Derby and the surrounding area is a perfect spot for a long weekend away. Surrounded by the nature of the rolling Derbyshire Dales, you can also get your fill of history and culture. There is something which will appeal to everyone. The Derby Museum and Art Gallery is a great place to spend a couple of hours. It gives a wonderful overview of the history of the city and county of Derbyshire. You can see one of the oldest preserved log-boats in the world; discovered in 2008 in Shardlow, near Derby. The boat is a massive 10m long, made of a single dug-out log and dating back to the Bronze Age! Another part of the museum chronicles Derby's Roman and Anglo-Saxon past. Exhibits here include a part of a stone cross from outside the church at Repton which dates back to the 8th century. The cross was probably destroyed by marauding Viking warriors (from present-day Denmark) in the 9th century. There is also a great Egyptian mummy exhibit. One of the mummies, dating from 700 BC, has had its bandages peeled back exposing the wonderfully preserved skin on the feet, hands and face. The museum is an absolute must-see when in Derby and is free to enter. Derby Cathedral definitely does not have the lofty feel of most cathedrals. In fact, it is the smallest Church of England cathedral in the country. Formerly All Saints Church, it was granted cathedral status as recently as 1927, however there has been a church on this site since the 10th century- the current building was built somewhere around the mid-14th century. The cathedral is not as grand as some others, however its quaint status and serene environment still make it worth a visit. Derby Cathedral is open to the public daily and free to enter, although you may want to consider making a small donation. The thing that draws many people to visit the cathedral is the memorial to Bess of Hardwick, who was responsible for building two of Derbyshire's grandest houses; Chatsworth and Hardwick Hall built in 1549 and 1590 respectively. The stately houses showcase Bess of Hardwick's vast wealth. She was a fascinating character who wed four times and was richest in England next to Queen Elizabeth I. These country houses are also worth visiting when in Derbyshire and are now run by the National Trust and Chatsworth House Trust. Fans of the 2005 film adaptation Pride and Prejudice, will recognise Chatsworth House as the representation of Mr Darcy's Pemberley. Hardwick Hall is really two old homes in one. Much of Bess of Hardwick's tapestry and furniture collection remains intact within the Hardwick Hall building. Old Hall is filled with remaining artifacts that easily make one realize how grand a home this was back in the 16th century. The restaurant on site uses local produce and meats to make hearty British food. Stainsby Mill is right outside the entrance to Hardwick Hall. It's a tranquil watermill that has been in operation since the 13th century. Embrace the history and experience by buying freshly milled flour and baking your own bread. Located in Derby's Museum of Industry and History you will find an interesting display of aircraft and other engines from local manufacturers Rolls Royce. There are car engines, jet engines and models of prototype planes that were never built. The size of some of the engines certainly make you question how they stay airborne!