what's on this month
our seven wonders of the peak district & derbyshire
It was philosopher, Thomas Hobbes who, in 1636 penned an early form of blog on things to do in the Peak District, called the “Seven Wonders of the Peak”. Featuring on his list way back then were Poole’s Cavern and St Anne’s Well in Buxton; Peak Cavern and Mam Tor in Castleton; the Ebbing and Flowing Well, Tideswell; Eldon Hole; and Chatsworth.
All of these are very worthy wonders, but we wanted to bring this bang up to date with our very own Seven Wonders of the Peak District!
Still a must on this all these years later! Chatsworth, sometimes known as the ‘Palace of the Peak’, the historic home of the Duke of Devonshire and its treasure trove of artworks, superbly landscaped gardens, 1000-acre estate, ever-changing exhibitions, children’s farmyard and adventure playground and popular annual Country Fair are a must see.
Once described as ‘the most perfect English house to survive from the Middle Ages’, enigmatic Haddon Hall is home to the Manners family, with a unique atmosphere that never fails to enchant. Also a popular filming location, starring in no less than three versions of Jane Eyre!
National Trust Properties
Peak District National Park
Britain’s first National Park boasts some of Britain’s finest, specially-protected landscapes in an area the size of Greater London. Its rugged gritstone uplands and rolling limestone dales offer endless scope for walking, cycling and a wealth of other outdoor activities. Make your way to Mam Tor, Stanage Edge, the Roaches, Dovedale, Kinder Scout or Monsal Head for some of the most dramatic, stunning and breath-taking views in the National Park.
Marvel at the largest natural cave mouth in Europe at Peak Cavern, travel by boat to the Bottomless Pit in Speedwell Cavern and see stunning underground rock formations in Treak Cliff and Blue John Caverns, and of course we can’t forget Thomas Hobbes original entry, the spectacular stalagmites and stalactites of Poole’s Cavern in Buxton.
Centuries-old tradition of creating living art installations from petals and other natural materials, unique to the Peak District. Scores of communities celebrate the custom between May and September each year and add to the party atmosphere with carnivals, fetes, flower festivals and other special events. Amongst other events unique to the area are Ashbourne Shrovetide Football (February), Castleton Garland Ceremony (May 29), or event the unusual World Hen Racing Championships at Bonsall, near Matlock (August).
Try the Peak District’s world-famous delicacy – a delectable confection first made by accident in the 19th century, the recipe of which is still known to only a handful! Other local delicacies include Derbyshire and Staffordshire Oatcakes and the Derby Pyclet, a flat crumpet, made with milk from and baked on griddles. Household names originating from the area include Buxton Natural Mineral Water, Thornbridge beer, Thornton’s chocolates and even old favourites Love Hearts are still produced at Swizzels Matlow’s factory in New Mills.