Lea is situated in picturesque countryside climbing up from the Derwent Valley. Its most famous resident was Florence Nightingale and is home to the official John Smedley factory shop at Lea Mills.
The village of Lea is situated in picturesque countryside climbing up from the Derwent Valley. Its most famous resident was Florence Nightingale whose family home Lea Hurst is in the village.
Florence Nightingale was born in Italy, and when the family returned to England they moved to Lea Hurst. Florence’s mother missed the social life she had been used to and persuaded her husband to move south and purchase Embley House, in Hampshire. The family then only spent the summers at Lea Hurst. After Florence came back from the Crimea she did not forget her connections with Lea Hurst. She set up a reading room in Holloway providing books for there and Lea Primary School. For the sick, she obtained the services of a doctor.
Another extraordinary resident of the parish and only seventeen years older than Florence Nightingale was John Smedley II. Even though he left school at 14 he took charge of his father's business at Lea Mills and turned it round from a loss making business into a profitable one, which 200 years later is still running and producing high quality knitwear. Today, John Smedley is known as 'the world's finest knitwear'.
The official John Smedley factory shop is located in the village of Lea, where you can buy their handcrafted knitwear and discount British-made fashion clothing.
Lea Gardens is a Rhododendron Garden just outside the village of Lea, with stunning floral displays spread over approximately three and a half acres. It's unique collection of highly acclaimed rhododendrons, azaleas kalmias and other plants collected from the far corners of the world is renowed.
Sign up to our newsletter
Receive the latest news, special offers, ideas and inspiration straight to your inbox by signing up to the Visit Peak District & Derbyshire e-newsletter.