Up hill and down dale

003bIt was a lovely winters day yesterday so Man and I went for a drive in the Derbyshire Dales.

We were heading to Laithkill Dale for a little meander through the countryside. According to Natural Britain, it is one of the finest limestone dales in the Peak District.

It isn’t, however, brilliantly signposted, so the driving through the beautiful countryside lasted longer than the walking through the beautiful countryside and we saw quite a lot of the town of Bakewell, coming at it from several different directions, several times :)

The driving was lovely though, and there was snow on them there hills.

I have to admit to being confused by the terminology of the countryside sometimes. I mean what exactly is a dale, and why is it different from a moor or a heath, valley or fell.

Well, I don’t know about all of them but I do now know that a dale is a valley, in this case one cut through limestone.

After rather a circuitous journey, we arrived at Over Haddon and I stuffed £3 in the car park meter before I noticed the huge sign saying parking was free after 2pm in December – and it was 2.01pm!

We walked downstream from Over Haddon, which had quite a quirky little church (not one on the list) – but the light was already changing because it had taken us so long to get there.

We did spot a heron that didn’t want to be photographed and the water was unbelievably clear. There were a few ice patches where the sun hadn’t quite reached long enough to defrost it and it was so peaceful.

Definitely a place to return to and walk the whole length of the dale.

And we were treated to a spectacular sunset when we left, even if it was only 4pm.


  1. It is well worth the return to walk up dale as well Dory.

    Regarding the strange words; you have to remember that us northerners are descended from Viking stock and having a tendency to be a bit pig-headed about these things, we have held on to our old Norse and Danish words.

    A nice set of photos by the way. I particularly like the farm building that’s all monochrome apart from the green moss and algae.

    • Thanks James. I have been fascinated by the origins of words ever since we had to read a book called Our Language by Simeon Potter for A level. Very interesting. In fact I must read it again, it would probably answer a lot more questions for me now.

  2. The lovely photos remind me of the places James Herriot wrote about…and now…you’ve inspired me to pull out some of his books again…somehow a very Christmas kind of reading!

    • Yes you’re right. I haven’t read any of those for years. I might reread some myself :)

  3. Once again a beautiful part of the world.
    I too have been confused with the likes of ‘vale’, ‘dale’ ‘valley’, but they are all apparently the same (-ish!)
    I’ve driven around this area many many times but never actually walked down Lathkill Dale, although I’ve seen many photos and it does indeed look beautiful.
    Can I ask where is the church in the 1st photo, I’m sure I recognise it but can’t put my finger on it, it’s surely on my list to photograph for my blog!

    • It is a lovely part of the world. The church is St Anne’s in the small village of Over Haddon just outside Bakewell. It’s a charming little place.

      • Ah thats the one, knew I’d seen it before! Thank you!

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