The summer holidays are under way and families are looking for places to go where they can spend some time together without emptying the bank account.
And there are plenty of hidden gems in Burton and South Derbyshire that people will not have to waste half the day travelling to get there with bored children in the back seat.
Those looking for a nice walk and a peaceful time by the water while playing in the sun should look no further than Foremark Reservoir for a family day out. It may not be the beach but there is water to walk by, grass to play on and even a place to get the all-important ice-cream. There is a charge of parking.
Barton Marina has everything in one place for those wanting a day out with scenic walks around marina, which are ideal for those with dogs. There are boats moored up and even a cinema for those who fancy catching a film. It also has venues to stop at for a bite to eat or a drink by the water and shops for a spot of retail therapy as well. These include a butchers and ice-cream parlour, selling local produce. Its free to park too.
Staunton Harold is home to the Ferrers Centre for Arts and Crafts. It is is a Georgian courtyard filled with workshops, galleries, studios and shops. there is also chance to take a pleasant walk around the grounds - and the kids can burn off some energy. The Ferrers Centre was built in 1324 and also has a church and a tearooms to stop for a spot of lunch. There is a charge for parking.
Branston Water Park
Branston Water Park has plenty to keep the children amused on those hot summer days with a play area, visitor centre, picnic areas, level paths and fishing through the Burton Mutual Angling Association. The site is a Local Natural Reserve and has also received the coveted Green Flag award, which it has held since 2005, in recognition of the quality, cleanliness, safety and wildlife value of the site. Its free admission and parking too.
National Brewery Centre
Those wanting to delve in to the brewing history of Burton need look no further than the National Brewery Centre, in Horninglow Street, which offers an insight into one of the town’s most famous exports. As well as the chance to sup some real ales, there is also a restaurant to enjoy a meal and gift shop to pick up some unique souvenirs. It costs £9.95 for adults and £5.95 for children.
Claymills Pumping Station
Claymills Pumping Station in Stretton holds regular steaming days to show how things were done in yesteryear. It has four beam engines by Gimson of Leicester 1885, five boilers by Thompson from 1936 to 1937, steam driven workshop, Forge and a 1930s dynamo house with early 1980s Crompton dynamo driven by a Buxton and Thornley steam engine. The next steaming even will be on August 27 and August 28. It costs £6 for adults and £3 for children on steaming days but on other days when it's open it's free to fet in. Again donations are welcomed.Sharpes Pottery
Sharpe’s Pottery Museum, in Swadlincote, shows off the history of the once prolific pottery industry of South Derbyshire with everything from bricks and toilets to elaborate art pottery. It includes an iconic kiln hovel at the centre as well as a children’s outside playzone, the Heritage Lottery funded A Toilet Story exhibition and The National Forest Gallery. It also has a Café Expresso, Tourist Information Centre and gift shop. It's free to get in in but donations are gratefully received.
Families wanting to head on a woodland adventure can visit Beehive Farm Woodland Lakes in Rosliston. Visitors can make the most of more than 66 acres of woodland to explore with thriving wildlife and fishing lakes. For prices, including ones for camping at the site go to www.beehivefarm-woodlandlakes.co.uk