Walking in Matlock

So, Vegan MoFo 2015 is over for the year! You can see all my posts this year here if you’d like to re-visit them. It’s been great reading everybody’s blogs and seeing all the great recipes posted!

Now that the month of food is over, I shall make a post pertaining to the “Walks” part of this blog’s name!

We moved to Derby a few months ago and this leaves us in the great position of not being very far from some lovely walking areas. We decided on Sunday to drive up to Matlock and go for a short walk there.

The River Derwent

Matlock itself appeared to have some sort of fair going on so we swiftly left the town and found a route by the river. It was part of the Derwent Valley Heritage Way which is a 55 mile trail which begins at the Ladybower Reservoir right in the heart of the Peak District, and ends near Shardlow at the edges of Derbyshire, where the Derwent joins the Trent.

Our first view in Matlock however was the impressive Riber Castle, which stands high on the hills above the town and yet is somewhat incongruously flanked by a crane and building supplies. It is not open to the public, and from what I can tell is in the process of being converted into apartments.

Riber Castle

The first part of the trail was not particularly interesting being just a small path by the roadside, however we quickly came across a train station and just missed a steam train puffing by!

Matlock Riverside Station

The station appeared to be small and unstaffed and the train did not stop there. The route then turned into woodlands and countryside which was particularly beautiful in its autumnal colours.

Me in the woods.

The path soon opened up further into fields and countryside full of sheep and other farm animals!

Sheep in the fields

Finally, before we turned back, we came across a lovely orchard full of many different apples which made me wish I could jump over and sneak a few away! We stopped for a snack in one of the fields which the Derwent ran through, then turned back to Matlock!


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!