When it rains in Derbyshire

Described as the Gateway to Dovedale, Ashbourne has so much to offer. Historic almshouses, over 200 listed buildings, mellow bricked town houses, fine coaching inns and the beautiful parish church of St Oswald. Steeped in history yet bustling with a busy marketplace and a selection of great shops, Ashbourne is the perfect place to stop over when visiting our top 5 recommended days out around the Derbyshire and Peak District area. However when you do, be sure to save a couple of hours to take a peek inside our C W Sellors Fine Jewellery Boutique, nestled right in the town centre in Victoria Square. Established in 1979 C W Sellors has over 30 years of invaluable experience and plays a leading role within the UK 's jewellery retail & manufacturing sectors. Our friendly staff and welcoming atmosphere brings a stunning selection of luxury watches and jewellery from global-leading designers and brands. Our knowledge of stone cutting and shaping together with our unparalleled hand-picked selection of precious and semi precious gemstones such as Blue John, Preseli Blue Stone and original Whitby Jet allows us to create some of the most breathtaking hand-designed innovations within the Midlands, courtesy of our highly skilled in-house craftsman and in-house jewellery technicians. Our C W Sellors Boutique has siblings in Matlock, Bakewell and Buxton, an ideal excuse to treat yourself or your loved one to something special when trying out our great family day out suggestions. Striking the perfect balance between something fun, something challenging and something educational, the county famous for being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution takes the edge off our gloomy weather with a number of ways to embrace the drizzle and enjoy some local heritage.

Carsington Water is a great choice for a day of natural beauty, tranquil waters and activities for the family whether it rains or shines. You may wish to hire a boat and explore the water, hunting for Rainbow and Brown Trout or admire the extraordinary range of wildlife including Oystercatchers, Mallards, Snipes and Grebes who unlike us – love a bit of the wet stuff! And as you relax for a picnic at the water’s edge you have the luxury of an hour of child-free bliss as the kids invent a number of ways to rip chunks out of eachother in the children’s park! Or why not visit the wildlife centre and its informative discovery room that allows enthusiastic spectators to enjoy many unusual species of bird and water-bound breeds. Visitors especially like the fact that the attraction is also enriched with a number of interesting walks that weave through areas of natural beauty, ripe with daffodils and hawthorns which come into bloom during the warmer months. As one of Derbyshire’s most important tourist attractions, the popular location which is inseparably linked with Hopton village also offers an educational visitors center, dingy and mountain bike hire along with wheely boat facilities for wheel chair users. 

If wanting the option of a little indoor exploration, Chatsworth House is also a wonderful choice. It consists of 1000 acres of history, beautiful gardens and breathtaking grounds for you and the family to enjoy. When it rains, the Duke and Dutchess of Devonshire’s home sits against a stunning landscape – a sheet of purple cloud which rolls out over the harsh fissures of limestone reefs. Whilst walking around the hundreds of acres of grounds, some of the UK’s greatest water features can be admired along with a fantastic adventure playground and farmyard for the little ones. The tourist information point at Chatsworth House advise 4-5 hours for visiting the house, grounds and gardens but in order to fully relax and enjoy all elements of this beautiful attraction and also have time for a spot of lunch, a 5- 6 hour visit is recommended.

For the adrenaline-Junkies, Alton Towers is an extraordinary universe of magical ventures, visual illusions and blockbusting rides. Britain’s most loved theme park offers a little something for everyone when it comes to adventure, exploring and a fun-filled day out – a particular advantage for those with family members of all ages. CBeebies land provides themed rides and live entertainment for the little ones, whilst a wacky 9-hole golf course situated near to the Splash Landings Waterpark and hotel, offers obstacles inspired by the theme park’s thriller rides. Alton Towers Spa finds the perfect excuse for any one in need of a bit of rest and relaxation. The Spa tempts the ladies into a huge selection of massage sessions, facials and hair treatments before they decide to get hurled through the air at implausible speeds to mess it all up again! And who cares about the inevitability of rain, when getting soaked through to the skin is a given when it comes to braving the Log Flume and Rapids?

Matlock Bath Aquarium & Exhibitions offers an alternative way to enjoy the wet stuff and for a great price. Just £2.90 will get you an insight into the extraordinary habitats of many underwater species with sea monsters reaching over 3ft long! The attraction also includes a thermal pool, a hologram gallery, a unique display of worldwide gemstones, and a museum of Matlock Bath’s heritage via their historic photo gallery. Visitors to the attraction particularly love the fact that the exhibitions are family orientated, offering interesting artefacts and information suitable for both adults and children of all ages - highlights include the chance for the dads to meet the Nemos and Doras of the sea world obviously!

And finally something for the history geeks - Bolsover Castle can provide both shelter from the rain and spectacular views of the Peaks District at the same time. If you enjoy English Heritage attractions and a slightly more sophisticated day out you will adore the lavish rooms of the castle and the newly restored wall walk allowing you to absorb breathtaking views of the fountain gardens along with the rustic angles, proud turrets and steeping slopes of the ancient castle’s profile. The fairytale Stuart Mansion will excite the imagination of little princesses whilst the boys will enjoy a visit to the ground’s indoor Riding School to watch the Cavalier Horsemanship come alive. Make sure you finish the day at the quaint tearooms for a slice of homemade cake... or three!