The Derbyshire Dales

The Derbyshire Dales is a District Authority in the county of Derbyshire, situated in the Southern Area of the Peak District

The Derbyshire dales are set amidst some stunning countryside and attractions. This makes it popular for holidaymakers and walkers, adventure seekers, and a mix of anyone in between.

Derbyshire Dales

Derbyshire Dales Landcape

The landscape in and arround the Derbyshire Dales is predominantly as you would expect for the Peak District. Much of it is small villages and dry stone walls, winding lanes and roads, and more than a handful of sheep. However, there are also small and large towns and villages, renowned for their picturesque appeal and traditional practices such as well dressings.

Technically, the Dales aren’t really a physical place at all, but are a government district encompassing several areas. However, it does consist of many areas that are naturally outstanding or places of interest for those seeking quieter or more rural locations. Much of the southern peak district falls within the Derbyshire Dales, so the association between the two has always been closely linked. In that respect, many of the towns of the Southern Peaks are also part of the Derbyshire Dales, such as Ashbourne, Bakewell, Matlock, and Wirksworth, among others.

Dog in the foreground of carsington water park


There’s lots to do in the Derbyshire Dales, whatever your preference. Relax and unwind in one of the many picturesque village cafes with a cake, nip into one of the many friendly pubs in the area, or talk a walk around dovedale or many of the other peaks and villlage walks. If you fancy something a little more energetic, there are caving opportunities, hang gliding or microlighting experiences, Theme Parks and arcades at Matlock, Well Dressings, shows and summer festivals, and more. For a full list why not take a look at the whats on page at the official Derbyshire Dales website.

The Barley Mow Inn

Derbyshire Dales history and industry.

In 1801 the Dales was a much smaller place in terms of people than it is now. At that time, just 39,271 people were registered as living there. 200 years later the population had doubled, which isn’t huge by today standards and means that the Derbyshire Dales is still a relatively quiet place compared to other areas of the UK.

Manufacturing and agriculture have been the predominant industries, with a lot of limestone quarries littered around the landscape. There’s no escaping farmland either as you travel around the area, with a lot of livestock seen in the fields as opposed to arable farming. The industries in that respect have remained the same for many years, and will no doubt continue in that respect. There are also a lot of cottage industries and tourism prevalent in the area, and this has firmly cemented the Derbyshire Dales as a prime location for holidays and recreation.