Summer strolls at Ilam Park

St. Bertram's Bridge in Ilam Park

Take the time to stop and appreciate all the joys and that sense of wellbeing that nature provides when exploring Ilam Park – dippers diving on the river, the aroma of wildflowers carried on a summer breeze and buzzards beating their wings high in the sky. The outdoors and being closer to nature gives us that sense of freedom and wonderment, and now more than ever we have turned to nature to help us escape from the everyday, in return we all need to care for our countryside, coasts, woodlands, fields and meadows so that nature can thrive.

Noticing nature

Take the time to notice all the weird and wonderful ways of wildlife when you explore Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak. Tune in your senses to reconnect with nature that is all around you - crouch down and take a closer look at the bugs on the ground or stand close to a tree and listen to all the different birdsongs in the tree canopy above you. Will you spot dippers diving across the river, buzzards soaring high above or yellow wagtails bobbing about? 

Take the Lead

Well behaved dogs on leads are very welcome across the countryside and by 'Taking the Lead' you are helping to keep farm animals and wildlife safe from disturbance and setting a great example to others. Please bag and take home any dog waste to keep our countryside healthy and beautiful for nature and for people.

Plan your visit

If you’ve never been to Ilam Park before, the best place to start your stroll is by parking at our car park adjacent to Ilam Hall. Toilets and our takeaway Stableyard Grab and Go are all located in the top stableyard area. The National Trust look after Ilam Park and Dovedale car parks in this area. National Trust members can park for free by scanning their cards using the machines that will print off your ticket to display on your dashboard. For visitors that need to pay please bring the correct change of either £3.50 for up to 4 hours parking or £5 for over 4 hours. Due to limited signal in the area we are unable to offer the Pay by Phone option.

Our car parks are open Monday – Sunday (Ilam Park 8:30am - dusk and Dovedale 9am - 7:30pm), we do not allow any overnight parking. Our car parks are very small and do get busy very quickly on weekends, bank holidays and school holidays, so please plan your day out before leaving home and only park in designated areas. If you find that an area is busy, please come back at a quieter time.

A cuppa for conservation

After exploring, what better way to help support our conservation work in the Peak District, then by grabbing a cuppa or a sweet or savoury snack from our takeaway Stableyard Grab and Go. Open Monday – Sunday 10am – 5pm serving hot and cold drinks, a small selection of our own baked goods, sandwiches, pasty of the day, sausage rolls, scoop ice cream and of course our National Trust scones. Please be aware we have a one-way system in place to help maintain social distancing and we are now able to accept cash but card payments are preferred at this moment in time – thank you for your understanding and patience.

A White Peak wander

There are lots of different routes that start from Ilam Park, some may take you through the Manifold Valley and others you can discover the very popular Dovedale and Thorpe Cloud. You can buy maps from our Stableyard Grab and Go, have a look at our downloadable walks section or use an OS map to help navigate your way around. Walking boots or sturdy shoes are an essential item for anyone wanting to explore the White Peak and be sure to bring a bag to take all your litter home with you.