Dovedale providers walkers with a quiet retreat
Located on the southern tip of the Peak District, Dovedale is one of Derbyshire's greatest assets. Owned by the National Trust, the site is a walking mecca, which is still farmed with many sheep and often travelled to by Brits on days out.
Its most famous section is the wooden ravine, which features a series of stepping stones and is situated by the car park, meaning that it has easy access for those visiting.
According to Derbyshire UK, the stepping stones appear on 1,000s of postcards and are an iconic attraction which bring around one million visitors to Dovedale each year.
However, the website warns those not wanting to encounter a bottleneck of tourists should "keep away on sunny weekend afternoons."
The Derbyshire attraction is located 35 miles (about one hour) from Sheffield, 15 miles from Derby and 30 miles from Nottinghamshire.
It sits on the outskirts of the Peak District near the town of Ashbourne.
Those arriving by car can park for a fee of £2 and good road access is provided by the A515, which runs through the Peak District to just outside Birmingham. Motorists can also use the A52 from Derby to reach Dovedale.
Furthermore, the National Express 440 service runs from London to Manchester stopping at various points in Derbyshire and additional services to the edge of the Peak District are provided.
The Peak District also has a good train service, allowing visits to get around in an environmentally-friendly way.
Why Visit Dovedale?
Aside from the wealth of walking opportunities in Dovedale it is also a place of great geological and historical interest.
Many of the rocks in Dovedale used to form part of active coral reefs and around the sharp hills, in between which a river flowers, there are caverns and archways which provide visitors with hours of entertainment exploring.
There is also evidence that the area was inhabited in prehistoric times and archaeologists have found Bronze Age barrows and medieval farming equipment at the site.
Furthermore, sights such as Dovedale castle (which is actually a range of hills), the 12 apostles and lovers-leap are all places of beauty that those taking a stroll through the area will come across.
Lovers-leap is located not far from the famous stepping stones and it is named after a young women who threw herself off the hill's highest point upon hearing that her lover had been killed in the Napoleonic wars.
On Dovedale's south-side lies Thorpe Cloud, which is a domineering hill which the National Trust describes as a "an immense pile of calcareous material". It was formed over 350 million years ago on the "bed of warm shallow seas".
Visitors can ascend Thorpe Cloud to its summit from which they will be afforded panoramic views.
Dovedale also boasts a wood which has been designated a Grade One Site of Specific Interest by the Nature Conservation Review. It was named in the report as one of the premier limestone woodland's in England and is another fine example of the English countryside for visitors to explore.