Sunday 31 August 2008

In pursuit of the Derbyshire panther

According to Glynn Harthorne at Standcliffe House CL, the Derbyshire Panther is definitely not a rural myth. This, and other stories about the local area will be related to visitors who stay on this delightful 5 van site in the shadow of Crich Stand, near Matlock, Derbyshire.

Always at the cutting edge of new technology, a few years ago, Glynn set up a webcam from the back bedroom of his house, focussed on Crich Stand, originally so he could keep an eye on arrivals at the CL from his computer at work. The Law of Unexpected Consequences came into play, and he found that people from all over the world were logging on to look at the Derbyshire weather, study cloud formations and homesick expats wanting to see a little corner of home. Apparantly, the viewing figures per week run into the thousands. Well I never! Take a look for yourself using the link at the end of this article

Crich Stand, situated immediately behind the site, is a memorial to the 11,000 men of the Sherwood Forristers Regiment killed in the First World War. It is 1,018 feet above sea level at its tip. To reach it is a gentle (uphill) stroll, and what better way to watch the sunset than from such a vantage point?

Standcliffe House CL is situated right at the top of the Derbyshire village of Crich (Peak Practice’s Cardale), next to the Crich Tramway Museum. On a clear day, the views from all pitches are far-reaching and panoramic. The area can be explored on foot direct from the site. Alternatively, buses go from just down to road to Matlock, Alfreton, Chesterfield and other Derbyshire towns. Within spitting distance is a village shop, newsagent, pubs and a fish and chip shop, which means you don’t need to take the car out at all if you don’t want to.

The site is slightly sloping and all 5 pitches have hook-up. Pitch One is a flat hardstand, ideal for motorhomes, whilst you can take your pick of grass pitches anywhere on the field, if your cable is long enough. There is a recently refurbished WC and hand wash basin and a small tourist information area and Glynn is planning to install a power shower over winter, which will make this site just perfect. This is a popular site, and current pitch availability is shown on

This site is great for us, being just a 20 minute drive from home, yet far enough to be “on holiday” for the weekend. Now – do we believe the panther story or not………?

PS: Big cat experts believe there may be as many as 100 leopards and pumas roaming the British countryside.

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