4.Follow the trail to the Nine Ladies
One legend says that this intimate stone circle, dating from the early Bronze Age, was formed by nine women who, as a punishment, were turned to stone for dancing on a Sunday. The Nine Ladies Stone Circle, though intriguing in itself, is more of an excuse rather than purpose to stroll the stunning woodland enhanced by the views from Stanton Moor.
The walk through the colourful landscape of Stanton Moor starts either from the village of Stanton in Peak or by following a path with an entrance on Birchover Road, about 200 metres from the local quarry.
The latter is a particularly picturesque loop that begins with an impressive Cork Stone, an upright natural gritstone monolith with foot and handholds worn into its side for those yearning for better views over the area. The path then continues through patches of pink heath, past disused quarries, leading you deeper into the woodland before eventually opening up to Nine Ladies Stone Circle.
Roadside parking next to the Birchover Road entrance is limited.
5.Visit the home of a Duke and Duchess
What Buckingham Palace is to London, Chatsworth House is to the Peak District. The grand residence of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire is an architectural pearl, opened almost completely to those who wish to pay a visit.
The house, which offers some 30 rooms to explore, is simply breathtaking. The opulant decor and facades have been meticulously maintained over the centuries and still evoke jaw dropping reactions from the many visitors that pass through Chatsworts House corridors.
The only other thing that tops the awe inspiring interiors is the magnificent garden. It takes a team of 18 gardeners to keep the rare trees, shrubs, and a huge maze – all interspersed by many waterworks including the 300 year old Cascade, the trough waterfall in the rockery, and the Emperor fountain.
We loved the extensive grounds flanked by the Derwent River providing an ample opportunity to find a quiet spot for a cooling swim in the highs of summer.
6.Enjoy a satisfying meal at a country pub
Almost a restaurant yet retaining the quintessentially charming features of a country pub, the idylic George in the beautiful village of Alstonefield will capture your attention with its imaginative menu and a pretty front garden.
At a first glance you’ll be drawn to The George, standing proudly on the edge of a tiny village green. On entrance you’ll receive a warm welcome as well as a menu that elevates traditional pub food to a tasty fare, featuring items such as nettle velouté, seashore vegetables or olive oil cake with cardamom ice cream. The food is presented beautifully and delivers on its promise.
We loved the attractive decor of lime plastered walls and farmhouse furniture, brightened up with candlelight and a few interesting items bringing out its country character.
Keep in mind the George is popular with locals and can get fully booked even during the week. We were lucky to squeeze in.
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