Local Information

Bonsall is a lovely and very active village on the edge of the stunning Peak District, a historic former lead mining village set in steeply converging limestone dales. Found in the hills south east of Matlock, Bonsall has a charming atmosphere and is popular with lovers of the outdoors – a walker’s paradise! The Limestone Way runs through the village, stop off for a brew! Surrounded by lovely countryside, lead mining caverns and caves, and even a defunct volcano, Bonsall is full of interest. Many miners tracks as well as packhorse tracks criss-cross the Bonsall countryside.

Historically, Bonsall was also a centre for framework knitting, the” frames” to make stockings, hosiery etc. were rented from a hosier who generally supplied the raw materials and purchased back finished items. A few workshop buildings still exist – look out for long windows in the upstairs of cottages – at one time in the mid 1800’s there were around 140 frames at use in the village. Nearby Cromford is acknowledged as the home of the industrial revolution, where Richard Arkwright built the first water powered spinning mill, constructing the majority of the village to house the extensive workforce.

So something for walkers, geologists and historians alike, what about other things to do and see in the locality? Stop for a while and explore:

We have two pubs serving fine ales , one of which, the Barley Mow, is the home of the World Championship Hen Racing Competition that takes place on the first Saturday of August every year. The Barley Mow is the Matlock and Dales CAMRA Pub of the Year 2011 and is highly recommended for real ale and live music on Saturday evenings, with regular musicians open sessions on Fridays. The Kings Head is an ancient hostelry built in 1677 and to be found next to the fine stepped village cross.

The Village carnival and well dressings take place during the last week of July, with a carnival procession, village fete and events happening throughout the week, culminating in a fireworks display at the end of the week.

Distances and driving times are approximate!
  • Ashbourne - historic market town famous for its Shrovetide football match 14 miles 20 minutes
  • Bakewell – charming market town famous for Bakewell pudding 10 miles 20 minutes
  • Buxton – cultural capital of the Peak District – great architecture, Opera House, Pavilion Gardens and Go Ape, Pooles Cavern 20 miles 30 minutes
  • Carsington – reservoir with visitor centre, children’s playground and cycle hire, nearby Brackendale Spa offers relaxing treatments 5 miles 10 minutes
  • Chatsworth – Famous stately home set in beautiful grounds, farmyard and adventure playground, house and garden open to visitors, great for walking and picnics! 12 miles 25 minutes
  • Haddon Hall – beautiful medieval manor house 8 miles 12 minutes
  • Matlock – former spa town with pretty park with paddling pool etc for children, and Peak Rail steam trains 5 miles 15 minutes and down the impressive Limestone valley
  • Matlock Bath with cable cars to the Heights of Abraham 3 miles 10 minutes

Kedleston Hall - National Trust property - a grand neo-classical mansion open to the public with beautiful gardens and parkland. 18 miles, 30 minutes

Hardwick Hall, "more glass than wall" National Trust property built by Bess of Hardwick in the 16th century. 27 miles, 40 minutes.

  • Further into the beautiful peak district; Eyam, Hathersage, Tideswell, Dovedale and Castleton are all in easy reach.