Derbyshire is a midland shire, of fells and meadows in their own parts.
The county has four distinct areas but all together creating the whole. Much of southern Derbyshire lies in the green Trent Valley. Derby itself, a cathedral city, is a major midland industrial town, currently trying to diversify. The Derwent runs through the eastern edge of Derby, southward towards the Trent.
From the northern edge of Derby the hills begin to rise at once and the rolling hills of the Derbyshire Dales begin. This area is an in between land, for beyond the farms of the hills and dales, the land becomes rougher and the hills become the high, dramatic moors of Peak District, an area of glorious scenery. The mountains in the High Peak, take up the whole northwest of the county. The Pennine Way begins at Edale in the Peak District, drawing hikers in their hundreds each week. The rest of the Peak District should not be neglected though. From Ashbourne the Leek Valley (along the border with Staffordshire) can be visited. Buxton, once a popular spa town, retains its Victorian charm. The Peak District is known for its springs, as countless underground streams bubble up from the hills, and the ceremony of “well-dressing” that takes place in villages throughout the district. Historically lead has been mined in great quantities in the Peak District hills.
Quite distinct is the northeast of Derbyshire, with its coalfields, running up to the border with the West Riding of Yorkshire.
A great number of industrial towns and mining towns dot the valleys of the Derwent, the Amber and the Rother, socially distinct from the rest of the county.
County Town: Derby
Main Towns: Ashbourne, Bakewell, Buxton, Chesterfield, Derby, Glossop, Matlock, Ilkeston, Long Eaton, Swadlincote.
Main Rivers: Derwent, Dove, Trent, Wye.
Highlights: Chatsworth House; Dove Dale; Eyam ‘plague village’; Haddon Hall; Speedwell Cavern.
Highest Point: Kinder Scout, 2,088 feet.
Area: 1,029 sq miles
County Flower: Jacob’s-ladder