Monday, August 10, 2009

Dovedale | Sunny Sunday

Friday was nice, Saturday was not bad, but it was truly a beautiful Sunny Sunday. Just what a summer day should be like, but the sort of day that has been sadly lacking during the summer season in this country.

We went to daughter "P's" and it was suggested that on such a nice day we should venture out into the countryside with "W" suggesting an exploration of Dovedale. We are well acquainted with the tiny village of Ilam and the National trust property there but I am really not familiar with any other parts of the valley.

From the Derbyshire UK website:
Dovedale in Derbyshire and the Peak District, is owned by the National Trust and is farmed with many sheep on the rocky slopes and in the woods. It is little more than 3 miles distance between Thorpe to the south of the dale and Milldale in the north with the famous part being the wooded ravine between the stepping stones, a short distance from the car park at the front of Thorpe Cloud and the cave like Dove Holes. Dovedale's stepping stones appear on thousands of post cards and the area attracts a million visitors a year. Keep away on sunny weekend afternoons.
"W" has fond memories of the stepping stones and going there in his younger days with his dad and brother. So we went in search of the infamous place apparently featured on so many post cards.

In actual fact it was easy to find. Turning right over the bridge in Ilam, then a left turn immediately past the Issac Walton Hotel and there was the public car park. What a fantastic place, I could not believe I had never been here before, so close to home and so perfect. A steeply wooded ravine yet a level easy to walk pathway led away from the car park and is suitable for wheelchairs and people who have difficulty walking such as myself.

It was beautiful, it was majestic, it was magnificent, it was packed.

Yes the bright sunny weather had brought out hoards of people, it was absolutely heaving, like crowds exiting a football match, Yet it was still possible to walk and enjoy the countryside.

This area of Dovedale is now on the top of our list of places to visit mid-week when the children are back at school and in the winter I imagine it will be heaven.

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