Adventure ideas

Adventure #12: Go for a paddle


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!

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