Derbyshire rests in the East Midlands of the United Kingdom and is popularly known for its range of offerings, from rustic market towns and rolling countryside to bustling city life. Notably, the area is graced with the stunning Peak District.

This area guide will dive into the varied and picturesque landscapes of Derbyshire, it will explore city life in Derby, and delve into the quaint villages and market towns scattered throughout. We will also touch base on day-to-day practicalities such as school systems, transportation, and property prices.

History of Derbyshire

Derbyshire's history is vast and rich, with evidence of human presence tracing back to the Stone Age. The Romans established key settlements here around 70 AD, including the town now known as Chesterfield. During the industrial revolution, Derbyshire underwent significant changes as it became a hub for cotton milling industry, symbolized by the historic Cromford Mills. Buxton, one of the county's most famous spa towns, rose to prominence in the Victorian era due to its geothermal springs.


Derbyshire is home to an array of landmarks. The Chatsworth House, opulently adorned and set in vast gardens, is a testament to centuries of careful cultivation and artistry. The Heights of Abraham, a hilltop park accessed via a cable car, offers panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. The Peak District National Park, known for its stunning scenery, outdoor activities and charming villages, shapes Derbyshire's identity.

Landmarks we love

  • Hardwick Hall: Located in Doe Lea, this stunning Elizabethan mansion offers a glimpse back in time with its beautifully preserved architecture and impressive collection of tapestries.
  • Bakewell: This charming market town in the heart of the Peak District is famous for its unique Bakewell pudding, quaint shops and historic buildings.
  • Cromford Mills: This World Heritage Site in Cromford hosts the world’s first water-powered cotton spinning mill, pivotal to the industrial revolution.
  • Buxton Pavilion Gardens: A beautiful spot in the spa town of Buxton, featuring lush gardens, soothing walking paths, and a miniature train.
  • Peveril Castle: Perched high above the pretty village of Castleton, the castle offers breathtaking views over the Hope Valley and Cave Dale.

Top 10 things to do in Derbyshire

  • Visit the stunning gardens of Chatsworth House: Chatsworth House offers visitors a chance to explore centuries of gardening mastery.
  • Go hiking in the Peak District: This beautiful landscape is perfect for ramblers and climbers alike, offering excellent routes with breathtaking views.
  • Take a journey back in time at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery: This attraction showcases history, art, and cultural exhibits representing Derbyshire.
  • Relax at the Bakewell Farmers Market: One of the largest farmers' market in the UK, its vast selection of local produce is sure to impress.
  • Enjoy a spa retreat in Buxton: Relax and unwind in the Buxton Spa, where the natural geothermal springs have proven therapeutic qualities.
  • Explore the caverns at Castleton: Derbyshire’s natural beauty extends underground with these limestone caves.
  • Experience Bolsover Castle: This ancient fortress provides a window to Derbyshire's rich past.
  • Visit Derby Cathedral's Peregrine Project: Get a close-up view of the fastest creatures in the animal kingdom, the Peregrine falcons, nesting on the Cathedral's tower.
  • Stroll through Dovedale: Discover this stunning limestone valley famed for its stepping stones across the river Dove.
  • Experience Industrial Heritage at Cromford Mills: Explore the birthplace of the modern factory system and the beginning of the industrial revolution.

Our recommended areas to live in Derbyshire

  • Derby: As the county's city, Derby offers a mix of urban living with easy access to the countryside. Known for its vibrant arts scene, varied shopping centres, and excellent employment opportunities, Derby is an ideal spot for a balanced life.
  • Buxton: If you want a slower pace of life, consider Buxton. This spa town offers a rich history, therapeutic thermal baths, and is located on the doorstep of the Peak District.
  • Chesterfield: Famous for its Crooked Spire church, Chesterfield is a bustling market town with a community feel, offering good access to both the city of Sheffield and the countryside.
  • Ashbourne: Known as the "Gateway to the Peak", Ashbourne offers a rural setting with easy access to amenities and the Peak District National Park.
  • Bakewell: Renowned for its unique pudding, Bakewell offers a quintessential country living experience, with charming shops, historic buildings, and the River Wye running through it.

Best schools in Derbyshire

Derbyshire offers an array of great schools, boasting both high performing state and independent options. In the primary sector, schools such as William Gilbert Endowed CofE Primary School and Etwall Primary School have been praised by Ofsted. For secondary education, Ecclesbourne School in Duffield and Lady Manners School in Bakewell provide excellent learning environments. The county is also home to reputable universities like the University of Derby, known for its advancements in engineering, business, and nursing degrees.

Transport links in Derbyshire

Being at the heart of the UK, Derbyshire benefits from excellent transport links. The M1 motorway runs through the eastern part of the county, providing an easy route connecting to the North and South. The county is also well serviced by trains, with regular services from Derby and Chesterfield to major UK cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, London, and Sheffield. East Midlands Airport, located in the south of the county, provides flights to a range of domestic and international destinations.

With such a broad range of activities, amenities, and accommodations, Derbyshire truly exemplifies the diversity of British living. Adventurous spirits and history lovers would be particularly drawn to the area’s natural beauty and its rich history. Its seamless blend of urban convenience in cities like Derby and the tranquil country lifestyle, accentuated by charming towns like Buxton, offers a lifestyle flexibility that is sure to cater to everyone. With strong transport links, excellent schools, and various leisurely activities, Derbyshire makes for a great place to call home.

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