The rugged valley of Wolfscote Dale is a less popular tourist destination than its nearby counterpart, Dovedale, but is just as idyllic a ravine. Its impressively steep, craggy edges run into the centre of the valley, where the River Dove gently flows, interrupted only by several weirs. A path runs the length of the Derbyshire side of the Dove, where you can marvel at both the limpid waters, and the lofty, imposing peaks. Gratton and Wolfscote Hill tower over the dale.
Alpine flowers decorate the steep sides of the ravine, juxtaposed next to the jagged limestone outcrops. Wolfscote also boasts a diverse range of wildlife, from herons to Daubenton’s bats. On the eastern side of Wolfscote lies a Neolithic cave and burial site, known as Frank ‘Ith Rocks.
How to get there
To reach Wolfscote Dale, the best starting point would be Hartington. Walking past the Devonshire Arms and the village store, take a right turn at Hall Bank, and proceed until you reach the youth hostel; at which point, turn left. Take this road until you come across a barn, and follow Highfield Lane until a road is reached, and there should be a lane on the right titled Biggin Dale; take this path, which passes two ponds and a gate; after going through the gate, take the path on the right, and walk until the River Dove is reached, from which point, Wolfscote Dale should be signposted on the right.
– Unlike Dovedale, there are no shops or snack vans within the vicinity, so take food and water with you.
Things to see and do while at Wolfscote Dale
– If you follow the river Dove down through the dale for approximately 3-miles you will reach the small village of Milldale, where you’ll find a shop. Milldale is also home to 13th century stately home Alstonefield Manor.
– Explore the equally as beautiful ravine of Dovedale, with its picturesque limestone crags in the whole of the Peak District. Marvel at Dovedale’s very own Thorpe Cloud and see why the White Peak District is often referred to as ‘little Switzerland’.
– While near Dovedale, why not traverse across the River Dove via the picturesque stepping-stones, which have been used since the early 1800s! The River Dove is also a popular swimming destination on hot days.
– Ilam Park is a mere half-hour walk away from Thorpe Cloud. Ilam is worth visiting for its scenic River Manifold banks, the 16th century stately house Ilam Hall, ancient woodlands, and a tearoom.