Discover the real reason why Chesterfield’s church spire is so crooked, enjoy a walk along the historic Cuckoo Way canal towpath or hone your tenpin skills at Chesterfield Bowl - there’s something for everyone in this charming Derbyshire town.
Activities in Chesterfield
Don’t just take our word for it when we say that Chatsworth House is one of the best days out in the country; several times over it’s been selected as the UK’s favourite country house. Nestled in the Peak District, Chatsworth’s grounds were shaped by ‘England’s greatest gardener’ Capability Brown and are intertwined with modern features including a maze, and sculpture garden, while The Cascade was named the best water feature in England by Country Life.
The house itself, which sits overlooking the River Derwent, has been home to the Cavendish family since 1549 – that’s 16 generations – and consists of more than 120 rooms, of which roughly a quarter are open to the public. Pay a visit and explore the house, if only for the art and interior design that span 4,000 years of history including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Damien Hirst’s eight-foot bronze sculpture of Saint Bartholomew. People come from far and wide to see Chatsworth House; it receives more than 600,000 visitors a year. But, if you’re staying at our Chesterfield West hotel, it couldn’t be easier to see this incredible attraction. It’s just a few miles down the road, barely more than a ten-minute drive away.
Chesterfield Parish Church
Chesterfield Parish Church
Wherever you go in the town, you can’t fail to be aware of Chesterfield Parish Church - or more specifically its famous Crooked Spire. Officially known as the Parish Church of St Mary and All Saints, it’s the largest church in Derbyshire and attracts visitors from all over the world.
A Grade I listed building dating back to the 14th century, it offers tower tours to give visitors the chance to learn more about its history and enjoy some majestic views of the town and surrounding countryside. Many colourful legends have built up around why the spire is crooked - one claiming that the devil knocked out of shape with his tail. It's believed the prosaic reality is that the twisting was caused by a combination of the lead on the spire expanding and contracting unequally and unseasoned wood being used.
Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery
For further fascinating exhibits about the history of Chesterfield, make sure you visit Chesterfield Museum and Art Gallery. It relates the story of how the town grew from its origins as a Roman fort and features a programme of exhibitions and events.
The museum is situated in the Stephenson Memorial Hall, a Victorian building named after one of the town's most famous residents, the railway pioneer George Stephenson.
Hardwick Hall and Gardens
Just a quarter of an hour’s drive to the south-east of Chesterfield is Hardwick Hall and Gardens, a gem of a stately home now owned by the National Trust.
Originally the work of the wealthy and influential Bess of Hardwick, who first created Hardwick in the 16th century, its centrepiece is a splendid Elizabethan mansion, one of the earliest examples of the English style of Renaissance architecture.
Dominated by its many imposing windows, it was used for some scenes as Malfoy Manor in the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. But there's more to Hardwick than the main house, with its beautifully-landscaped gardens well worth exploring at any time of year.
Also worth visiting on the estate is Stainsby Mill, a wonderful working water mill where you can have a go at grinding flour or follow the Miller’s Shoe Walk.
The restoration of the Chesterfield Canal has breathed new life into one of the most attractive and peaceful waterways in England. It runs for 46 miles from the River Trent to the centre of Chesterfield and features some of the oldest staircase locks ever built, dating back to the late 1700s.
The Chesterfield Canal Trust runs boat trips and the towpath, known as The Cuckoo Way, is extremely popular with walkers. There's also an annual Walking Festival and seasonal Santa Special Cruises.
A couple of miles from the town centre, and less than a ten-minute drive from our Chesterfield North hotel is Chesterfield Bowl, one of the most popular family attractions in the area.
A 16-lane ten pin bowling centre, it has a bar where grown-ups can relax while their children are letting off steam. There are also five American Pool tables and a selection of video games for all ages plus the Piazza Café in case you get peckish.