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A Brief Look Around Markeaton, Mackworth & Kedleston

Some of Derbyshire’s finest and most sequestered countryside may be found west of Derby itself, although it is countryside well removed from ‘classic’ Derbyshire: the spectacular sequences of White and Dark Peak. West of Derby is gently undulating arable country, scattered with miniscule villages, some shrunk, some beginning to expand again, interspersed with country houses, […]

Exploring Winster

It is hard to imagine that the picturesque village of Winster with its 700 or so inhabitants was once a small town providing a home base for around 2000 souls, many of whom relied on lead mining for their livelihood.  This brought considerable prosperity to the place, something that is evident in the quality of […]

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 […]

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 […]