Review of ‘The Hidden Places of the Peak District and Derbyshire’, by Jim Gracie

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 26th March 2007, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

THE HIDDEN PLACES OF
THE PEAK DISTRICT & DERBYSHIRE

This is the latest edition of one of the many Hidden Places Guides from Travel Publishing. Much of the contents will be of greater interest to visitors rather than to people living in the area covered here, since they range from accommodation to visitor attractions and points of interest which most of us are already familiar with.

Nevertheless there is much to learn about places a little further afield, in the Trent and Amber Valleys for instance, with numerous ideas for a jaunt or short break. The number of castles within easy travelling distance of the Peak is a particular eye-opener, whether picturesque ruins or the seats of landed gentry. Author Jim Gracie fills us in on the dangerously record-breaking Ripley Rattler; a marble monument by a sculptor who also worked for one of the kings of Europe; the dark depths of a condemned cell; the town dubbed a republic thanks to its rebellious left-wing councillors (relatives of a certain outspoken MP), and a WW1 National Shell Filling Factory with a dreadful record of explosions on its own premises.

The guide is broken down into six geographical areas, all admirably illustrated with colour photographs, and a comprehensive 6-page index. The Hidden Places of the Peak District & Derbyshire is on sale locally priced £8.99 (ISBN 1-904-43455-X).

Review by Julie Bunting


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