Learning

Activities

Getting messy making fat balls for the birds © NT

Getting messy making fat balls for the birds

A school visit to the White Peak area of the Peak District offers a wealth of new and memorable experiences for children of all ages.

The National Trust offers a range of led activities and walks in the area, for primary and secondary groups. Advance booking is essential for these. Tailor made sessions can be arranged - contact our Visitor Experience Officer to discuss details – 01335 350503 or you can email us.

Independent groups

Thorpe Cloud towers above Dovedale valley © Joe Cornish

Thorpe Cloud towers above Dovedale valley

If you're planning to visit the area independently and would like information to help you plan your visit, please contact us and we will be pleased to assist you.

Contact our Visitor Experience Officer to discuss - 01335 350503 or you can email us.

Ilam Park

The stunning backdrop of Thorpe Cloud from the Italian Garden

The stunning backdrop of Thorpe Cloud from the Italian Garden

Ilam Park provides an ideal setting for team building activities, habitat studies and engaging outdoor learning.

Tailor made sessions can be arranged – please contact our Visitor Experience Officer to discuss details – 01335 350503 or you can email us.

Facilities:
The Learning Centre in Ilam Park provides an indoor space for lunch or activities in bad weather. School groups are welcome to visit the shop, where a range of children's toys, books and souvenirs are available, along with postcards, maps and ice creams.

What's on offer

  • Village survey – a short walk around the area to compare Ilam village with where you live. Hear the stories behind the Swiss style cottages, the memorial and the church.
  • Minibeast hunt – discover the creatures that live in Ilam Park.
  • Orienteering - a junior orienteering course in Ilam Park.
  • Natural art – explore the park to find natural materials and get creative.
  • Peak District walk – discover the famous limestone valley of Dovedale.
  • Ecton Mine – a lesson underground in the only copper mine in the Peak District.
  • A Peak District farm - meet a Peak District farmer and his farm, see the animals and learn about what life is like for a farmer in the Peak District.

Dovedale: activities

Balance on the stepping stones to cross the River Dove © John Millar

Balance on the stepping stones to cross the River Dove

Discover the famous limestone valley of Dovedale, hear the tales of the valley and explore the natural landscape features. Discover the wildlife that lives in Dovedale. Take a picnic lunch by the river Dove during the day, weather permitting.

Dovedale: visits

Balance on the stepping stones to cross the River Dove © John Millar

Balance on the stepping stones to cross the River Dove

Teachers are encouraged to make a planning visit due to the nature of the area. Severe weather can result in planned activities or walking routes changing at short notice. 

There is a free public coach bay on the main road between Thorpe and Ilam, close to Dovedale valley. Please note, reservations cannot be made for this parking.

Dovedale: facilities

Visit our mobile barn at Dovedale where you can buy souvenirs of your visit © National Trust

Visit our mobile barn at Dovedale where you can buy souvenirs of your visit

There are public toilets and a car park (not NT) at the south of the valley. A mobile shop and info point ‘Dovedale Barn’ can be visited daily from March to October. A range of ice creams, drinks, postcards, gifts and toys are available. Maps and walking guides can also be purchased from Dovedale Barn.

There is a small information barn and public toilets at Milldale, located 3 miles north along the valley.

Planning a visit

  • Get in touch and arrange your visit to Ilam Park 

    Contact us

    To book your visit or to get more details please call Zoe on 01335 350 503 or send us an email.

  • Why not send us a letter? © Chris Beetles Gallery

    Post

    Alternatively you can send us a letter to "Ilam Learning Centre c/o National Trust, White Peak Area Office, Home Farm, Ilam, Ashbourne, DE6 2AZ."

  • Stay a little longer

    If you're coming a long way why not stop in our bunkhouse, that sleeps up to 16 people, in the grounds of Ilam Park.

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