Wetton Mill, owned by the National Trust, and is the starting point of many walks. It is a very popular spot with visitors to the Manifold Valley, which has some of the most spectacular scenery in the Peak District and is rich with wildflowers, butterflies and birds. There is a tearoom, housed in one of the former grist buildings at the mill, which provides most welcome refreshments.
Surprisingly, the river beds of the Manifold and Hamps that flow through the valley are frequently dry, as the waters soak away into the porous limestone rocks below and only reappear in wet weather. During dry weather The Manifold disappears at Wetton Mill and re-emerges from its underground journey from a boil hole at Ilam.
The Leek and Manifold Light Railway used to run through the valley. Lack of sufficient business forced the closure of the line and it has subsequently been turned into a trail for walkers and cyclists, only two miles of which is not car-free. Ossum's Cave at Wetton Mill is known to have been used in the Stone Age, where flints were fashioned.
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PLACES OF INTEREST IN THE LOCALITY
Thorís Cave, rises 350 feet above the Manifold Valley, its 60-foot entrance is imposing but the cave inside is comparatively small. The railway track that once ran through the valley has been converted for the use of walkers and cyclists.
Manifold Valley Visitor Centre (Tel. 01298 84679) housed in the old Hulme End Station, where information displays outline the history of the railway, the industries and local community. Open most weekends and during school holidays. For further information, when the above number is not available, contact Leek Tourist Information Office (Tel. 01538 483741) who will be able to supply details.
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.
All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.