What to expect when visiting Ilam Park and Dovedale

Autumn walk in Ilam Park

Please read this article to find everything you need to know about what is open and what to expect from your time spent in Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak. We ask all visitors to plan their visit before leaving home and to enjoy their time spent in the countryside safely and responsibly.

Staying safe across the Peak District

From 19 July 2021, the majority of Covid-19 measures on social engagement will no longer be a legal requirement. This includes social distancing rules and the wearing of masks in most public spaces (unless officially specified).

You may continue to see measures such as counter screens and staff wearing masks in our facilities and across other businesses within the national park. Please respect local communities, businesses and individuals’ decisions who may choose to carry on with some Covid-19 measures.

Further detail on government guidance is available on the gov.uk website.

If you’re showing any of the symptoms of coronavirus, or if you've been in contact with anyone that has the virus in the last 14 days, please do not visit.

 

Parking and arrival

Due to a lack of signal infrastructures in the Dovedale and Ilam Park areas, we can only accept cash for car parking so please being the correct change with you, £3.50 for up to 4 hours and £5 for all day. National Trust members park for free but please remember to bring your cards with you to scan at the machines or show to a member of staff at Dovedale car park and then display a ticket in your car window.

There is no need to book your car parking space but please be aware that spaces become very limited on weekends, bank holidays and school holidays by 9am. Please park safely and responsibly and only park in designated car park spaces and not on roads or grass verges. All access points and roads must be kept clear for farm tenants, local communities and the emergency services. 

Ilam Park car park is open from 8:30am until dusk - no overnight car parking allowed.

Dovedale car park is open from 9am until 7:30pm - no overnight car parking allowed.

If you find that an area is very busy, please have an alternative place to visit planned and do not be tempted to park or queue on narrow roads or grass verges. 

Please be aware that due to very narrow roads and small spaces, that campervans and motorhomes will not be able to park at Dovedale car park, please use our Ilam Park car park. Both car parks have very limited capacity so please plan ahead before leaving home. No overnight parking is allowed. 

The vital funds in our car parks help to directly support our conservation work across the Peak District, from planting trees that help to tackle climate change, to increasing the diversity in wildflower meadows. For more FAQs around parking across National Trust sites, please visit our central page here.

Facilities

Our main toilets are located within the stableyard at Ilam Park, where you will find hand washing facilities. These toilets are open every day from 10am – 5pm and are closed for cleaning twice daily - please allow our staff time to do this so that these facilities can remain open and safe. The toilets in Dovedale are looked after by the Peak District National Park Authority and have a charge of 20p, so please bring change with you. 

The Manifold Tea-room is open every day 12 midday - 3pm with the option of seating indoors or outdoors. The tea-room offers hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, soup of the day, jacket potatoes, quiche of the day, ice cream, cakes and traybakes. If you have any dietary requirements, please ask a member of our team and they will be happy to assist you. 

Our Stableyard Grab and Go is open daily 10am - 5pm and is located within the stableyard at Ilam Park. Our outlet offers takeaway hot and cold drinks, sweet and savoury snacks and scoop ice cream. We are now able to accept cash but card payments are preferred. Wear face coverings in crowded places to help protect you and others. For more FAQs around Food and Drink outlets please visit our central page here.

Second-hand bookshop

When you head up to the stableyard area at Ilam Park, be sure to pop in to our dog friendly second-hand book shop to discover a new read that helps look after Ilam Park for nature and for people. The book shop is open every day from 10am and is tucked away just off the stableyard area. Book donations are very welcome, so if you have any books gathering dust please send them our way! 

Mobile phone signal

Mobile phone signal is non-existent in many areas of the Peak District National Park. If you use your phone for maps and information, please make sure to download this to your phone or take photos/screenshots of all the things you need before setting off - that way you can be prepared for your local form of daily exercise. If you are a solo explorer, always make sure a friend or family member knows where you are going.

Look after the places you love

While it has been wonderful to see people getting out into the fresh air and connecting with nature during the pandemic, over the past 12 months the Peak District has experienced a significant and sustained increase in visitors, which has put higher than normal pressure on the local environment. We urge everyone to help look after the places they love and protect nature, by taking all their litter home with them to bin or recycle, not having BBQs/campfires, keeping dogs on leads and parking safely and responsibly. There are signs in place to help inform you and help keep you, other people and nature safe. More information on our Peak District Proud initiative can be found here and there is also information here to help you plan your walk. 

Exploring Ilam Park and Dovedale

Please be aware that if you are exploring these areas, that there are very limited facilities and very narrow countryside roads if travelling by car. We encourage anyone wanting to explore these areas to check our websites and social media before setting off and have alternative less busy car parks or places to explore planned before you set off. Dovedale and the Manifold Valley are very busy areas during nice weather, weekends, school holidays and bank holidays, so please bear this in mind when planning your day out. 

There is very little public transport serving these areas, so we have therefore experienced an increase in the volume of cars since the easing of restrictions. This puts pressure on local communities, emergency services and farm tenants' access, with many people parking on narrow roads, grass verges and over access points. Please only park in designated car park spots, take all your litter home, be kind to local communities and other people in the landscape and leave no trace of your visit - thank you.