Dovedale and the River Dove

A few days ago we drove to Dovedale to introduce our grand children to the delights of the stepping stones there. It was half term week so many other people had the same idea. Apparently Dovedale attracts around 1 million visitors each year.

The Dove was first made famous for its fishing by writers Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton in the 17th century. Only the fairly wealthy could visit Dovedale during the 18th and 19th centuries, but from 1899 the Ashbourne to Buxton railway line ran to Thorpe Cloud station above the village of Thorpe, making Dovedale more widely accessible to walkers and hikers of all social classes. Now days most people arrive by car.

“I can assure you there are things in Derbyshire as noble as Greece or Switzerland”. Lord Byron

The source of the river Dove is Axe Edge Moor, between Leek and Buxton from where it flows south for 45 miles to its confluence with the Trent here at Newton Solney. For much of the way the river forms the county boundary between Staffordshire and Derbyshire.

The final stretch of the Dove is through the softer and flatter landscape of south Derbyshire. An information post and bench have recently been installed on the village side of the Trent opposite the confluence of the Trent and Dove and close to where a ford provided a crossing point many years ago.

Take a seat – In spring, summer, autumn or winter

Truly, the bench is a boon to idlers. Whoever first came up with the idea is a genius: free public resting places where you can take time out from the bustle and brouhaha of the city, and simply sit and watch and reflect. – Tom Hodgkinson

“There is only one way to understand a lonely bench in a park: Sit on it; watch whatever it is watching; listen whatever it is listening to! Sit in spring, sit in winter, sit in summer! To understand something deeply, you need to live its life!” – Mehmet Miriam Ildan

“No king has a throne more beautiful than a bench covered with the autumn leaves!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan

No takers!

Take a seat – With remembrance

Memorial benches at our local peace park.

At the nearby National Memorial Arboretum this Polish Armed Forces Memorial may also be used as a bench. It pays tribute to the Polish Forces personnel who gave their lives in the 2nd World War 1939-1945. Breaking the Enigma Code – A plaque on the memorial describes how Polish mathematicians broke the enigma code used by the Germans.