Walking In Derbyshire

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 […]

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 […]

Restaurant Reviews - Derbyshire

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 […]

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 […]

Restaurant Review – The Poet & Castle

The demise of the local public house has been the subject of many newspaper articles; part of the ethos of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) believes well-run pubs, whether in rural or urban areas, play a critical social role in UK culture as the centres of community life. CAMRA believes that the British pub […]

Restaurant Review – Viva Matlock

Viva restaurant is well situated in the middle of Matlock on Dale Road; being close to a car park just around the corner. We visited this restaurant and discovered an idyllic place to eat in and experience that special Italian dining cuisine at a very cost effective price… On entering the restaurant we immediately felt […]

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 […]

Derbyshire Local Interests

Taste Derbyshire – The Spice Sisters

When it comes to curry, I adopt a relaxed ‘Jamie Oliver’ approach and simply chop, chuck, dice and drizzle the contents of my entire store cupboard into a pot until I have something runny enough to stick on some rice. I draw the line at using the nine-year-old tin of fruit cocktail. I stopped putting […]

Yorkshire’s Dangerous Coast

Most of the visitors who flock to Yorkshire’s coast every summer, do so without realising that it has a history of marine tragedy reaching back over the centuries and it is hard to realise that an average of two shipwrecks a week have taken place along the North East coast since records began in the […]

Derbyshire Antiques & Collectibles – Beswick Pottery Figures

John Beswick Ltd, formerly J. W. Beswick, was a pottery manufacturer, founded in 1892 by James Wright Beswick and his sons John and Gilbert, in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent.  The firm survived until in 1969 when it was sold to Doulton & Co. Ltd. They closed the factory in 2002 and the brand name John Beswick was sold on in 2004 […]

Queen’s Park faithful took stylist Tom to their Hearts

TOM GRAVENEY gave a wry chuckle at the suggestion that our interview should concern, in the main, his matches against Derbyshire. “Ah, Derbyshire,” he said. “Well, I’ve got plenty of good memories, certainly from when I played at Queen’s Park. But it was never easy when I batted against their bowlers.” So let’s set the […]

Derbyshire Antiques & Collectibles – Vintage Telephones

Those of us over a certain age will know that, until 1984, when the GPO (Post office telephones) monopoly was broken up, one did not actually own one’s telephone, but rented it from the GPO along with associated installations. Thus there was very little choice over the type of telephone one could have. Collecting these […]

Lea Rhododendron Gardens

For a few short glorious weeks in early summer, the wooded hillside above the Derwent Valley at Lea is a blaze of colour.  This is when Lea Rhododendron Gardens come into their own every year. Brian Spencer tells the story of one man’s vision that has been backed up by three generations of a devoted […]

Female Products - Tried & Tested

Product Test – Weleda

Try the Natural Approach with Weleda Almond Sensitive Skin Body Lotion 200ml £16.95 The range is specifically formulated to soothe very sensitive skin, calm skin prone to irritation, provide long-lasting moisturisation and reduce that uncomfortable feeling of tightness. Plant oils from seeds and kernels are precious gifts from nature.  The fine almost transparent oil absorbs […]

Product Test – Get The Glamour with Clarins

Instant Light Lip Balm Perfector £18.50 A beautifying lip balm for incredibly irresistible lips. This melting gel lip balm with a deliciously sweet taste glides on the lips effortlessly adding a naturally coloured glossy shine with a barely-there effect. Lips instantly look plump, smooth and luscious. 4 hours of non-stop hydration*: lips look fuller and […]

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 […]

Lost Houses in Derbyshire

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 […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – Mackworth Castle

The stone shell of the gatehouse to site of the ancient seat of the Mackworth family is one of the most memorable sites in the County. Lying only a few hundred yards from the City boundary of Derby, it invariably excites interest from those who see it for the first time, and it has been […]

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 […]

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 […]