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Exploring Matlock

Matlock started off as a collection of small settlements in the Middle Ages which, thanks to the coming of the railway and a consequent astonishing boom in demand for hydropathic health treatments, quickly became subsumed into a new, rather homogenous whole. When it came to treatments, the Regency upper classes favoured Matlock Bath; the Victorian […]

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 […]

In the footsteps of King Richard III

While we know the central and western parts of the Yorkshire Dales, the eastern edges alongside the Vale of York are, to say the least, a bit hazy to us.  After doing a bit of research, we found that Richard spent his childhood and trained in knightly skills at Middleham Castle in the lower reaches […]

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 […]

Taste Derbyshire – Canine Delights

More and more restaurants and cafés are opening their doors to canine customers and Derby even has a fancy bakery exclusively for dogs. Taste Derbyshire’s Amanda Volley went along with her naughty pup Eddie to find out what would happen if you put a Jack Russell in a bakery.  My Jack Russell, Eddie, is typical […]

Walk Derbyshire – Walks from Stately Homes – Lyme Park

DISTANCE: 3½ miles (5.6km) of moderate forest track, open moorland, surfaced road, waymarked field path and rough access drive.  525 foot (160m) climb. RECOMMENDED MAP: Ordnance Survey Outdoor Leisure Sheet 1, Dark Peak. 1:25,000 scale. PUBLIC TRANSPORT: Hourly TP service buses to Buxton, then bus or train to Disley where a short walk along a […]

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 […]

Cruising Up The Rhine

When Brian Spencer went on a Rhine cruise, little did he realise that the high point of the trip was, for more than one reason, several thousand feet above the level of the river. A mere four hours after leaving Matlock, we emerged care of Eurostar into bright sunshine on the French side of the […]

Allestree – From Norman Doors to Arts & Crafts

Allestree’s ancient village – the only part of what is now a huge amorphous suburb really worth dawdling round – is remarkably compact, which makes a tour that much less complicated. It is also high enough above the city to the south, to ensure clear, breathable fresh air. Not to be sneezed at, as one […]

Lost Houses of Derbyshire – New Hall, Castleton

When Mick Stanley and I were researching the first edition of The Derbyshire Country House around 1980 our attention was drawn by a colleague of Mick’s at the Derbyshire Museum Service (of blessed memory) to an item in a north Derbyshire auction. Provenanced from a vendor in Buxton, this was a fine oak 17th century […]