Some great reasons to visit the neighbouring villages of Codicote, Whitwell and Kimpton

PUBLISHED: 19:55 20 April 2011 | UPDATED: 19:13 20 February 2013

Whitwell Steam and Country Fair is held in June

Whitwell Steam and Country Fair is held in June

Getting hot and steamy, partying at a spring festival or taking tea on a gem of a farm, the three neighbouring villages of Codicote, Whitwell and Kimpton have some great reasons to visit. Find out more....

Around the Villages...

Getting hot and steamy, partying at a spring festival or taking tea on a gem of a farm, the three neighbouring villages of Codicote, Whitwell and Kimpton have some great reasons to visit.


FOR steam enthusiasts all roads lead to Codicote in June.

Engines of all kinds can be found making their way along the country lanes around the village each year for the annual Whitwell Steam and County Fair, which this year takes place over the second weekend of the month.

Treasurer Barrie Pheasant has been involved with the fair, which as its name suggests started in the neighbouring village, since he retired eight years ago.

It started as a small affair, in a local field, the 67-year-old says. We are now part of the national steam rally calendar. We moved from the small field, to a field at St Pauls Walden Bury Farm, which we outgrew, to the sports field in Codicote.

We now have over 120 vintage tractors, 12 large steam engines, dozens of small steamers and dozens of static engines. Some of the machines are over 100 years old and have been refurbished many times.

We also have dozens of exhibitors, such as owl displays, thatching displays, wood carving displays and chainsaw carving, as well as a full display ring programme, a full funfair, and lots and lots of catering.

All of the people involved love the steam, tradition and genuineness of all the participants.
The event not only brings together enthusiasts from all over the country and a treat for families to see these beautiful machines in action, it also raises funds for Macmillan Cancer Support thanks to the two to three thousand people who attend every year.

My favourite thing about the fair is the fact that we can all enjoy ourselves, doing something we love and at the same time raise thousands for Macmillan, Barrie says.


WANDER into Kimpton on May Day and you will find one of the most colourful processions in the county partying down its ancient High Street.

Renowned for its themed floats and fancy dress, the Kimpton May Festival takes place over four days from April 29 to May 2, with the whole village getting involved in a huge range of events.

Villager Mary Hyde has close links to the festival, as it was her great uncle, Ron Hyde, the village milkman, who was instrumental in setting it up. Some of Marys earliest memories are of riding floats at the festival, and after moving to Norfolk with her family, she returned to Kimpton where she is now on the committee responsible for organising the event.

Following the death of my father in 2008, my mother and I decided to move back to Kimpton to be close to family and friends, the 27-year-old says. Kimpton has a great welcoming community, and moving here was the best thing we could have done.

This will be my second year on the committee. I joined basically to meet people in the village and be a part of the community. As a child I was on many floats in the procession and this year I am organising it, as well as the junior disco, fancy dress and the arena.
The committee is approximately

15 in number but the festival simply could not happen without a much larger number of people from the village who take on various tasks before, during and after the weekend.
The festival brings together all parts of the village community to celebrate the end of winter and to hopefully enjoy the spring sunshine. Its also a great chance to spend quality time with family and friends, making memories.


WATER Hall farm in Whitwell has been in Robert Bonfields family for 170 years, but 20 years ago he had a radical rethink of what to do with it.

In 1990 Robert sold the cows on the dairy farm and set up a livery stable and open farm, let the outbuildings to small businesses, and created a tea shop in a converted barn and gardens.

The 63-year-old says he has never looked back. We rent out several units including Waterhall Joinery, which will produce anything in wood, Barks and Bubbles, a dog grooming parlour, The Pot Shop, for painted pots, and The Bike Bay for buying and selling second hand bikes and spare parts, which caters for the large number of cyclists who visit Emilys Tea Shop.

The tea shop is very much part of the local community, organising events which include pancake races, Halloween, Christmas and Easter celebrations, and sourcing a lot of their needs from the local area.

My wife, Penny, who recently retired from full time work away from the farm, is now actively involved in setting up The Linen Chest as a shop selling locally produced craft, manned by the craft workers themselves.

Many visitors combine a visit to the tearoom and craft shops with a visit to see the animals, Robert says.

Water Hall is a very small open farm, which is why entry is free. We have chickens, rabbits, sheep, goats, geese and pigs, and there is a lovely walk through the horse paddock.

Robert added that despite the changes there is still a lot of traditional farm work to do. The general farm work is carried out by me alone, he says. I love the fact that I work out of doors, although some days I love this more than others! And that every day is different. I also love the interaction with the horse owners and the visitors to the farm.Penny and I love what we are doing and if any new opportunities arise to enhance the farm we will embrace them wholeheartedly.

For more information

See all the events at this years Kimpton May Fest at

Water Hall Farm is located just off The Valley, Whitwell. The farm and tea shop are generally open Tuesday to Sunday each week and all week during school holidays.

Whitwell Steam and Country Fair: go to

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