Derbyshire and the Peak District

Fascinating facts about Derbyshire and the Peak District

  • Blue John stone is found in Treak Cliff hillside at Castleton. It is the only place in the world it is found. The pretty purple/blue stone is made into jewellery and small ornaments.
  • There are 7 show caves in the Peak District where you can see an amazing underground world.  Travel by boat through a flooded tunnel, find out about lead mining or just marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites.
  • The limestone dales in the white peak area sometimes have disappearing rivers which travel underground and pop up miles further along.
  • Dovedale has a long set of stepping stones across the River Dove and in many places the dale is paved in limestone full of fossils.
  • The gritstone edges, ie Stanage and Curbar make great climbing ground and are internationally famous for training for more mountainous climbs like Everest. The lower slopes make a great place for bouldering and scrambling – jumping from rock to rock.

Did you know?

  • The Peak District does not have many peaks or mountains, the name comes from the ancient Saxon tribe that lived in the area called the Pecsaetans
  • Well Dressing is an ancient tradition only surviving in and around the Peak District & Derbyshire. The springs or wells in the villages are ‘dressed’ with large pictures made with flower petals and other natural products. This happens between May and September every year with a different village having their well dressing each week. You can even help make them yourself as they are always keen to let people have a go
  • Matlock Bath Illuminations includes a unique parade of illuminated boats along the River Derwent and firework spectaculars, every weekend in Sept and October.
  • Many Country Shows and Sheepdog trials still happen through out the area where visitors can join in country events and farming practises.  
  • Buxton Opera House run many festivals throughout the year including a puppet festival and children’s events.

Historical facts

  • Peveril Castle in Castleton was built in 1086 by the Norman Knight William Peverel.
  • Arbour Low near Bakewell is a Neolithic stone circle (henge) which was a meeting place for the first tribes in the area.
  • Derwent Valley Mills World heritage site stretches along the River Derwent from Ladybower Reservoir in the north to Derby. This was the birth place of the industrial revolution and working mills and museums tell the story of the cotton industry.
  • Film companies regularly use the houses in the area as a backdrop for period drama films. Chatsworth, Haddon Hall and Kedleston Hall have all recently starred in major costume dramas.
  • Bolsover Castle is a ‘pleasure palace’ and regularly holds historic events and re-enactments

Places to visit

Carsington Water
Carsington Water is a huge reservoir that provides water for three million people in Derbyshire, Nottingham and Leicestershire.  When full, the reservoir is 31m deep – the height of seven double decker buses!  And at maximum capacity the reservoir is 300 hectares (741 acres).  700 football pitches could fit on the surface!

Carsington Water, Ashbourne, DE6 1ST

Chatsworth Farmyard and Adventure Playground
chatsworthChatsworth is one of Britain’s best loved historic houses and estates. We offer something for everyone to enjoy, from famous works of art, young animals and the spectacular fountains in the garden to the finest shopping, food and drink and many miles of free walks. The home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire is set in the magnificent landscape of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park.

The 1000 acre park and the farmshop and its restaurant are open all year round. Chatsworth has a long tradition of welcoming local people and holiday makers from around the world.
Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire, DE45 1PP

Chestnut Centre Otter Owl and Wildlife Park
otter01_smThe Park, which is located in scenic Peak District National Park of Derbyshire, is set in 50 acres of landscaped grounds and is home, not only to a unique collection of birds and animals, but to many wild birds and mammals.  As you walk about the Wildlife Park you’ll see some of Europe’s largest gathering of otters, 16 species of owls and other indigenous wildlife all in their natural surroundings including, buzzards, pine martens, polecats, foxes, Scottish wildcats and deer.

Chestnut Centre Otter Owl and Wildlife Park, Chapel-en-le-Frith, High Peak, Derbyshire SK23 0QS

Churnet Valley Railway
churnetThe Churnet Valley Railway runs through delightful hidden countryside between Cheddleton, with its grade II listed Victorian station and Froghall, with its newly built station. You’ll also have the opportunity to discover Consall, our jewel in the crown complete with sleepy rural station. Sit back and enjoy a 10 mile return steam train journey through picturesque surroundings.

Churnet Valley Railway, Cheddleton Station, Station Road, Cheddleton, ST13 7EE

Conkers – National Forest Visitor Centre
conkersA unique mix of infoor and outdoor experiences in the heart of The National Forest.   Over 100 interactive exhibits, the enchanted forest adventure play, cafes, gift shop, 120 acres of maturing woodland and lakes, adventure play, assault course, picnic areas, ranger activities and covered amphitheatre with live shows.

CONKERS, Rawdon Road (B586), Moira Nr Ashby-de-la-Zouch Derbyshire DE12 6GA

Crich Tramway Village


Take a tram ride through time at Crich Tramway Village, home of The National Tramway Museum – an ideal destination for all ages. Visitors can ride vintage trams through period streets and into the open countryside for spectacular views, explore fascinating exhibitions and watch as trams are restored. Stroll the Woodland Walk & Sculpture Trail and visit the tearooms

Crich, Matlock, DE4 5DP

Denby Visitor Centre
Pottery tours with `paint a plate´ and `make a frog´ souvenirs. All tours at Denby are led by experienced Tour Guides who will take you round and explain how the pottery is made. There are two Pottery Tours to choose from; both include a video presentation, and the opportunity to have fun!

Derby Road, Denby, DE5 8NX

Gullivers Kingdom Matlock Bath
Gulliver’s is a family theme park designed to cater for families with children between the age of two and thirteen. All its rides and attractions are designed to offer the whole family a full day out of fun and excitement.


Heights of Abraham Cable Cars
abrahamA visit to the Heights of Abraham starts with a spectacular cable car ride but there is much more to see and do once you are at the summit.  Heights of Abraham is one of the Peak District’s oldest and most popular days out, an attraction where stunning natural beauty is matched by human achievement and the historic blends seamlessly with the futuristic.  Since first opening to visitors in 1780 the Heights of Abraham has remained one of the Peak District’s most appealing destinations. Visitors have travelled from all over the world to experience its unique blend of spectacular underground caverns, exhibitions, shops, play areas, picnic spots, café and summit bar all with stunning views in acres of beautiful woodland. In recent times however, the Heights has become rightly famous for its landmark Cable Car system – the first of its kind in the whole of the British Isles.  New attractions are the “Heath & Heaven” and “Fossil Factory” exhibitions, plus brand new, state of the art lighting in the Great Masson Cavern which reveals its magnitude as it has never been seen before.

The Heights of Abraham, Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, DE43PD

Midland Railway – Butterley
A large collection of railway locomotives and rolling stock. Operating standard gauge railway (three and a half miles) and narrow gauge railway (one mile). Farm Park, Country Park, Demonstration Signal Box, Victorian Railwayman´s Church and much more.

Butterley Station, Ripley, DE5 3QZ

Peak District Mining Museum –

The Royal Crown Derby Visitor Centre
The Royal Crown Derby range of figures, giftware, tableware and collectables is the culmination of 250 years of craftmanship and traditional skills. Pieces of beauty both functional and collectable are brought together in classic and contmeporary designs. The use of rich colours and hand-gilding with 22-carat gold ensures each piece is totally unique. Highlights include the Raven Room Collection incorporating works of most renowned artists, also factory tours and demonstrations.

194 Osmaston Road, Derby, DE23 8JZ

Sudbury Hall Museum of Childhood
The Museum of Childhood is opening its doors for the first time on 28 March, after a £2.2 million transformation. Join the adventure and explore the museums eight brand new galleries where you can celebrate the escapades and challenges of childhood from the 19th century to the present day. Travel through the history of toys from an ancient Egyptian marble to a 21st century Bollywood doll and see the Betty Cadbury Collection of Playthings Past.

Sudbury, Ashbourne, Derbyshire DE6 5HT

Treak Cliff Cavern Castleton
blue-johnVisit an underground wonderland of stalactites and stalagmites, rocks, minerals and fossils. Home of the unique mineral Blue John stone, including the largest piece ever found – still in-situ. Events include an Easter Egg Hunt, Carols by Candlelight and Polish Your Own Blue John Stone activity.Open daily from 10.00am

Treak Cliff Cavern, Cross Street, Castleton, Hope Valley, S33 8WH

Events in Derbyshire and the Peak District

Find out about these attractions and events at

Also have a loosk at which is a site aimed at younger children where a group of cartoon characters introduce the area to you and give ideas on what to see and do.

What to do

  • There’s always plenty to do in the Peak District and Derbyshire, whether you’re uncovering the secrets of the ancient custom of well dressing, participating in a National Park Ranger guided walk, swinging high above the Derwent Valley on a cable car ride at the Heights of Abraham or having fun with the whole family at Alton Towers!
  • Whatever your interest, you’ll find a huge range of events available, from walking festivals, sheep dog trials and country shows to farmers’ markets, art exhibitions, music festivals, culinary demonstrations or even woodland laser quest in the National Forest!
  • Don’t miss the regular concerts and events at stately homes such as Chatsworth or Calke Abbey, the joys of the famous opera house at Buxton or the annual food fair and historic re-enactments at Bolsover Castle.

For more information

Whats on

  • Whatever your interest, you’ll find a huge range of events to choose from in the Peak District and Derbyshire, from sheep dog trials and country shows to farmers’ markets, art exhibitions, music festivals, culinary demonstrations and much more.
  • Don’t miss the regular concerts and other events at stately homes such as Chatsworth or Calke Abbey, the excellent programme of international artists at Buxton’s famous Opera House, the annual food fair and historic re-enactments at Bolsover Castle, or Ashbourne Shrovetide football, where the goals are three miles apart and the ‘players’ number in their hundreds per side!

For more information

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