Countyfile: Derbyshire - Put your best foot forward in the Peak District
Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.
Sunday 26 August 2012
The curious custom of "well dressing" is on display today in Eyam, Holymoorside, Foolow and Wormhill (0845 833 0970; visitpeakdistrict.com/see-and-do; donations welcome). This ancient art of decorating springs and wells with fresh and dried natural materials, such as flowers, berries and leaves, is thought to date back to the Celts and takes place only in Derbyshire and around its borders. Decorations are displayed until the first week of September.
Pack a picnic for an evening at the Summer Nights Outdoor Film Festival (01332 290606; derbyquad.co.uk/summernights; admission £12), which shows movies on giant screens in some blockbuster locations. Hardwick Hall, an Elizabethan stately home near Chesterfield, will be the venue for the next evening of entertainment, showing War Horse and Casablanca on 31 August and 1 September.
Find out why the Peak District offers some of the best walking Britain has to offer by taking part in the 10th Autumn Footprints – The Amber Valley and Erewash Walking Festival (01773 719961; gdd.org.uk; free), 8-23 September. Forty guided walks have been devised to suit all abilities.
There are few better places in the country to enjoy a pint than Derby. The city is fêted for its real ales – there are more per head of population brewed here than anywhere else in Britain. Now visitors can take a Real Ale Tour (01332 340063; realalederby.com; price £29), which whisks beer lovers around the city by minibus, dropping in at a microbrewery and calling at six real ale pubs.
If you prefer grape to grain, head to the vineyard at Renishaw Hall and Gardens (01246 432310; renishaw-hall.co.uk; admission £6) in September when it marks 40 years of winemaking. Guided tours of the vines and tastings of the sparkling and white wines produced here will take place at 11.30am and 2pm on six dates throughout the month, beginning 8 September. While you're here, catch the special exhibition to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, "Royalty and Renishaw" (Wednesday to Sunday until 30 September; admission £1).
Check into High Tor Hotel (01629 580440; hightorhotel.com; doubles from £100 per night) in Matlock Bath, which opened in June. A three-year restoration of the Grade II-listed building has just been completed. Nearby attractions include the leisure attractions Gulliver's Kingdom Theme Park (01925 444888; gulliversfun.co.uk; admission £19.95) and the Heights of Abraham (01629 582365; heightsofabraham.com; admission £39 two adults and two children).
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