Visit Chesterfield town centre Derbyshire’s largest town at the edge of the peak district. As well as having great history chesterfield is great for shopping and has the largest open air market in Britain
I love to travel and I have travelled a lot, abroad and in this country. In the UK I have lived in Camberwell, Bexley Heath, High Wycombe, Birmingham, Reading, Nottingham, Northwich, and now Chesterfield. I don’t plan on moving again because Chesterfield has everything we need – a bustling town centre with fresh British produce at the market, an hour’s drive from a lot of places in the UK and on the doorstep to the Peak District.
In every place I have lived and worked I’ve always picked up on the fact that people who live in an area never really appreciate what they have in their area or on their doorstep. For example if you speak to people in south London about going to see all the theatre shows in the west end, they don’t!
Derbyshire's Largest and most interesting town.
Of course when it’s your own town it’s sometimes a bit weird to think of it as an interesting place or a tourist attraction. After all it where you buy your socks, pants and grapes??
Like I said I like to travel. I’ve travelled to France with my family so many times as a child and now with my own family, after all, my wife is French. Whilst driving to the In-laws we pass Dijon, a very busy town with a great tourist trade. I’ve been a few times, you have to it’s a great town. Have you been to Dijon? Would you like to go to Dijon? Why do you want to go? I’ve asked this question to loads of family and friends and the usual answer … For the mustard??!!?
I’ve been to Pisa to see the leaning tower, it was a great day but a nightmare to find the tower especially if you don’t speak Italian. The tower is quite a way from the train station and you have to catch a bus or travel by taxi. The tower was a great sight, a little smaller than I thought, but a great site to see. Then I realised we’re paying to see something that the architect got wrong!
Chesterfield town centre has everything, from the amazing 'crooked spire' of St Mary and All Saints church to its large open air market. You can even buy Dijon Mustard!
So what’s to see in Chesterfield town centre?
The St Mary and All Saints church:
The spire reaches 228 feet into the air and is our well-known and most highly visible landmark in the area.
There are several theories why the spire is twisted. Some say it’s twisted because it has been built using unseasoned timber and the sheer weight of the herringbone lead plate covering forced the twist.
Some others believe that it is twisted because a magician persuaded a Bolsover blacksmith to shoe the devil. Shaking with fear, he drove a nail into the Devil's foot. Howling in pain, the Devil took flight towards Chesterfield. Skimming over the church, he lashed out in agony, caught the spire and twisted it round.
There are even some locals that say it will remain twisted until a virgin is found in the chesterfield town centre!!
Daily tours of the Tower to the base of the 'Crooked Spire' take place Monday to Saturday from Easter to Christmas (weather and staff permitting). Tours will be advertised on a yellow notice just inside the Church entrance. This shows the time of departure and the tour takes about 40-45 minutes. In addition, regular tours take place on all summer Bank Holiday Mondays.
More information about The St Mary and All Saints church can be found here
Shopping in Chesterfield town centre
Chesterfield town centre is home to one of the largest open air markets in Britain. Chesterfield’s open air market has been going since at least 1165. In the early 1220's it outgrew its original site near the church and moved to its current location in front of the market hall. The markets are held on Monday, Friday and Saturdays with a Flea market on Thursdays. Holiday markets take place on Easter Monday, May Day, Spring Bank and August Bank holiday Monday. There are 200 stalls to look around so you are sure to find something of interest.
All the other shops are spread through the town with roads branching from the main market square. There are narrow streets off the main shopping streets leading into the Shambles and the old Butchery quarter. In Irongate stands the Royal Oak, one of Chesterfields oldest public houses, first mentioned as an inn in 1722. The story is that it was also a rest house for the Knights Templar band of Crusaders as well.
To the south of Chesterfield town centre is the riverside retail park with a Debenhams, Next and Pets at home. If you fancy a picnic in the park head for the riverside retail park and look for the exit road to the right of Debenhams. As you exit turn left and you’ll see a path on the other side of the road leading to Queens Park.
Queen's park, which was built to celebrate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee and opened in 1893 has a cricket ground, Boating lake, Miniature train and children's play area as well as a restored Victorian bandstand. It’s a great are to recharge the batteries before heading back to town or heading home.
Food and Drink
We’ve got everything in Chesterfield town centre to suit all tastes and pockets. Not all the best venues are in the town itself. See our places to eat places to drink and places to sleep pages. Just out of town the infamous "Brampton Mile" provides 13 pubs on a one mile section of Chatsworth Road. Tradition dictates that anyone "doing the mile" has at least one drink in each pub.
Getting to Chesterfield town centre.
By Road - just 10 minutes from junction 29 of the M1 motorway via the A617. Car parks are well signposted and most town centre car parks have achieved the 'Park Safe' Award. We have listed the car parks here with prices.
By Coach - National Express coaches operate regular coaches to Chesterfield, including direct coaches from London and the Flight Link from Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport and the Nottingham East Midlands Airport.
By Rail - Trains from London take just 2¼ hours to reach Chesterfield train station. The station is a 10 minute walk from the Chesterfield town centre.
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Chesterfield town centre