Places Of Interest
"THE PEAK" describes an area of outstanding beauty and enormous variety. It is divided into two sections metaphorically named the White and Dark Peak. Foolow enjoys both at close proximity being located where one flows into the other.
The Dark Peak with its grit stone moors and edges constitutes some of the wildest scenery in Britain and contrasts with the sweeping wooded contours and gorge like dales of the White Peak. A good selection of guide books and leaflets are available in both Cottages outlining places of interest, walks, local history etc.
Foolow stands at the crossroads of a number of outstanding walks.
The area regularly sees crews in place dealing with the filming of both television series and film epics.
The following is just a brief resume of local attractions which should whet the appetite and give an urge to taste at first hand the joy of the “Peak” no matter what the season or the inclinations of the visitor.
CHATSWORTH HOUSE the Palace of the Peak. The house is set in a magnificent park, a walker’s paradise in its own right. The House and Ornamental Gardens are open to the public at set times from spring until Christmas. Visitors may like to coincide their stay with one of the annual events such as the Country Fair or visit the Chatsworth Horse Trials or external Orchestral Summer concerts dependent on the timing of their visit. Special events take place each year and these have included Sculptures within the parkland, flower festivals and car rallies. The Chatsworth Farm Shop and the Chatsworth Garden Centre are also well worth a visit.
For more information on Chatsworth House, www.chatsworth-house.co.uk.
EYAM (2 miles from Foolow) is a fascinating village full of history made famous by the heroic acts of its inhabitants during the Great Plague of 1665/1666. There is plenty to see and read about in the village concerning those troubled times to include a village museum. St Lawrence’s church in Eyam is reported to be the fifth most visited parish church in the country, and in common with many Peak District villages, craft shops and welcome tea rooms are there to serve visitors. www.eyamvillage.org.uk.
CASTLETON, famous for its caverns and Peveril castle. At the centre of a number of honey pot summits and ridges, such as ‘the shivering mountain’ Mam Tor, Derwent Edge, Win Hill and Kinder Scout. The unique Blue John stone is mined and worked here and can be seen in various forms in the gift and craft shops which line the village streets. Castleton has its own Christmas decorations and festivities.
BAKEWELL is an attractive historic town with a popular Monday market. It is a useful shopping centre for gifts, provisions (including the famous Bakewell pudding, specialty cheeses, pies etc.) antiques etc. The town affords a small swimming pool and a large livestock market stands just across the river from the main area of the town. A large agricultural show is held each year during the first week in August. There is also a National Park Information Centre in the town.
HADDON HALL dates from the Norman Conquest and is described as being the most outstanding example of a medieval country house in England. www.haddonhall.co.uk.
HATHERSAGE has its own heated outdoor swimming pool, is well known as the location allegedly of Little John’s grave. Charlotte Bronte visited Hathersage in 1845 and used it as the 'Norton' within the story 'Jane Eyre' - taking the heroine's surname from the local family. She also used North Lees Hall, an Elizabethan manor house in the area as the house where Mrs Rochester jumped from the roof to her death.
MATLOCK BATH lies in the grip of a magnificent limestone gorge. It developed, in the 19th century, as a spa town and still thrives on tourism. Princess Victoria of Kent's royal visit in 1831 confirmed Matlock as a society venue of the time. Ruskin loved it, and Byron confirmed its romantic character, comparing it with alpine Switzerland, hence its nickname Little Switzerland . More recent comparisons refer to Matlock Bath being an inland seaside resort. A spectacular journey can be taken by cable car which climbs the gorge to the Heights of Abraham. Here visitors can enjoy refreshment at the Scandinavian style cafe or take a fascinating guided tour around a lead mine made true to life by special effects. Nearby are the Cromford and the Masson (Arkwright) Mills and the Crich Tramway Museum is also well worth a visit. Crich was famous as the base for the television series "Peak Practice" (although in truth filming took place throughout the extended area of the central and northern Peak to include villages such as Winster).
THE GOYT VALLEY, Lathkill Dale, Bradford Dale, Monsal Dale, Dovedale and the start of the Pennine Way at Edale are all areas of outstanding beauty popular with dedicated ramblers and casual strollers alike.
At LADYBOWER, Derwent and Howden reservoirs visitors can marvel at the breath-taking beauty of the surrounding countryside. Derwent Dam was the site of practice runs of the famous Dambusters Squadron who successfully used the Barnes Wallace "Bouncing Bomb" during World War Two.
Among facilities available in the area are fishing, golf, pot-holing, climbing, gliding, horse-riding, caving, cycling and swimming with slightly further afield dry skiing, Premier League Football, County Cricket, a tennis centre etc.
If you are keen to cycle during your stay, cycles can be hired and delivered to the cottage; visit www.peak-tours.com for more details. There are some good cycle trails in the area and bikes can also be hired from cycle centres on these routes. The former railway line at MONSALL HEAD has been converted to form a safe level footpath and cycle route which progresses under lit tunnels and extends for some eight miles.
During the summer months many villages display WELL DRESSINGS and celebrate with Carnivals. Foolow and Eyam Well Dressing services are each over the August Bank holiday weekend. Eyam Carnival the following weekend. There are spectacular FIREWORK nights both at Eyam and at Chatsworth.
Peak District National Park, visitor enquiries: 01629 816558 or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit www.visitpeakdistrict.com to help plan your visit to the area.