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Rose Cottage,

Potters Hill,

Wheatcroft Nr. Matlock,

Derbyshire, DE45PH.


Dove Dale

This magnificent place of natural beauty justifies its reputation.  The Dale contains perhaps the tallest free-standing pillars in the Peak as well as the famous Thor's Cave. A walk along the river is a must do day out.

Walking through Chatsworth

Length of the return walk from Rowsley to Chatsworth House is approximately four miles.

The Peak District National Park, established in 1951 was the first of its kind in Britain. The southern part of the park, the White Peak district, bares the imprint of man over the centuries. Bronze Age stone circles dot the landscape along with lead and lime quarries and the much-loved patchwork of silver grey drystone walls.

Nestling alongside the banks of the river Derwent to the south east of the Peak Park, is truly impressive sight, the so called "Palace of the Peak' otherwise know as Chatsworth House.  Behind the house rises a wooded valley and stretching as far as the eye can see from the bank is 1000-acre parkland where cows, sheep and deer roam. The grounds were designed by that great innovator of english landscape 'Capability' Brown. Formal gardens designed by Paxton lie to the east of the house.

A very-pleasant day can be had exploring the house, garden and environs. Depending on the traveller, several options are open. There are two car parks, one close to the house and the other lie south. From the latter, a pleasant stroll along the banks @of the Derwent takes you to the house. A more adventurous option, recommended for a glimpse of the Peak District beyond, is to start at Rowsley, a small village about five miles north of Matlock on the A6.

The Village itself is well worth exploring, having an old working mill which produces fine flour. Turn right at the Peacock Hotel and then right again under stone bridge to follow a yellow way marked path through farmland. The route follows the bank of the River Derwent before crossing further inland. -After three quarters of an hour the village of Carlton Lees will be reached. This collection of grey stone buildings is arm estate of the Duke of Devonshire. You are now within striking distance of the park itself. Continue along the road to the first car park and the entrance to the grounds.

Freedom to roam at will through the estate has been granted by the Duke of Devonshire throughout the year. The first glimpse of the house rising up from the side of the river as you continue along its course is a magnificent sight. The original house at Chatsworth was built in 1552 by Bess of Hardwick a grand old lady of Derbyshire who had four husbands each one richer than the last. The house as it stands today is the result of many modifications. The first Duke of Devonshire (1640-1707) had so much fun in reconstructing the south face he began on the rest.

 By 1707 the new Chatsworth had materialized. The fourth Duke decided that the house should be approached from the west and so pulled down the old stables and offices which interfered with the view as well as uprooting the cottages of Edensor village which could be seen from the house. Landscaper Capability Brown, was to begin immediate transformation of the park test to its present day maturity.  

The house and formal gardens are now run by a charitable trust and are open to the public. A small entrance fee is charged with student discount available. Entrance to the park grounds is free and people are encouraged to wonder at will, for in the words of the Duke of Devonshire, a place of this size 'needs people to bring it to life'. It's a great day out. The house and formal gardens are open from the end of March to the beginning of November. The park is open throughout the year.

Cromford Canal (5 minutes from Rose Cottage)

The 200th birthday of the opening of Cromford Canal was celebrated in October 1994. The canals were conceived when it became necessary to develop a better means of transport than traditional packhorses and mules. It was originally envisaged as the first step in a canal system to link the east Midlands with Manchester and by-pass the Trent and Mersey Canal. Constructed by William Jessop and Benjamin Outram, partners in the (then) new Butterley Company, it was completed in 1794. Fourteen and a half miles long, the canal joined Cromford with Erewash Canal at Langley Mill.

The canal to Manchester we never built due to the technical difficulties involved However the link was created when the Cromford and High Peak Railway was opened in 1831, joining the Cromford Canal at High Peak Warf with the Peak Forest Canal at Waley Bridge.

 Benjamin Outram, who had opened his iron foundry in Butterley in 1790, was recognized as a brilliar4_engineer, and after a meeting of financiers and businessmen in Alfreton, he was appointed engineer to build the Cromford Canal and integrate it into the existing waterways system at Langley Mill.

Disaster struck the canal in the early part of the present century when the Butterley Tunnel collapsed and the rthern end of the canal was isolated.

The canal has since been severed in several places and one of the few sections still in water extends from Cromford to Ambergate is section was eventually acquired' British Waterways Boar 13y Derbyshire County Council in 19 74.

 The Canal was purchased by the Derbyshire County Council in order to develop it as a countryside recreation facility and thereby enable people to enjoy the canal and the abundance of wildlife it supports. Because of its value as a natural habitat, the canal has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The southern end (Whatstandwell to Ambergate) is managed as a Statutory Local Nature Reserve by the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.

The canal has a very rich and diverse wildlife throughout its 5-mile length as it runs through the very attractive Derwent Valley.

 Canoeing is allowed on the northern section, (Cromford Wharf to High Peak Junction) by prior permission.

For those interested in Industrial Archaeology there are several unique buildings and structures along the canal or close by. The High Peak Junction Vfaik shops,

Leawood Pumphouse, Wigwell Aqueduct, High Peak Aqueduct and Arkwright's Mill at Cromford.

 The canal runs almost parallel with the British Rail Derby to Matlock line and the A6 trunk road making access to the canal very easy.

The railway stations at Cromford, Whatstandwell and Ambergate are only a few minutes walk away from the canal. People using public transport wishing to gain access to the canal can do so at Cromford Warf. High Peak Junction, whandwell   bridge, Crich Chase or Ambergate. For people using cars there is a car park at Cromford Warf and at the High Peak Junction on the Cromford to Lea road.

Leawood Pumphouse

Built in 1849 to pump water from the river to the Canal. It has been extensively restored by volunteers and is run,, in steam on various weekends during the summer. (For dates contact the Visitor Centres).

Several circular walks cross over or use the canal path taking in Some of the beautiful surrounding countryside. ' If you would like to know more about these walks, contact the Visitor Centre at High Peak Junction and Middleton Top. Tel: Wirksworth 823204/822831. For further information about the nature reserve contact: Derbyshre Wildlife Trust, Elvaston Castle, Derby DE7 3EP. Tel: 32 756610

Black Rock

10 mins from Catered Cottage – free car park and no entrance fee.  It is possible to climb or take a stroll around the back of this very special rock, either way you arrive at the top of it giving you the most spectacular view of the surrounding area.  It is situated on a walk that takes you to Cromford Canal from Wirksworth. This is an ideal activity for families who want to spend an hour or two and don't want to go too far from the Cottage.


Carsington Water

15 minutes from Catered Cottage – some free parking & no entrance fee. This is a credit to the tourist business in this country – a wonderful setting for walking, climbing (day courses) biking (bikes for hire), sailing (courses available) kayaking, and windsurfing, and best of all, observing the wildlife from wooden huts based around the edge of the water.  There are great facilities at the centre including restaurant & café and a presentation of the building of the reservoir – the website is well worth a visit so you can make the best of your time.

High Peak Trail

17.5 mile route which runs from Cromford to Hurdlow. There are, information centres along the although the centre at Middleton Top is the one nearest Matlock which is open most days from 10.00 am - 6.00, PM. Driving towards Cromford it is signpost off the B5036. As well as being an information centre you can also hire bicycles from here. Large and small wheeled cycles, children's cycles, cycles with baby seats, tandems and tricycles could also possibly be arranged. Telephone in advance on 01629 823204.