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a VirtualTourist member from Pinehurst


Derbyshire without a car hire?

I'll be traveling to Derbyshire in October 2007. We hope to not have to rent a car--is this feasible in Derbyshire? We want to visit historic estates and enjoy the local scenery. We're thinking of staying in Matlock Bath or Bakewell (unless we receive other suggestions).

Thanks for your help!


9 Answers

answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

Derbyshire County council has a journey planner and links to area maps/timetables etc for buses on

Matlock or Bakewell would both make good bases. Derbyshire is a lovely county, with much to explore. Do visit Castleton and go down one or two of the mines there

However, it won't be easy (or even possible) to get to many places by bus. Rural buses are often infrequent, sometimes just one or two services per week.

Also, stops are likely to be some considerable distance away from sites. For example, there is a bus service to Chatsworth House (highly recommended), but this involves a 25-minute walk through the park (except in July/August, when a shuttle minibus runs). Other historic houses (such as Calke Abbey, absolutely wonderful.... ) will involve more than one bus (and a mile-and-a-half walk, in the case of Calke).

To be honest,you will see far, far more if you hire a car locally for a few days (from where you are based, rather than your arrival airport). Car hire is tightly regulated in the UK, so local firms will be fine; you should be able to get a small car for around 25GBP per day. Driving in UK small towns and rural areas is much less stressful than in cities; just remember to allow plenty of time for your journeys (to allow for roadworks/tractors etc).

I hope you have an excellent visit............but I really do think you will enjoy it more with a car.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Manchester

It is do-able but only with some thorough research and locating yourself carefully. I would suggest you make a list of your must see sights and use the websites listed above to assist with transport links. Maybe also check for train links which there will be but not many. Maybe then it would be a case of only having a hire car for a day or two to visit less accessible sights you personally consider must sees.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Terrigal

I agree with the others, it's a fabulous area to explore but like most of Britain's country areas it's difficult to get around by public transport. To be able to get around and see the area you really do need a car. You can see out-of-the-way places and you'll waste far less time - with public transport there's a lot of waiting around and inconvenient stops.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

I work in Matlock and travle around the County of Derbyshire every day. I have lived in Derbyshire for almost 50 years - my family has been here for hundreds of years.

If you want to let me know what sort of things you are interested in, I can let you have any amount of information etc etc.

I am quite new to this site - so I don't know if there is a members message system other than this 'open' one?.. I am ok with using the open system if you wish - or letting you have my email.


answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

VT mail is really good for member-to-member questions/comments etc (new mail will be displayed in your notices concole....I've sent you one so you can see how it works), so its better to use that rather than your own email.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Manchester

well its very nice place but in oct will be horrible wheather.

but to be co honest its hard to find nice wheather in england anyway.
i m living in derby if you need any help send me an email.

answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

Actually, the weather in October can be very pleasant (mild, sunny etc).........and we have just had over a week of warm sunshine in April. Atlternatively, it may be windy/chilly/damp.

British weather is fairly unpredictable but that is part of the charm of the UK, imo. Pack appropriate clothing, check the BBC weather site about a week before you come ( and/or look at, which has snazzy weather graphics and is as reliable as the Beeb.

Hope you have an excellent visit!

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from England

Speaking as someone who regularly travels by bus around the Peak District, it is not nearly as bad as some of the previous posters are claiming and if you are intending to stay in Matlock Bath or Bakewell, you can get by bus to most of the places you are likely to want to visit, 7 days per week. For example:

FROM BAKEWELL: there are buses to Buxton, Tideswell, Castleton, Eyam, Haddon Hall, Hartington and Matlock Bath, and you can get to within 20 minutes easy walk of Chatsworth (or go all the way by bus by changing buses at Baslow):

FROM MATLOCK BATH: there are buses to Buxton, Bakewell & Haddon Hall and if you take a bus to Matlock bus staton you can get a bus direct to Chatsworth.

The difficulty comes in trying to visit more than one place in a day and so if you are hoping to cover a lot of ground in a small amount of time, I am afraid to say that hiring a car will probably be the best solution.

If you do decide to use public transport, do check out the "derbysbus" website and make sure that you order a copy of the comprehensive "Peak District Public Transport Transport Timetable book" and ask them to put you on the amendment mailing list. That way you will be able to plan your trip in detail before you leave home. Also bear in mind that a "Derbyshire Wayfarer" day rover ticket will probably be cheaper than paying separate fares on each bus you use.

Have a nice trip !

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

I agree with the last post. I cannot drive and have travelled extensively in Derbyshire and the Peak District by public transport for 25 years and the bus services are extremely good.

There are more than 20 buses a day linking Bakewell and Buxton while Ashbourne, Baslow, Castleton and Matlock have services running until at least 11pm.

The little villages in the White Peak are not as well served and some have no buses at all but most places are accessible. One of the enduring pleasures of a trip into the Peak District is travelling by bus through some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain.

My favourite villages? Bonsall, Ashford in the Water, Litton, Little Hucklow, Chelmorton and Great Longstone. All but one can be reached by bus.....and the other (Little Hucklow) is just 100 yards from a bus stop.


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