A road trip around Derbyshire and the Peak District

We are lucky enough to live on the outskirts of the beautiful Peak District which is full of breath-taking scenery and villages.

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Known as the ‘gateway to the Peak District’ is Buxton, a market town home to absolutely beautiful architecture and the Pavilion Gardens. It’s here where we start our journey today.

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The Pavilion Gardens are beautiful, but it’s the conservatory that is my favourite area. Set inside a spectacular glasshouse are an array of tropical plants and is free to visit.

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The Buxton Opera House is next door to the gardens and is another wonderful building.

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There is quite a bit of resoration work taking place at the moment redeveloping the heritage buildings into a hotel and spa. The Pump Room is currently open which is worth a visit.

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Another favourite is The Green Man Gallery which is an Independent Contemporary Gallery and Arts centre set into a beautiful building.

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Around a 20-minute drive away is Mam Tor, a 517m hill near the picturesque village of Castleton and has breath taking views. I took these pictures last winter, I wanted to take photographs from the viewpoint at golden hour, so one frosty morning we grabbed our walking boots and chunky knits and joined a few other eager photographers at the top.

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Popping back in the car and another 20 minutes later, we arrive at Thornbridge Hall Gardens. The gardens are only open to the public on a Wednesday and Thursday until the end of September and cost £7.00 to enter, but the café and shop are free to visit. The 12 acres of garden surround Thornbridge Hall and feature a kitchen garden, scented terrace, an Orangery and greenhouse.

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A few minutes’ drive or short walk away is Ashton-in-the-Water. This village is so picturesque, cottages adorned in wisteria and beautifully-tended gardens. There are many walks around this area, one favourite in particular starts in Ashton-in-the-Water and passes through nearby village Sheldon and we also came across the atmospheric remains of Magpie Mine.

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Back in the car and a scenic 15 minutes later we are at Abbey Brook Cactus Nursery. Run by Brian and Gill, who have over 50 years expertise when it comes to Cacti. There is a show greenhouse housing thousands of species, and then a greenhouse full of wonderful species you can purchase. Open Wed-Sun at 1.30- 4pm, It is free to visit but we always pop some money in their donation box.

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Abbey Brook is close by to Matlock which is a town on the edge of the Peak District with some gorgeous independent stores and antique shops.

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Leaving the Peak District and another 20 minutes later we come to Belper, a beautiful Derbyshire town. With an array of beautiful stores, it’s Derwentside Shopping Mill that is a real antique hidden gem. With rooms and rooms of vintage furniture and antique finds, we love to browse the many floors of this mill.

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There are so many beautiful walks, drives, villages and scenery to explore around the Peak District and Derbyshire but I hope you enjoyed this road trip with me to some of my favourite areas!

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