Travel: A Wander Through Dovedale

One of my favourite childhood memories involves loading up picnics and dogs into the car and setting off early for a day of walking, picnicing and fresh air. Invariably we’d forget something (the dog leads, on one memorable occasion). Almost always one of the dogs would hare off after some kind of animal. Quite often the same dog would come strolling back, hopelessly pleased with herself, carrying some kind of smelly dead animal. Quite often those day trips involved a trip to Dovedale, on the southern edge of the Peak District.

 photo Dovedale Peak District 2_zpsalhramx3.jpg photo Dovedale Peak District 1_zpshyfawocp.jpg photo Dovedale Peak District 4_zpsl9djzxj6.jpgDog drama aside, it was always one of my favourite places to go. I was slightly gutted upon moving, at the age of 10, to be told that it was now over 2 hours away and infeasible for a day trip. I’ve visited so many places since, but Dovedale stayed with me. And when looking for a place to break up our journey up North, it turned out to be the perfect place.

We didn’t walk as far as I’d hoped, but we got a good three miles in before hunger pangs set in and the clouds got dark. In retrospect, we’re glad we turned back when we did as the rain on our return was rather heavy, and the path was getting a lot busier – it paid to get there early!

 photo Dovedale Peak District 5_zpsjnz8v4ka.jpg photo Dovedale Peak District 6_zpshsvd0zb7.jpg photo Dovedale Peak District 7_zpsfdb9ewss.jpg photo Dovedale Peak District 8_zpsuhu78nij.jpg photo Dovedale Peak District 9_zpsdnyv4ik7.jpg photo Dovedale Peak District 10_zpsrrtwhal8.jpg photo Dovedale Peak District 11_zpsfvbd2b95.jpg photo Dovedale Peak District 13_zpsjgby9exa.jpgIt was as beautiful as I remembered. Rolling hills, calm river, those iconic stepping stones – though they’ve definitely been evened out at some point over the last 12 years! Something about being by water, whether it’s a lake, river or the sea, just makes me feel so much more peaceful. And this was just wonderful. There was hardly anyone around on our outward walk, leaving us to amble in companionable silence or chat quietly. Perfection!

I’d forgotten quite how beautiful the Peak District is. I’d forgotten how much I enjoy a decent walk. I’m now working on a walking holiday next year – how wonderful would a short break be, plenty of exercise, nice B&B’s (no camping here!) and good food? Sounds like a perfect holiday to me…
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Have you ever been to Dovedale or the Peak District? Where’s your favourite spot in the UK?