|NEARBY PLACES OF INTEREST
Peak District National Park
England's first National Park lies to the west of Dronfield. It consists of 524 square miles of contrasting and breathtaking countryside and 5,000 miles of public footpaths. It is divided into two areas, the White Peak and the Dark Peak. The White Peak occupies the southern end of the park. and is dominated by a limestone plateau. The landscape is criss-crossed by mile upon mile of drystone wall cut into by spectacular dales. The Dark Peak lies to the north of the park. Here, the scenery is more rugged, the millstone grit uplands being bleak and expanses of peat bog and moorland, a testing challenge to climbers and walkers.
Chatsworth House and Gardens "The Palace of the Peak" stands in a magnificent setting on the banks of the River Derwent near Bakewell. It is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The estate includes beautiful gardens.
cascading fountains, a farmyard. adventure playground and garden centre.
Open: Easter to October daily.
The country's most complete and authentic example of a 14th century manor house is near Bakewell.
This bustling historic market town is located six miles to the south of Dronfield where more than 200 stalls crowd the historic market place four days a week. To the east of the Market lie "the Shambles". Many deeds dating from the 14th century refer to the narrow passages as 'rows' and each row is associated with a trade - Mercer Row, Ironmonger Row, Draper Row and Fisher Row. The mediaeval atmosphere of a market town is most easily recaptured in these narrow streets. The "Crooked Spire" of the Church of St Mary and All Saints dominates the skyline. Rising up 228 feet the Spire leans 9 feet 5 inches from its true centre. Its eight sides are covered by a herringbone pattern of lead slates which trick the eye into seeing 16 faces from the ground. The Spire apart, the Church is one of the most interesting and the largest in Derbyshire. Dedicated in 1234 it was finished around 1360 and is a fine cruciform building illustrating the flamboyant decorated Gothic style. Other attractions in the town include the Queens Park Leisure Centre and a pedestrianised shopping centre.
There are four impressive show caves located in Castleton. Blue John, one of England's rarest semi-precious stones can be found at the Blue John and Treak Cliff caverns. Speedwell Cavern is an old lead mine visited by a mile long underground boat trip and Peak Cavern is the largest natural cavern in Derbyshire. Open: All year, daily (Peak Cavern closed in winter).
Located seven miles east of Dronfield near Ml junction 30, Renishaw Hall has for nearly 400 years been the home of the Sitwell family. The Hall is not open to the public, but each year during the summer months the four acre garden is opened. This Italian style garden was laid out by Sir George Sitwell in 1900 and contains a number of rare plants, yew hedges and pyramids, ponds and terraces. One of the most northerly vineyards in the country can be found here. Open: May-July (Thursdays and Sundays).
This 17th century thatched cottage situated in the village of Old Whittington, Chesterfield was once an alehouse called the Cock and Pynot. (Pynot is a dialect word for magpie). It was here that three noblemen met to begin planning their part in the events which led to the overthrow of King James II in favour of his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange. Today Revolution House is open to the public, with period furnishings and a programme of exhibitions on local themes. Open: 31st March - 30th September 11.OOam-400pm every day except Tuesday. There will be a special two week opening over Christmas (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day) when the house will be decorated with traditional greenery. Contact the museum for specific opening times on 01246 345727
Ridgeway Cottage Industry Centre
In the attractive village of Ridgeway to the east of Dronfield a 17th century farm building has been converted into a cottage industry centre. The complex houses 14 workshops, a gift shop and a country kitchen. Crafts on display include macrame, porcelain dolls, wood carving and leatherwork. Open: All year Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays l0.3Oam-5.OOpm.
Other places and attractions within easy travelling distance of the town include: (Buxton, Bolsover Castle, Clumber Park, Hardwick Hall, Sheffield city centre for the theatre and shopping and the Meadowhall indoor shopping complex on the outskirts of the city.)