Set in the Peak District, Dovedale is a popular dale owned by the National Trust and attracts millions of visitors every year. The River Dove runs through the dale for just over 3 miles and there are two caves known as the ‘Dove Holes’. Other attractions include rock pillars such as Ilam Rock, Viator’s Bridge (an ancient packhorse bridge), and the limestone carvings Lover’s Leap( the original steps leading up to this limestone promontory were built by Italian prisoners of war from the Second World War) and Reynard’s Cave.Opposite Lover’s Leap is another large group of limestone formations called the ‘Twelve Apostles’, created by harder reef limestone they have remained when the river eroded the rock and soil surrounding them.At the southern end of Dovedale stands Thorpe Cloud (942ft/287m) an isolated limestone hill which is a popular destination for many day trippers to the area as it provides a fine viewpoint north up the dale and south across the Midlands plain. Walking is the most popular reason for visiting this beautiful part of the Peak District and there are many trails and footpaths, both for the casual and serious walkers. Fishing is also a very popular activity in this area. Dovedale became a National Nature Reserve in 2006 as it was classed as one of England’s finest wildlife sites.
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