The Derbyshire Dales

Set amidst stunning countryside the Derbyshire Dales is a District Authority with the county of Derbyshire.

Situated in the Southern Area of the Peak District, who’s numerous local attractions, make it a popular destination for holidaymakers and walkers, adventure seekers, those seeking tranquility or anyone looking to explore the south side of the peak district.

The landscape and countryside of the Derbyshire Dales

The Derbyshire Dales is part of the Peak District area, and situated between the pastoral lands to the south and the grit-stone hills of the Dark Peaks to the north, this limestone plateau (referred to as the White Peaks of the Peak District) is an area of green dales, dry stone walls, and whitish-grey stone cottages. In the pre-history era this area was covered by a small ocean, whose warm shallow waters provided home to countless crustaceans, the compressed shells of which eventually formed the limestone rock of the area. Earth movements followed which pushed the plateau up from below and created the picturesque dales.

Small rural communities sprang up later, including Bakewell, famous for its tart of course; Hathersage, the last resting place of legendary outlaw Little John; and Eyam, whose residents are now famous for self containing their outbreak of the Black Death, and preventing it from spreading to outlying areas.

Things to see and do in the Derbyshire Dales

The Derbyshire Dales encompasses some of the Derbyshires finest and most chacteristic Towns and Villages. Ashbourne is a small but lively town with some charming and unique architecture and old world style streets and shops. Its also known for its annual two-day Royal Shrovetide Football Match in which one half of the town plays the other at football, using the town as the pitch and with the goals three miles apart. Additionally, there are towns such as Matlock, a former Spa resort after thermal springs were discovered in 1698. It now offers a perfect family day out with stunning scenery amidst the river valley, seaside style town centre and shops, and numerous attractions and activities. Bakewell and Wirksworth are also worth a visit, as are any of the towns and villages you may see on a Derbyshire Dales map. They all have their own unique character and offer something different to the last.

The Derbyshire Dales is also home to some of the countries finest stately homes and Historic Houses, such as the renowned Chatsworth House, and Calke Abbey. Chatsworth house has long been a visitor attraction and is home to the Duke And Duchess of Devonshire. With famous works of art and fine shops and eateries, there is something for everyone. Calke Abbey is a Baroque mansion is also a big draw in Derbyshire, and offers a fine stately home with stunning grounds and visitor activities. There are some beautiful walks around the grounds and surrounding areas. It was also the ongoing subject in BBC’s Countryfile program, where the program filmed all aspects of it’s busy day to day operations.

In addtion to the scenery and the History, the Derbyshire Dales also offers fun and excitement. There is Alton Towers only a short drive away , or there are numerous activities such as Hang Gliding, Canoeing, Caving and Pot Holing. The aforementioned Matlock is home to Gullivers Kingdom, a theme park specially for children. Carsington Water Park is also nearby, ofering sailing and Windsurfing.

History and industry

In 1801 Derbyshire Dales’s total population was 39,271. In 1901 it was 56,258. By 2001 the population was 69,472 showing growth in line with national figures, yet still retaining it’s rural charm and appeal. Manufacturing was the predominant industry in the 1800’s, closely followed by agirculture, yet this begn to change in the 1970s’. The mining industry hit its peak around 1990. The services industry is now the main force in the Derbyshire Dales, and the workforce is a 60/40 split of men to women, compared to 80/20 in the turn of the 20th century.

In short, the Derbyshire Dales is an area steeped with HIstory, and offers ome of the finest scenerywithin the UK. It encompasses some of the finest architecture and is home to some of the finest attractions.