Shottle is a tiny hamlet of stone-built cottages on the Southern border of the Peak District. It is surrounded by glorious countryside, typical of The White Peak region – small green fields on rolling hills, cut-through by deep and shady dales.
This is great walking country for people who don’t want to venture up onto the higher peaks; The Midshires Way is close by, along with a network of smaller paths, perfect for exploring this beautiful landscape.
Shottle does have its own railway station, about a mile from the row of cottages that make up the hamlet, but don’t expect to connect with anywhere like London or even Derby – it is isolated on the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, run by local Steam and early Diesel enthusiasts. A fascinating day out nonetheless. On disembarking from your journey, you might like to pop into The Railway – standing on the cross-roads a few hundred yards away.
Other picturesque villages nearby include Idridgehay, where the Black Swan is a great food-and-drink destination, and Turnditch, where you can eat at The Cross Keys or The Tiger. In Kirk Ireton, The Barley Mow is something of a local legend, not having changed for decades, serving some great real ales and ciders along with basic snacks.
There are some fine small and medium-sized market towns to be discovered all well within a ten mile radius of Shottle. Historic Belper is the nearest, less than three miles to the East, offering a good selection of shops and banks, while dinky, stone-built Wirksworth to the North West has some great little antique and craft shops, along with restaurants and pubs and just as much history. Ashbourne, a little further to the West, is more substantial but has lost none of its original character. It is also the gateway to exploring the major Southern dales, such Dovedale and the Manifold.
Carsington Water, a huge reservoir just the other side of Kirk Ireton, is a mecca for bird-watchers and sailors alike. It is surrounded by woodland and, again, there are some great walks to be had all around its shores.
Shottle, though very small, does have its own Anglican church on Lambhouse Lane; dedicated to St. Lawerence and looking more like a large chapel, it dates from the 19th Century. A Methodist chapel can also be found on the same lane. Shottle gets a brief mention in the Doomsday Book as “Shothille”, where the lord of the manor is recorded as belonging to the Ferres family.
Today, its most impressive building is undoubtedly Shottle Hall; a grand Georgian house having fine gardens and sumptuous interiors, it is a now first class country house hotel, with a high reputation for quality and is, furthermore, licensed for weddings.
Dannah Farm, on the North side of the village is an AA five star and “highly commended” hotel, but has all the appearance of being a quiet backwater. It is a great wedding reception venue, set in some beautiful countryside; it includes a luxury Canadian-style spa and a restaurant committed to serving the best in local food, including its own bread. The farmhouse dates back to 1770, and has a distinctive Georgian look to it, while some of its converted buildings are considerably older.