Dovedale

As I’ve posted about before, we recently moved house…and we realised that we now live a fair bit closer to what is one of the prettiest places in England, the Peak District! So, when we had a free day, we decided to go for a walk in the Dovedale area, famous for it’s stepping stones.

Dovedale is a valley through which the River Dove flows, and has been a tourist attraction for well over a century, with the stepping stones themselves being used by Victorian tourists. These days the site receives more than a million visitors per year – in the summer holidays and weekends it can get extremely busy.

Luckily we went on a weekday outside of the school holidays, so whilst there were still a few people around, we weren’t crowded and we got the stones to ourselves!

The water in the river was pretty low – it’s not been raining much here recently – which meant the stones were super exposed. We saw plenty of dogs paddling in the river alongside the stones!

We walked further through Dovedale past the stepping stones, and past many other features. It’s a fascinating area, where the river cuts through and creates all sorts of interesting things- there’s the Lover’s Leap, which involves climbing a huge number of stairs to reach a high point above the river. There are many legends involving spurned lovers attempting, and failing, to jump off the area. Supposedly the steps themselves were made by Italian prisoners of war in WWII.

We walked through the Straits – which is where the valley turns into a gorge, and the pathway has been raised in order that it doesn’t get flooded constantly.

We also walked around Thorpe Cloud, which is a large hill right next to the river, and provides some outstanding views.

(you see Thorpe Cloud itself in this picture)

I find this area of the country to be one of the most spectacular. Although it’s difficult to visit if you have to come on school holidays or weekends, due to the amount of people who flock there, it’s still completely stunning. There are many other places in the Peak District too with more outstanding views, and I’m sure we’ll be visiting them at some point!

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