Saturday, October 11, 2008


Whilst we were on our way back from Ashbourne and Tissington earlier today we cut across country and dropped down into Milldale. As soon as we entered the village I felt we had been there before and it wasn't long before we remembered that we had walked, two or three years ago, from Dovedale to Milldale, isn't it funny how sometimes the penny drops, or the last piece of the jigsaw falls into place? We decided to park in the car park provided just outside the village on the Alstonefield road and walk back towards the river.

It wasn't raining but the air was damp and the hills behind the village were touched with mist. It was very quiet at this side of the village. Most of the visitors were walkers and had come by foot from Dovedale, as we drove past they were all sitting by the river eating their lunch and some feeding the ducks.

As soon as I saw Polly's Cottage, the little kiosk shop on this street, I remembered having queued at the window for hot drinks and KitKats when we had walked from Dovedale.

The lovely, square shaped stone cottages cluster around the river and some are almost set into the surrounding hillside. This one is sideways onto the road and is typical of the cottages in the village.

Opposite is the lovely cobbled path which is the start of the walk towards Dovedale; the cobbles were very slippy in the damp weather! Close by is a shelter, seat and public conveniences. There is also an information point for the National Trust, who own and manage most of the land in this area. It is housed in a barn which used to belong to a corn mill; one of three mills which were situated along the river. Milldale village is an important industrial archaeological site and in 1993 was designated a conservation area.

The cobbled pathway leads up and over the old packhorse bridge and down onto the side of the river and the pathway to Dovedale. The bridge is also known as the Viator's bridge the name coming from Izaak Walton's book The Compleat Angler. Apparently, as you cross the bridge you cross over the border from Staffordshire to Derbyshire.

On the left of the photograph is the little Primitive Methodist chapel of 1835 which is built at an angle to compensate for the incline of the road. It no longer has services every Sunday but is still open to visitors and the notice on the wall outside says 'Look around you-come inside-give thanks'. I wish we'd had time to go in but I now have an incentive to go back and open that door. After a little walk at the side of the river it was time to make our way back to the car park and thence towards home.

I'll write about our visit to Tissington in a later post.


  1. I haven't been to Milldale, shall have to do something about that as it looks an attractive place - I especially love the gorgeous autumnal photo of the packhorse bridge.

  2. rowan - how lovely to see you :) Milldale is wonderful, even in the misty drizzle; you will enjoy walking there I'm sure.

  3. Idyllic! Well it looks it...that's one to earmark for the future!!;-)

  4. sigh* these are the kind of scenes I've been pining for lately. Once seen, they're never forgotten. What a truly beautiful part of the world!Thanks for re-igniting fond memories.

  5. Thank you for the virtual tour. I could do walking in such tranquil surroundings just now.

  6. Hot drinks and Kit Kats. Ah, such is the best stuff of sustenance on a long, damp English walk!

    Thanks so much for taking me along with you! Edward, too!

  7. Milldale looks familiar,those little Derbyshire villages are so pretty.

  8. I would love to live in a village like Milldale. How cozy and solid the stone houses look set amongst the cobblestone streets and lush greenery. Thank you for the inviting tour!