Iona visits the Dales


Trip 14:
Darley Dale.

The campsite was easy to find and we could park anywhere so first we went for water, the water pressure was low at the first tap we tried. We chose a pitch near the first tap on the line. We are next to a caravan but we gave them plenty of space.


The sun was fairly strong but we went for a walk to the river Derwent, unfortunately there was not a path beside the river but there was a track that roughly followed it across hay meadows.

The River Derwent

Eventually we turned around and headed back. At the bridge over the river Derwent we found a footpath that took us towards Darley Dale, there was another footpath towards the station so we followed that.

We ended up at Darley Dale station on the Peak railway. They have an interesting display in the booking office. On the other platform is the original station building but it is boarded up. It is owned by the council and they have refused to lease it to the railway so it is becoming derelict.

Ex National Coal Board 0-6-0 Saddle Tank Engine

We waited for the train to arrive and took some photos. It was time to head back to the campsite, the sun was not so strong now and the temperature had dropped. We had walked 13000 steps so our little walk was longer than we had planned.

It started to rain at about 5.00pm, Sue decided tonight’s tea would be Spag Bol. A bit later the rain which was not noticeable stopped and the sun tried to come out again, it was still hot although a bit overcast.

We watched a programme on the TV and then returned outside to the gazebo. Eventually we went back in at 22.45.

Day 2:

The day started quite bright and dry although it did rain overnight. We had breakfast outside and then at 11.00am got ready to walk to Rowsley which is couple of miles away. We followed the path parallel to the railway.

We stopped at Sth Rowsley station where the Peak Railway has it’s carriage works , also there Pete Waterman has a shed where they train apprentices.

Carriage Display at Sth Rowsley works
Leaving Sth Rowsley for Matlock

We were there when the train was in the station so we had a cup of tea on the platform and watched the train leave for Matlock. Once it had left and we finished our tea set off for the The Grouse and Claret pub. It was another couple of miles away but there is a good cycle path that follows the old railway track bed.

There is a campsite at the Grouse and Claret and it is all hardstanding laid out beside the river Derwent and the original railway bridge over the river. The only issue I have is that the overhanging trees drop too low over the access point. It is somewhere to keep in mind if we need to be in the area.

We left the pub without having a drink and then went on to the Peak Village shopping centre where Sue bought a couple of items. We headed back the way we had come again stopping at Sth Rowsley station, this time for Tea and Cake.

We took the opportunity to have a look around the Depot sidings most were filled with coaches but there were a couple of old intercity diesels covered with tarpaulins. One was named Repulse and the other Renown after naval war ships.

IMG_2694We continued our way home taking a detour into the park behind Darley Station.There is a monument to Whitworth the famous engineer and overlooking the 10 acre park is the Whitworth Institute building. This is now a conference centre, Pub / Hotel as well as housing a cafe for the park and Toilets. It is a very grand building and shows the wealth of the 19th century industrialists.

When we eventually arrived back at Iona we had walked just over 9 miles. Time to relax until tea time.

Day 3;

Today we spent all our time around the motorhome. The sun came out some of the time but it was very windy. We had two large steaks that I cooked them outside on the cadac.

Day 4:

A bright morning but the forecast is a more cloudy day, we will see how it turns out. After Breakfast and once the jobs were done we went for a walk.

Church Lane Crossing

We followed a path beside the railway towards Matlock and when we came to the Old Road we crossed and followed a narrow path across fields to the main road. The path continued over the road and lead us to a Garden Centre.

The garden centre was very well laid out with everything you could want for the garden and it also had a selection of gifts, from hats and perfume to plates and soft toys.

We left the garden centre and followed the road into Darley Dale where we called in at the Coop for bacon and rolls for lunch and I got some craft beer.

The back of The Whitworth Institute overlooking the Whitworth Park

We made our way back to Iona with a detour through Whitworth Park and then beside the railway. Lunch was Egg and Bacon rolls followed by a sleep.

The Whitworth Institute

The afternoon passed slowly between reading and the odd snooze. Plenty more people were arriving ready for the weekend.

We had Sausage and Burgers for tea although we were both quite full from over indulging at lunch. I was going to take the Quest down after tea but the weather forecast was good so I took it down in the morning. We were still ready to leave by 10.00am. It is a good site and we will come again so we can walk into Matlock.

Trip 14: 127.5 miles, 25.9 mpg, 28 mph, 4hr 31m.

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