is a valley in the Peak District of England on land is owned by the National Trust annually attracting a million visitors. The valley was cut by the River Dove and runs for just over 3 miles (5 km) between Milldale in the north and a wooded ravine near Thorpe Cloud and Bunster Hill in the south. In the wooded ravine, a set of stepping stones cross the river, and there are two caves known as the Dove Holes.
Dovedale’s other attractions include rock pillars such as Ilam Rock, Viator’s Bridge, and the limestone features Lovers’ Leap and Reynard’s Cave.
The River Dove is a famous trout stream. Charles Cotton’s Fishing House, the inspiration for Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler, stands in the woods by the river. From Hartington to its confluence with the River Manifold at Ilam the River Dove flows through the scenic limestone valley known as Dove Valley, or Dovedale. From Hartington south to Ilam, a distance of eight miles (13 km), the Dove flows through Beresford Dale, Wolfscote Dale, Milldale, and then Dovedale.
Much of the dale is in the ownership of the National Trust’s South Peak Estate. Dovedale was acquired in 1934, with successive properties added until 1938, and Wolfscote Dale in 1948.
Dovedale became a National Nature Reserve in 2006 in recognition that it is “one of England’s finest wildlife sites” with diverse plant life and interesting rock formations. The National Trust became embroiled in controversy in 2010, when in conjunction with Derbyshire County Council it oversaw the renovation of Dovedale’s iconic stepping stones. It involved topping all but one of the stones with layers of mortar and limestone slabs.