Hartington - Wolfscote Dale - Tissington Trail

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Beresford Dale is a beautiful part of the Dove Valley. It is narrow and leafy, a charming miniature of the Derbyshire 'gem' Dovedale. As one approaches it from the Hartington end, a scene of indescribable beauty unfolds as one is led beside the glistering waters which break over little weirs. It is well-wooded and wildflowers grow in profusion down to the water's edge. The air is full of birdsong. Beresford Dale is associated with Izzak Walton and his friend, though 40 years his junior, Charles Cotton; and the 17th Century classic 'The Compleat Angler or The Contemplative Man's Recreation'.

Charles Cotton's home and birthplace was Beresford Hall which stood above the dale. The ruins can still be seen. In 1674 he built a Fishing Temple which still stands in a corner of private grounds by the river and is a secular shrine to all anglers. It is a stone-built, single-roomed building, with his own monogram entwined with Walton's over the door. Halfway along the Dale is Pike Pool, so called, as Cotton himself tells us, because of its grey monolith or pike that rises out of the water.

As the wooded section comes to an end, one can cross the footbridge (the boundary between Beresford and Wolfscote Dales) and entering Wolfscote Dale, the valley opens up into low-lying meadow, permitting wider views before resuming its progress through the limestone canyon. Here by a ford, legend has it that the last wolf that roamed the area was killed.

A rocky profusion of pinnacles and massive outcrops dominates the cascading grassy slopes. The abrupt magnitude of the dale reaches its peak between the high masses of Gratton and Wolscote Hills. Gratton Hill rises to 1,194ft and Wolfscote to even higher at 1,272ft. The scene is diversified by long screes, the occasional cave and the sparse tree coverage clinging to the tors and crevices. Tiny semi-alpine flowers cling to the crevices in the limestone crags and there is a constant cascade of birdsong.

Rushing over a series of weirs, the river makes evasive manoeuvres, zigzagging along before finally arriving at Lode Mill and we turn up the hill to join the Tissington Trail. For more information on the Tissington Trail, please see Walk 3454.

England - Central England - Derbyshire - Peak District

Features

Birds, Flowers, Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, National Trust, Pub, River, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
26/05/2009 - Chris Cully

Did this walk over the bank holiday weekend. Very pleasent and not too strenuous, apart from the steep climb up to the Tissington trail at 6 - very wet and boggy! Just a note to say the fingerpost at 17 is no longer there and the step stile a little obscured by vegetation.

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19.3 Miles
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Pubs, cafes and restaurants
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9.3 Miles