In recent years, Tideswell has won both the Derbyshire Best Kept Village Award and the East Midlands section of the Britain in Bloom Contest on several occasions.

It has been said that Tideswell is ‘too big to be a village and too small to be town’. The population of around 2,000 has remained relatively static over the last 200 years. The street scene has little changed, even if the use of some of the buildings is different.

Tideswell was granted a market charter in 1250, and although the market has long since ceased, it still has the air of a busy, small market town. It has a wide main street and a magnificent parish church, often referred to as ‘the Cathedral of the Peak’, that would not be out of place in a much larger town.

The church, dedicated to St John the Baptist, with its superb pinnacled tower, has dominated the village for over 600 years. Rebuilding started in 1346 and it was 50 years later before it was finally completed. The Black Death that swept the country interrupted work for a lengthy period in the early stages. Inside, the church is spacious and lofty, with many fine carvings, brass and stained glass windows. Many of the carvings are the work of Advent Hunstone, who was encouraged by Canon Andrew, the vicar, to switch from the family stone masonry business to woodcarving. This he did to great effect and much of his and his family’s work is seen in churches far beyond Derbyshire.

Songs of Praise, the popular television programme visited Tideswell during October 2002, but it is for the singing exploits of Singer Slack the village is best known. Samuel Slack, born in 1757, was a noted base singer. He was commanded to sing before George III, and as a young man he competed for a place in the College Choir at Cambridge. After he had sung, there was a stunned silence and none of the other contestants took the opportunity to sing after such an awesome performance. Such was the high opinion of Singer Slack that he was invited to lead the choir in Westminster Abbey. He declined, preferring to sing with his friends in the village.

Tideswell is a very ancient place and evidence of Neolithic settlements has been found in the area. It is thought however to take its name from a Saxon chief called ‘Tidi’ who lived here in the 7th century.

Amongst the village’s maze of alleyways and lanes are many buildings of architectural interest. None more so than Tideswell Grammar School, founded in 1559 by Bishop Pursglove. Eccles Hall and Blake House, both notable Georgian constructions, provided accommodation for staff and pupils. The school closed in 1927, and the library takes up part of the area where students used to live.

Cattle, sheep and pig fairs, once held in the market square, have long since finished although many local farmers can still be found frequenting Tideswell’s ale house of an evening.

Bagshaw Hall overlooking the old market place, built in 1872 is the Odd Fellows Hall, with its giant pilasters and commanding position, certainly attracts attention. Opposite is the building that for a short period operated as Tideswell College after the closure of the Grammar School. On St. John’s Road is the Bishop Pursglove C.E. (Aided) Primary School and next to it, an immaculate sports centre catering for football, cricket, tennis and bowls.

At the other end of the village, even more surprisingly, is a piano and musical instrument showroom, established in 1983, that has on display over 50 pianos from all over the world. Add to that, a Fossilist and Petrifactioneer’s shop and it can be readily seen that Tideswell is full of surprises.

The village is renowned for its annual Well Dressings, which start on the Saturday nearest to the 24th June each year and continues for a week, with a carnival, parades and fun for all the family. Upholding the musical tradition of the village, Tideswell Male Voice Choir gives an annual concert in the church during the summer.

Keep up to date

Join Our Email List
For Email Marketing you can trust

Support Peak Tours

Our Partners

SunVelo Training Camps derby and derbyshire economic partnership

This business was partly financed by the New Environmental Economy Programme, a grant scheme funded by the Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership and managed by the Peak District National Park Authority.


New 10 Day LEJOG

We are pleased to announce that we have a new 10 day Lands End to John o'Groats tour. with an average of nearly 100 miles per day this tour is not for the faint hearted!

10 Day LEJOG

Dover to Cape Wrath

After two great tours in 2013 we are running two more Dover to Cape Wrath tours in 2014. We have changed a few days routes from last year by improving some of the sections through Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire.

Dover to Cape Wrath


This is a truly superb tour. a four day coast to coast passing through some amazing scenery and without the crowds. Photo's from the September 2013 tour can be viewed hereSeptember 2013 Way of the Roses

Way of the Roses

Coast to coast

Well done to all of those that completed the Coast to coast in 2013. Dates are now available for 2014.

Coast to coast

September 2013 LEJOG

Well done to everyone that completed the September 2013 LEJOG

Sept 2013 LEJOG

Moselle to Mozart

We are really looking forward to getting out and cycling our first two tours across Southern Germany and Austria. We cover 800 miles in 2 weeks which is a more leisurely pace than our LEJOG or Dover to Cape Wrath tours.

Moselle to Mozart

Photos from Germany

Photo's from the September 2014 Moselle to Mozart tour.

Photos from Germany

What our customers say

Thoroughly enjoyable and physically challenging! We liked the fact that much of the route had very limited traffic. Would be happy to stay at any of the accommodation again.

Tim Towler, August 2014

Overall, excellent.fantastic routes, very good value.

Caroline Turk & Simon Brooks, August 2014

Great couple of days walking. Easy to follow directions. Would highly recommend and will use Peak Tours again.

JP & Kate Michaelski, August 2014

Thank you for a lovely holiday. Very well organised. very friendly service - would book another tour.

Julie Molyneux, August 2014