It’s got to be said: Derbyshire is not a great county for swimming. Walks, yes. Running, brilliant. Cycling, possibly the best. But not swimming.
I guess, though, when you’re two feet high you don’t need a lot of water. So a couple of weeks ago (yeah, we’re a little behind with this post!!) we went up to Padley Gorge on the Longshaw Estate. It was a brilliant day – midweek, so not too busy – with the stream glowing amber in the sunshine and plenty of birds and wildflowers out. We parked over by the house and followed this walk we’ve done before, making just a short detour the gorge by continuing straight ahead on the main track after the pond.
Ozi promptly howled when I put his feet in the cold water, although he did enjoy splashing with a stick, peering over the bank and watching our scatterbrained collie chase bubbles. It made me thing about other places to go paddling over the summer. And while I can’t think of any that are quite as convenient AND lovely as Padley, I did come up with a few nice, clean Peak District places we’ve been to where, over the summer, we might go paddling. A few are a bit remote, though, so take care!
Listed from north to south on the map, they are:
- 1. Slippery Stones, Howden Reservoir (a deep, cold plunge pool)
- 2. Padley Gorge
- 3. Three Shires Head, near Flash (gorgeous, but a long and rough walk in and potentially dangerous in high water)
- 4. The cascade at Chatsworth (yes, you can stick your feet in)
- 5. A random little ford on the road from Tissington to Bradbourne (a bit mucky from farm traffic, but OK if you happen to be passing)
- 6. The stepping stones at Dovedale
And I hear Wyoming Brook, near Chesterfield, is also OK. Well, if I come across anywhere else, I’ll add them!