Miller's Dale (and Monsal Dale)

This delectable section of Derbyshire has few rivals. The course of the River Wye, a comparatively small stream which joins the Derwent at Rowsley, is only a few miles in length, but it is exceptionally beautiful. Between Bakewell and Rowsley, along the course of the Wye, an especially beautiful stretch has been called 'The Garden of the Peak', and is a valley, with rising hills well wooded, which leads to the junction with the waters ofthe Bradford and Lathkill. This is a fine section for the angler, famous for trout and grayling. Following the Wye upstream, the visitor passes Haddon to Bakewell, thence to Ashford and Monsal Dale, where the vista becomes glorious as the river rounds the foot of Fin Cop. The railway viaduct at Monsal Dale, which excited the wrath of Ruskin, does not in fact unduly mar the countryside.

From Monsal Dale one passes to Cressbrook Dale, Bull Tor and Eagle Tor, and on to Millers Dale, at which point the whole character of the river changes from a still, peaceful stream to a raging torrent that tumbles, twists and bubbles aaoss the stones about Chee Tor and Chee Dale. It is here that the magnificent rocks, rising to some three hundred feet, overhang the river and dale. And so it is all the way to Ashford Dale, past Lovers' Leap, and to Buxton.

Ruskin, however, in his famous Fors Clavigera, wrote of the spoliation of this beautiful Dale: 'That valley where you might expect to catch sight of Pan, Apollo, and the Muses, is now deseasted in order that a Buxton fool may be able to find himself in Bakewell at the end of twelve minutes, and vice versa'.

Ravenstor, a fine modern house and 64 aaes of delightful limestone upland and dale, including one mile of the River Wye and Tideswell Gorge, were presented to the National Trust in 1937-38 by Alderman J. G. Graves, of Sheffield, and are leased to the Youth Hostels Association.

Open: All Year


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