Things to do in Derbyshire:
Bolsover Castle is located in Bolsover, which was only 20 minutes away from Chesterfield. The castle is located on a hilltop with fantastic views overlooking the countryside. Bolsover Castle was owned by William Cavendish and was built in the 17th century. It was described to be an exquisite home used mostly for entertaining. Bolsover Castle is now a historical site and royalty no longer lives here. They have a café on site along with gift shop and I believe you can bring your own food and drink to have picnic on the grounds. There is an entrance fee of 10.20 British pounds and they do provide an audio guide that you can use to get more information while touring the castle. They also give student discounts and offer a British Heritage membership for around 45 British pounds that lets you into all of the British Heritage sites for one low rate. We unfortunately did not know about this offer until Bolsover Castle but it would have been very useful since many sites do charge an entry fee. If you do go to Bolsover Castle, make sure to go to the Blue Bell Pub for lunch, dinner or pint. The Blue Bell was only 2-3 minutes walking distance from the castle and had great food and beer. The view from the Blue Bell was wonderful and the family that runs the pub is great.
Chatsworth is located in Bakewell which was around 30 minutes from Chesterfield. Chatsworth is where the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire reside. The property is gorgeous complete with farmyard, playground and garden. We walked along the grounds and enjoyed views of the lovely garden and giant trees. There are entrance fees for the garden, house and farmhouse and combinations of all three. Here is the website for reference. Since we did not have too much time and did not want to pay $30 USD per person to see the house, we all decided to go to the farmhouse area. We had a blast at the farmhouse! We were able to pet horses, mini horses, pigs, cows, goats, lambs, rabbits, guniea pigs and sheep. They also had chickens freely roaming around the farmhouse. If you are traveling with children I think Chatsworth would be great for the whole family. The farmhouse area has a good size playground with lots of fun activities.
The village of Eyam is located about 30 minutes east of Chesterfield in Derbyshire. Eyam was hit the hardest by the plague after receiving a contaminated fabric from London in 1665. The most notable fact about Eyam is that after the plague began killing the people of the small village, the pastor of the church convinced everyone in the village to self contain. This meant the villagers were not allowed to leave the village. This self-containment probably saved thousands of lives all over England. The Eyam museum was a great way to read about the origination and story of the plague and its victims. It was a small fee to get in and they did offer student discounts. After the museum, you can walk to small village to see the homes of where each of the victims lived. You can also visit the church and graveyard to see where some of the bodies were buried.
In the village of Castleton there were 3 caverns to tour; The Peak Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Blue John Cavern. We got to Castleton late in the day so we chose the Peak Cavern also known as the Devil’s Arse. The Peak Cavern has the largest entrance of any cave in England. When you enter, you quickly realize how cold it is inside so make sure to bring a jacket. The tour was short and sweet but we wished it had been longer. Compared to other caves we have seen, Peak Cavern was last on our list. The entrance fee for the Peak Caverns is 10.25 British pounds and there is also an option to buy a joint ticket that is good for Speedwell Cavern as well.