Easter's coming and the tourists will soon start arriving in our beautiful county.
With this great weather we can look forward to a bumper season with our campsites, hotels and bed and breakfasts all full to bursting with holiday makers.
Most people head to the Peak District and who can blame them, with picturesque villages and beautiful scenery. But the towns and villages of the Amber Valley have just as much to offer if you're on your holidays in Derbyshire.
The Amber Valley is perfect for families who want it all on their holiday, with easy access to the shopping meccas of Nottingham and Derby, but also really close to some of the best countryside in the whole country. Getting here is also really simple, just a short drive off the M1 or A38.
Wondering where to stay in the Amber Valley?
Lovers of outdoor living can stay at the award winning Golden Valley caravan and camp site, nestling in beautiful woodlands alongside the Cromford Canal, or at The Firs between Belper and Heage, or any of the other great sites around our area. Those who prefer a bit more comfort have their pick of guest houses, cottages and bed & breakfasts, and there are even a few hotels dotted around and about.
And there's loads to do when you're here too.
With so much choice you won't be left wondering what to do or where to go. Top of your list should definitely be a trip to Heage to visit the famous windmill then browse around the beautiful Muse Gallery and Art Studio, where you can watch resident artist Mandy at work, and find loads of original pieces of art and handmade crafts and gifts to take home, all proudly made in Britain by local artists.
Take the kids up the the Midland Railway Centre at Butterley, or to the Tramway Museum in Crich for a great day out. If its raining, we've got a great choice of leisure centres, plus the vibrant and colourful Planet Happy playbarn in Ripley, with loads of room for the little ones to let off steam and great coffee and snacks for you too. Just a little bit further afield is Matlock Bath, where you can find Gullivers Kingdom and the Heights of Abraham.
History and Literature lovers will be in seventh heaven, with many local attractions including the DH Lawrence Heritage Centre, Shipley Park (where Shipley Hall, setting of Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, used to stand), and local churches and listed buildings in every village, as well as the well known Heanor Antiques Centre and the ruins of Codnor Castle. Slightly further afield there's also a number of stately homes and estates to visit, including Chatsworth and Hardwick Hall.
Those who like to get back to nature are totally spoilt for choice, with a beautiful walk, reservoir, valley or nature reserve at every turn, including the fantastic Hammersmith Meadows at Ripley, and the Red River Nature Reserve at Loscoe. For a bit more of an educational nature day, Shipley Park Visitor Centre runs many events and activities for children and adults alike throughout the year.
But our town centres and local shops are also well worth a visit. Ripley is larger with more well known shops, and is a great place to spend a day browsing and picking up the bits you need for your holiday, but Heanor's Town Centre is up and coming, with a number of new shops opening in the last few months. It's main shopping heart is possibly one of the most independent in the country, with a very low percentage of national chains or big names. (If you're a camper or caravanner, don't forget to call in to Weekend Leisure whilst you are in Heanor).
Neither town may have the aesthetic charm of other Derbyshire villages but the welcome you'll receive in each and every shop anywhere around our local area is just as warm and friendly.
For more great ideas for things to do and places to see and where to shop in Heanor and Ripley, have a browse around our site, and pop over to http://www.visitambervalley.com to see a full listing of all the places to stay, visit and see in and around the wider Amber Valley.
When you think of Derbyshire, don't just think of the Peak District! Think Heanor and Ripley!
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...