Which NC counties are still dry counties

Derbyshire, the photogenic county

Much of the Peak District National Park is located in Derbyshire, in the East Midlands. Even parts of a mountain range (The Pennines) and the National Forest are in the county. Since the former county town Derby is now a Unitary Authority (kind of county town), the administrative seat of Derbyshire is now in the town of Matlock. If you add the residents of Derby to the county's population, you get almost 1 million people living in the area.

Derbyshire is a relatively rural county. Cities and villages are rather “scattered” in the landscape. Many buildings in the partially remote settlements are made of local stone, which is also used for many historical monuments such as the Arbor Low stone circle or the Nine Ladies stone circle served as building material. Otherwise, fields separated by hedges or small walls characterize the landscape. Typically English!

Derbyshire as a film set

Derbyshire has often served as a backdrop for film and television productions such as the film adaptation of Jane Austen's novel Pride and Prejudice (Pride and Prejudice), for the BBC production of Jane Ayre or for some of the BBC TV series. The locations of these films and series are a popular destination for many tourists.

The Derwent Valley Mills, the site of an old cotton mill, are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The factory and surrounding buildings were constructed in the 18th century to house a new process for making cotton developed by Richard Arkwright. The site stretches for 15 miles along the Derwent River, with numerous historic factory buildings and precursors to “modern” factories.

History of Derbyshire

The location on the River Derwent was probably an important factor in prehistoric times that led to the settlement of what is now Derbyshire. It is believed that it was relatively easy to cross the river here during the dry season. However, if there was a period of flooding, travelers and traders had to wait on the shore and, as a result, settled there.

In the first and second centuries AD, Romans controlled the area until it became part of the Kingdom of Mercia under the Saxons. Many of today's district and street names come from this time. It was not until the 18th century that cities began to develop with the industrial revolution and the emergence of factories. In the eastern part of Derbyshire the mining industry developed, which for a long time played an important economic role.


Further information on the county of Derbyshire:

  • As mentioned in the text, the Derwent Valley Mills are something like the cradle of the industrial production of clothing. The cotton processing techniques used here from the 18th century onwards were so groundbreaking that the area on the Derwent River has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.

    What there is to be discovered along the river is illustrated by a great interactive map that can be found on the following website under “Visit” (Map of Attractions). In addition to the old production facilities, these include Willersley Castle and numerous scenic features such as the Cromford Canal - a branch of the River Derwent that was formerly built for industrial purposes and is now known for its biodiversity.


  • The Peak District National Park is something like the center of the county of Derbyshire not only geographically but also scenically. The official website for the area north of Derby reveals a lot about the tourist opportunities that are on offer here. Above all, of course, hiking and cycling, but water sports are also discussed. It is exciting because the national park offers a range of activities on the water: canoeing, windsurfing and - especially attractive - boat tours on the canals of the region. Particularly noteworthy is the Peak Forest Canal, which is one of the most beautiful "waterways" on the island - and with a length of a good 15 miles is long enough for a leisurely day trip. The starting point is the town of Ashton-under-Lyne, just outside Manchester, with its small harbor. The boat rental is also located here. Should have been done once!


  • The 17th century Chatsworth mansion is certainly the architectural highlight of the Peak District National Park. The magnificent complex is located directly on the Derwent River and is surrounded by forest and gardens. In other words, there is a lot on offer not only inside, but also outside, which is why you should plan half a day for your visit. A little more, perhaps when the weather is nice, so that you really don't miss anything - including the labyrinth in the southern part of the castle park. Opening times, prices etc. are available on the website.