Birch Vale is situated in the High Peak of Derbyshire on the fringe of the Peak District National Park and in an area known as the Dark Peak because of its gritstone geology.
The hills around Birch Vale have long been exploited for their stone and coal reserves, whilst the River Sett which runs through Birch Vale has provided a water source that for many years operated a succession of water wheels to power a string of mills which produced cotton, wool and paper. There were also dyeing and bleaching mills as well as print works. Being close to Lancashire and not far from the Manchester metropolis, Birch Vale is very much a working village with a rich and industrious history.
The hamlet of Birch Vale lies 2 miles east of New Mills and 1 mile west of Hayfield.
A former railway line which ran through Birch Vale now forms the Sett Valley Trail, whilst the long distance route known as the Pennine Bridleway also passes through Birch Vale.
Birch Vale is surrounded by wonderful Dark Peak countryside with paths, tracks and trails leading up into the hills and onto the moors which are synonymous with the wonderful Dark Peak.
Views across from Birch Vale include the hill known as Lantern Pike as well as rising land leading up to Ollersett Moor and Kinder Scout.
Birch Vale has a rich heritage and history associated with past industries of mill working and coal mining but its claim to fame is the fact that the TV presenter Tess Daly grew up here.