Bird song, bacon butties and the Beast of Bolsover are just some of the highlights of a walking festival featuring everything from a Crooked Spire to one of Britain’s leading stately homes.
Visitors to the Peak District’s historic border country in May will be able to don their walking boots to stroll around pretty villages, view stately architecture or follow in the footsteps of murderers and their victims around Chesterfield town.
Even better, most walks during the popular annual Chesterfield Area Walking Festival (10-18 May 2014) are free!
Walkers, ramblers and strollers can enjoy beautiful countryside, charming villages and one of England’s oldest market towns… and even a walk especially suitable for people with visual impairment.
Covering north east Derbyshire and centred around Chesterfield, a historic market town famous for its Crooked Spire Church, all the walks are led by a fully trained guide.
Among highlights is a chance to take in some history on a meander through the industrial heritage of the area. From a Roman fort to its growth as a market town, Chesterfield has also been shaped by coal mining and has close links to the railways – the town’s most famous Victorian resident being George Stephenson, the ‘Father of the Railways’.
Head off to one of Britain’s leading stately homes, Chatsworth, on a 10-mile route via countryside and moorland as well as the prehistoric burial mount, Hob Hurst’s House.
Listen to birdsong around Creswell Crags on a walk especially designed for people with sight problems. This easy, one-mile walk around the Crags, a 50,000 year-old limestone gorge honeycombed with caves known as the home of the Ice Age hunter, will feature expert guides pointing out which birds make which songs in the spring.
Fancy starting your walk with a bacon butty? That marks the start of an 11-mile route along the South Chesterfield Way before crossing fields and farmland and returning to the town along the North Chesterfield Way via Holmebrook Valley Park.
If you’re looking for a challenge, try the Chesterfield Round Walk, a fast paced 34-mile trek providing a taster for every type of walking around Chesterfield, with fine views of the ‘Crooked Spire’. Or brave the Beast of Bolsover on a 20-mile circular hike that takes walkers on a trail across coal mining country as well as visiting the historic houses of Sutton Scarsdale and Hardwick.
For a full programme of walks contact Chesterfield Tourist Information Centre, Tel: 01246 345777/8 or go online to book at www.chesterfieldwalkingfestival.co.uk
For details about where to stay and things to do in the area, visit www.visitchesterfield.info