The principal river is the Trent, which, rising in the Staffordshire moorlands, intersects the southern part of Derbyshire, and forms part of its boundary with Leicestershire.
Five well-contrasted types of scenery in Derbyshire are clearly traceable to as many varieties of rock; the bleak dry uplands of the north and east, with deep-cut ravines and swift clear streams, are due to the great mass of Mountain Limestone; round the limestone boundary are the valleys with soft outlines in the Pendleside Shales; these are succeeded by the rugged moorlands, covered with heather and peat, which are due to the Millstone Grit series; eastward lies the Derbyshire Coalfield with its gently moulded grasscovered hills; southward is the more level tract of red Triassic rocks.
The dehesas or moorlands abound in game, and fish are plentiful in all the streams. The mineral resources of the province, which are considerable, were known to some extent to the ancients.
It is beautifully situated in the upper part of the valley of the Wharfe, and owing to the fine scenery of the neighbourhood, and to the bracing air of the high moorlands above the valley, has become a favourite health resort.