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Hit the trail for history, heritage and exercise in Derbyshire

5th April 2011 Print
Walking holidays in Derbyshire

Don your walking boots and turn the clock back to follow in the footsteps of the wealthiest woman in Elizabethan England… or walk back in time to explore the most northerly place in Britain where Ice Age man came to hunt.

Both are on offer at the 2011 Peak District's Historic Border Country Walking Festival in north east Derbyshire where history, heritage and exercise combine in a total of 42 walks over nine days.

Stretching from the Elizabethan splendour at Hardwick Hall past the dramatic hillside ruin of Sutton Scarsdale Hall to the fairytale heights of Bolsover Castle and centred around the market town of Chesterfield, the Historic Border Country is where The Peak District meets Robin Hood Country.

Walkers, ramblers and strollers can enjoy beautiful countryside, charming villages and one of England’s oldest market towns at the annual Festival (14 to 22 May 2011) – with most walks free.

Walking highlights include:

In Bess's Footsteps at Hardwick Estate (Mon 16 May 2011) - Bess of Hardwick married four times, outliving all her husbands to become the wealthiest woman in Elizabethan England after the Queen. Join this walk to find out how Bess made this Estate what it is today. (Free entry)

Chesterfield Canal by Boat and on Foot (Thu 19 May 2011) - set out on the John Varley narrowboat for a 45-minute trip along the Chesterfield Canal, before taking to two feet to walk along part of the Chesterfield Round Walk. (All tickets £4.00)

Chesterfield Murder Walk (various dates) - for a spot of mystery, try this atmospheric and thought provoking tour around the heart of this medieval town in the footsteps of murderers and their victims.  (All tickets £4.00. Adults only).

Stories in the Landscape at Creswell Crags  (Sun 15 May 2011) - discover the history, archaeology and legends hidden in Creswell Crags as walkers explore the most northerly place in Britain where Ice Age man came to hunt. (Booking essential - Adults £3.50, Concessions £2.75, Children 5-16 years £1.50).

Or if you're looking for more of a challenge, try the Chesterfield Round Walk, a 34-mile trek through the countryside that surrounds the town.

And foodie fans looking for a chance to sample the best of regional cuisine and then walk off those excess pounds are in for a treat too because the Walking Festival also coincides with the Derbyshire Food and Drink Fair featuring celebrity chefs, renowned local chefs and more than 100 stalls, all under cover at Hardwick Hall (21-22 May 2011 -

The full Walking Festival programme, along with details of walk charges, times and venues are available at the Chesterfield Tourist Information Centre, Rykneld Square (

For full details of all walks and to book them, visit:

For more details about the Peak District’s Historic Border County, accommodation suggestions and short break ideas visit:

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Walking holidays in Derbyshire