links below to find the pages required.
Further features to
An independent profile of Derbyshire and the Peak National
Beautiful narrow sided valleys clothed in ancient woodland,
interesting old villages, the choice of a multitude of footpaths
and trails make the Southern Dales one of the most visited areas
in the country. Ashbourne with its Georgian houses, cobbled
market place and stylish shops is a magnet for visitors.
Wirksworth with its narrow
streets and maze of interesting alleyways, is a fascinating old town.
The River Dove rises on
high ground at Axe Edge, near to Buxton. Its clear waters meander
southwards for 45 miles to eventually join the River Trent. For much of
its course, the river runs through stunningly attractive countryside.
Dovedale, with its
steep-sided limestone sides and tree-covered slopes is the stretch of
the valley that runs from the tiny hamlet of Milldale,
down to the large car park close to the road linking Ilam and Thorpe. In some places the water has eroded the
limestone into spectacular rock formations, like the Lion's Head and the
natural archway in front of Reynard's Cave.
A high proportion of the 22 million
people who annually visit the Peak District National Park, include the
Dove Valley in their itineraries.
The historic market town of Ashbourne, lies in an attractive valley divided
by the Henmore Brook and is frequently referred to as the ‘Gateway to
The town has managed over the centuries to preserve much of its
architectural character, most of which has been protected since 1968, by
Conservation Area status.
It is a lively town with regular events and good shopping facilities. The
place is particularly attractive, though, it has been encroached by buildings, and is now much smaller
than the original design.
A great place just to relax by the water’s edge, but do leave time to
look round the Visitor Centre with its shops and restored exhibition
area. The more adventurous can hire a sailing dinghy, or a mountain
bike. Alternatively, if you have plenty of energy left, why not walk the
seven miles or so round the reservoir? Open daily all year.
small town of Wirksworth does not perhaps make much impact on the busy traveller
driving through. All those visitors, however, with time to explore the narrow
streets and maze of interesting alleyways, to admire the old buildings and
lovely views, to visit the ancient church and the cathedral–like close, will
soon find themselves falling in love with this fascinating old town.
For those wanting to know more about Wirksworth a visit to the highly acclaimed
Heritage Centre is essential. The
Heritage Centre is housed in what once was a Silk and Velvet Mill where the
’Wirksworth Story’ is explained on three floors. This takes you on a fascinating
journey through time from pre-historic days, when the bones of a Woolly Rhino
were found, through the lead mining era to the present day. Excellent views over
the town are obtained from the windows.
Manifold Valley has some of the most spectacular scenery in the Peak
District and is rich with wildflowers, butterflies and birds. Surprisingly,
the river beds of the Manifold and Hamps that flow through the valley are
frequently dry, as the waters soak away into the porous limestone rocks
below and only reappear in wet weather.
and Manifold Light Railway used to run through the valley. Swainsley Tunnel,
which forms part of the route, was constructed for the railway to keep the
noise and fumes away from Swainsley Hall. Lack of sufficient business forced
the closure of the line and it has subsequently been turned into a trail for
walkers and cyclists, only two miles of which is not car-free.
The Tissingon Trail and the High Peak Trail, both converted
railway lines, provide excellent opportunities for cyclists as
well as walkers to enjoy the glorious Peak District countryside.
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Ashbourne Tourist Information Centre
(Tel 01335 343666),
which looks out across the town's, attractive, cobbled market
2. Carsington Water Visitor Centre
(Tel. 01629 540696),
opened by HM the Queen in 1992 and instantly
became one of Derbyshire’s most important tourist attractions.
Middleton Top Visitor Centre:
refreshments available, picnic lawn outside and picnic tables located at
convenient points on the High Peak Trail, beloved of walkers and cyclists.
4. Ilam Park Visitor Centre
is owned by the National Trust. There is a refurbished shop,
information centre and tearoom and entrance to the grounds is
free to walkers.
5. Manifold Valley Visitor Centre
01298 84679) is
located at Hulme End on the
B5054 two miles west of
Hartington. It is housed in the old Hulme End Station, where information displays
outline the history of the railway, the industries and local community.
known as the mother place of well dressing and visitors come from all over the
world to witness the annual well dressing ceremony.
This takes place on Ascension Day, when large crowds gather to see the
Shrovetide football games, take place on Shrove Tuesday and
Ash Wednesday every year at Ashbourne. The goals are three miles apart and
traditionally the game is played without rules, although one ancient rule is
that you must not murder your opponent, to which one or two others have been added.
Dovedale Sheepdog Trials
attract large crowds during the summer.
Many other events are held throughout the year
details of which can be obtained from
Tourist Information Centre.
THE DISCOVER DERBYSHIRE AND
THE PEAK DISTRICT GUIDE
wide range of features with heritage trails and
detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically
attractive countryside in the UK.
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