With its grey stone cottages, running stream and old pack-horse bridge, Milldale is one of the most picturesque villages in the Peak District. Situated at the northern end of Dovedale, it really is the most tranquil, perfectly situated riverside hamlet, consisting of only a dozen or so cottages which date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
This small village got its name from the old corn mill which once stood by the water. It is no longer here today as it was demolished in the 19th century but the old mill stone can still be seen in the river bed. The remnants of the old mill barn are now used by the National Trust to provide walkers with information on the area.
The Viator bridge is an ancient pack-horse bridge which crosses over the River Dove and connects Milldale to the Dovedale trail. It was named after a character in the book ‘The Complete Angler’ written by Izaak Watton in 1653, viator being the Latin word for traveller. Some of the goods carried across this bridge were silks and flax from nearby villages Wetton and Alstonefield.
Being so small and secluded, this village is extremely quiet! You can hear every single thing and nothing but silence all at once. It’s beautiful to experience. There aren’t many places like this left to enjoy unless you take a hike into the middle of nowhere rather than drive a few miles away from the largest local town (that being Ashbourne). You get to completely retreat from daily life and reconnect with nature. There isn’t even any phone signal here so you are well and truly disconnected from the modern world. To me this is the perfect escape. If you want more than a few hours in Milldale then there are a couple of cottages you can rent to enjoy a few days here, Duck Cottage and Old Millers Cottage.
For those just visiting for the day, there is a large free of charge car park and public toilets. In warmer months there is also a little cafe here to grab a drink and a bite to eat before you continue your wanderings around this truly one of a kind place.