Dog Walk In Dove Dale – 3rd March 2012

Today I wanted to share a few photos taken on an afternoon walk in Dovedale, in the Peak District.

The Peak District is a lovely place.  It was the first ever of our English National Parks.  It stretches across parts of Derbyshire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire.  From rolling green fields to high moorland edges, it’s a dog walker’s paradise.  It’s also full of lovely tea shops and pubs for refuelling after a hard day!

Yesterday was horrible in the morning – very wet and very windy.  However the forecast was for fine weather to arrive by early afternoon.  I seriously needed a change of scenery, as I get very bored walking in the same area day in day out.  So I decided we would go to Hartington for an ‘afternoon stroll’ – a 6 mile walk that Vinnie can still do comfortably.

(One of life’s sadnesses with dogs is that as they get older, they do less.  And if you have more than one dog, like me, you get to a stage where one has to be left behind on the longer walks.)

By the time we arrived in Hartington and parked the car, the sun was shining.  It’s not a hard walk, or a hilly one, but there are some nice views.  Here’s a picture of the view from the highest point of our walk looking north west up the valley.

After taking this photo we turned and headed towards Biggindale with the dogs trotting along in the sun.  It was still very windy and cold so they all had their coats on.

Biggindale is a gorgeous, steep-sided little dry valley and quieter than the main dale.  After about 45 minutes completely on our own we met three lovely ladies who were smitten with the dogs.  Here’s a picture of Vinnie and Kylah being petted.

At our halfway point we joined the main valley and started to walk back up the riverside towards Hartington.  By this time it was 4pm, and the sun had disappeared behind the hill tops.  This is a stretch of river that I have not walked for many years, because I normally do a longer walk turning down the valley instead.  I had forgotten just how pretty it is.

The river falls in a series of  lovely man-made weirs – like lots of sets of stepping stones.  These created larger pools and stretches of water for fishing.

This part of the valley is strictly called ‘Wolfscote Dale’.  (Everybody calls the area ‘Dovedale’ because the River Dove flows through it.)  As we walked on the light changed and the wind dropped.  Here is a view upstream.  Even though this was taken at 4.30pm, I love the light and reflection on the water.  And if you look carefully, you’ll see a blue dog bum in the left corner!

We had a bit of light rain before arriving back at the car, but the afternoon was a total success.  The dogs loved their walk, and I felt refreshed by the change.

I used to love walking on my own.  Now I can’t imagine walking without the dogs.  When we go somewhere special for a ‘proper’ walk they make it complete, by happily exploring every new sight and smell.  And if you’re Arwen, by rolling in it as well!

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