Last week I visited the John Smedley factory in Matlock, and it has quickly become my favourite anywhere. The oldest factory in the world still in production, it is nestled in between Derbyshire hills, with a babbling brook (the Lea) running through the middle of it.
The factory grew and shrunk over the years. It successfully expanded to cope with government contracts during both the first and second world wars. Stand in the middle of the compound and you are surrounded by buildings from 1783, 1844, 1911 and 1950, all cobbled together with various buttresses, balconies and ironwork.