50 Easter days out in and around Derbyshire

PUBLISHED: 17:00 10 April 2017

Easter fun at Haddon Hall  Photo: Ian Daisley

Easter fun at Haddon Hall Photo: Ian Daisley

© Ian Daisley Photography

From castles and caves to mills and museums, a round-up of the best places to visit for Easter family fun

Calke Abbey  Photo: John Millar, National TrustCalke Abbey Photo: John Millar, National Trust

National Trust Houses

Calke Abbey

‘Un-stately’ home vividly portraying a period in the 20th century when many country houses did not survive to tell their story. Discover the tales of a family who amassed a vast collection of treasures, explore 600 acres of ancient parkland, visit the walled gardens and find the ‘Old Man of Calke’ – a 1,200-year-old oak tree. House open daily. Ticknall DE73 7LE, 01332 863822*

Eyam Hall

An unspoilt example of a grit-stone Jacobean manor house. Home to eleven generations of the Wright family, with interesting collections and stories. In the stableyard, the Craft Centre offers a hub from which to explore the famous ‘Plague Village’. Garden and Hall open Wed-Sun, BH Mons. Craft centre open Tue-Sun, BH Mons. Eyam S32 5QWT, 01433 639565*

Hardwick Hall

Hardwick Hall by Joyce HolmesHardwick Hall by Joyce Holmes

Elizabethan mansion designed by Robert Smythson for Bess of Hardwick. Fascinating tapestries, circular parkland walks and fine gardens, restaurant and shop. Take a closer look at the life of Duchess Evelyn, the ‘Last Lady of Hardwick’ and find out about Arbella Stuart, the granddaughter of Bess and niece to Mary Queen of Scots. House open Wed-Sun and BH Mons. Doe Lea, Chesterfield S44 5QW, 01246 850430*

Kedleston Hall

Neo-classical mansion designed by Robert Adam, home to the Curzon family since the 12th century. Explore the newly-refurbished State Floor, wander 820 acres of parkland and visit Lord Curzon’s Eastern Museum – a treasure trove of objects acquired on his travels in Asia and while Viceroy of India (1899 to 1905). House open daily excluding 7th, 21st and 28th April. Quarndon, Derby DE22 5JH, 01332 842191*

Sudbury Hall and the National Trust Museum of Childhood

Late 17th century house, country home of the Lords Vernon, with lavish interiors and the National Trust Museum of Childhood – a delight for adults and children alike with eight fascinating galleries to explore. House open Wed-Sun and BH Mons. Museum open daily. Sudbury,

Ashbourne, DE6 5HT, 01283 585305*

Bolsover Castle  Photo: English Heritage Photo LibraryBolsover Castle Photo: English Heritage Photo Library

*Cadbury will be hosting Easter Egg Hunts at numerous local National Trust properties. For details visit easter.cadbury.co.uk/2017

Other Great Houses

Bolsover Castle

Of Norman origin, but rebuilt and enlarged in 1612. Visit the mock medieval keep, fountain garden, wall walk, exhibitions and the Riding School. Cavalier Horsemanship displays weekends Apr-Sept. Easter Adventure Quest 14th-17th April. English Heritage, Bolsover S44 6PR, 0870 333 1181

Peveril Castle

The remains of one of England’s earliest Norman fortresses with splendid views over the village of Castleton. The keep was built by Henry II in 1176. Displays in the visitor centre highlight the castle’s important role in the ancient Royal Forest of the Peak. English Heritage, Castleton S33 8WQ, 01433 620613

Easter fun at Haddon Hall  Photo: Ian DaisleyEaster fun at Haddon Hall Photo: Ian Daisley

Haddon Hall

Described as ‘the most perfect house to survive from the Middle Ages’. Home to the Manners family. Medieval kitchens, a Banqueting Hall, 17th century Long Gallery and romantic gardens. The Hall opens from 8th April. Easter Exhibition (8th Apr-1st May), Easter talk with Dr Patrick Harding (15th Apr), activities and events (14th-17th April) including egg hunt (16th) and archery. Bakewell DE45 1LA, 01629 812855

Chatsworth House

Home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. Highlights include the magnificent Painted Hall, regal State Rooms, restored Sketch Galleries and Sculpture Gallery, one of Europe’s most significant art collections, 105 acres of gardens, adventure playground, shops and restaurant. House, garden and farmyard open from 25th March. Easter events include egg hunts and spring activities. Bakewell DE45 1PP, 01246 565300

Renishaw Hall

Late 17th century house, in the Sitwell family for over 400 years. The award-winning Italianate gardens (open Wed-Sun and BH Mons) were laid out in the late 19th century by Sir George Sitwell. There’s also a popular vineyard, café, museum and galleries. Hall open for public tours on Fridays, group tours available throughout the year. Renishaw, Sheffield S21 3WB, 01246 432310

Tissington Hall  Photo: Ashley FranklinTissington Hall Photo: Ashley Franklin

Tissington Hall

Fine Jacobean house with gates wrought by celebrated smith Robert Bakewell. Home to the FitzHerbert family since 1609, the Hall includes a marvellous Library and Billiard Room. Guided tours 17th-20th April. Personal tour with Sir Richard FitzHerbert on 24th April. Tissington, Ashbourne DE6 1RA, 01335 352200

Tutbury Castle

Medieval castle largely ruined in the Civil War. Historical re-enactments throughout the year include a Viking invasion and living history camp on 16th and 17th April, plus Easter activities such as a treasure hunt, talks, tours and stalls. Castle St, Tutbury DE13 9JF, 01283 812129

Melbourne Hall

An elegant hall, part 17th century but with fine provincial 18th century façade. Famous as the home of Queen Victoria’s first prime minister, Lord Melbourne, and now home to Lord and Lady Ralph Kerr. Delightful garden with clipped yews, fountains and Robert Bakewell’s famous Birdcage. Gardens open April-Sept, Wed-Sun and BH Mons, Hall open in August. Melbourne DE73 8EN, 01332 862502

Buxton Pavilion GardensBuxton Pavilion Gardens

Out and About

Buxton Pavilion Gardens

23 acres of restored Victorian gardens with regular events, play area, café and Pavilion Arts Centre. The Easter extravaganza (14th-17th April) includes numerous stalls plus family entertainment. St John’s Rd, Buxton SK17 6BE, 01298 23114

Chestnut Centre

Wildlife park involved in the rehabilitation and conservation of otters, owls, deer, wildcats and pine martens. View the animals and join the keepers for regular talks throughout the day. Castleton Rd, Chapel en le Frith SK23 0QS, 01298 814099

Creswell CragsCreswell Crags

Creswell Crags

Limestone gorge providing an insight into life during the last Ice Age. View the exhibition in the Museum and Education Centre, admire the world-famous rock art in Church Hole Cave, and discover the people and animals that lived here in the past. Dragons and Caverns egg hunt 14th-17th April. Crags Rd, Welbeck S80 3LH, 01909 720378


Family-friendly centre in the National Forest, offering a mix of indoor and outdoor experiences including play areas, discovery zones and a new Hi and Lo Ropes Aerial Adventure Course. Easter events include craft activities, egg hunts and a daily show. Rawdon Rd, Swadlincote DE12 6GA, 01283 216633

Castleton Show Caves

Experience an underground boat journey at Speedwell Cavern, unravel the mysteries of the Devil’s Arse at Peak Cavern and discover the home of the famous Blue John stone at Treak Cliff Cavern and Blue John Cavern. Easter egg hunts on selected dates. Castleton, Hope Valley S33 8WS, 01433 620679

Splash sessions at Carsington WaterSplash sessions at Carsington Water

Carsington Water

Large reservoir, owned by Severn Trent Water, with interactive exhibitions, visitor centre, bird hides, watersports, walks, cycle hire and playground. The Easter Eggstravaganza (8th-23rd April) includes a themed trail and puzzles. Ashbourne DE6 1ST, 01629 540478

Denby Pottery Visitor Centre

Pottery tours, courtyard shops, cookery demonstrations, restaurant and play area. Easter Hunt on 14th, 15th and 17th-21st April. Easter animal event on 17th April. Denby DE5 8NX, 01773 740799

Gulliver’s Kingdom

Amusement park for families with children aged 2-13. Over 60 rides and attractions. Easter family fun 14th-17th April, with games and competitions, stage entertainment and Easter bunny parade. Matlock Bath DE4 3PG, 01925 444888

Ilam Park by Ian FraneyIlam Park by Ian Franey

Ilam Park

Spectacular views and walks, youth hostel, visitor centre, tea room and shop. An ideal base from which to explore the White Peak – including nearby Dovedale and the famous stepping stones. National Trust, Ilam, Ashbourne DE6 2AZ, 01335 350503*

Heights of Abraham

Country park and show caverns set in 60 acres of woodland, reached by cable car over a deep limestone gorge. Dale Rd, Matlock Bath DE4 3NT, 01629 582365

Lea Gardens

Over 500 varieties of rhododendrons, azaleas and other plants, with lovely woodland walks, plant tales and a popular teashop. Nr Matlock DE4 5GH, 01629 534380

Royal Crown DerbyRoyal Crown Derby

Royal Crown Derby Visitor Centre

A fascinating insight into how the world-renowned fine bone china is made, plus its remarkable history and traditions. Attractions include a museum, exhibition and factory tour, shop and tea room. 194 Osmaston Rd, Derby DE23 8JZ, 01332 712833


Cromford Mills

The world’s first water-powered cotton spinning mill, built by Sir Richard Arkwright in 1771. Guided tours, exhibitions, Gateway Visitor Centre and shops. The Easter ‘Alice in Wonderland’ weekend on 15th and 16th April includes a Mad Hatter’s tea party, giant games and croquet with the Queen of Hearts, plus the chance to meet Easter chicks and lambs. Cromford DE4 3RQ, 01629 823256

Chesterfield Museum & Art Gallery

Explore the town’s rich heritage from its beginnings as a Roman fort to the building of the famous ‘Crooked Spire’ Church. St Mary’s Gate, Chesterfield S41 7TD, 01246 345727

Crich Tramway VillageCrich Tramway Village

Crich Tramway Village

The National Tramway Museum. Vintage tram rides, play areas, tearooms, workshop and galleries. On 16th and 17th April, the World War II Home Front event features re-enactors, music and vehicles from the 1940s. Family fun and activities from 10th-13th and 18th-21st April. Crich DE4 5DP, 01773 854321

Erewash Museum

18th century house with historic collections from the local area arranged in room settings and galleries – including a refurbished Victorian Schoolroom and War Gallery. Easter events include children’s crafts (10th, 11th, 12th and 14th April), an Easter party with animals from White Post Farm (13th April) and Lego week (18th-21st April). High St, Ilkeston DE7 5JA, 0115 907 1141

The Old House Museum

Early Tudor house with Victorian kitchen and displays of historical toys, lace, embroideries, textiles and costumes. Good Friday tea party on 14th April, plus Easter activities for children and outdoor courtyard games (weather permitting). Cunningham Place, Bakewell DE45 1DD, 01629 813642

Derby Museums

Three fascinating sites to explore: Derby Museum and Art Gallery, home to the largest public display of Joseph Wright oil paintings in the world; Pickford’s House Museum of Georgian Life and Historic Costume; and The Silk Mill, currently undergoing redevelopment. Events include ‘Easter Baskets’ at Pickford’s House (11th April) and ‘Museum Chocolatiers’ at Derby Museum (14th April). Derby Museums, 01332 641901

Peak District Lead Mining Museum

Items from the lost Derbyshire lead mining industry, rock and mineral specimens, exhibits and tunnels. The Grand Pavilion, Matlock Bath DE4 3NR, 01629 583834

Revolution House

Thatched cottage and former ale house linked to the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the plot to overthrow King James II. There is a display of 17th century furniture, a video on the Revolution and a programme of special events. Old Whittington, S41 9JZ, 01246 345727

Sharpe’s Pottery Museum

Learn about the once-prolific pottery industry of South Derbyshire. Exhibitions, gallery, play area and shop. Easter crafts on 11th April and Egyptian Day on 20th April. 23 West St, Swadlincote DE11 9DG, 01283 222600

Strutt’s North Mill

One of the most important buildings from the Industrial Revolution, offering an insight into mill life and the Strutt family through guided tours, hands-on experiences and exhibits. Open Wed-Sun and BH Mons. Belper DE56 1YD, 01773 880474


Ecclesbourne Valley Railway

Journey from Wirksworth to Duffield by train, or travel up the incline to Ravenstor at the foot of the High Peak Trail. Train times vary. Easter events from 14th-17th April. Wirksworth Station DE4 4FB, 01629 823076

Midland Railway – Butterley

Train rides, railway museum, historic locomotives, model railway, country park and special events. Easter treasure hunt 5th-19th April. Butterley Station, Ripley DE5 3QZ, 01773 570140

Peak Rail, Matlock

Experience the thrill of steam and diesel trains on a preserved railway, operating between Rowsley and Matlock on select dates. Easter treasure hunt 15th-19th April. Matlock Station DE4 3NA, 01629 580381

Out of the county...

Alton Towers, Staffs

Belvoir Castle, Leics

DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum, Eastwood

Erasmus Darwin House, Lichfield

Lyme Park (National Trust), Disley

National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas

National Space Centre, Leics

Trentham Monkey Forest, Staffs

Twycross Zoo, Atherstone

Wollaton Hall, Notts

Other Easter Events...

Easter Egg Hunt on 15th April at Treetops Hospice Care, Derby Rd, Risley DE72 3SS, 9am-12.30pm. Visit www.treetopshospice.org.uk/easter

Arthur’s Eggcellent Easter Adventure Trail 5th-23rd April at Bluebells Dairy, Brunswood Farm, Locko Rd, Spondon, Derby DE21 7AR, 10am-3.30pm. For details call 01332 673924

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Derbyshire Life and Countryside