Hire a campervan and see Chesterfield - 7 Great Things To Do
Hire a deluxe VW campervan from us at Davanco Leisure and see the Crooked Spire at Chesterfield and many other fabulous local attractions.
Following on from our Peak District Campervan Adventure, we want to tell you about 7 great things to do in and around the historic market town of Chesterfield, just a short drive from us and close to the glorious Peaks & Dales.
1. How did the Crooked Spire get its twist?
The Chesterfield Crooked Spire of St Mary and All Saints (largest church in Derbyshire) is the town's best-known landmark. It started its life straight, yet now leans 9 feet 5 inches from its true centre. How did it get its lean you may well ask?
There are a number of legends and mysteries. The best guess is that, when the original wooden shingles on the Spire were replaced with 32 tons of lead tiles, the Spire wasn't able to take this much weight. The lead on the sunny south side expands and contracts more than on the cooler north side. And so, the Spire started to twist. Add to that, no cross bracing in the 8 sides of the Spire, 600 years of weather, and hey presto, a Crooked Spire.
There are tours of the Tower to the base of the Crooked Spire on Fridays and Saturdays (weather and staff permitting).
2. Rummage for a bargain
A campervan break in Chesterfield wouldn't be complete without a visit to Chesterfield Market. Rummage through one of the UK's oldest and biggest markets and pick up anything and everything.
Discover a priceless antique, browse through fabulous fabrics and crafts, shop for fresh local produce to take back to the campervan kitchen. Even better, visit on a Thursday when the local Farmers' Market is happening too.
3. See the staircase locks
Drive out to the Hollingwood Hub and Tapton Lock Visitor Centre (about 4 miles from Chesterfield town centre). Swop the campervan for a narrowboat (only for a while). And take a Madeline and John Varley canal trip to see one of the earliest examples of canal staircase locks in the country. The Chesterfield Canal opened in 1777 and covers 46 miles and includes a 2,880 yard tunnel.
Stretch your legs after the trip along the Cuckoo Way Canal towpath, it forms the southern spur of the Trans Pennine Trail.
4. Visit the ‘Palace of the Peak’
Visit Chatsworth House, one of the UK's best-loved historic houses. Home to the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, the 'Palace of the Peak' has over 30 rooms to explore, 105 acres of stunning gardens, and an award-winning Chatsworth Estate Farm shop.
You'll need at least a day to take in the House and Garden. Combine your visit with one of the many year-round events that include seasonal park walks, farmyard animal handling, and estate farm shop food fairs.
5. Eat a pudding...or two....or three!
Head into the heart of the Peaks, to Bakewell, about a 30-minute drive in your camper from Chesterfield. It's a Bakewell Pudding up here, tastes just as good as a Bakewell Tart, and you'll be buying them as fresh as they come. You can even post one to a friend in its very own ready-made posting box.
Legend has it that the town's famous Pudding was created by mistake by a local cook in the mid-19th century.
Check out the bustling outdoor market every Monday and, if you're feeling like a bit of outdoor theatre, head for the livestock market.
6. See hidden villages by campervan
Drive through the glorious Derbyshire countryside and take the Hidden Villages circular route to the south of Chesterfield. The route is 15 miles long and starts out on the A619 Chatsworth Road.
Pack up a picnic (any Bakewell Puddings left?) and stop off at Ogston Reservoir. Park up at the village of Ashover, some of Florence Nightingale's family are buried here. Return to Chesterfield via Clay Cross, where George Stephenson, the railway pioneer, built a huge ironworks and kept some 600 men employed in the mid-1800s.
Visiting Chesterfield by campervan means being close to spectacular natural beauty. So take time to drive at your own pace, travelling the Peak District simply cannot be rushed.
7. Step into a fairy-tale world at Bolsover Castle
If you're a fan of 'Beauty and the Beast' then Bolsover Castle is definitely for you. This fairy-tale 17th century Stuart mansion sits high on a hill overlooking spectacular Derbyshire countryside and is only a short drive from Chesterfield.
Enjoy the carved marble fireplaces, beautifully painted ceilings and richly coloured wall paintings. The Little Castle, the romantic terraces, the wall walk, the Fountain Garden, and the magnificent indoor Riding School.
There are lots of hands-on things to do too. And year-round events such as Legendary Jousting, Knights Tournaments, and Cavendish Horses.
Campervan hire Chesterfield - there's SO much more
We've just touched on the surface, there are hundreds more things to do in and around the Peaks & Dales. Our campers are fully-equipped for a longer road trip, for singles, couples, and for families up to 4 (more if you add on an awning). And we're dog-friendly too.
Chat to us about local campervan-friendly campsites, great places that sell fresh local produce for stocking up the campervan fridge, and spectacular scenic routes.
Chesterfield is a great destination to start your campervan break. And then there's Buxton, Ashbourne, Matlock, Castleton, Tideswell, Wirksworth, Chapel-en-le-Frith.......we could go on!
Come and see for yourself.