Rediscovering the Peak District

I wrote in my last post about how I am rediscovering the Peak District since moving back to the area in June 2012.  Living in Matlock Bath, I’m ideally placed to visit many towns and villages that were previously just a little far out of my reach.

Most days,  I drive from Matlock Bath up through Cromford and over the Via Gellia rd to Newhaven.  From there I turn right and head into Buxton.  In the first few weeks of my journey I noticed a number of signposts to villages I’d never visited or even heard of.

As I outlined before, in the post entitled, “A local stranger”, my curiosity got the better of me and of late I have been paying brief visits to these towns and villages, with the purpose of returning for tea, cakes and a few well scouted photographs.

This week I decided to investigate the villages closer to Ashbourne.  Villages I have noticed in recent weeks include Parwich, Alsop-en-le-Dale, Alstonefield, Wetton, Biggin and Hartington.  Now I’ve visited Hartington a few times before but the rest were all new to me.

My latest travels around Peak District Villages

My latest travels around Peak District Villages (click to enlarge)

Staffordhire Peak District & Thors Cave

The great thing about visiting this part of the Peak District is that it straddles the Derbyshire/Staffordshire border.  You can cross several times between the counties as you drive from one small village to the other.  The scenery is a little different from the Northern Peak. Rich Farmland sits alongside Moorland and wooded hills with the River Dove and the River Manifold flowing in the valleys. Another great thing is you can make a mental map of where the pubs are.


This particular trip was inspired from a conversation I had regarding Thors Cave.  Many years ago, when I was at University,some friends and I walked up through the Manifold Valley and up into Thors Cave and beyond.  I had decided to try to find Thors Cave again, not to walk to it but just plot the route.   I wasn’t disappointed. After a lovely drive around the villages I finally came to Wetton.  I asked a local which way to go and, as luck would have it, I was on the very lane that led right past the cave.

Thors Cave

Thors Cave, Wetton

Of course, I was keeping my eyes firmly on the road, but I did manage to pull over for a moment to look at the cave.  It was much bigger than I had remembered and I’m really looking forward to the next fine weather day, so that I can pay it a visit.  With every day that passes by, I’m loving being back home in the Peak District, more and more.

Please leave me a comment if you have visited any of the villages I have mentioned. Maybe you can make me a recommendation?  Tell me about something I must see of a place I need to visit.  I promise to go and take plenty of photos.

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2 thoughts on “Rediscovering the Peak District

  1. Enjoying your blogs Phil. My mum says she has seen more of Derbyshire since leaving it than ever she saw when living there. LIving in Tideswell as a youngster we rarely saw anywhere outside the immediate area, local towns or somewhere relatives lived; I guess through lack of transport and funds. I’m loving exploring the area again, though my journey is a tad longer than yours.

    • Well Wendy, I think ,you make a pertinent point. Transport has changed. I never got out of Tideswell except on the bus as a kid, or in friends cars.. Now I’m older I have an interest in roaming around seeing the sights. They are so worth it though. As the seasons change my view on the road to work changes and It’s still so impressive everyday.

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