Derbyshire Life reader Natalie Walsh tells us why, for her, there's no place quite like Calke Abbey

Why is Calke Abbey one of your favourite Derbyshire walks?

Calke Abbey is one if my favourite Derbyshire walks because there is so much to see and explore. It offers many different walking routes where you can take in nature and the most beautiful scenery.

There is a walled garden full of pretty blooms and a vegetable and herb patch and you can take a walk around the tranquil lake and, if you’re quiet enough, possibly catch a glimpse of the deer in their natural habitat.

What is it that makes this part of Derbyshire so appealing?

I am extremely lucky to have Calke Abbey on my doorstep. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve visited!

It’s so nice to see how it changes through the seasons. You have a great choice of walking routes through Calke itself and also the nearby village of Ticknall and Staunton Harold Reservoir, which is another lovely place to visit.

Is there any part of the Calke Abbey area that you particularly look forward to seeing/visiting?

Great British Life: Serpentine woods by Calke AbbeySerpentine woods by Calke Abbey (Image: Gary Wallis)

I especially enjoy a walk through the Limeyards! I also like to go through the tunnels and get a real feeling for the past.

The serpentine wood is my favourite during spring, it’s where you’ll find the most amazing carpet of bluebells. I always visit the National Trust cafe for a well-earned coffee and delicious slice of cake!

Who do you tend to go walking with?

I first started walking with a friend who showed me some lovely places around Derbyshire. After that it gave me the courage to start going on my own.

I’ve also attended a few group hikes which are really great for meeting and making new friends. I’ve met some really lovely people through hiking and the outdoors.

What do you look for in a good walk?

I like to find places that have lots to explore, whether that’s a mountain, a hill or even a waterfall.

It’s not always about how high you climb. Some of the most beautiful places can be found right in front of you. You don’t have to go far to find nature.

Are there any other places in Derbyshire you particularly enjoy walking?

I’m a big lover of the Peak District. You can’t beat a scramble to the top of Chrome and/or Parkhouse Hill to take in the stunning 360-degree views.

I also love to climb to the top of Winnats Pass, a perfect spot to just sit and watch the world go by.