Updated: Oct 30, 2021
The name Winnats comes from ‘Windy Gates’ refering to the swirling winds through the entrance into the neighbouring town, Castleton and the Hope Valley.
As we mentioned in our Treak Cliff Cavern post, this limestone valley was once under a tropical sea so the limestone is full of #fossils of sea creatures which lived here over 350 million years ago. #beachfossils #daytrips #daytrippin #daytrippers
Lead mining was a busy industry around Castleton in the 18th century and you'll find countless mines and shafts in the area. If you're interested in finding out more about mining here, you'll find some relics of the industry in the Speedwell cavern museum and the shop at the bottom of the pass.
Blue John was mined for its ornamental value during the 19th Century and mining continues on a small scale locally. Blue John is a rare semi-precious mineral, with streaks of blue and yellow running through it and you know we couldn't resist buying some alongside our other crystals 😉😁
Although we were there on a rainy day, we saw plenty of other cars exploring the pass. It's an extremely popular ride for motorbikes and the fittest of bike riders, but due to the narrowness of the road and its steep gradient, it is closed to heavy vehicles.
We were hoping to get some sweeping drone footage of this beauty, but I guess we'll have to come back another day when it's less wet and misty. It didn't take long before our drone disappeared into the clouds. 😕🌧🙃☁️
Have you heard about the Upper Derwent Valley? We'd made a little itinerary on our #AllTrails app of everything we wanted to see whilst we were visiting the area. Ladybower Reservoir was high up on that list and we so desperately wanted to get a drone shot of the locally named plug holes, but the water levels were so low that it took us a while to realise that the cement tower-looking building we were looking at was actually the plug hole.
We unfortunately didn’t get the full effect of the water flowing but later learned that not only are these used as an overflow drain but also as a converter to hydroelectric power. Don’t you just love a green story?! 💚
Admiring the Ladybower Reservoir plug holes and wondering where they would take you if you ‘accidentally fell in’ would not be an idyllic Alice in Wonderland moment. In fact these holes are not for recreational use and should be avoided on foot. There is quite a drop inside and no way out but back through the top by emergency services as it is grilled up inside. The walk around the reservoirs is an all year round adventure as it is accessible by many roads and pathways. The views can differ quite dramatically due to each season showcasing the area’s best features 🤍💚💛🧡
The Upper Derwent Valley is also home to three large dams, known as the Derwent Dams, which offer some of the area's most spectacular scenery. The dams are called #Ladybower, #Derwent and #Howden, which form Ladybower Reservoir, Derwent Reservoir and Howden Reservoir respectively.
These shots are of Derwent Dam and despite the autumn weather, it served as a perfect view for our afternoon picnic stop and a bit of a history lesson at the same time. The area is famed for its connection with the legendary Dambusters raid during World War Two, which featured specially adapted bouncing bombs tested on the Ladybower and Derwent reservoirs.
In our next post we'll show you the countryside cottage photos we took in the neighbouring villages and of course we had to visit Bakewell to buy some of their tarts...when in Rome and all!