Located in the East Midlands, Derbyshire is the home of beautiful landscapes and expanses of dense woodland. This stunning location is the perfect place for a nature getaway - not least because the county contains a large portion of the Peak District National Park. Culture lovers won’t be disappointed either, with a trio of National Trust locations in the city of Derby and several historic houses to explore.
The county offers excellent transport links, with many popular attractions easily accessible by bus or train, so you can leave the car safely at the hotel. Derbyshire also hosts a large number of events, from festivals to guided walks, so make sure to check what’s on before you travel.
Poole’s Cavern & Buxton Country Park
Poole’s Cavern is a two-million-year-old natural limestone cavern, home to an incredible variety of crystal stalactites and stalagmites. Considered to be one of the finest underground locations in the UK, the caverns and woodland can be found on the outskirts of the spa town of Buxton, which is further surrounded by the beautiful rolling hills of Buxton Country Park.
Within the park itself, there are plenty of sights to see alongside Poole’s Cavern, from buildings of historical importance like Solomon’s Temple to family activities like Go Ape. Regardless of what type of day out you’re looking for, Buxton Country Park can provide.
Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, Chatsworth House is situated in the heart of the Peak District in Derbyshire. The stately home is open to the public, with over 30 rooms available to explore including the beautiful Painted Hall and impressive Sculpture Gallery. There are over 100 acres of gorgeous gardens to visit, too, featuring stunning river and park views and several extravagant water features.
First created in the 1500s by “Bess of Hardwick”, Hardwick is a collection of picturesque landscapes and architectural brilliance. In particular, Hardwick Hall is an incredible example of Elizabethan architecture and has been carefully maintained over the centuries with activities to offer the whole family, from beautifully-kept gardens to detailed indoor décor.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Masson Mills, originally designed by Sir Richard Arkwright, is an 18th-Century mill. Built on the banks of the River Derwent at Matlock Bath, the site is now open for visitors to experience the unique atmosphere of a working mill. You can also find a shopping village, restaurant and textile museum with working machinery.
Straight out of a fairytale, Bolsover Castle was built in the early 17th-Century and boasts incredible views over Derbyshire. Explore Bolsover Castle and the Little Castle, marvel over the spectacular walls or relax in the Fountain Garden. During the summer, look out for the Cavalier Horsemanship displays that take place in the indoor riding school.
For a more family-focused day out, Gulliver’s Kingdom offers something for everyone with a huge variety of attractions and events, exclusive to the Matlock Bath theme park. Whether you’re hoping to reward the little ones for behaving well or just want an adrenaline-filled day out in Derbyshire, Gulliver’s Kingdom can help.
If you’re interested in a more active day out, then consider Carsington Water, a reservoir that hosts countless different water sports, fishing and cycling opportunities. Currently used as a training centre for multiple different sporting activities, Carsington Water is perfect if you want to try out a new sport or get your exercise fix in a more unusual way.
Goyt Valley is located in the centre of the Peak District and has long been hailed as an area of exceptional natural beauty and tranquillity. At the heart of the valley is the River Goyt, a small river which has carved a path through the landscape, creating picturesque views of calming waters, beautiful greenery and rolling hills. For a peaceful stroll through the countryside, the Goyt Valley is a great option.
Heights of Abraham
Based in Matlock Bath and only half an hour outside Derby, the Heights of Abraham is perfect for a Derby day out. The Heights’ primary attractions are the cable car ascent to the top, allowing unrivalled views of the Valley and the Peak District as a whole, along with two exceptional caverns to explore. Combine this with a child-friendly adventure play area and multiple different walking routes and you have a great way to keep the whole family happy.
Dovedale Stepping Stones
Located in Ilam Park, the Dovedale Stepping Stones offer a brilliant way to experience the natural beauty that this area has to offer. The stepping stones themselves were laid across the River Dove in approximately 1890, specifically to encourage tourism and enable visitors to walk across the river in a completely unique way. Considering the exceptional scenery in the area, it would be a waste not to tick this off the bucket list whilst you're passing by!
Calke Abbey is an exceptionally unique country house experience. Managed by the National Trust since 1985, many of the rooms in the building had been abandoned for years and the Trust decided to leave them just as they were, creating a strangely eerie experience. Taking a day to explore these unusual rooms is a great way of getting the most out of your time in Derbyshire, particularly if you have an interest in secrets, mysteries and true stories.
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
Ecclesbourne Valley Railway is based in Wirksworth, a quaint Peak District town with a homely feel. The railway itself runs for nine miles, making it a true Derbyshire day out as the longest heritage railway in the county. Boasting steam engines and diesel railcars, this railway is a very different day out that combines heritage travel with beautiful scenery.
Located only four miles outside Derby, Kedleston Hall is an exceptional example of a traditional English country house. Boasting beautifully-landscaped grounds with curious statues and classic 18-Century indoor décor, Kedleston is the perfect Derby day out for a history lover or explorer.
Tutbury Castle was built in 1068 and since then has been mostly destroyed or damaged, but the castle still hosts historical re-enactments and a vast collection of historical events throughout the year. If you’re a lover of history, Tutbury Castle is a must visit, but be sure to check their events calendar before you visit to avoid disappointment.
Whether you want culture, beautiful scenery or intense history, Derbyshire has a huge range of attractions to explore. Best Western Nottingham Derby is perfectly positioned with easy access to all major roads and travel routes, making us a great option for your Derbyshire adventure. Explore our competitively priced rooms today.