You'll never be at a loss for things to do in Bolsover District. It's an area that's full of opportunity whatever your interests. The District and its surroundings abound in natural attractions with rolling countryside, dramatic landscapes and waterscapes.
Alongside its natural resources, the towns and neighbouring cities are lively, friendly and have plenty of interest, from arts and culture to industrial heritage, museums and galleries, and of course shopping, including major high street names, specialist shops, designer outlets, malls and markets.
Bolsover District has a variety of accommodation to suit all needs, from country farmhouses to budget hotels, so why not extend your day trip to an overnight stay and enjoy the many opportunities that abound the area.
Bolsover District is one of the country's best kept secrets. Ideally situated at the heart of the country, nestling between Sherwood Forest and the Peak District it offers a superb blend of spectacular scenery, historical features and quaint market towns.
We have a wide range of attractions, leisure activities, trails and days out for you to explore:
Guides & Information
Tourist Information is provided in our Contact Centres and local libraries throughout the District. The nearest Visitor Information Centre is located in Chesterfield and you can download the Chesterfield Area Guide (3.54MB) which gives you a whole ghost of information about the area.
We also have our Summer Events Programme (710kb) that gives you a whole host of information on events taking palce from June to September 2014.
Heritage Centres & Museums
Creswell Crags Visitor Centre is a focal place where national and international audiences can learn about the Ice Age. All of the caves are protected by metal grills to preserve the rare archaeological deposits that remain inside. The Crags are a limestone gorge honeycombed with caves and smaller fissures. Stone tools and remains of animals found in the caves by archaeologists provide evidence for a fascinating story of life during the last Ice Age between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago.
Hardwick Hall is one of the most splendid houses in England. Built by Bess of Hardwick in the 1590s, and unaltered since: yet its huge windows and high ceilings make it feel strikingly modern. Outside, stone gleams and glass glitters in the light. Its six towers make a dramatic skyline. Climbing up through the house, from one spectacular floor to the next, is a thrilling architectural experience. Rich tapestries, plaster friezes and alabaster fireplaces colour the rooms, culminating in the hauntingly atmospheric Long Gallery.
Bolsover Castle has a fairytale quality that makes it a firm favourite with educational visits. Highlights include the sumptuously painted walls and ceilings of the Little Castle, intricately carved fireplaces and the magnificent indoor Riding School. There is plenty to do for all the family in the Discovery Centre with its fascinating audio-visual displays, and extensive grounds to explore with lots of green space for a family picnic. And with panoramic views over the Vale of Scarsdale, Bolsover has everything you need for a fun day out in Derbyshire.
Barlborough Heritage Centre has built up a huge archive of photos, maps, wills, census, newspaper cuttings etc. There are cabinets with permenant displays including Roman and Saxon artefacts found locally. Each month there is a themed exhibition. They welcome school visits by arrangement. A series of local walk Leaflets are available from the centre. It is an ideal resource for anyone doing a school project and private informative tours are given with prior arrangement for History Groups etc.
Walks & Trails
Set amongst attractive countryside, the District is served by a network of accessible trails and walks. These walks meander through towns and villages incorporating disused railway tracks and public rights of way.
For a comprehensive trails listing in the area and throughout Derbyshire please visit the Peak District and Derbyshire website. We help to manage and develop a network of trails around the area for you to enjoy, whether this is on foot, bicycle or horse.
Many of them follow disused railway lines, so provide easy walking and riding, and offer access for all ages and abilities. The following locations offer trails for horseriding and walking:
The Chesterfield Area Walking Festival takes place every year over a week in May. Guided walks vary in length from 1 – 36 miles with the majority being free of charge.
What better way to enjoy Bolsover District than marvel at the numerous Well Dressings that take place in the District every year from May to July.
Well Dressing is the traditional art of decorating springs and wells with pictures using only what nature can provide. Its origins are a mystery and are thought to date back to the time of the Celts or even earlier.
With dedication and skill in its execution, this ancient custom offers a fascinating insight into traditional Derbyshire heritage. To set the foundation for the pictures, a wooden board is soaked for a few days before it is filled with soft, wet clay. Every village then has its own way of transferring the outline of the picture to the clay. Some use wool, others use bark or alder cones, known locally as ‘blacks’.
The picture is then ‘coloured in’. Some villages call this ‘petalling’, but some villages have different methods. In Barlow, for example, this process is known as ‘flowering’ because, instead of petals, they use whole flower heads to decorate the picture.
These intricate and detailed pictures can take a team of people up to seven days to complete and the dressing will only last about a week before the clay dries and cracks and the flowers fade. Details of these events are provided in our yearly events brochure, but more infromation can be found about Well Dressings in the area on the Visit Chesterfield website.