Places to visit
There's plenty to discover in and around Chesterfield and something for everyone; whether you're looking for somewhere picturesque to walk, planning a shopping trip or entertaining the kids. Try some of the ideas below for a very enjoyable visit to Chesterfield.
10 Must-See Places in Chesterfield
1. Chesterfield Canal
The Chesterfield Canal offers a peaceful retreat with beautiful countryside and plenty of wildlife to enjoy. Five miles of the canal have been restored between Chesterfield and Staveley and you can now enjoy regular trips on the John Varley Narrowboat. The Canal is also very popular with walkers and cyclists.
For more information call into Tapton Lock Visitor Centre on Lockoford Lane or contact The Chesterfield Canal Trust, who host regular concerts and a Canal Festival each June. You can also find out about the exciting new Waterside development here.
2. Chesterfield town centre
No visit to Chesterfield is complete without stopping off in the town’s historic centre. First, call in at award winning Chesterfield Visitor Centre for some friendly local information. Then soak up some of Chesterfield's rich historical heritage in the town's Museum and Art Gallery or climb 144 steps to enjoy fantastic views from the famous ‘Crooked Spire’.
Chesterfield is also a great destination for shopping. Explore narrow medieval streets such as The Shambles for unique independent shops or visit Vicar Lane and The Pavements Shopping Centre for popular high street names. And don’t forget Chesterfield market, one of the biggest open-air markets in the country.
3. Queen’s Park
With playgrounds, a boating lake and a miniature railway, Queen’s Park is the perfect place for families to relax on a sunny day. After all that fun, why not enjoy an ice-cream at Fredericks Gelateria and Cafe? And if it’s raining you can always go for a swim in the Sports Centre pool, complete with water flume and diving boards!
4. Chesterfield Theatres
The Pomegranate Theatre and The Winding Wheel provide a year round programme of professional touring and high quality local amateur productions from plays to live music and from comedy to ballroom dancing. Some of the highlights for 2013 include comedian, Jason Manford, West End musical, Dreamboats and Petticoats, and Beauty & the Beast, this year's pantomime.
Find the latest programme at www.chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk
Set in the heart of the Peak District, just 20 minutes from Chesterfield, Chatsworth is one of Britain’s best loved historic houses and estates, offering something for everyone to enjoy. Discover fascinating stories in the house (home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire), explore 105 acres of beautiful gardens, or have some fun in the Farmyard and Adventure Playground. There’s always something new to see and do at Chatsworth. As well as their regular attractions, they also host a variety of exciting events. For more details see Chatsworth’s website.
If you're interested in the history of Chatsworth, make sure you also visit Revolution House, just three miles north of Chesterfield town centre. Once an alehouse, it was here that three local noblemen - the Earl of Devonshire (from Chatsworth), the Earl of Danby and Mr John D'Arcy - met to begin planning their part in events which led to the overthrow of King James II in favour of William and Mary of Orange. Now a museum, the ground floor of the cottage has a display of 17th Century country furniture, and upstairs there is a changing programme of exhibitions on local themes.
6. Chatsworth Road
Chatsworth Road is a vibrant shopping zone which forms the main link between Chesterfield and the Peak District. Next time you are passing through be sure to stop off and explore the wealth of independent shops, restaurants and cafes on offer.
A particularly exciting time to visit is during the annual Chatsworth Road Festival when a variety of events and activities are organised by businesses and the local community. The next celebration will take place between 5th and 13th October 2013 and the programme is already looking extremely diverse - from theatre performances at French restaurant Mes Amis to Brampton's Got Talent at Brampton Ale House!
7. Barrowhill Roundhouse Railway Centre
Barrowhill in Chesterfield is home to Britain’s last working Roundhouse. Run by Barrow Hill Engine Shed Society, this group of dedicated rail enthusiasts rescued the place from dereliction in 1991.
Today, Barrow Hill Roundhouse Railway Centre houses one of the largest collections of diesel, electric and, of course, steam locomotives in the country. You can go along to several open days during the year with train rides and turntable demonstrations, and they also host a special event at Christmas.
8. Holmebrook Valley Park & Linacre Reservoir
Holmebrook Valley is a large country park offering spectacular views over Chesterfield. Enjoy a moment of peace by the lake, explore the many paths by foot, bike or horse or entertain the kids with one of the many play areas. Image above is courtesy of local photographer, Les Wilcockson and more of his work can be seen in Holmebrook Valley Cafe where you can enjoy homemade food from Tuesday to Sunday.
Next door, Linacre Reservoir is another example of the many green spaces in and around Chesterfield where you can enjoy the best of nature and wildlife. Built between 1855 and 1904, the three reservoirs hold more than 240 million gallons of water and the area is surrounded by beautiful fields and woods.
9. Hardwick Hall
Hardwick Hall is one of Britain's finest Elizabethan houses. Built in the late 1500s for the Bess of Hardwick, the building is full of architectural and artistic delights from Elizabethan tapestries to Forties furnishings. The house stands within a country park containing rare breeds of cattle and is home to one of the finest herb gardens in the country, along with fabulous summer borders, orchards, lawns and formal hedges. Kids will love exploring the outdoors at Hardwick with a park and garden tracker pack, or learning about the history of the Hall by getting hands on with quizzes, puzzles and dressing up boxes.
10. The Herb Garden & Tea Room
Based in Pilsley in Chesterfield, The Herb Garden is one of the leading Herb Gardens in the country. There are four main display areas for visitors to see; the Main Herb Garden, The Physic, The Pot Pourri and The Lavender Garden. Plants from the garden are for sale in the shop and there is a tearoom offering a range of treats such as Lavender scones. For more information please visit The Herb Garden’s website.