A Day Out At Dovedale & Tissington
English countryside at its best! The green hills and the rolling landscape make Dovedale a truly special place.
Park at the Dovedale car park (www.peakdistrict.nationaltrust.org.uk/dovedale-car-park) and take the short stroll to see the much photographed stepping stones.
On return, drive into Ilam village. The village lies at the terminus of the narrow-gauge ‘Leek and Manifold Valley Light Railway’. The Old Station building has been beautifully restored and is now an excellent visitor’s centre with car parks and toilets. The old engine shed is now a tearoom.
Ilam park is a spectacular setting now run by the National Trust. On a sunny day, the garden seating area outside the tearoom is accessible but due to steps the tearoom itself is inaccessible. On request, however, staff will put a table and chairs in the downstairs visitors centre and serve refreshments here. The church looks so pretty in front of the Hall and just a pleasure to take a seat and admire the view.
Realistically, although we were told there was an accessible route that runs along the river and back up the field it is an enormous struggle and not advised. Instead, take a stroll down to the village to buy an ice cream and look at the pretty cottages surrounding the Ilam cross, which has been fully restored and has been described as “one of the finest Gothic Revival Monuments in the Country”.
On leaving Ilam, a short drive takes you to Tissington village, where you can afternoon tea at The Old Coach House Tearooms.
Tissington is a perfect picture book village with beautiful cottages built around a noble old hall, fine church and duck pond.
Whichever way you enter Tissington you get a pleasant surprise for this village is as near to a rural idyll as you can get. From the main gates on the A52 Ashbourne to Buxton Road an elegant avenue of lime trees leads to the first of the pretty cottages alongside the broad wayside lawns. The lane from Bradbourne sets off through a ford and winds along, up and down, before slipping into the village by the pond. The village has been the home of the FitzHerbert family for over 400 years and it is their splendid Jacobean residence at the Hall that forms the centrepiece of the beautiful picture-postcard that is Tissington. The church of St Mary is raised up above the village and has a splendid Norman tower and has many fine memorials to the FitzHerbert family.
Things to do; Tissington Hall is open to visitors at certain times and there are tearooms, gift shops and craft shops. The tradition of Well Dressing is said to have originated here and on Ascension Day the five wells here are decorated in a floral tribute to God for the gift of water. The Tissington Trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders passes by the village, where there is parking and a picnic site. The route follows the old Buxton to Ashbourne railway line passing through some spectacular scenery. The Limestone Way footpath goes through Tissington and there are good routes all around for ramblers. There is no pub in the village, but The Bluebell Inn is on the A52 near Tissington Gates.