Alsop en le Dale - This picnic site is just off the A515 north of Ashbourne and is reached via a narrow lane, which winds down to a very peaceful little backwater picnic area. It is set amongst a cluster of houses, a lovely old church and a very pretty Elizabethan hall which all blend together to make picnicking a perfect pastime in a very enchanting scene. It is a great stop off with your bike if you want to take up the Tissington Trail from here.Black Rocks Picnic Site is just off the B5036 Cromford to Wirksworth Road and is on the High Peak Trail. It is a very popular walking and climbing area and has very attractive circular walks through adjoining woods and is a wild life lover's delight. It is a weathered outcrop of Ashford Grit which can be reached by a short but very steep climb from the car park, but a reward awaits those tired legs with superb views over the surrounding countryside. There are toilet facilities here.
Bradford Dale is below Youlgreave and the River Bradford runs through a very attractive dale with fishing weirs and sparkling clean water which is great for a paddle. Downstream is the pretty little hamlet of Alport with its quaint bridge and mill pond and to the north is the lower end of the Lathkill Dale and the beautiful Conksbury Bridge.
Carsington has a wonderful picnic site set amongst glorious scenery and a wonderful reservoir which makes a fantastic day out for all the family. Bring your boots for walks or bikes for cycling around the shore and let the kids loose in the adventure playground or to explore the wildlife centre or visit the bird hides and low water gardens. There are several picnic sites in and around Carsington which have the best views for miles around whilst munching on your sandwiches. There are toilet facilities here.
Cromford has a mill which is open to the public, also a visitor centre, shops and a cafe. Masson Mills houses the shopping complex and a working textile museum. The village has great shops, restaurants and pubs including some which specialise in minerals and second-hand books. There are some lovely walks along the canal from Cromford Wharf, the High Peak Junction where there is a visitor's centre. The Derwent Valley Heritage Trail runs through the village. There are toilet facilities here.
Fairholmes is a very popular picnic site and car park with access to the reservoirs of Derwent and Howden, and a short drive away from Ladybower reservoir where there is also a picnic site with gorgeous views. With the combination of water, woodlands and high moorland, the Upper Derwent is a unique place for wildlife. It is also a great place for a range of easy-going and more challenging routes for cyclists and horse riders in the area. There are toilet facilities here.
Goyt Valley has three picnic areas and is close to the Cat and Fiddle Inn with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. There is one at the Derbyshire Bridge, which is so called because it was in the past on the county boundary between Derbyshire and Cheshire. The second is the car park and reservoir, which takes their name from Erwood Hall,is a Victorian mansion. Errwood Reservoir has easy to follow woodland walks. Goyt Clough Valley takes you down to see the famous packhorse bridge and views of the reservoir. Picnicking on the grass is available here.
Hartington has scenery in and around this charming old limestone village, which is outstanding. The village is centred around the spacious square with the much photographed the pond is a focal point. There is also a famous local cheese shop and a good selection of gift shops, cafes and pubs. There is a network of footpaths radiating from it. There are toilet facilities here.
Langsett picnic area is situated within woodland with good open access through the woods, providing access routes to moorland which provide many spectacular views. There are toilet facilities here.
Linacre Woods has three reservoirs constructed at different levels in the valley of the Birley Brook. There are two trails, the shorter one about 1 mile long round the middle reservoir and a long one which is nearly 2 miles long around the middle and upper reservoirs. There are toilet facilities here.
Padley Gorge has foaming waters and gigantic boulders and there are various picnic sites to be had amongst tree roots or sat by the bank of Burbage Brook. The streams are perfect for paddling and parents can relax under the trees. It is an area of scientific interest, including rare birds and hairy and ants and there are flat leafy areas making Padley a popular picnic spot in all seasons. . There are toilet facilities at the nearby Longshore Estate.
Middel Hulme, Tittesworth Reservoir has a small dam covering 76 hectares and provides a varied habitat for many species of plants and animals. The visitor centre at Tittesworth makes it part of a great family day out in the Peak District National Park and there is a children's playground, and 80 seater restaurant, gift shop and easy access walks and disabled facilities.There are toilet facilities here.
Monsal Head has the combination of a winding river in a steep sided Dale with wooded slopes and rocky outcrops together with a magnificent railway viaduct and making it one of the most photographed locations in England there are visitor facilities at Monsal Head with car parks, toilets, guesthouses, a hotel pub, cafes and a gift shop. The Dale itself is great for exploring on foot and the Monsal Trail crosses the railway viaduct providing a fantastic viewpoint above the Riverside Meadows.
Mouseley Bottom is an area of parkland alongside the River Goyt, West of new Mills. It is linked to the Sett Valley Trail via the millennium walkway and the Torr's Riverside Park. The Mid Shire's Way and the Goyt Way both pass through the site and there are waymarked walks and a picnic area with wooodland.
New Haven stands on the Ashbourne to Buxton Road and is surrounded by some stunning countryside. Close by of both the High Peak Trail and Tissington Trail, which followed the roots of former railway lines, now converted for recreational use by walkers and cyclists. If it is a great place to explore the central peak district and there are camp and caravan sites and some good country house accommodation. There is also an unusual restaurant built to resemble luxury railway carriages. There are toilet facilities here.
Parsley Hay was once a railway station in the middle of nowhere but it is now at the junction of the Tissington and High Peak Trails between Buxton and Ashbourne. Parsley Hay is a popular starting place on the trails for walkers, cyclists and horse riders and cycle hire is available from the centre at the old station. The ancient stone circle and burial mounds that are below are just to the east. There are toilet facilities here.
Taddington Dale is set high up in the limestone hills and is a quiet village settings glorious peatland scenery. A typical one street village, it's over 1000 feet above sea level and there are sweeping views over the surrounding countryside. It is a good place for touring the area and close to the ancient burial site of Five Wells Chambered Cairn eest of the village. There are two pubs and toilet facilities here.
Thorpe is the Gateway to Dovetail and is a little village set in some of the most beautiful countryside in England. It is close to the junction of the beautiful rivers Dove and Manifold and is a good setting off point for some classic walking routes. The Tissington Trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders passes close by where there are parking and picnic facilities. There are toilet facilities here.
Tideswell has a wonderful nature reserve with a car park, toilets and picnic area featuring a delightful sculpture trail. There are excellent sports and recreational facilities in the village, which has some monuments and the magnificent church of St John the Baptist, which is known as the Cathedral of the Peak. It is set in wonderful walking country and Tideswell makes an excellent base for a refreshment stop.
Tissington is a picture book village with beautiful cottage built around a noble old Hall, a fine church and duckpond. It is near to rural idyll as you can get. Tissington Hall is open to visitors at certain times and there are tearooms, gift shops and craft shops the Tissington Trail for walkers, cyclists and horse riders passing by the village where there is a parking and a picturesque picnic site.
Youlgreave is an interesting village between rivers Lathkill and Bradford surrounded by some stunning scenery. Midway between Bakewell and Matlock, Youlgreave makes a great base for exploring the area. It has narrowed streets and an assortment of old buildings and it is easy to strike off any of the lanes and find yourself in fantastic scenery.
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