Think of Derbyshire and you're likely to think of the beautiful Peak District National Park. But it's not the only attraction in the county. It's also home to pretty market towns such as Buxton, a picturesque spa town which stages an annual music festival centred on its Opera House. It also contains historic houses such as the stunning Elizabeth mansion Hardwick Hall. Go biking along the Five Pit Trails, one of the UK's top bike trails, or explore Derwent Valley Mills, a World Heritage site.
Arts and Culture
The Derby Museum and Art Gallery houses a range of diverse and internationally important collections, including a gallery dedicated to the work of the 18th-century painter Joseph Wright of Derby. You can learn more about the geology, archaeology and history of the Peak District at the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery, which also stages a series of temporary art exhibitions throughout the year.
The Buxton Opera House and the Pavilion Arts Centre stage a varied programme of music, comedy, plays and family shows throughout the year, as does the Derby Theatre.
Things to see and do
Strap on your boots, saddle up, or get on your bike and head for the Peak District. You can hire a bike and choose from trails to suit all ages and abilities. You can also try your hand at peak mountaineering.
For something less strenuous, visit Hardwick Hall, a show home for the formidable Bess of Hardwick. Kedleston Hall, built in the 1760s, is another architectural gem, a neoclassical mansion set in acres of parkland. You can also explore the Museum of Childhood, located at Sudbury Hall.
Enjoy family fun at attractions like Gulliver's Kingdom, an amusement park aimed at children aged three to 13, and The Heights of Abraham, where you can take a cable car to explore caverns and mines.
Eating and drinking
For great food and drink, the Red Lion Bar & Bistro in a former coaching inn, on the edge of the national park offers an award winning experience with great views. Check out The Arkwright Arms in Sutton-cum-Duckmanton, or The Old Silk Mill in Derby, a former CAMRA award winner.
Pick up some cut-price tableware at The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Factory Shop, Derby, or The Denby Pottery Factory Shop, in Denby. You can also explore the Peak Shopping Village in Rowsley.
The best nightlife in the area is found in Derby. The Assembly Rooms stages shows, comedy and live music. Hear a band at The Victoria Inn, and hit the dancefloor at Zanzibar or the Blue Note Club.
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