Dovedale must be the most outstanding wooded valley in the UK. (Discussion closed!) The reasonably swift Dove River cascades down multiple trout pools in a valley between towering limestone hills (up to 300 m right above us) and great outcrops of limestone (20 m obelisks that would challenge even Asterix). The trees were resplendent in various shades of fresh spring green; bird-life abounded (we saw our first dipper); and flowers including purple orchids lined the banks.
We started our walk up the valley soon after breakfast on a day as clear and sunny as the previous one. First stop was the "Stepping Stones" ... a river crossing made of huge blocks of limestone embedded with fossils, then followed the path up stream, past a couple of anglers and a few other "treckers". Some of the latter were well kitted-out in serious khaki, with waterproof map pockets hung from their neck. It seemed a little overdone, considering there was only one path to follow ... I used the location button on an online ordinance survey map to identify the various features of the walk as we came to them, but it was a well formed and sign-posted walk of a gentle and enjoyable 3 miles.
At the end we came to Milldale, a little village that once tapped the Dove for its energy:
After resting here a while we walked back what was now becoming a fairly populated path with fewer khaki-clad treckers but many more who crowded the lower reaches in particular for an extension of their bank holiday. It was a very pleasant time and we felt much restored by a morning in God's creation.