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Beresford Dale is only a short walk to the south of Hartington, along a gently descending path. Where the River Dove meanders slowly through the beautiful wooded dale, over a succession of tiny weirs. Along this stretch of the river is the Pike Pool, named after the pinnacle of limestone rock rising from the water, where Charles Cotton and Izaak Walton used to fish.

Courtesy of Andy Baines

The River Dove rises at Flash Bar close to the Traveller's Rest Inn off the Buxton to Leek road. It forms the county boundary between Derbyshire and Staffordshire. As you walk along the thickly wooded path through Beresford Dale, it changes sides and counties at a footbridge above the Pike Pool.

Charles Cotton who lived at Beresford Hall, now demolished, wrote, with his great friend Izaak Walton, a remarkable book about 17th century rural England called ‘The Compleat Angler’. No other English language book, other than the Bible and Book of Common Prayer, has been reprinted more times.


Beresford shared his time between an extravagant life style in London society with the quieter pleasures of his home and the Peak District. That is when his creditors were not chasing him - then it is said he hid in a cave in Beresford Dale. The fishing lodge he built still remains on private land in Beresford Dale, but can be seen from a distance when approaching the dale.




Courtesy of Andy Baines


After crossing a second footbridge and a water meadow, Wolfscote Dale is entered, which is in the hands of the National Trust. The dale is quite different in character to that of Beresford Dale and becomes progressively more spectacular, as you walk, with the sides of the dale rising almost vertically. Steep screes of limestone rocks tumble down the crags almost to the edge of the river.


The succession of low weirs, very much in evidence during the early part of the walk were created in the early 19th century to encourage the breeding of trout and other fish. As you progress down the dale the sides of the valley become wooded and the vegetation more lush. The path ends at Lode Mill and shortly after that the walker soon arrives at the entry to Dovedale.


Alternatively a break in steeply sided Wolfscote Dale, provides the walker with the option of visiting Biggin Dale. In stark contrast to Wolfscote Dale, it is dry except in wet weather. Most of the time it is a pleasant limestone dale but during periods of heavy rain, underground waterways emerge from springs, producing a swift running stream. Wild flowers grow in profusion during the summer in Biggin Dale, attracting large numbers of butterflies and other insects. Part of the dale is designated as a National Nature Reserve, under the care of English Nature.



Courtesy of Andy Baines



1.  Alstonefield.

2.  Biggin.

3.  Dovedale.

4.  Hartington.

5.  Ilam.

6.  Mapleton.

7.  Milldale.

8.  Thorpe.




Both images courtesy of Andy Baines

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Situated in the Dove Valley to the north of Milldale and the south of Hartington are the beautiful dales of Beresford and Wolfscote. Although not so internationally famous as Dovedale they are two of the Peak District's scenic treasures.


Beresford Dale is well wooded with fairly gently sided slopes. Wolfscote Dale is quite different in character, and becomes progressively more spectacular, as you walk, with the sides of the dale rising almost vertically. Steep screes of limestone rocks tumble down the crags almost to the edge of the river.



Alstonefield is an unspoilt upland village standing at an altitude of 900 feet, just over the Derbyshire border in Staffordshire. It was built on an ancient site where several trackways once crossed, later to become packhorse routes. Today, it is a village of attractive houses and gardens with plenty of open space, often covered with a triangle of grass rather than a square. The number of awards received in the Best Kept Village Competition endorses the pride shown by local inhabitants in the village

Hartington is a picturesque village  with a spacious market place, village green, delightful duck pond and limestone houses, which sparkle in the bright sunlight, which make it one of the major tourist centres in the Peak District. It has more the air of a prosperous market town than a village.

Milldale is a delightfully positioned hamlet at the northern end of Dovedale. It attracts walkers like few other places of its size in Britain. Most come to explore the beautiful Dove Valley, with its famous Stepping Stones and strange rock formations, but there are many other excellent walks in the area that either start, or pass through Milldale.


The Devonshire Arms (Tel. 01298 84232) you can still see the blocked up archway used for horse drawn carriages when it was a coaching inn. Today it is a popular family pub with meals available at lunchtime and in the evening. A very pleasant place to sit outside and watch the world go by.

Beresford Tea Rooms (Tel. 01298 84418) Open seven days a week from Easter, this busy little café provides a good selection of light meals and teas. It also houses the village Post Office. 



Provides a wide range of features  with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.


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