Walking In Derbyshire

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, […]

Derbyshire Walk – Elvaston Castle

This walk, around the parkland of Elvaston Castle, is one of my occasional excursions from some of Derbyshire’s grand houses.  Unfortunately it could almost be described as from one of Maxwell Craven’s ‘Lost Houses’.  Financial constraints on its present owners, Derbyshire County Council, make it impossible to fund the necessary £6.1 million needed to restore […]

Walk Derbyshire – Foolow & Silly Dale

There are no records of any simpleton, either in Foolow or Silly Dale; both names come from Anglo Saxon English and have entirely different meanings than in today’s language.  Foolow means multi-coloured hill, possibly a reference to nearby Eyam Edge. Silly is Old English for pretty, an apt description of this little-known dale, especially in […]

Restaurant Reviews - Derbyshire

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 […]

Restaurant Review – The Dovecote, Morley Hayes

As the year drifts slowly in to Autumn the chill in the air indicates that it’s time to put away the short sleeve shirts and shorts and consign the thoughts of dining al fresco to next Summer. The longer nights need a cosy atmosphere, pleasant surroundings, attentive service and, of course, excellent food. One Saturday […]

Derbyshire Local Interests

Places of Interest on Either Side of The Lower Wye & Severn Valleys

Beyond Birmingham and before reaching Bristol on the way to the south west, travellers using the M5 gateway to the sun often find themselves in one of the all too frequent bottlenecks, especially around the M5/M60 junction. If they give up and decide to call it a day around Junction 9 (Tewksbury), then the possibility […]

Modern Collectables – Modern Glass Paperweights

My daughter, although now 22, has gone through many enthusiasms in her short life: Barbie Dolls, Beanie Babies, My Little Pony and so on through Pokémon to soberer items. One of which was modern glass paperweights, of which we now have a considerable collection. On the whole, prices – mainly at fleamarkets and antique fairs […]

Modern Collectibles – Teddy Bear

Toy animals have been around since the days of Ancient Egypt, but bears only since the 18th century, and genuinely cuddly ones, made of plush stuffed with something that will take a squeeze, only became available as a manufactured item in the 19th century. However, the all-encompassing soubriquet’ Teddy’ owes its origins in this context […]

Mysteries, Murder, Marple and More

From the days of ancient Greece right up to the present day, people all over the world have been fascinated by crime stories. Authors including Sophocles, Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle are often cited as being among the finest writers of the genre – but none can match the best-selling novelist of all […]

Taste Derbyshire – From Nut Sprinkled Discs to Chocolate Drenched Honeycombs

Two pints of lager and a cream truffle may not be the average round for most pub-goers but The Three Horseshoes Inn at Breedon on the Hill is not your average pub. Yes, it has the roaring fire, real ales and quarry-tiled floors – but they’ve also thrown in a chocolate shop for good measure. […]

Repton – Capital of The Kingdom of Mercia

The history of the North Midlands is writ large on this ancient town set high above the quiet meadows bordering the River Trent.  Its history is traced from Saxon and Norman times, through Tudor to the present day. Even the Danes who came this far up the Trent in their longships, made it their winter […]

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 – 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 […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Melbourne Castle

Some castles grew from purely Norman military motte-and-bailey castles, constructed by William the Conqueror’s knights to keep a firm hold on England. Others are later affairs, fortified houses built later in the middle ages or even in the Tudor Age more as symbolic castles than effective defensive buildings. Later still, houses like Elvaston or Bretby […]

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 […]