As spring tries tentatively to make its presence felt in the garden and the surrounding countryside we can enjoy looking back to a week spent in Derbyshire exploring the Dales.
Our first walk along the dales of Derbyshire while spending a week there in July took us to the beautiful little village called Illam. This is a village owned by the National Trust so has to remain unspoiled. They also own the hall at the head of Manifold Dale, where we found our essential feature of any day out, a place for coffee and cakes.
Once revived we made our way down to the River Manifold and took a footpath along its bank to explore the valley it had created through millenia of erosion. The Manifold is very much typical of Derbyshire’s little rivers, clear running, home to rare and unusual wildlife and picturesque.
The wildflowers and grasses on its banks
Sadly even in such a beautiful, peaceful place humans try to spoil it, scarring it with discarded drinks cans and take out coffee cups.
Beneath this rock stack was a spring where the water from an underground stream burst out into daylight to join the Manifold.
The trail we were following took us a short distance from the river along an old walkway beneath overhanging trees. This walk was designed as a “promenade” for the family and visitors of the house when in its previous glory. We were bemused to hear a mechanical humming noise getting louder with each step as we neared an avenue of Limes. We eventually worked out it was the humming of thousands of bees attracted to the sweet smelling, lime-green blossom.
We were surprised to discover a memorial stone and fern garden alongside the track.
As the path turned us back towards the house leading us over open parkland away from the river. Please enjoy sharing the views we saw along the way with us.
We found a rocky outcrop where we sat for a coffee and some fruit and to take in the sights and sounds of nature all around.
After enjoying our break with brilliant views we carried on across the open parkland back towards the house and the views just kept on coming.
We were delighted to have one last look at the River Manifold at the end of our walk where we were amazed by this waterside plant with spiky flowers and huge rough leaves.
I shall finish this wandering post along the valley of the Manifold with this little mini-garden created by Mother Nature, the greatest gardener of all! Our next post in my series from Derbyshire will explore Monsal Dale.