Visit Heage Windmill to Keep the Sails Turning

windmillheageOne of my favourite things about living in this area is the abundance of history, from Mills with ground breaking inventions to ancient sites or the beauty of houses like Chatsworth; Derbyshire has a lot to offer the history enthusiast. Today I’m going to tell you why you must visit Heage Windmill. This easily overlooked attraction has a wealth of history and unfortunately it’s currently under threat!millstone

The Grade II listed windmill was first built in 1797 and is the only six-sailed tower windmill in England! Sitting proudly on a hill overlooking the Derwent Valley World Heritage Site, it offers amazing views and the perfect location for photographers and walkers alike. It was completely restored in 2002 and now offers guided tours and freshly milled Heage flour.windmillsail

My son and I took one of these tours, climbing the stairs (I say stairs loosely, while solid, they are quite steep) to see the inner workings of the mill. Our guide wore a full miller’s costume and encouraged my son to help him with various tasks (like pulling the flour between floors).windmillweights

Unfortunately this beautiful attraction is under threat thanks to the discovery of wet rot. They are looking at a 90K bill! While grants are being sought they still have a 50K shortfall and currently the sails can’t turn until these repairs have been made. This means they need the support of the public to keep this lovely little Windmill alive.windmillpulleys


How can you help?


The most obvious way is just to get over there and visit the mill! They are going to be opening every weekend 11am – 4pm until October. Adult admission costs just £4, and children £1.50.cog2

Or if you’d like to make a donation to the repair fund then cheques made payable to HWS Trouble at Mill can be sent to:

Danny Ashley, Treasurer, Heage Windmill Society, 12 Woodland Way, Old Tupton, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S42 6JAwindmillheage2


This little (it always seems quite tubby to me) windmill is a gem hiding away in Heage and is well worth a visit if you’re passing. I can also wholeheartedly recommend their flour for baking.


Further info:

To read all about the history of the windmill visit the official website here.

Take a virtual tour of the windmill by clicking this link.cog


Easy Coffee And Pecan Cake Recipe


There’s nothing like a slice of homemade cake to lift your spirits and with todays recipe you’re bound to have a happy tummy too! My husband loves Coffee and Walnut cake but it’s not one of my faves, so when he requested one recently I had to make my own version and came up with this incredibly easy Coffee And Pecan Cake Recipe. The pecan offers a slight twist on the walnut but it’s still a traditional flavour combination. Then the cake is filled to bursting with freshly whipped cream delicately flavoured with Kahlua coffee liqueur.


8oz/ 225g Self Raising Flour

8oz/ 225g Unsalted Butter

8oz/ 225g Soft Brown Sugar

4 Eggs

2 1/2 Tbsp Freshly made Espresso

3oz/ 85g Pecans (with a few extra for decoration)

Double Cream

Optional – Kahlua Coffee Liqueur to taste


Step 1

Combine the flour, butter, sugar and eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk until light and fluffy.

Step 2

Add the Espresso, I recommend using some that has been freshly made and cooled slightly. Chop the pecans and fold into the mixture.

Step 3

Divide the cake batter between two oiled cake tins and bake in an oven approximately 175C/ 350F/ Gas Mark 4 for 30minutes or until cooked through. Cool the cakes on a wire rack.

Step 4

Once the cakes are cooled it’s time to make the filling. How much cream you use depends on your own preference (I like a lot!). Whip the cream using an electric mixer and then add in coffee liqueur to taste, adding 1/2 tbsp at a time.

Sandwich the two cake halves together using the cream.

Finally decorate the top of your cake with a few piped blobs of cream, then pop a pecan on top of each blob and push it down ever so slightly.

Remember that as this cake contains fresh cream it will be need to be kept in the fridge. :)

That’s all there is to it!

Walk at Cromford Canal for the #Walk500 challenge!

cromfordcanalWalking is good for you! Whether you’re skipping the car on the way to work or walking in the countryside, getting up and out on your feet has a whole host of benefits both physical and psychological. But incase that isn’t enough motivation to get your walking shoes on, then how about walking for charity instead! Walking holiday provider HF Holidays recently launched the #Walk500 challenge to help raise money for the British Heart Foundation.

It’s pretty simple, grab a camera or smartphone and get out walking. Whether that’s in a city, the countryside or just to post a letter, get out and document your walk. Share your attempt on HF Holiday’s Facebook page or on Twitter mentioning @hfholidays with the #Walk500 hashtag, then tag three or more friends to help spread the word. HF Holidays has committed to donating £5 for every mile walked up the 500 mile target. You can also make a donation to The British Heart Foundation via or text HFHW50 £3 to 70070.

Now I’m no master rambler (I get tired and quick!!) but eager to join in for an admirable cause my family and I took a trip to Cromford Canal in Derbyshire. I don’t have an accurate measurement of how far we walked but it was at least a leisurely mile. I should also note that my husband and Mr Dog walked significantly further (because they’re tough like that) and so the family total was probably more like 7 miles!!

doghatMobile in hand I recorded our walk (don’t worry I sped it up!) so please do take a look below. If you watch to the very end you can see just how much our dog enjoyed it!!

It would be great if more people could get involved to raise much more money for the British Heart Foundation.

For more information about HF Holidays and the #walk500 challenge please visit

To find out more about The British Heart Foundation please visit

Music for the video kindly provided by Sean Eskimo.