Friday, 19 October 2012

Coombs Dale in the Peak District: The hidden valley

Above Coombs Dale
Above Coombs Dale
© Copyright Jonathan Clitheroe

Many people like getting out on long walks in the country at this time of the year. Conditions are (usually!) cooler than in the summer and the wonderful autumn colours are an added bonus.

The Derbyshire Peaks attract walkers whatever the season. Most of them lie within the Peak District National Park which covers 555 square miles (1,440 km2) of the country, mainly in northern Derbyshire, but also reaching into parts of Staffordshire, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and South and West Yorkshire.

Limestone outcrop above Coombs Dale, Derbyshire
Limestone outcrop above Coombs Dale
© Copyright Roger Temple
Coombs Dale is one of the least known dales in the Peak District. Access to this superb limestone valley is via a well-concealed entrance just off the busy A623, a short walk from Stoney Middleton.

Covering over 230 acres, the valley is a Special Area of Conservation and encompasses a wide range of nationally important wildlife habitats. Other than grazing, this secluded dale has escaped the ravages of modern agriculture and is a refuge for many of our most threatened species. Superb species-rich grasslands support an amazing abundance of attractive wild flowers, which in turn provide shelter and food for a plethora of invertebrates, of which the butterflies and moths are the most prominent.(Source:

If this is your kind of walking country and you'd like to get a better feel for it, have a look at this video walk filmed by Andrew White of Walks Around Britain. Accompanied by a couple of fellow hikers, he will guide you round this 4.7 mile (7.7 km) route and tell a few spooky stories about the area's history along the way (very appropriate as it's nearly Halloween)!

The photographs in this post are licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

No comments: