Trading Places: Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield, Derbyshire
PUBLISHED: 13:35 21 April 2011 | UPDATED: 19:14 20 February 2013
Andrew Eyley enjoys a visit to one of Chesterfield's shopping hotspots
Too often these days, purchasing goods means a weekly trolley dash up and down the congested aisle of the local supermarket. A frantic update of the internet shopping site wish list in time to meet the allocated delivery slot. Or a flick through the pages of a glossy magazine, whose eye-catching adverts make you realise the one thing missing from your life is that state-of-the-art doughnut maker. But would it look better in cerise or violet?
Its therefore refreshing to spend a pleasant morning talking to the many knowledgeable and enthusiastic businessmen and women spread along the length of Chesterfields Chatsworth Road. A road which offers everything from a cup of tea to a fine-dining experience, from a bridal gown to a pair of socks, a simple trinket for a loved one to a brand new car, a hand woven rug from a distant land, and even a state-of-the-art kitchen sink.
Walking the length of whats often described as Chesterfields premier arterial route, its easy to lose track of time. Your senses are constantly distracted by the traditional and contemporary colourful displays, all of which seem to shout out for attention. But its behind the doors of these stylish retail outlets where the north Derbyshire shopping experience begins.
Chatsworth Road, on the outskirts of the town on the A619, has recently undergone a major facelift, with many prestigious companies now trading from the area and attracting a more discerning clientele. Long gone are the days when its main claim to fame was the Friday night antics of excitable revellers trying for a drink in each of its many pubs along what became known as the Brampton Mile.
One of the oldest businesses on the road is Select Interiors, offering a diverse selection of hand woven oriental rugs, carpets and kilims. Owned by John and Pam Rhodes, who have traded there since 1986, the knowledgeable couple offer a bespoke service, and pass on advice based on years of knowledge. The tardis-like premises, set over two floors, are well worth a visit.
Deirdre Gage, of Created Gallery, lives and works on Chatsworth Road. She says: Its a special place, where our customers are often our neighbours. Its a place where people need to park up their car and walk. Walking is the only way to fully appreciate what a charming area it is.
Parking is available at various places en route, some roadside and some in official parking bays. Many have a time limit, so beware.
Chatsworth Road shoppers will be spoilt for choice, with businesses including a post office, coffee shops, restaurants, musicians, photographers, tattoo parlour, bookmakers, bridal wear outlet, specialist engine tuner, chiropractors, off license, petrol stations, car dealerships, antique dealers, ironmonger, kitchen designers, florists and furniture maker. To name but a few.
131 Chatsworth Road is a relatively new retail complex. Based within the contemporary two storey premises are businesses such as Nonnas, Ultimate Bathrooms, Bridal Shop Photographers, Mode Hair and Beauty, and Black Eyed Susan Florists.
Strolling along, Im stopped by a German couple who are visiting the Peak District for the first time. After exchanging pleasantries, in perfect English, they enquire if the famous Chatsworth estate is far and are they on the right road. They assumed by its name they were. I point them in a westerly direction and wish them auf wiedersehen.
Paul Thomas of Ultimate Bathrooms is typical of the skilled professionals who trade from 131. He says: Before we settled on Chatsworth Road, we considered Sheffields vibrant Ecclesall Road, but decided that this was the up and coming area.
Theres so much going on, people can spend a day along its length enjoying the wide ranging selection of shops offering a variety of quality goods. A lot of money is being pumped into the area too.
Its a place where old fashioned wooden clad pubs, serving real ale and pickled eggs, sit alongside contemporary coffee shops with their skinny lattes and blueberry muffins. Simple brick built shops are next door to trendy boutiques constructed mainly of glass. On Chatsworth Road you can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of real shopping.
Its an area of contrasts; with rows of simple terraced housing facing a multimillion pound penthouse development. And major retailers, such as Morrisons and Matalan, share space with tiny specialist shops. Ford and Vauxhall car dealerships have also made it their home.
By day, the cosmopolitan area on the very edge of the famous market town is well worth a visit. By night the road takes on a whole new look, with the many floodlit restaurants and cafs adding a fresh and enticing ambience.
Chatsworth Road even the names a bit special