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Family days out at Ilam Park and the White Peak

Visitors taking in the view of Thorpe Cloud at Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak, Derbyshire
Visitors taking in the view of Thorpe Cloud at Ilam Park, Dovedale and the White Peak | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Ilam Park and the White Peak is a great place for families and dog walkers. There are plenty of gentle riverside walks, as well as opportunities for picnics, adventures and exploring. You can relax in our deckchairs and enjoy the far-reaching views across the Italian Gardens towards Dovedale or take part in any of our seasonal activities. Take a look at what you and your family can do this season in this special place.

Get up close to nature this half term at Ilam Park and Dovedale

Calling all nature detectives! Can you spot hidden wildlife along our trail at Ilam Park this Half Term? Pick up a trail sheet and a magnifying glass for £3 and get hunting high and low for the hidden wildlife you might have missed before. Stop along the way to decorate your magnifying glass so you can take it home and keep spotting! Find out more

Join in with a game of nature bingo on your journey in and around Dovedale. Explore the valley, down by the river or up high on Thorpe Cloud, keep looking for nature clues! If you spot everything in a line, you've won! Pick up a sheet to keep and a magnifying glass to borrow from our Welcome Van for £2 and don't forget to come back at the end to get a sticker. Find out more .

There's even a chance to go on a fossil hunt and learn how the landscape was formed millions of years ago on a 3 mile guided walk with a local expert on Friday 31st May. Find out more and book your place .

Discover other events at Ilam Park and Dovedale here

Looking through a magnifying glass at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire
Taking a closer look at wildlife. | © National Trust Images/Annapurna Mellor

50 things to do before you’re 113/4

From playing pooh sticks to den building and fossil hunting, there are plenty of opportunities to complete some of your 50 things at Ilam Park and Dovedale. Find out more here.

Find the perfect place for a picnic

It might be a bit chilly this time of year, but the park can still be a great place to eat outdoors with plenty of picturesque places to choose from. The popular Manifold Tea-room offers plenty of choice for hungry and thirsty explorers too.

Ten top tips for things to do with the family in the White Peak

  1. Spot fossils in the stone steps in Dovedale valley
  2. Cycle the route of the former railway track in the Manifold valley
  3. Spot the old chimney pots in the Italian Garden at Ilam Park
  4. See the 'money trees' beside the path in Dovedale
  5. See Viator’s Bridge at Milldale - an ancient packhorse bridge
  6. Listen to the water bubbling in the boil holes in Ilam Park
  7. Explore caves in Dovedale valley
  8. Walk across the ridge and furrow in Ilam Park
  9. Look out for wildlife in and around the National Nature Reserve at Dovedale
  10. Find a far reaching view from the top of Thorpe Cloud or the other peaks in the White Peaks

Wonderful Wildlife

Take the time to notice all the 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?

A dipper, which has chocolate-brown feathers on its back and a white breast, is perched on a lichen covered rock beside rippling water.
A dipper perched on a rock at the water's edge | © National Trust Images/Richard Bradshaw