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15 Things To Do For Free

Looking for something to do at the weekend or want to try a new adventure? North East Derbyshire is the perfect place to go exploring with the little ones or to find some hidden gems away from the tourist honey pots like the Peak District and best of all, these amazing sites are free for everyone to enjoy! If you have a favourite beauty spot in the district - let us know and email our Communications Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

1. Ashover - 'A Seat with a View' and Ashover Rock

Ashover Rock

Explore the countryside in and around Ashover Village. You can find ten locally made seats have been placed in special places within Ashover Parish. The seats are all in quiet areas, most with stunning views.

Where to find a seat with a view in Ashover.

From Ashover Parish Hall Carpark, this circular walk around Ashover explores the countryside around the village. You can climb up to the Ashover Rock viewpoint, have a rest and enjoy the views of the Parish.

Ashover Rock and back.

2. Five Pits Trail

Path on the Five pits Trail

The Five Pits Trail provides an off-road surfaced route for walkers, cyclists and horse riders. It is a 5.5 mile route from Grassmoor Country Park to Tibshelf Ponds. It can be extended further by going an extra 2 miles through Williamthorpe Ponds and Holmewood Woodlands. Look out for the memorial celebrating the life of Tom Hulatt, a Derbyshire athlete. Tom came third in the historic race in which Sir Roger Bannister ran the first sub-four-minute mile in 1954.

Five Pits Trail

3. The ‘Walking Together’ Markham Vale Mining Memorial Heritage Trail

Pathway between two trees

The ‘Walking Together’ Memorial project aims to remember the miners who lost their lives in the three major disasters of 1937, 1938 and 1973 with a series of sculptured steel figures. The figures follow a route stretching from Duckmanton village down to the Markham Vale Centre, each figure representing a miner who lost his life.

You can find out more about the history of Mining Story.

4. Linacre Reservoir and Woods

Drone shot of Linacre Reservoir

The three reservoirs at Linacre are set in an attractive wooded valley and offer the perfect start and finishing point for a walk through the beautiful Linacre and Cordwell Valleys. The gently rolling hills and wooded glades to the north-west of Chesterfield provide the backdrop for circular or linear walks, which can pass by an old manor house, 15th Century Hall, a pinfold and ‘Bluster Castle’. There are picnic tables and a car park.

Linacre Reservoir walking route.

5. Brackenfield Heritage Trail

water pump in field

Brackenfield Heritage Trail is an 8k/5-mile circular walk along Brackenfield’s ancient lanes and footpaths. It takes in breath-taking views and glimpses of a thousand years of rural life. Starting at The Green it ascends to Highoredish Viewpoint and returns to Brackenfield via Berridge Lane Nature Reserve, Woolley and Ogston Reservoir. There are twelve Information Points with QR codes, so smartphone users can view text and pictures and hear sound clips of local voices giving a fascinating insight into this beautiful area.

Brackenfield Heritage Trail.

6. Highoredish Picnic Site - Local Nature Reserve

pathway at end of picnic site overlooking the countryside

The picnic site is a former gritstone quarry, located high on a ridge and provides a great base to explore the local public footpaths. There are stunning views of Ogston Reservoir and the surrounding countryside.

Highoredish Picnic Site.

7. Clay Cross Heritage Trail

Clay Cross - flowers in foreground, church in the background

Discover more about Clay Cross by following the Heritage Trail on a 1.5-hour walk around the area’s industrial heritage. The walk starts at the round tower (tunnel ventilator) emerging from the pavement on Market Street. The tunnel runs 44 metre underfoot.

Clay Cross Heritage Trail.

8. Ogston Reservoir

Ogston Reservoir

Enjoy stunning views over the reservoir, take a picnic and enjoy the peace whilst watching the sailing! Facilities include picnic tables, toilets, car parking, club sailing, trout fishing and game fishing during the season.

Ogston Reservoir.

9. Grassmoor Country Park

Man fishing in lake

Grassmoor Country Park sits at the northern end of the Five Pits Trail. An ideal spot for walking, cycling wildlife spotting and picnicking.

Grassmoor Country Park.

10. Cliffe Park Dronfield

Kids playing in Cliffe Park

A popular park with a large play area full of exciting equipment for all to enjoy. A fun family day out, with café, sand pit, slides, adventure playground and an open area for ball games and picnics.

The park is only a ten minute walk from Dronfield Railway station or there is free parking on site.

Cliffe Park information.

11. Eckington and the Chesterfield Canal

pathway with shrubs each side

Part of the Trans Pennine Trail, this circular walk can start and finish at Renishaw or Eckington. It includes part of the Brindley Loops that were abandoned when the canal was straightened in the 1890s when the railway was built. It also has fascinating information about old horse drawn railways. Available at Tapton Lock Visitor Centre and Hollingwood Hub.

Eckington and Chesterfield Canal walking guide.

12. Love Exploring

Mother and Daughter using the Love Exploring App

Have you ever visited places in the district and wished there was more to do with the family? Or maybe you love exploring on your own and on the lookout to find out more about the place you are visiting?

Love Exploring puts the power of discovery in your hands by bringing a range of discovery games and tours that are fun to do and free to use. The app uses augmented reality (so not all mobiles are compatible, check out the Love Explore website to find out more) to bring dinosaurs to life in your local park or a fairy trail in your woodland!

Discover Eckington and stretch your legs by pick one of the walking routes; the Mindfulness Trail or Woodland Walk. If you’re looking for family fun, explore more of Eckington with the Dinosaur Safari or Space Walk. All you need to do is download the Love Exploring App to play.

13. Sutton Scarsdale Hall

Drone shot of Sutton Scarsdale Hall

Sutton Scarsdale Hall is a beautiful, imposing, shell of a building situated on a hilltop in Sutton Scarsdale. This dramatic 18th Century imposing baroque Mansion is owned by English Heritage and is undergoing conservation works. There is currently no access to the Hall but it is still well worth a visit for the exterior view of the building, the views offered from the hilltop, a walk and a picnic.

14. The Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve

Close up of a butterfly

An important Nature Reserve created in 2005. Great for a family walk with surfaced paths leading to a number of viewing screens to enjoy the varied wildlife in their habitat.

The Avenue Washlands Nature Reserve information.

15. The Moss Valley

The River Moss

This area to the west of Eckington, once known for its sickle and scythe industry, is today a sanctuary for wildlife. The Bridge Inn at Ford is a popular starting point for a pleasant stroll along the banks of the River Moss with still a chance to see remains of its industrial past. ‘A Walk on the Wild Side’ with good starting points at Ridgeway Craft Centre and Ford are two circular walks of varying duration taking in all aspects of the Moss Valley.

The Moss Valley.