North Derbyshire's largest market town is perhaps most famous for the distinctive Crooked Spire that dominates its skyline. But there's so much more to discover, and it's a great place to visit without a car. Chesterfield is a paradise for shoppers, with its handsome Market Hall and cobbled Market Place, home to one of the oldest open-air markets in England.
If you're fascinated by history, Chesterfield is surrounded by spectacular historic venues and stately homes. And when it comes to food, drink and nightlife, Chesterfield has everything from AA rosette restaurants and welcoming cafes and tea rooms to gastro and real ale pubs, plus an outstanding theatre.
Take a short walk into the centre of town to discover one of the oldest open air markets in the country (held on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays). Soak up the sights, sounds and smells of the traditional Chesterfield Market, which has traded for over 800 years, and browse a variety of stalls selling food, fashion, homeware and gifts.
The town has its roots in Roman times when it was the site of a fort along Ryknield Street - the Roman road between the Fosse Way at Bourton on the Water in Gloucestershire and Templeborough near Rotherham in Yorkshire. Chesterfield's Market Charter was granted by King John in 1204 and regular weekly markets have been held ever since.
Grab lunch in one of the many unique independent cafes and restaurants then, if you're feeling fit, take the opportunity to climb the 144 steps to the top of the tower of the town's iconic Crooked Spire Church for stunning views out over the town. Don't forget to take your camera! Find out more about the fascinating history of the town with a hand-held audio tour, available from Chesterfield Tourist Information Centre.
Winding Wheel Theatre
For an evening to remember, watch a show at the Winding Wheel Theatre, which has a wide choice of drama, music, dance and comedy shows. The towns other theatre, The Pomegranate Theatre is currently closed for renovation as part of ambitious plans to refurbish and reimagine the Grade 2 listed Stephenson Memorial Hall.
Chesterfield is also the perfect base for exploring stately gems: Hardwick Hall, built by the formidable 'Bess of Hardwick' in the 1500s, is just a 15 minute taxi ride away, and offers the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of one of the most powerful women in the country.
There's also more than 300 acres of historic parkland surrounding the Hall, with ancient woodlands and wildlife-rich fishing lakes to explore.
Alternatively, head to Chatsworth - the jewel in the Peak District's crown - is only a short bus journey away. There are regular buses from Chesterfield station to Nether End, Baslow, which is 2km from Chatsworth (approximately 25 minutes’ walk).
Passengers arriving by bus into Baslow are able to access Chatsworth park via a public footpath. From the bus stop at Nether End, Baslow, walk over the single-track bridge and follow the path to your right. It is then a pleasant 2km walk to the house and attractions.
Explore the magnificent home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, passed down through 16 generations of the Cavendish family, then wander the magnificent gardens and parkland, before enjoying the quality shops and restaurants.
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