Holiday rentals in Derbyshire
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Your guide to Derbyshire
Welcome to Derbyshire
Derbyshire sits right in the heart of England, in every sense. Here are green and pleasant lands in all their glory: sloping hills and rolling dales with picturesque villages and market towns nestling in their folds. The north of the county is dominated by the Peak District National Park, where the southern ridge of the low Pennines erupts in craggy peaks and rocky plateaus covered in moorland, while natural spring waters have carved vast caves and gorges into the limestone.
England’s history, ancient and modern, is omnipresent, from Bronze Age stone circles to the Norman castles of Peveril and Bolsover, and from Tudor mansions and landscaped gardens to the vast and magnificent estate of Chatsworth, one of England’s finest stately homes. The industrial era has left its mark, too, in the UNESCO-protected cotton mills on the River Derwent and the steam railways that puff their way through the valleys, while Derby offers bustling small-city life, where you can still have a drink in 400-year-old pubs.
The best time to stay in a holiday rental in Derbyshire
With its outdoorsy appeal, spring, summer, and autumn are all good times to explore Derbyshire, with the driest weather and best chances of sunshine reserved for June to August. People are hardy in this part of the country, and so long as you pack layered clothing and good waterproofs, you can enjoy the landscape any time of year — although if you’re walking in the Peak District in winter you should always check the forecast and take sensible precautions, as it’s possible to get lost in the fog. Stately homes open seasonally — most houses allow visitors from March to October — and some decorate their halls for special Christmas openings. There are numerous county fairs as well as food and music festivals throughout summer and the Buxton International Festival, which celebrates opera and the arts.
Top things to do in Derbyshire
Part of the White Peak — a limestone plateau that forms the lower half of the Peak District — this nature reserve is a beautiful spot between two villages and overlooked by the steep chalky hill of Thorpe Cloud. The River Dove flows around its base, carving out a dramatic ravine, which you can cross via a series of stepping stones, and hike the surrounding mix of woodland and grassland.
A former Roman settlement, the compact streets of Derby’s centre are a pretty jumble of buildings that span hundreds of years and offer a mix of independent shops and businesses, artsy cafés, and excellent restaurants. Its cathedral combines a medieval tower and some of the oldest church bells in the world, with an 18th-century main building and a host of fascinating tombs.
The River Wye is one of Derbyshire’s prettiest rivers, and this lovely village of old limestone houses, beautifully tended gardens, and cosy inns sits right on it. There’s a 13th-century church, half a dozen wells decorated with flowers in summer in the “well dressing” tradition, and the famous Sheepwash Bridge, from which you’re encouraged to drop and race sticks.