Dovedale in Derbyshire, UK
Dovedale is one of Derbyshire's finest and most popular dales. It is little more than 3 miles distance between Thorpe and Milldale in the north and is most famous for 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.
In Dovedale the river Dove runs through a narrow limestone gorge where steep tree-covered walls rise high above the river. In places the action of water has worn away the rock into curious formations like the Lion's Head and the natural archway in front of Reynard's Cave, the Tissington Spires, the Twelve Apostles and Ilam Rock. There are fine views from the heights of Thorpe Cloud and Bunster Hill, which overlook the valley.
All along the route watch out for for a wide variety of birdlife from kingfishers to dippers and the odd heron, grey wagtails and moor hens Wild flora abounds with mosses, lichens and flowers such as Herb Robert. Stitchwort, Dogs Mercury, and lilies everywhere.
A dozen fascinating and beautiful villages are included in the area. All can be reached by car, but to discover the best of the dales or the hilltops it is best to walk. The villages have their old halls, Tudor houses and interesting customs. Traces of Roman encampments and roads are to be found, together with the stone monuments and the burial mounds and chambers of early man.
Dovedale has numerous literary associations. Dr. Johnson, Byron, Tennyson and Ruskin all praised its scenery with enthusiasm. Its closest and most productive association was with Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton, authors of that genial seventeenth century classic, The Compleat Angler. The reputation of the Dove as an angler's river, and particularly as a river for trout fishing, has lasted from their day to ours. Most of the well-known hotels of the neighbourhood have angling facilities available for guests.
Dovedale was proposed as a separate National Park in the 1930s. It was eventually included within the Peak District National Park when it became Britainís first National Park in 1951. Whether it is the gentle art of fly-fishing, or merely absorbing magnificent scenery, the attractions of Dovedale are irresistible.
To view a panoramic trip around Dovedale Click Here
About the Author: Chris Sabian Website: www.peakdistrictview.com
Chris Sabian has lived and worked in the Peak District all his life. He is a travel writer.