The whole area around Shottle and the Ecclesbourne Valley (or indeed all of the Derbyshire Dales) is crisscrossed with footpaths – a walkers paradise. Perfect for those wanting peace, relaxation and an escape from the stresses and strains of modern living. Guests can choose to take the car, drive to one of the famous beauty spots, and wonder at the likes of Dovedale and Lathkill Dale, both within easy reach. Or, alternatively, leave the car parked at Dannah, walk the local footpaths, take in the stunning scenery and not see another person all day! (Except, of course, when you stop for the all important refreshment at one of the pubs along the way)!
Shottle is situated at the southern end of The Peak District and sits on a gritstone plateau above the limestone shales of the Ecclesbourne valley. It is this Derbyshire gritstone combined with an altitude of seven hundred and fifty feet above sea level that shapes the character of Shottle, from mellow stone walls and picturesque barns to acid soils and heathland type vegetation such as gorse and bilberry.
The numerous large soltary oak trees that dot the landscape are remnants of a medievel royal hunting forest, Duffield Frith, that stretched from Duffield in the south, Hulland in the west, Belper in the east and Alderwasley in the North, with Shottle just about in the middle.
There are many springs upwelling around the farm and this makes it a perfect habitat for breeding birds including lapwing, curlew, snipe, partridge, skylark, yellow hammer and meadow pitpit. Birds of prey are also in abundance including buzzard, kestrel, tawny owl, little owl and barn owl. In the early morning you may catch a glimps of fox cubs or a hare. At night you will often come across a badger ambling up the lane.
The lack of light pollution makes for some stunning stargazing on clear nights, and our long views towards Nottinghamshire provide us with some spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
A walk round the pretty lanes will reveal an abundance of wild flowers, hedge banks filled with cowparsley, campion and vetches, the meadows studded with buttercups and clover, scarlet poppies vivid along the margins of the crops and the woods filled with fragrant bluebells. A walk in the winter months can provide fresh crisp air and some stunning scenery.
We have recently designed a collection of circular walks that start and finish at Dannah, ideal if you dont feel like driving. The walks range from a quick stroll round the lanes of Shottle to tougher cross county trecks further afield across the hills and meadows to Alderwasley or Blackbrook. All have brief accompanying notes indicating bird life or wild plants you may see on the way.
Printed copies of the notes and maps for all of the walks are available from the farm for guests to use as they please. Ordinance survey maps are also available for use during your stay.