We chose Eyam for our holiday home in the Derbyshire Peak District for many reasons. But in short it is one of the best preserved and beautiful villages in the region dating back to Anglo Saxon times.
You may recall from your school history lessons that Eyam is notorious as being the village visited by the Black Death in 1665 when an infected bolt of cloth was shipped to a tailor renting a room in the village. The contagion took hold and the courageous villagers decided to quarantine themselves to protect the surrounding populations. Many homes carry plaques summarising what is known of the fate of the occupants at the time of the plague.
If you are interested in the history of the village and the plague, Eyam museum and Church are must see destinations to gain an insight into life at the time. Short walks to the boundary stones where coins were left in vinegar so that trade could still be conducted, bring home the isolation of residents at the time. You will notice small family graves around the village such as the Riley Graves and others up the Lydgate on the way to Stoney Middleton. Search out the Cucklet Church, where open area services were conducted during the plague and still are the last Sunday in August to commemorate the event.
Eyam today is still a living, working, rural community with local facilities. We have a local school, one remaining village pub, the Miners Arms, reputed to be one of the most haunted properties in Derbyshire…or maybe it’s the beer talking! We have a full time doctor’s surgery, and a village hall called the Institute where large screen matches and cinema clubs and village musicians meet – See the chalk board for coming attractions. We have Eyam sports field where you can watch cricket or play on the synthetic pitch, whilst children can play for hours in the new modern playground.
For those enjoying circular walks with watering holes, there are three, lovely country pubs; within 30-40 minutes you can get to the Bull at Foolow and the Moon in Stoney Middelton and approximately an hour from the cottage you can get to the Barrel at Bretton with stunning views from the top of the edge. If you time it right you can visit the Bull and the Barrel on one circular walk. All of the local hostelries have great menus at a range of prices. The village has a general store, a sweetshop come grocers, a butcher and a cafe and tea rooms. We also have Eyam Hall and Craft centre, which is now owned by the National Trust.
A couple of minutes by car is Stoney Middleton where our local fish and chips are served and you will find a really great Indian restaurant “Little India” at Lovers Leap, eat in or take away, a butchers shop and the Moon Inn. The next place along the A623 you will come to Calver Sough where you will find a garden centre, a petrol station, the Eyre Arms pub, a Spar combined with farm shop and cafe. So if you can’t find what you need in Eyam you can more than likely find it in Calver Sough, approximately 5 minutes from the cottage, by car.
Hathersage is a large village within 10 minutes drive from the cottage, you will find shops a deli, cafes, restaurants, pubs, the David Mellor Cutlery factory shop and visitor centre and a fabulous Hathersage outdoor heated swimming pool (water temp 28c/82f), the pool is open from late March to the end of September – see their website for session times and events like “night swims”.
Within 10 miles of the cottage you fill find Bakewell famous for its tart! and Chatsworth house and gardens. For foodies don’t miss out on Chatsworth Farm Shop at Pilsley (DE45 1UF) the quality and choice on offer is truly eye opening. Don’t forget the Tideswell School of Food just up the road from the cottage. And for those that like a view, walk up to the Barrel Inn at Bretton where on sunny Sundays the paragliders set off from the edge, or visit Stanage or Froggatt Edge – famous for its dramatic gritstone edge.
Although you feel as though you are a million miles from city life when in the village, we have a daily bus service to the city of Sheffield and also the famous Meadowhall shopping complex. Grindleford train station is within 2 miles, so if you want other things from your visit you can access them very easily from Eyam.
For the active the Peak District is a smorgasbord of activity!
Want to get more of a feel for the Peak District? Watch the videos below for some of the area’s best highlights.