Free Things to Do in Derbyshire

Posted by: Katie King

Fri 27th May 2022

As the long weekend approaches, we’ve rounded up some of the best free things to do – right on our doorstep in Derbyshire.

Leawood Pumphouse

Built in 1849, the Leawood Pumphouse at Leawood aqueduct played a pivotal roll in getting water up from the River Derwent into Cromford Canal.

Still in pristine working condition more than 150-years later, visitors can experience the sights, sounds and smells during a real steam pumping process as four tonnes of water is transferred from the river below to the canal.

It’s a fascinating process that takes place of dedicated days in the month.

Find out more about visiting Leawood Pumphouse here.

Monsal Trail

Take in the striking views of Derbyshire along this former railway line as you meander across a viaduct and through four railway tunnels.

With plenty of wildlife and heritage stops along the way, as well as cafes and cycle hire spots – the trail is suitable for walkers of all abilities, cyclists, wheelchair users. Pack a picnic and enjoy a family day out for free!

You can find out more about Monsal Trail here.

Elvaston Castle Country Park – Elvaston

Built for the Earl of Harrington in the early 1800s, the Elvaston Castle Country Park now serves as a beautiful centrepiece to 321 acres of open parkland, woodland and formal historical gardens. It has been recently renovated with golden gates, a Moorish temple and ha-ha wall to provide a visitors with a unique glimpse of the past.

The castle is closed but the grounds are open from 9am – 5pm daily and look stunning in all seasons – perfect for a fresh walk and some architectural gazing.

Entry on foot is free but car parking charges apply.

More information about Elvaston Castle Country Park is available here.

Matlock Bath

Matlock has a bit of it all. Nature, shopping, fun and adventure and not to mention its fair share of gastronomical hotspots.

You can spend the day meandering around the cute vintage ice cream parlours, arcades and sweetshops on the promenade, visit the war memorial, get lost in the luscious forests. Matlock is known for its antique shops and to me, these shops are little museums, using your own imagination to conjure up stories behind the items.

Then there’s the grounds surrounding Riber Castle for a full bird’s eye view over the town, and the heights of Abraham if you want to have a cable car experience.

You can find out more about what Matlock Bath has to offer here.


From the Pavilion Gardens and the Buxton Country Park to the Poole’s Cavern, quaint little tea shops and endless antique window shopping – there’s plenty of free things to do in the UK’s leading spa town.

More information about what’s on offer in Buxton is available here.

Photo Credit: from The Old Lock Up Instagram Page

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