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​The Peak District of Derbyshire

Blog post   •   May 31, 2017 11:27 BST

Sir Richard Arkwright

Our regular blogger, Felicity Cobb, has just returned from a delightful holiday in the Peak District of Derbyshire. Here are just some of her highlights.

We stayed at the lovely Willersley Castle Hotel at Cromford. This was built as a home for the industrialist, Sir Richard Arkwright, who was credited with inventing the modern factory system, by automising the spinning of cotton, used in the many nearby Mills. 

The Hotel was a Castle, Grade 2 listed, and 200 years' old. It formed a very comfortable base for our holiday, with delicious breakfasts and dinners, combined with some really kindly old-fashioned service from its employees. It overlooked the River Derwent and was set in 60 glorious acres of land.

Our group was so lucky in having sunny weather with clear skies. We enjoyed a variety of walks from both the hotel and from sites reached by minibus.

We climbed High Tor, above the Derwent Gorge; we wandered round Bakewell, home of the famous Bakewell pudding (not tart), and took in views from Monsal Head.

The old Railway path (The High Peak Trail which closed in 1967) was explored and we discovered muscles in our legs that had been dormant for some while! Here is a photo of The High Peak Trail escape route for trains on a steep gradient.

We also had a delightful day walking in the well-known Dovedale Valley. This was mostly flat walking, surrounded by amazing hills and views, and where many beautiful flowers, birds, insects and animals, were seen. We saw lots of lovely spring lambs, Highland cattle and hundreds of cowslips.


This was a charming holiday, enjoyed by all, and I am pleased to report that the many changes of clothing (thick coats, gloves, warm hats, rainwear and so on that we all brought with us) remained unused.

Two of the evenings were taken up with entertainment from the local Male Voice Choir and a talk from a local representative of the Richard Arkwright Society about paintings of the local area. Both were very enjoyable and enabled us to mix with other groups staying at the Hotel.

This was a Grade 5 (Moderate level) walking holiday which everyone managed.

We were all sad to leave – happy memories!

Comments (1)

    I agree with Felicity, it was a brilliant holiday! Lovely company, fantastic scenery and the weather was ideal. It was also of great historic interest. One of the best Ramblers holidays I have been on and I have been on a lot!

    - Louise Bye - Jun 04, 2017 14:42 BST

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