Castles, Markets & Spires
Explore the lesser-known North East of Derbyshire, near Chesterfield.
If you're fascinated by history, North East Derbyshire is bursting with gems to explore, ranging from fascinating Ice Age caves and caverns to a stunning stately home, a hilltop castle and one of Derbyshire's finest markest towns.
Explore the 'pleasure palace' of Bolsover Castle
Kick off your trip with a visit to English Heritage's Bolsover Castle, a 17th century mansion built on the site of a Norman fortress and explore the charming and spectacular interiors. Be transported to lost age of aristocratic extravagance as you discover lavishly decorated rooms, the astonishing riding school and the wonderfully recreated garden. Hear tales from the past from costumed storytellers, roam the ruined Terrace Range and take in the stunning countryside views from the restored wall walk.
Families will love the interactive exhibition in the stables, and kids can let their imaginations run wild in the castle-themed play area next to the café.
Spend the afternoon in Chesterfield, where you can explore one of the largest open air markets in the country – there's a great range of goods available, as well as regular specialist markets, flea markets and Farmers' Markets.
Head to the theatre
To round off your day, book a performance at Chesterfield's Pomegranate – one of the oldest in the country – which plays host to professional as well as local theatre companies.
Finish your evening in Chesterfield which is full of great places to eat and drink where you can explore the globe by cuisine, or stay true to Derbyshire with something tasty and local! Overnight in Chesterfield where there's also a great range of accommodation options too from hotels, B&Bs, self-catering, and Camping and Caravanning a little further out of the town.
Chesterfield Crooked Spire
If you're feeling fit, don't forget to take the opportunity to climb the 144 steps to the top of the tower of the ‘Crooked Spire’ for stunning views out over the town. A hand-held audio tour of town centre is available from Chesterfield Tourist Information Centre.
After a scrummy breakfast head to Hardwick Hall, constructed in the 1500s by the formidable 'Bess of Hardwick', thought to have been one of the most powerful women in the country at the time. After a morning of exploring the house and gardens have lunch in the exquisite cafe on site.
If all of that isn't enough for you, then there's more than 300 acres of historic parkland surrounding the Hall, with ancient woodlands and wildlife-rich fishing lakes to explore.
Follow in the footsteps of woolly mammoths at Creswell Crags
Gain a fascinating glimpse into life during the last Ice Age at Creswell Crags. Explore the fascinating caves, gorge, and museum at Creswell Crags, walk in the footsteps of early humans and woolly mammoths through our dramatic gorge, marvel at the Ice Age rock art still visible in the extraordinary caves and see Britain's largest collection of witch marks. There's also peaceful waterside walks around a central lake, a play area and cafe.
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