Family Days Out – 10 of the Best Things to See and Do in Wirksworth
Here is a short list of some of the best things to see and do to entertain the family in Wirksworth:
1 – St Mary’s Church
St Mary’s Church is one of Derbyshire’s finest, standing in the centre of Wirksworth in a quiet churchyard. There has been a church here since C9th but the present imposing building dates from C13th and was restored extensively in C19th and early C20th. Its size reflects Wirksworth’s important history. Built into the inside walls are earlier stone fragments, notably a carved Saxon coffin lid, and the famous ‘towd man’ – an early medieval carving of a Derbyshire lead miner. St Mary’s is open every day.
2 – Ecclesbourne Valley Railway
The Ecclesbourne Valley is one of Derbyshire’s most lovely and unspoilt valleys, stretching from Wirksworth to the northern outskirts Derby at Duffield.
The railway operates passenger services between Wirksworth and Duffield mainly using heritage diesel railcars, and on selected days steam hauled services on the short branch between Wirksworth and Ravenstor. Special events run throughout the year, including a Classic Transport weekend, Classic Bus Rally, Teddy Bears weekend and an annual model railway exhibition. Great fun for all the family!
Tel: 01629 823076 www.e-v-r.com
3 – The Star Disc
The StarDisc is a spectacular 21st century stone circle created by renowned visual artist Aidan Shingler. From its setting high above the town, it commands stunning views over Wirksworth and the Ecclesbourne Valley. A star chart, carved into black granite and inscribed with the constellations, the Star Disc is surrounded by 12 silver granite seats representing the months of the year. After dark, the star chart, which spans 12m, is illuminated by low level lighting, powered by our own star the Sun.
4 – WIRKSWORTH FESTIVAL
9-25th September 2017. www.wirksworthfestival.co.uk
5 – STEEPLE GRANGE LIGHT RAILWAY
An 18-inch gauge line near Wirksworth, built on the trackbed of a branch of the old Cromford and High Peak Railway, now the High Peak Trail. Enjoy a unique twenty minute train ride through dramatic limestone scenery in an old National Coal Board manrider powered by small ex-industrial locomotives.
Tel: 01629 55123 www.steeplegrange.co.uk
6 – NATIONAL STONE CENTRE
Set within former limestone quarries on the edge of Wirksworth, the NSC is a 50 acre site of Special Geological Scienti c Interest offering outdoor and indoor activities for all ages, including fossil trails, geo walks, picnic areas, traditional stone craft courses, and a visitor centre with shop, café and exhibition. A brilliant new children’s playground ensures entertainment for all the family!
Stoney Wood is Wirksworth’s Millennium woodland, planted in the area recovered from Stonecroft Quarry on land donated by Tarmac Ltd. Planting by local people has been inspired by the Foret Giorno woodland near Wirksworth’s twin town of Die in France. An ideal spot for walking and picnics, and a regular location for large community events.
8 WIRKSWORTH CARNIVAL AND WELL DRESSING
Wirksworth inhabitants are proud of their heritage, and celebrate a number of ancient traditions including well dressing. Well Dressing is a unique Peak District custom where wells are decorated with natural materials to create intricate designs.
Every year Wirksworth comes alive for a weekend of carnival entertainment in support of the event.
9 – WIRKSWORTH HERITAGE CENTRE
A small heritage centre which runs temporary exhibitions on various themes, sells locally
made gifts & Wirksworth merchandise, and provides printed visitor information. Currently manned by volunteers on Fridays
and Saturdays, Bank Holidays and carnival/festival Sundays only. Watch out for new guided walks from summer 2016!
HERITAGE CENTRE website
10 GREENHILL AND THE DALE
From the town’s central market place, the cottages and narrow alleyways of Greenhill and The Dale winning up the hillside of a traditional coastal fishing village. The maze of jitties and clusters of tiny courtyards between the cottages is known affectionately by locals as the Puzzle Gardens.