Spring Back In Your Skin with Pro-Collagen Pro-Collagen Marine Cream £85 50ml Imagine the bloom of youth regained. Imagine an anti-ageing cream so advanced and so natural, it mimics the skin’s own function, transforming your complexion in just two weeks. Introducing revolutionary Pro-Collagen Marine Cream from leading British Spa Brand ELEMIS, clinically proven […]

Tried & Tested – Green People

Rejuvenating Eye Cream  £14.00 10ml A nurturing certified organic night-time eye treatment rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from Evening Primrose, Seaweed, Perilla and Avocado.  Squalane and Aloe Vera provide an instant moisture infusion whilst Baicalin, Green Algae and Tara bush work in synergy for powerful anti-ageing results. Hydrating Firming Serum £19.50 […]

Tried & Tested – Clinique Fit

Life’s a marathon. Look good running it.      Active beauty for an active lifestyle. Every day is jam-packed and full of surprises, look good no matter what you’re doing—whether that’s hiking or heading to Sunday brunch straight from yoga. Introducing CliniqueFit, a carefully curated line of athletic-inspired, high performance skin care and makeup that’s […]

Lost Houses in Derbyshire

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Breadsall Mount

Breadsall was one of the villages immediately surrounding Derby that so far has escaped being absorbed by the ever-expanding city below it and to the south, although a considerable amount of land on the southern edge of the parish was absorbed in 1921 and is now host to the Breadsall Hill Top estate, created through […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Little Chester Manor House, Derby

Readers will be well aware that Little Chester is a characterful Derby suburb which overlies the remains of the Roman small town of Derventio. What some may not know is that within its modest compass stands Derby’s oldest domestic residence: Stone House Prebend, on Old Chester Road, itself once the via principia of the military […]

The Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Temple House, Derby

If you go up Mill Hill Lane today, you might come away with the impression that Temple House is the house facing you end-wise as you link round towards the top of Renals Street. That, however, would be a mistake encouraged by the fact that the building in question, a brick villa of some size, […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Langley Hall, Meynell Langley

The history of Langley, just north west of Derby on the road to Ashbourne, is complex to say the least. As a consequence, it is not without its fair share of lost houses, about one of which we have sufficient information to be able to say something about it. The manor of Langley originally consisted […]

The Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Romeley Hall, Clowne

At Romeley, one gets two lost houses for the price of one. The early history of Romeley (or Romiley) in the extreme SW of the parish of Clowne, but often erroneously listed under Barlborough, is obscure to say the least, but the first we hear of a capatial mansion there is in 1455 when one […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Devonshire House, Derby

A great friend who is the senior caseworker for the Georgian Group, was asked by the City Council to comment on an application to convert the upper floors of 35, Cornmarket into flats. Our own Conservation Area Advisory committee, which until recently I chaired, had already questioned the applicant’s desire to remove the surviving staircase […]

Around Your Garden

Hidden Gem of Food & Drink – The Boot, Repton

Turning the corner onto Boot Hill in Repton, the self-proclaimed capital of Mercia, I immediately thought “I should have arrived on a horse!” Everything seemed to be linked to the past and, in all honesty, I love that. The Boot, a 17th Century coaching Inn, is owned, managed and run by people with a fierce […]

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 […]