Delightful North East Derbyshire where you’re never far away from bustling towns, heritage-rich villages and sensational sprawling countryside.

‘A place where bustling market towns meet rural beauty, all just a stone’s throw away from the Peak District National Park’ proudly proclaims North East Derbyshire District Council’s promotion video on their website, and it’s a fair summation.

As with many other districts in our county, the echoes of industry still ring across this interesting and varied part of Derbyshire.

A natural gateway to both the countryside and many important central cities, there is much beauty to be enjoyed and explored here.

North East Derbyshire is home to iconic landmarks, natural havens, breathtaking views, vibrant towns and villages, all with their fair share of stories to tell.

This is an area of mining heritage, of proud communities and of reinvention and regeneration.

Mining, manufacturing, quarrying, mills, forges, coal, textiles and more are all embedded into the area’s fabric and identity, yet so too is innovation, evolution and ambition.

Leading lights and historically significant figures – the likes of Richard Arkwright, James Brindley, William Jessop, Benjamin Outram, Jedediah Strutt, George Stevenson and many more - have all left their mark here, their actions and legacies built upon in the ensuing years and making North East Derbyshire the place it is today.

Bordered by the districts of Chesterfield and Bolsover; Amber Valley; and the Derbyshire Dales in our county and Sheffield; and Rotherham in South Yorkshire, North East Derbyshire was itself formed as a district in 1974.

Great British Life: Wingerworth Photo: Gary WallisWingerworth Photo: Gary Wallis

Covering approximately 106 square miles and home to around 100,000 people, its settlements include Arkwright Town; Ashover; Barlow; Calow; Clay Cross; Dronfield; Eckington; Grassmoor; Holmesfield; Holymoorside; Holmewood; Killamarsh; Morton; North Wingfield; Pilsley; Renishaw; Ridgeway; Shirland; Spinkhill; Stonebroom; Tupton; and Wingerworth.

The town of Dronfield is the district’s most populated settlement and the seventh most populated in Derbyshire.

After Dronfield; Eckington, Clay Cross, Wingerworth and North Wingfield are the district’s most populated settlements, with Wingerworth providing the headquarters for the district council.

As tends to be a common theme across Derbyshire districts, North East Derbyshire provides locals and visitors with certain contrasts.

Generally speaking, the west and south of the district tends to be more rural in nature, whereas the east is, on the whole, more built up and residential – providing perfect commuting options for those working in nearby cities.

Whichever part of North East Derbyshire you find yourself in, you’re sure to be met by an area with bags of character.

Indeed, in 2021, a public polls found that North East Derbyshire ranked as the third best place to live in the whole of the UK in terms of work-life balance and the best place to live in the East Midlands based on the same criteria – the district scoring 8.2 out of 10 in terms of life satisfaction. High praise indeed.


Great British Life: Clay Cross Photo: Gary WallisClay Cross Photo: Gary Wallis

Clay Cross

One of the largest settlements in North East Derbyshire, Clay Cross is a historic former mining town which lies around five miles south of Chesterfield and five miles north of Alfreton.

Once known simply as Clay Lane, the village (as it was then) grew with the expansions of the railways in the 19th century, with the town becoming a boom town for industry, its natural minerals sold across the world.

While these days are gone, Clay Cross still celebrates its industrial heritage whilst also benefiting from an array of shops and leisure pursuits.

The popular Clay Cross Heritage Trail is worth exploring, which takes around an hour and a half to complete.


The North East Derbyshire village of Ashover is one of Derbyshire’s prettiest, with its centre a dedicated conservation area.

Here you will find a number of famous old pubs – including the Old Poets’ Corner, The Crispin Inn; and the Black Swan.

Flirting with the edges of the Peak District National Park, Ashover is nestled within beautiful countryside and walks are par for the course – with the views from Ashover Rock particularly popular.

Following a parish council grant, ten seats around Ashover can be found – ‘seats with a view’ – all positioned in quiet areas and benefiting from stunning views.

The location of all ten seats can be found at

Great British Life: Beautiful views from Holymoorside Photo: Helen MoatBeautiful views from Holymoorside Photo: Helen Moat


Once a hub for tradesmen and craftsmen, the pretty village of Holymoorside is now a popular place to put down roots for professionals, given its close proximity to Chestetfield, Sheffield and, to a lesser extent, Matlock.

It’s easy to see why Holymoorside appeals. This attractive village, home to the popular Bull’s Head pub run by former Great British Menu contestant Mark Aisthorpe, is surrounded by countryside, including the expanses of Beeley Moor and Eastmoor.

The village also plays host to a number of events and customs throughout the year, including well dressings, festivals and a 10K run, with the Holymoorside and Walton Arts Festival Society particularly active within the community.


Four miles north-west of Chesterfield, the small village of Barlow may be home to fewer than 1,000 inhabitants but it’s a wonderfully vibrant community.

Each year, in August, the village holds its popular annual well dressing which culminates in a carnival.

Like Ashover, you’re never far from sprawling countryside on a visit to Barlow and the village lends itself perfectly to outdoor explorations.

The Peacock at Barlow is a popular gastro pub offering fine food and drink with the added bonus of boasting magnificent views of the Derbyshire countryside.

William Owtram, a renowned 17th century clergyman who is buried at Westminster Abbey, was born in the village in 1626.


Close to the South Yorkshire border, Eckington lies seven miles north-east of Chesterfield and just nine miles south-east of Sheffield city centre.

Like many North East Derbyshire settlements, Eckington has a proud industrial past and also benefits from sprawling countryside.

Up until 2019 when it closed, a mine on the eastern edges of the town was one of very few to still be operational across the whole country.

The town continues to thrive, with a number of local amenities available, whilst Eckington Woods to the north of the village forms part of the wider Moss Valley conservation area and is popular with walkers.


Great British Life: Renishaw Hall Photo: Gary WallisRenishaw Hall Photo: Gary Wallis

Renishaw Hall and Gardens

When putting together an itinerary of things to see and do across North East Derbyshire, Renishaw Hall will surely be near the top of the list.

Built by George Sitwell in 1625, this stunning estate has blossomed over time and is rightly regarded as one of Derbyshire’s premier country estates.

The stunning Grade I listed country house, home to the Sitwell family for over 400 years and still a family home today, can be experienced through one-hour guided tours on Fridays – booking encouraged.

The estate is just as famous for its magnificent Italiante gardens, originally built by George Sitwell between 1886 and 1936.

The gardens, benefiting from the vision of Lady Sitwell, have continued to thrive and evolve, enhanced by the natural beauty that surrounds them.

Ogston Reservoir

Owned and managed by Severn Trent, Ogston Reservoir is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

Free parking, a picnic site, wonderful walking and cycling routes and, of course, the spectacle of expansive water against a beautiful backdrop are all good reasons to visit, but so too is the area’s vast array of wildlife which call this part of North East Derbyshire home.

Covering 200 acres, Ogston Reservoir is particularly well known for its abundant birdlife, with over 200 species having been recorded here over the years.

Additional leisure activities here include fishing and windsurfing, while it was on these very waters that Dame Ellen MacArthur trained before breaking the record for the fastest solo yachtswoman to circumnavigate the globe in 2005.

Five Pits Trail

Another area in North East Derbyshire tailor-made for combining peace, tranquillity, outdoor bliss and wildlife is the Five Pits Trail, which was created by Derbyshire County Council in 1989.

Predominantly following the route of the old Great Central Railway, this popular 5.5-mile trail begins at Grassmoor Country Park and continues through Locko Plantation before arriving at Tibshelf Ponds.

There’s also the option of extending the trail by a further two miles should you wish by continuing through Williamthorpe Local Nature Reserve and Holmewood Woodlands.

The Five Pits Trail is largely accessible for all, including the use of prams and wheelchairs. There are also car parks at various points along the route, meaning you can tailor the length of your walk or cycle to suit you.

Great British Life: Sutton Scarsdale Hall Photo: Gary WallisSutton Scarsdale Hall Photo: Gary Wallis

Sutton Scarsdale Hall

Despite being close to both Bolsover and Chesterfield, Sutton Scarsdale Hall lies within the North East Derbyshire district and it’s here you’ll find one of the area’s most fascinating buildings.

This imposing ruin was once of Derbyshire’s grandest country houses, however its story is not a happy one.

Commissioned in 1724 by Nicholas Leake, 4th Earl of Scarsdale, the ambitious vision behind this Grade I listed Georgian ruin was ultimately its downfall, as it became beset with financial difficulty in the decades and centuries to follow.

Long since having been stripped of its assets – including its roof - it is now in the care of English Heritage, its shell a powerful and visual example of excess and decline. Despite its ruinous state, it’s well worth a visit.


The district became well known as a major supplier of coal after a large seam was discovered during the building of the Clay Cross railway tunnel, a 1,785-yard structure on the former North Midland Main Line designed by George Stevenson and completed in 1839.

It’s believed that the discovery here of coal and iron was a key factor in Stevenson, the ‘Father of Railways’ deciding to move into Tapton House, near Chestefield, which still stands today.


North East Derbyshire District Council has a dedicated Economic Development team, which can be contacted by any start-up or existing business in the area wishing to learn more about the opportunities that exist here, including information on the district’s economic performance and its strengths. The team can be contacted on 01246 231111 or at

The Derby and Derbyshire and Nottingham and Nottinghamshire (D2N2) Growth Hub is also active in the area, offering access to free expert business advisers who can offer bespoke support to businesses or would-be businesses in the area of North East Derbyshire.


According to the latest figures available from the UK House Price Index ( the average house price in North East Derbyshire is £227,419.

Broken down, the average price for a property in this area of Derbyshire is £109,018 (flats and maisonettes); £162,516 (terraced houses); £196,685 (semi-detached); and £315,747 (detached).

The average price paid for a newbuild currently stands at £425,099, with existing properties fetching, on average, £242,421.

The latest available figures for the UK average, according to the UK House Price Index, is currently £285,861 (as of May 2023).


The village of Morton, three miles to the north of Alfreton, lays claim to being the ‘geographical centre of England’, with the sign into the village stating: ‘Welcome to Moron – the centre of England’.

However, Morton goes further than this – with a famous old oak tree believed to mark the very spot of England’s most central location.

The Centre of England tree can be found opposition No. 69, Stretton Road, near the western end of the village, and here you will see a plaque – commissioned and placed in the 1990 by the parish council – which reads: ‘Morton Parish. Centre of England Tree’.

The old oak tree is believed to date back to around 1850, although there appears no concrete evidence as to whether it was planted to mark the spot of the centre of England or whether it happened to grow there by chance.